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  #41 (permalink)  
Old 03-06-2009, 03:45 PM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

Materials:

pvc pipe
vinyl string
stainless steel wire
vinyl string
stainless steel wire
expandable polyurethane foam
tile plaster
grout
acrylic copolymere







Last edited by HX; 03-06-2009 at 03:47 PM.
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  #42 (permalink)  
Old 03-06-2009, 07:16 PM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

WOW, amazing work!!!!
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Old 03-06-2009, 07:44 PM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

That truly is phenomenal! I may have to give that a try to satisfy my love for root systems in vivariums . Thanks for the tips HX!
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  #44 (permalink)  
Old 03-06-2009, 08:08 PM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

Great work and detail on those roots, wish i had that kind of skill and time.
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  #45 (permalink)  
Old 03-07-2009, 06:47 PM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

Thanks for your words.
Marina, I'm happy to hear someone's inspired!
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Last edited by HX; 03-07-2009 at 07:35 PM.
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  #46 (permalink)  
Old 03-08-2009, 11:02 PM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

That is absolutely amazing! I can't believe its fake, don't know when I will try doing that but I will defiantly try that soon!
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  #47 (permalink)  
Old 03-10-2009, 05:50 PM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

nice stuff.
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  #48 (permalink)  
Old 12-19-2009, 10:39 PM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

Bringing up this old thread to ask how HX is carving the foam.
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  #49 (permalink)  
Old 12-20-2009, 06:06 PM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

Hi, Kyle.
I carve the expandable polyurethane foam with sharp knives and sometimes finish off with a rotating grinding disk, either connected to a drill or a corner grinder.

Polyurethane does not melt well with heat, neither soldiering nor flame, so it's a bit harder to carve than polystyrene.

Last edited by HX; 12-20-2009 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 03-14-2010, 01:14 PM
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Default expandable foam

Hi,
I used expandable foam for bulding a rock back ground in my desert ter,
But i had a lot of 'air bubbles" in it.

How do you get such a fine structure on those root systems?
just aply pressure when you spray it on the wires or something like that?

I've got me a new terrarium (in holland-->euro style) and i'm planning on a hill
with roots comming out as a back ground..

Buying roots in the local aquarium store would do the trick, but still...
making my own would be more satisfying!!

thanks for posting those pics of your creations and the 'how to' !!
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  #51 (permalink)  
Old 03-15-2010, 10:13 PM
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Default Re: expandable foam

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gert-Jan View Post
Hi,
I used expandable foam for bulding a rock back ground in my desert ter,
But i had a lot of 'air bubbles" in it.

How do you get such a fine structure on those root systems?
just aply pressure when you spray it on the wires or something like that?

Hi there.

I don't know if some foams work better and some worse. But I have noticed that when you spray thin layers and let them dry, you get smaller airpockets as well. Apply several layers, if needed.
If you use grout or any other cement-based stuff, you don't have to worry about the holes. They are filled with the stuff you use, when you brush it on.

Here's another branch project of mine:

Basic structure, pipes glued together with hot glue, a couple of plastic bottles cut for pots:



PU-foamed and thinner twigs made with stainless steel wire:



PU-foam carved:



A couple of layers of grout brushed in, twigs filled in with vinyl string soaked in grout, grout carved a bit:



Brownish bottom layer dried up and a darker surface being brushed in:



Shaded with dark, almost black hue and pretty much finished:

(The greenish stuff is acrylic polymere, which turns green before drying completely and turning colorless)


And finally, after a month of keeping wet to let the cement harden, in a tank:



Sorry for the lousyish pics, I'm no photographer.
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  #52 (permalink)  
Old 03-15-2010, 11:31 PM
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Default Re: expandable foam

great branch work!!
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  #53 (permalink)  
Old 03-17-2010, 09:54 PM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

Thx Julio!
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  #54 (permalink)  
Old 03-24-2010, 03:11 AM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

Your most recent branch is stunning HX. Once again, I'm blown away by your artistic ability. Have you tried growing epiphytic plants or moss on any of your branches or rocks? Are they able to take root and grow on the grout surface?
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Old 03-24-2010, 11:19 AM
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Default Re: expandable foam

Hi and thanks.

Yes, both submerged and emersed plants take hold and root quite well:
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  #56 (permalink)  
Old 07-15-2010, 07:12 AM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

More rootsies, anyone?



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  #57 (permalink)  
Old 07-15-2010, 12:13 PM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

Wow.. really amazing work.

My son and I did a foam background piece and we were really pleased with how it came out... and then I saw this. lol

You've done some really outstanding work here.

I'm definitely going to give this a try with hopes that it will come out even half as nice as the pieces you've done.

Thanks for sharing how you did it all.
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  #58 (permalink)  
Old 07-15-2010, 12:23 PM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

Wow amazing.
Do you have more pics to show us .
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  #59 (permalink)  
Old 07-15-2010, 05:57 PM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

Thank you plenty, Lycosa. So happy to hear you are inspired.
Looking forward to seeing your work.

Raf you insatiable you. Thanks.
Well, these seem to have gotten lost from this thread somehow:

Pvc pipes glued together


PU foamed


PU carved, some sticky stuff added to make sand and then grout stick onto the pipes


Three-four layers of grout, carving, brushing, sanding


And the roots under water:

Last edited by HX; 07-15-2010 at 06:25 PM.
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  #60 (permalink)  
Old 07-16-2010, 05:09 AM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

WOW! MAGNIFICENT work as always HX!! How much time (not including drying and curing) do you put into one of these? Keep up the inspirational work!

Keith
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  #61 (permalink)  
Old 07-16-2010, 08:44 AM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

Thank you.

I just got the latest piece glued into a 140 gallon tank (it is going to be a mudskipperarium) and rigged in an underpowered pump to check out how the inbuilt piping works. Was happy to notice all 12 separate water pools filling up!


Also notice heavy planting.
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  #62 (permalink)  
Old 07-16-2010, 11:10 AM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

Really great. What is on the bottom of the pools?
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  #63 (permalink)  
Old 07-16-2010, 11:12 AM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by keith campbell View Post
How much time (not including drying and curing) do you put into one of these?
Sorry, forgot to answer your question.
Depends a bit on the size and other parameters. If I go for something I haven't tried before, a process or a material, then more.

But a fair sized trunk is less than a day's work, effectively.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raf View Post
Really great. What is on the bottom of the pools?
Thanks.
Thats just sand, 0,5-1 mm grain. "White" silica sand.

Last edited by HX; 07-16-2010 at 11:14 AM.
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  #64 (permalink)  
Old 08-02-2010, 11:56 AM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

Hi Hx,

Thanks to your technique I got some ideas and made a background for my new terrarium:



it really helped a lot showing your stuff!

Last edited by Raf; 08-02-2010 at 12:12 PM.
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Old 08-02-2010, 11:59 AM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

looks good, nice detail!
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  #66 (permalink)  
Old 08-02-2010, 12:10 PM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raf View Post
Hi Hx,

Thanks to your technique I got some ideas and made a background of my new terrarium:



it really helped a lot showing your stuff!

WHOA!

Nice job, dude. Thanks for shearing that. Truly outstanding outcome. Keep it up!

Last edited by HX; 08-02-2010 at 12:35 PM.
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  #67 (permalink)  
Old 08-02-2010, 02:04 PM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

..for sharing, not shearing. Third language, this your english.
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  #68 (permalink)  
Old 09-10-2010, 01:38 AM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

The shear talent you have is amazing, I'm trying to duplcate your work and would be happy if it turns out 50% as good.
Thanks for the details
Brian
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Old 09-10-2010, 12:27 PM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

So well done...a couple of questions: Some of the materials you have listed are unfamiliar to me--especially the tile plaster..which you described as being used to "separate" the tiles. That, I believe, is a technique that is not used here in the USA that I am aware of. What would be a more descriptive term?? And the use of Acrylic co-polymere...what is that? Grout and the various colors is a good idea...do you seal everything to make it water tight? Have you tried other methods of "painting" the highlights and shadows of the roots?? I can just visualize neons scooting through all those wonderful cyprus roots as though they were in the bayous of Louisiana..
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Old 09-10-2010, 06:19 PM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Judy S View Post
So well done...a couple of questions: Some of the materials you have listed are unfamiliar to me--especially the tile plaster..which you described as being used to "separate" the tiles. That, I believe, is a technique that is not used here in the USA that I am aware of. What would be a more descriptive term?? And the use of Acrylic co-polymere...what is that? Grout and the various colors is a good idea...do you seal everything to make it water tight? Have you tried other methods of "painting" the highlights and shadows of the roots?? I can just visualize neons scooting through all those wonderful cyprus roots as though they were in the bayous of Louisiana..
I am not certain if these questions are directed to me or Raf for that unbelievably natural background he's made. But I'll answer what I know.

Tile plaster is what you use to fix the tiles onto the surface being tiled. The type I use is "renovation" plaster, with added glue and modified to stick onto practically any surface. Sticky stuff, but still very cementy. Sand grain filler size around 0-1 mm.

Acrylic co-polymer is a liquid plastic added to modified cement products to harden and/or seal them. There are many manufacturers and brands, as well as many qualities of plastics. What is in common with them is that they are air-drying and very stable after drying. (I believe) none of them are in any way dissolved by water after drying, although they are water-soluble (when they still are) liquids.

I don't seal the final outcome. But I do use the above mentioned sealers/polymers in the mixtures of plasters and grout. It seals it "partially", I think. Or reduces the affect cement has on ph and hardness of water the pieces are in contact with.

Many people seem to use acrylic or other paints to highlight and even color their pieces. I don't. I think paint is covered or worn off from the surface very quickly. But then, the color of grout is being covered with aging and by bio-activity as well. Under water very quickly, emersed more slowly but as surely. Except in dry terrariums.
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Old 09-24-2010, 03:52 PM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?






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Old 09-24-2010, 04:31 PM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

And again an amazing piece of work
Really cool!
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Old 09-24-2010, 04:43 PM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

Damn, that is just ridiculous. Amazing piece. Is this for a fish tank or a vivarium?
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Old 09-24-2010, 04:52 PM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

Thanks, dudes.

I think it's going to be in a paludarium/riparium sort of a setting with the four inbuilt flowerpot-sort of thingys.
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Old 09-25-2010, 04:46 AM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

Loving it!
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Old 09-26-2010, 09:11 AM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

wow, just saw this post because it sounded interesting and figured i'd learn something. learn something I did! Screw buying huge giant pieces of driftwood from the fishstore thanks people for your how-to's an thanks for posting this question
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Old 10-09-2010, 08:45 PM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

amazing, im going to have to try this sometime.
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Old 10-10-2010, 12:47 PM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

Ohhh my god! This thread is amazing. HX dude, I need to apprentice under you for a while. Teach me your ways, Da Vinci of the vivarium.
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Old 10-10-2010, 06:57 PM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

Very cool thread. Anyone found a source to buy these. I'm afraid I'm not that artisitc and would never be able to crank one of these out on my own. I'm looking for a buttress type root stump with some "mushroom" shelves growing out of it. Please post up if you have any idea where to get one or could possibly be bribed into making one. The artistic talent of some of you dbers amazes me.
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Old 10-13-2010, 07:40 PM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

Great stuff man!

I love the details you put into each piece. They really look realistic!

Because of this thread, I;m actually making one for my 20gal vert now


so how long do you wait before you apply the 2nd coat of grout?

and then how long do you let it cure before you place them in the Vivs?
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