Preventing real clay to crack on a diorama

Stéphan

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Joined
Jan 23, 2022
Messages
75
Hi everyone. Yesterday, I started a new project. I wanted to create a styrofoam base for one of my N scale building. I covered the styrofoam block with a layer of real clay and sprayed a mix of 50% white glue, 50% water.

And this morning, the clay just cracked. It's perfect for the effect I want on this project but how can I prevent the clay from cracking in my next project?

Thanks for your help!

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vw8243

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Joined
Apr 15, 2013
Messages
37
Hi Stephan

I think if you mixed the diluted glue into the clay it should work ok,and scribe the styrofoam surface to get a better grip ,the heat from the foam is probably drying it out fast so you might want to keep it a bit damp at first ,if that makes sense.

Leo
 

Stéphan

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Joined
Jan 23, 2022
Messages
75
Hi Stephan

I think if you mixed the diluted glue into the clay it should work ok,and scribe the styrofoam surface to get a better grip ,the heat from the foam is probably drying it out fast so you might want to keep it a bit damp at first ,if that makes sense.

Leo
Thanks for the tip. I have mixed 50% white glue and 50% water and spread it on the top of the clay. Now, I need to wait a few hours to dry.

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Irishvic

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Joined
Feb 10, 2022
Messages
109
Hi everyone. Yesterday, I started a new project. I wanted to create a styrofoam base for one of my N scale building. I covered the styrofoam block with a layer of real clay and sprayed a mix of 50% white glue, 50% water.

And this morning, the clay just cracked. It's perfect for the effect I want on this project but how can I prevent the clay from cracking in my next project?

Thanks for your help!

View attachment 92113
Did you cover the foam with glue first so that the clay will stick? Made that mistake with my diorama using sand with just 50/50 glue on the top. Had to scrape it all off in end as bit's were coming loose because the base and the sand expand as different rates and broke the seal. All a good learning experience i suppose although I didn't think that at the time!!
Irishvic
 

Stéphan

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Joined
Jan 23, 2022
Messages
75
Did you cover the foam with glue first so that the clay will stick? Made that mistake with my diorama using sand with just 50/50 glue on the top. Had to scrape it all off in end as bit's were coming loose because the base and the sand expand as different rates and broke the seal. All a good learning experience i suppose although I didn't think that at the time!!
Irishvic
After I have covered my styrofoam with a layer of clay, I just added a mix of 50%white glue and 50% water.

Next time, I should try your technique of adding just a layer of white glue.
 

Irishvic

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Joined
Feb 10, 2022
Messages
109
After I have covered my styrofoam with a layer of clay, I just added a mix of 50%white glue and 50% water.

Next time, I should try your technique of adding just a layer of white glue.
I put a layer of neat glue on the base, sprinkled on sand including heaps in some areas,then poured a 50/50 mix over the lot. Worked brilliantly.
Irishvic
 

Stéphan

Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2022
Messages
75
I put a layer of neat glue on the base, sprinkled on sand including heaps in some areas,then poured a 50/50 mix over the lot. Worked brilliantly.
Irishvic
Do you wait for the first white glue phase has dried before sprinkling sand and adding 50/50 mix? 73EDD5B1-9FAB-466A-B282-11458A699D96.jpeg
 

Marktastrophe

Active Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2021
Messages
337
I have not used standard ceramic clay in a Dio, I was under the impression that you don't want to use that without firing if it can be avoided...
Maybe that's just what ceramicists just want us to think!
I am a huge fan of using Plaster of Paris for Dio bases on top of foam though. It dries quickly, it' very easy to sand, and it's cheaper and lighter than ceramic clay in my limited experience. A quick blast of Acrylic sealer or other topcoat allows it to take paint really well too.

I'm seeing I have no taken a picture of this pre-paint. But here's a base pre plaster, and plastered - plaster covered with black Mod Podge acrylic sealer, and Vallejo black primer (hand brush applied) I did also dip my thumb in water, then Plaster of Paris, and drag it over my greenstuff bricks for a mortar effect too.
PXL_20210921_210955308.jpg PXL_20210928_194425178.jpg
 
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