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Chapter 1 continued- Tools and materials

Tools for making a shadowboxHere are the common tools used to make this shadowbox. You have plenty of flexibility to improvise and use different tools . These are just recommended from what I used.







  1. Glues: Elmers Glue, tubed glue and Hob-eTac™ which is the best glue for these kinds of projects. It adheres almost instantly and it holds really well. I prefer Hob-e-tac and always use it.
  2. Paints: you can use almost any type of paint that you have available, water color, acrylic, hobby paint or Ral Partha paints all work great. You can use oil paints but they take a long time to dry.
  3. Tools: An assortment of hand tools is good to have: tweezers small sticks, x-acto knife™,needle-nose pliers, scissors and a small vise. The vise is really handy for holding parts when gluing or painting. If you plan on doing a lot of model/diorama building i recommend you invest in some small vises and pin vises
  4. Also shown here are a couple of bags of texture material. This is to make the green moss on the walls and the brown earth like texture on the floors. You don't need to go out and buy this textured material you can improvise what you need. Use real dirt for the dirt floors and use sawdust died green with watercolor paint for the moss.
  5. Download textures and print them up on your printer - makes great backdrops
  6. Be creative and keep your eyes open - there a thousand things you can improvise

Note on improvising Materials:

You can improvise a lot of great materials for your scene. Here are some suggestions:

  • Use real dirt and loam for the ground textures
  • Use real pebbles for rocks in your scene
  • Die a paint brush green then cut the bristles off to make stalks of grass
  • Cut some pieces of wood and die the sawdust green to make grass and moss
  • Use the bnstles from a broom to make thin wooden sticks
  • You can scrape a dried sponge to get rough texture that looks great as scrub and shrubbery - just die it a shade of green after its been scraped

Continue on - Lets start building the shadowbox



Waterfall in a dioramaA Waterfall in a diorama

Actually pretty easy to make a great looking waterfall if you know the right tools and techniques. I have it right here: Make a waterfall in a diorama