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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i got bored yesterday, so i decided to try my hand at making one of these. I don't have a tank or anything for it to go into, but its fun making these kind of things. Here is a few pics of it after the rough carve. I'll post more tomorrow when i hand sand it and make it look better. Suggestions? criticism?





 

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Looking pretty sweet already Ryan!
 

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that looks awesome! I want to build a bigger viv with tree root systems like this for the background. I really like how they look.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thanks guys. I've always been intrigued by these rainforest trees. I even did a pencil drawing of one and got first place in advanced pencil drawing category at the HOIC art conference.

I have absolutely no idea what the hell i'm going to do with this thing. I don't even own a tank it would fit in. Dimensions are approximately 18" high, 24" wide, and 18" deep. If it turns out lookin ok, and nobody wants it, ill make it a desk lamp or something hahaha
 

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Awesome trunk and roots and the fossil is wicked as well. If your trying to sell off the tree/roots when finished Id be more than happy to take t off your hands if your not going to use it! Let me know.

Awesome work again

Vinny
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Are these plaster of paris ?
nope they are both actually carved out of EPS (expanded polystyrene) styrofoam. You can see a piece of it on the shop floor in the first pic. the t-rex does however have a thin layer of plaster over the foam in order for the paint to stick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I think it looks great! How are you going to coat/paint it?
to be honest, i was going to ask you guys what the best thing to coat it in. I was thinking about some viv friendly type of modeling clay, but the only one that comes to mind is Polygem's zoo-poxy easy sculpt clay, and they want almost $50 for a 2 quart thing! Does anybody know of another type of readily available clay or sculpting paste thats both viv friendly and relatively cheap??

Another option would be drylock, but its sorta pricey and you cant really sculpt it. Suggestions please!

Well back on track with the actual build of it. I just got done hand sanding and refining the shape of the stump. I think its turning out alright so far. Here are a few updated pictures.

front


closeup right side


closeup left side


overhead


from across the shop



How does it look so far?
 

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It looks great! It's not something you can sculpt but what about the plain old silicone and peatmoss method to cover it? Maybe get some moss to grow on it, add a few choice broms here or there and wha-la! (idk just rambling) Whatever you choose I'm sure it'll turn out great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
It looks great! It's not something you can sculpt but what about the plain old silicone and peatmoss method to cover it? Maybe get some moss to grow on it, add a few choice broms here or there and wha-la! (idk just rambling) Whatever you choose I'm sure it'll turn out great.
thanks for the input! I've considered the silicone/peat moss method, but i fear it will not look entirely realistic. I've been looking at different pictures of rainforest trees on the internet, and it seems most are a light brownish grey with a little bit of green moss growth near the bottom. The peat moss will be to dark and more brown than I want I think. I have also considered using floor grout or cement, but i really do not want to go through the hassle of neutralizing and curing it with vinegar.

Here is a picture that i have kinda used as a very loose reference for this build.
 

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I was going to suggest using a grout. You could paint it and then put a clear coat of epoxy (resin?) over it but, that might make it look too shiny. If you don't need to use the piece right away curing shouldn't be much of a hassle - just need to wait while it soaks.

Although I have never used grout or epoxy, from what I have seen grout seems to give the greatest control over texture.
 
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