THE SMA FORUM ARCHIVE
Posted by Kallen330, on 2006-04-09 19:20:43
Particular set advice
I've looked at all of the set building tutorial but nothing appeals. Does anyone have any advice of how I could make a really realistic set design? Like tropical plants and scenery. Any advice?
Posted by Nick H, on 2006-04-09 23:05:59
For forest and jungle type scenes in my 1:6 puppet scale, I use a mix of techniques. For most of the actual foliage - palm fronds, leaves - I get plastic foliage. Some of it is actually made for aquariums, some for fake indoor plants. There are small Umbrella Palm fronds that look like scale models of the real large ones. Some fake ivy leaves can stand in for miniature Monstera leaves. You have to look around, keep an eye out for what might work. Look at photos of the kind of environment you want to create, then look through garden supplies, novelty shops, aquarium shops, just anywhere, for fake foliage that might resemble a smaller version of something real.
A lot of background stuff just needs to create a general impression of greenery, you aren't concerned with individual leaf shapes. Chopped foam, spray glued over branches, can look good as general foliage. Fine chopped foam in various shades of green is sold in model railway shops, and you can make your own coarse stuff. It's the bigger and more prominent shapes like the palm fronds that define the kind of forest it is, that's where you need a specific look.
I make large tree trunks from plaster, blending in some real branches. Sometimes I sculpt a 3/4 round trunk from clay, make a plaster mould, and cast liquid latex trunks in it. The outside of the mould can be textured and painted as a bigger tree trunk.
Some branches have small leaves which look ok when they've dried out if you spray some green paint over them, but often I hot-glue plastic foliage on.
Fine foliage can also be photo-etched from brass or copper sheet. I considered using this for the very fine subdivided fronds of the tree fern, before I found something ready-made that would do.
You could also use Obie's technique of layers of jungle painted on glass, or a modern day digital equivalent of transparent layers composited over.