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Artificial Snow on bases:questions

Discussion in 'Sculpting' started by Arminous, Feb 15, 2006.

  1. Arminous Member

    Hi all!

    Artificial snow is my favorite effect for bases,but I face a huge problem:the technique I use is applying wood glue to the base and then add the artificial snow.I push gently with my finger,so that the snow granuls stick fine on the glue and cover the greatest surface possible,and let it dry.After the glue is hardened I blow several times,so that only the granuls that have stuck with the glue are left.And here is the problem!Only a small amount of granuls remain on the base.The result looks like snow that turns into ice,very interesting and beautiful,but not what I expect.Any ideas on how we could fix more granuls,so that it looks like realistic snow?

    Please,don't answer me like:"Just don't blow after the glue is dry..."I know this way the granuls will remain there,but not intensively fixed!

    My idea is to try with Fixative spray,the one used by painters who use pastels,but I cannot give it a try(I'm out of artificial snow,I've order a packet,but I haven't recieved it yet...).Another idea is using a matte varnish spray...I suppose that liquid glues(like cyanoacrylic...) may not help,they may give a non realistic result.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Bluesking Active Member

    Mix the granules with a little diluted glue and thickly "paint" it on.
  3. KeithP Active Member

    1. Do more than one layer as you described.

    2. Add to 2 part epoxy to the snow (I use micro balloons and the H&A Snow) and then apply that mix. Then if you want, after that is dry, add the white glue and a final layer of the snow alone. This is what I did on my Teutonic GrandMaster in my vbench. I was pleased with the results!

  4. Vikingz Member

    As Keith mentioned I use micro ballons mixed in w/ the glue. The only difference I use white glue as true wood glues tend to be yellow. The mixture is then just basically painted on. A little FYI this same process can be used for making foamed whitecaps in water.
  5. PJ Deluhery Active Member

    I have not done this in a while, but your fixative idea is correct.

    After applying the "snow" and BEFORE you "blow," take some of the glue and mix it 50/50 with water. I don't know what kind of glue you are using, but you want it thin enough to flow but not too weak. You may need to experiment.

    Use an eye dropper and then fix the entire surface one drop at a time: drop the glue onto the snow and let it sink in. Be sure you keep stiring the mix so the glue does not settle to the bottom of the container. Let this dry.

    You will have minimal "blow off" since the surface will be hard. You will experience some volume reduction in the snow, and you may have to repeat this process to get the depth you need.

    I have tried spray glues to get this fixative effect, and even hair spray. These DO work, but tend to come undone over time since they only rest on the surface. The diluted glue settles in below the surface and dries permanently.
  6. modelix Active Member

    Hello Arminous

    I use a mixture with micro balloons,white glue(wood glue) and water.
    Next step i aplie in the terrain and VOILA!!!

    I put a picture...



  7. TheNastySerbian New Member

    Where can we obtain those micro balloons ? What are they made of ?
    Thank you. ;)
  8. KeithP Active Member

  9. Roc Active Member

    I use sweet and low for snow, works well and it's not toxic.

    Roc. :)
  10. Vikingz Member

    The microballons are tiny silica glass beads (glass dust) used in fiberglass applications. I bought my life long supply at a local fiberglass supply distributor in Torrance CA also known in the industry as Sil-Cel.
    Relatively inexpensive compared too sweet & low. One gallon jar for $6 which I've had for over 10yrs used about 15 times still have 3/4 of the jar left.
  11. Einion Well-Known Member

  12. Arminous Member

    Hello guys!

    I have to thank all of you very much for your useful advice!I really appreciate it!I'll have to buy MicroBallons and search for different glues to try all these techniques and I hope I get a permanent effect.I recieved my packet of Art.Snow,but I'll heve to buy the rest of the material.I don't know if I could find them in Greece...

    I must say the figures you show as example look great in general,and so does the snow effect.Are you sure that if you touch the snow with your finger it will remain there?

    I have a fixative spray by Winsor & Newton.If this doen't work,I don't know what else I could try on this idea.Maybe the diluted glue is the best.My wood glue comes from greek manufactor,it's white-crystal in color,so no problem with this one,but it doesn't stick too intensively.

    Could anyone tell us how we could dilute cyanoacrylic glue(so that it gets thinner and it's still a glue)?I know Andrea Cyan.Glue is full transparent,so even if it covers the granuls(which is what makes me anxious the most!!!)it won't be a problem,they may be seen through the cystalized glue.

    As far as I'll try all these I'll let you know what happened.I hope I'll have a figure painted until then,so that I post my first figure on the Planet :lol:

    Thanks a lot!
  13. garyjd Well-Known Member

    Joe Hudson sent me a snow product by Accurate Dimentionals Scale landscaping I'm unable to find a website or vendor that carries the product. Though I have not used it yet, i believe it's what Joe used on a recent project. If so, check out his Vbench for the results.~Gary
  14. Guy A Fixture

    Some of your large arts & craft stores carry an Artifical Snow that comes in a small container that you can apply with any tool depending on the thickness. I use this for heavy snow and then top it off with H&A snow.

    Years ago I used Baking Soda for snow applying with diluted Elmers Glue but over time it had a habit of yellowing.
  15. herbwf Member

    You might try acrylic matt medium to fix the "snow" in place. You can find it in any art store. It is used to deaden artists acrylic paints. You should dilute it with 25% water and a drop of liquid soap. Paint it over a base of flat white paint and sprinkle your snow product on it as you have always done.
    I have combind microbaloons and Andrea Snow for a good effect. Just a light dusting of Andrea snow will give your snow some sparkle

    If you have trouble getting microbaloons, drop me an email and I will send you some.

    Please remember what Keith said WEAR A DUST MASK or respirator. These things are very small and can really injure your nose and throat if you inhale them!

    Good luck,
    Herb Forgey
  16. Major_Goose Well-Known Member

    My friend and same name owner Costas Hi .

    There has beena bunch of great answers to your problem. Snow is a very favorite effect of mine also .

    some recent works i have done with it :





    My way is this.

    I prepare a mix of Microbaloons and Mineral filler for CA glue (this is a whitish granule material that is used for big gaps filling together withCA glue, sold in all craftshops) which adds to the sparkling effect of the snow.

    I spray the base that iwant to add the snow - without any previous white glue applicance , directly with Talens Pastels fixative, and then i pour over a fair amount of the mix i have preperad. Most off it will stay in place . i blow pretty gently and take some of the leftover away. then i spray from a bigger distance a bit of the fixative again and poyr more snow mix tothe spots i think is needed or in spots i need a specific effect.

    A last distanced spray over with few of the fixative finishes the construction . Takes no more than 5 minutes and its pretty good. PLease mask your wooden base before and use a mask for u also , as this light snow mix flies and will stick on the base withthe fixative ans also will get inside you which is no good at all.

    I have worked years before with white glue mixes and marble dust and also soda , and sugar stuff. But lately ihave used this way in 6-7 figures and i am pretty pleased.

    So just giving u an idea.

    have fun and dont hesitate to contact me for anything if you think i can be of further assistance

  17. Christos Well-Known Member

    Hi Kosta!(Ti uliko einai to -mineral spirit...Den to exo xrisimopoihsei)
  18. Figure Mad Well-Known Member

    Hi Kostas

    This was a method I put out on here a few months back, take a look it may work for you...

    I use something for snow that is very difficult to get hold of, its called Alum (its actually a powder for bed sores) this aside it works brilliantly, it is transleucent and when it’s ground down to form a finer powder, it stays slightly seethrough. I use white wood glue (no water) to attach this to the surface of the ground and just sprinkle the Alum on top, then tap off the excess immediately. Then build up to give deeper snow. Once this is dry I spray the base ground colour around the edges to give the thinned out snow look and then use gloss laquer to give the final wet ground look....


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