"Hardshell" Question...

Discussion in 'Photos & Videos' started by Lighthorseman, Dec 26, 2004.

  1. Lighthorseman

    Lighthorseman Active Member

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    Well, with the module frames built, a basic trackplan figured out, and the cork laid, it's time to start the scenery on the modular "Lone Wolf Line".

    Rather than using easily damaged foam, I've decided to build my scenery with the hardshell-over-wire method. I have chosen to dip paper towels in plaster. Here's where my "newbieness" becomes apparent. How thick should my plaster and water solution be? I don't want to end up with really weak hardshell, but if the solution is too thick, I don't think I will be able to get the paper towels to absorb the solution. I was thinking of a solution similar to a cream soup consistancy. Does this seem okay?
  2. Wyomingite

    Wyomingite Member

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    Hi Steve,

    If you layer your plaster towels I don't think you need to go that thick. I find when I layer it with a thinner mix it gives more strength. The thicker your mix is the faster that plaster sets up which can problems. You end up with plaster already setting up which ends up in the trash can. If you add a few drops of vinegar to your mix it slows down the set up time. Start out with small batches until you can tell just how fast your mix is setting up. It just takes a little experimenting and you will be on your way.

    Ron :thumb:
  3. Wyomingite

    Wyomingite Member

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    Hi Steve,

    If you layer your plaster towels I don't think you need to go that thick. I find when I layer it with a thinner mix it gives more strength. The thicker your mix is the faster that plaster sets up which can problems. You end up with plaster already setting up which ends up in the trash can. If you add a few drops of vinegar to your mix it slows down the set up time. Start out with small batches until you can tell just how fast your mix is setting up. It just takes a little experimenting and you will be on your way.

    Ron :thumb:
  4. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    Cream soup sounds good to me. (Cream of mushroom or asparagus?) Experiment a bit is all I can say. You don't need the paper towels to absob the plaster, but be coated by it.
    As you work through a bowl of hydrocal mix, it will get thicker. It just will. Then it turns to alabaster and all you can do is carve a statue from it.
    Remember that after it hardens, you can remove most of the supports from under it, leaving the edges supported. If you use crumpled paper as formers, they can all be pulled out.