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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Guys,

I started work on trying to make the most realistic buttress roots I could just over a month ago. I started a bit before Ryan but he beat me Posting.

I'l list the products i used as i go although you probably won't have heard of the names since i'm in Australia. I started off with a large sheet of foam about 1.5 cm thick. I cut out the backing and then made rough shapes of the roots which i used some expanda foam (SIKA BOOM) to set in position. I then added more expanda form to give shape. Unfortunately I ran out of foam cause i was using an old can. I used a steak knife and 40 grit sandpaper to get the rough shape.



I got a second can of expander foam and did the same process of carving and sanding with the 40 grit to get the right rough shape. Next i grabbed some 120 Grit sand paper and went over the whole thing. This "sealed" all the foam in a way that there were no loose particles that would keep falling out.

Unfortunately I didn't grab a photo of the finished bare foam. Next I used "Pod Sealer" (crommelin waterproofing) to do a base coat of sealing. The colour was sandstone. You can see 2 spots were I added some acrylic paint to the mixture (black, white, Raw umber) to create a colour that I was happy with. there wasn't much point doing the whole thing in this colour because I will be doing a second coat.



Overall I was really happy. The only problem was that with using expanda foam when you sand it back you reveal "air pockets" that create little holes all over the place.


Some of it looks natural but others are to large and make the piece look unrealistic. My solution was to grab some air drying modelling clay (DAS) and "fill in" the gaps. Once dry i used 120 Grit sand paper to smooth over it again. I will reapply the pond sealer to these unsealed parts before doing a final second coat in the brown/grey colour.



If you have any suggestions please let me know. The main thing I would like input is the colour I do the second patch in. Do you think the colour i have made looks realistic or does it need to be changed? I will dry brush some brown after the second coat for some highlights also.

Thanks
 

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stealing my idea eh? haha looks good so far man. The ideal color you should be going for is a medium light brownish grey. I would add more brown to the color you have now. Dry brushing works well, and so does the "wash" technique. I made sure to get darker colors in all the concave parts of my tree to emphasize the illusion of depth. Go in afterward with the detail paint. Black splotches, light green/ yellow moss growth, brown highlights, etc....

Good luck man!
 

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stealing my idea eh? haha looks good so far man. The ideal color you should be going for is a medium light brownish grey. I would add more brown to the color you have now. Dry brushing works well, and so does the "wash" technique. I made sure to get darker colors in all the concave parts of my tree to emphasize the illusion of depth. Go in afterward with the detail paint. Black splotches, light green/ yellow moss growth, brown highlights, etc....

Good luck man!
The first pic you could consider done before you started your project but then i lost motivation to continue. after seeing your results it has really pushed me to finish it off.

bit of an update:
re sanded and sealed over the clay. I tested way more colour variations on this coat. Most just use varying amounts of the previous colours although i tried adding a small amount of green in one. here are the results:



Notice when comparing the two there are less "large" divets and also at the top the large hole has been smoothed off. The following shows what colours i am thinking of using:

I plan to do the whole thing in the darkest colour there (to fill all the cracks dark). then i will drybrush on the lighter coloured brown you can see in the background. finally finishing off with "touches" of the green tinged colour on the far left to highlight and create a "lichen effect".

Thoughts?
 

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i like the color in the last pic on the top left. Is that the one with green? it looks pretty natural to me.

I'm glad my project gave you the motivation to finish yours :p

Don't be worried about all the little holes and cracks and such. Real trees aren't perfectly smooth, so as long as they are sealed they will be fine and create more of a broken up appearance in the color of the tree which is a good thing.


Can't wait to see the end product!
 
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