I am slightly modifying a 1/35 German kitchen trailer from MiniArt. I’m dumping the kitchen equipment and replacing it with a balsa wood trailer. You’ll find out what’s going on it soon enough!
I’m using XPS foam for the base. It will house the horse and cart on a muddy trail. To get a nice, curved road, a blowtorch was used to melt the foam. This can go horribly wrong if you have any part of your head up your butt at the time of execution.
A lighter can be used instead of the torch, though it will take a lot longer. I held the heat source far enough away from the foam and brought it in slowly until the foam melted and before it burst into flames. Practice on a spare piece to get the right distance worked out for whatever heat source you use. As an aside, I’m pretty sure that whatever fumes come off of melting XPS foam aren’t approved for human consumption. Do this in a well-ventilated area. An alternative to flame would be a handheld hot wire foam cutter with a manipulatable wire. I don’t have one of those.
I coated the surface with SculptaMold followed by a layer of grout. With the grout still wet, I ran one of the cart’s wheels up and down the trail to give the impression of a well-traveled, muddy road. When it dried, I painted everything with a dark brown to indicate mud. Some highlights and vegetation will follow.
About those tires! Each tire was made up of nine separate pieces! Each layer of tire tread was a different piece. I’ve never ran into model tires like that. It’s a fine way to provide detail, though it will likely be lost in the mud.
I’ve seen a couple of miniature painters use canvas paintings as a backdrop for their dioramas. I decided to give it a go for this project. In lieu of canvas I used a piece of cardboard cut to size. In lieu of any painting skill I slapped paint on the cardboard. If it doesn’t work, I’ll just leave it off.
I have all the major components put together and primed. I’m going to try to end up with a more realistic finish on the horses this time. In retrospect, I would have primed the horses in white, but I’ll work with what I’ve got.
That covers it for now. I’ve already written the story to go along with this piece, a change in my normal order of operations. Hopefully, my next post will be the completed build with the story. Thanks for stopping by!