Wednesday, May 25, 2016

How to: Realistic Broken Pavement By Dragomir

An amazing tutorial from one of my favorite painters (and a great friend) Dragomir Milanovic!

I've had a few requests on how I did the concrete on the PT Sturmgacruiser Fallout base. Hopefully I can fully explain it here.

I used dental plaster for the base. This is much harder than regular Plaster of Paris. Regular plaster has a hardness of about 3000 psi, dental plaster is 8000psi so you can be fairly rough with it, I'll explain later. You can use regular plaster but you have to be a lot more delicate in your work.
Mix the plaster with sand and grit, just think of the scale and avoid larger particles which would be rocks in real like. I added pigment powder to the mix. Since this plaster is cream coloured ( beige ) The pigment used was called Industrial Dust (MIG Powders). You have a dry mixture ready to add water.

Next, you will need to make a mould. You can glue plastic strips to a sheet of styrene. You have to remember that the surface you will work on is on the bottom of the mould so you have to build the mould in reverse. The mould about 1/4 inch deep which makes a bit difficult to pull it out with out cracking but in this case it's ok. If you want a more solid concrete pad with less cracks just make it thicker.

The trick used here to keep the plaster pad from falling apart is to cut strips of drywall mesh tape and embed it into the plaster when pouring. Mix the plaster to a thick creme consistency and pour about half of the mould and embed the stripes of drywall mesh, any nylon mesh will do but drywall mesh if exposed will look like the steel rebar reinforcement which you can see in the above  photo. Pour the rest of the mould and shake and vibrate the mould to get rid of air bubbles. Place the mould on a level surface and take a straight edge, level the plaster to the top of the mould sides and remove excess plaster. Make sure the mesh doesn't touch the bottom or it will be visible when you remove the plaster when viewing the working surface (Bottom surface of the mould).

When dry, remove the plaster base from the mould and have the bottom surface face up, this is your working surface. It should be smooth but it's too smooth now. Place the pad on a surface with some give ( rubber surface ) and start pressing the plaster to form crack patterns. Once happy with the cracks, I mentioned that you will be rough with the plaster, will need a wire brush, the ones welders use to scrape metal. They can be found at any Hardware store, and a small wire brush which can be found at most Dollar stores in a set. Start brushing the surface in small circular motion. Mix the areas used between the two brushes to give a random patterns. This will roughen up the surface and also expose the grit particles you embedded. You can add water when brushing, this changes the effect the brush is doing because you are making the plaster a tough softer. You can also hammer the surface with the brush to make pock marks and divots. You can see the scratches in the picture .

Once you finished brushing the surface and happy with the effect, you are on to the next violent phase. You will need a small hobby hammer. Yes..... a hammer. That's why I use dental plaster. ;)

If you want old large open crack, start tapping ( Whacking ) along the crack. This will start to shatter the edges and will open up and become wider the more you hammer. It's up to you how far you go. Vary the widths of the cracks, from no tapping to a much as you want. Just keep it looking natural and random.

Once happy, you can apply sand and scale aggregate to some of the large open cracks and use Future as a glue and let dry. I didn't want to use glue because if you have glue residue or smears it will show when you seal the plaster. Seal the plaster with Future Floor wax, either brush it on or airbrush, there is no real difference. Let the Future dry completely.

Above the base has been assembled and basecoated. The lettering has been stenciled but not before coarse salt was added to the area. this way once the yellow paint dried it would be chipped and abraded away in a natural looking way by the removal of the salt mask as below.

 You can do an oil paint wash at this point. You can either apply it just to the cracks or as I did, over the whole surface. Wait till the wash goes from a wet look to a matte finish, about 30-45 minutes and take cotton swabs and start removing the dried wash from the large surface but leave it on near the cracks and in the cracks. That's how you will get some tonal changes and give the concrete an old earthy tone. Colour is up your preference. If you remove too much, reapply the wash, let dry and do the clean up again till you are happy. Let it dry at least a day and seal it with matte varnish. This should be applied with an airbrush or spray can, I found that brushing can lift the oil pigment and you will end up losing the effects and streak the oil pigments.

Now it is just in need of some natural groundwork, vegetation, details and debris!
(JAMES RECCOMENDS: Check out the documentary Life After People if you want some cool inspiration!)

Birch seeds make excellent leaf litter and there are many types of static grass in both prepared clumps and loose formats. 

James would like to add that there is also the sweet new leaf punch system available from Green Stuff World - I don't have these yet but REALLY want them so that I can punch real looking leaves out of actual leaves!

Hope this was helpful.
Feel free to ask any questions!

Also to see more of Dragomir's work check the tags on the side of the blog page you will see one that links to several postings I have made about his projects :)

Cya Soon!
 James "TKKultist" Craig


No comments: