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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Perhaps because I'm afraid of my ability to create natural looking rocks, I decided to create an unnatural viv, with the concept that the inhabitants (mourning gecko juvies) are aliens, and this is their otherworldly environment. Since MG's are arboreal and like to climb branches to sun themselves and like tunnels to hide in, the design needed to incorporate these ideas. Additionally, I've been collecting weird plants to include, so I wanted to consider a way to showcase them as well.

I wanted to use drylock and foam with a false bottom.

I started with craft styrofoam, and covered the back with a solid piece of foam that i siliconed in. I then created pieces of foam for the sides, with shapes that allowed for structural elements to be toothpicked and siliconed on but also for viewing in the tank. I pre-cut black contact paper the same size and shape as these cutouts so it will be easy to hide my ugly silicone and not have to cut the weird shapes out after the fact.

I then started playing around with some overpriced craft styrofoam I had. Craft styrofoam is overpriced and I will not be buying it again. But its easy to cut and deal with. I added clear plastic tubing "apartments" for the girls (all MG's are girls) at the back - as they hide in tunnel structures. I stole Sally/Andy's wiggly tillasandia tree idea and added some wiggly willow branches for climbing. The structures are toothpicked and siliconed together. Next I'll tape off and drylock everything.

Photos of current status:






 

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Ha! I like what I'm seeing... I’m not going to lie, the idea is wacky, but I love it =)
Your viv concept frees you from the confinement of “natural color pallets” and “conventional textures” and should prove to be a liberating experience. I can’t wait to see where creativity takes you in your uninhibited design!
 

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Yeah, im really interested to see where this is going. Ive been following your threads related to the otherworldly plants and really liked some of what was posted and may very well utilize some of those in my next viv.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks folks for indulging my weirdness.
I got my first coat of dryloc on tonight. Its an ugly, artificial peach color.
I need to find some more intense pigments for other layers!

The dryloc is cool though. Its almost the texture of plaster of paris and on rough surfaces you can create texture with it, which is kind of cool. I'm going to play with it some more!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Slow progress - i've got two base coats of orangy dryloc on the foam. Next step will be to add blue and purple. I think its interesting but i really hate how the orange looks.. ..not sure that matters though!!

I'm not sure what I want to do with the blue and purple. I'm probably thinking that detailed painting is out. I'm thinking about coloring the wavy sticks blue and continuing the "veins" into the surface of the cones. I don't know what else. I have some cool prismatic powder to add to the blue and purple, which should be interesting. I am hoping that the colors will make the mourning geckos stand out as they are plain brown.







from above:
 

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This is the craziest, freakiest, off the wall, concept I've ever seen! I like it.
 

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I cannot wait to see the finished product. I was just talking to my girl about making something like this but was gonna have a crashing ship going through with little LED's all around the rim. This is going to look great like an Avatar world
 

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Very clever. I am anticipating its outcome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
soldier!
go look on vivarium forums - some guy did this wild pirate viv with a big hollow skull and water coming down the "Crossbones" (bamboo!) - very weird and cool. And then there is the guy who converted his mothers china cabinet into a multi level paludarium with a theme of deconstruction. wild stuff i think you'd like!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
i painted tonite.

let me just say that color is not my strong suit. maybe i should have left it all white.

It looks like "my little pony" puked.

I'm hoping that the plants, which are mostly darker, will help make it less...circus peanut. Yes, the orange is the color of circus peanuts. At least mourning geckos are plain old brown so hopefully they will show up well.

it was incredibly difficult to paint behind some of these forms...I will need to keep this in mind for other dryloc builds. I have purple and circus peanut dryloc up to my elbows and in my hair and i still could not reach some spots. Someone remind me to pull it back next time.

I do like the juxtaposition between the "manmade" forms and the wavy willow organic forms and I wish I had capitalized on that more. I think with plants in there, it will be more evident though.



Close up of gecko apartments:


View through the side "peephole"
 
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