Stop Motion Animation Forum Archive











Posted by Charli Dee, on 2009-06-30 18:26:07

Help from Nick H?

Heya people, this is my first post so.... I dunno what to say XD. Anyways, I was looking at Nick's street set and I'm wondering if you could explain how you made it in more detail( like how to made the sidewalk textured, how you got the bins and chairs, What the doors are made of and how you made the popped out lines on the shops) because I'm making a street scene but want it to look as good as it gets. Cheers, Charli:-)

Posted by Nick H, on 2009-07-01 05:44:24

Ok. 1:6 scale sets (with puppets) or smaller 1:24 scale sets (with cars and simple mini-puppets)? The main 1:6 scale street sets: Road surface - the 12mm particle board I normally use for my set floor, painted charcoal grey and speckled with black and grey. Footpath (sidewalk) - another layer of 12mm particle board, painted grey, splattered with darker and lighter paint. I wish I'd used a coating of sandy-textured paint first, but I didn't. Edge of pavement - a strip of pine, or mdf, about 14mm x 14mm, with one edge sanded round. Rubbish bins - plastic bins that were sold everywhere for a while, then disappeared and I found a couple in a car boot sale (Sunday market in a car park). They came in 3 or 4 sizes from the Little Bitty Bin Company here in Australia, but I'd be surprised if they weren't sold in other countries as well. There was also a council Wheelie Bin model, which is a bit shorter and wider than the real thing but otherwise a good size. I usually have to repaint them. They also made a plastic round Post Office box for a while, in stupid colours like pink, so I got one and repainted it. It wasthe right diameter but much too short so I put it on a pedestal made from a plastic container. Chairs - I made the bentwood chairs by bending some steel wire that was about the right diameter, then painting it like wood. The seat is MDF, and the back and legs are hot glued to it, underneath where you don't see. As far as I can remember, one wire starts as a front leg, goes up, bends back under the seat, goes up the back, around, and down, forward again, then down to become the other front leg. Another wire is the 2 back legs. Aluminium rod would be nicer to work with, but I spotted the steel wire in a rubbish bin art work and rescued it. Straight legged chairs can be more easily made just from wood. Doors - some from 3mm plywood. One piece for the whole door (with window cut out in the top half if it's a shop door), then strips of 3mm ply for the framing around the outside. The butcher shop door is all made from layers of cardboard. Making the framing from layers of thinner stuff means the top layer can be slightly narrower than the first layer, so you get an interesting moulding effect. Also you can cut the card with a knife, so if you don't have a bandsaw or table saw for cutting wood it's easier to work with. Popped out lines? Some of the shops had a recessed doorway, with the windows further out, is that what you meant? I bought some small timber moulding from a hardware store to make the framing, and the glass was either Perspex (plexiglass, acrylic sheet) or sheets of acetate. The pillars at the join between one shop and the next one are 19mm x 70mm pine, with some plaster and texture paint applied to look more like concrete. The brick work was mostly vacuum formed. (Styrene sheet is heated and sucked down over a positive model, then cools and hardens instantly. Mostly used for packaging.) I made up a section of brickwork first - brick shaped pieces of 3mm thick mdf, sanded to round them and make them a little irregular, and glued onto a backing sheet of 12mm particle board. This is a good way to start, however you will reproduce it. If I didn't have access to a vac-former at the time, I would have taken a mould from this with silicone rubber, and cast sheets of brickwork in fiberglass. Or maybe made a mould in plaster, and cast sheets of latex. So I made one section of plain brickwork, and one section with 2 windows in it, which could also become two doors. Making every brick for every shop is possible, but takes a very long time. This is part of a very different set, but shows layers of timber moulding and mdf to build up shapes, before painting: With the small 1:24 sets, the footpath is made from 3mm thick MDF, and doors are made from thinner card. I actually made up some roads from 3mm mdf as well, sanded down to an edge so they had a camber. A small gap was left for the guttering, which was painted a paler grey like the footpath. This let me paint up the road markings, and re-use the sections in different ways. Some details like weatherboarding and brickwork were made up with thin card bricks, and vac-formed with thinner styrene. So much the same as the main sets, but with thinner materials. Whew - all typed out!

Posted by Strider, on 2009-07-01 06:15:26

There are other ways to achieve these efects too... be sure to check the Setbuilding section of the Handbook for links to other threads where people have posted their techniques (including some great explanations from Nick). Here's a link to it: Or just click the permalink in the grey navbar across the top of every page.

Posted by Charli Dee, on 2009-07-01 09:58:15

Sorry, I didn't explain the popped out lines very well. If you look at your picture there is the red border around the words 'obie's meats'. You have done this on the edges of the building, what did you use to do this? Also, on the footpath there is a kind of 'slabbed' texture to it. How can I do this? Cheers, you've really helped me. Charli

Posted by Strider, on 2009-07-02 00:22:41

Nick already answered part of that above: "Popped out lines? Some of the shops had a recessed doorway, with the windows further out, is that what you meant? [font color=white]I bought some small timber moulding from a hardware store to make the framing[/font], and the glass was either Perspex (plexiglass, acrylic sheet) or sheets of acetate." You can get "miniature lumber" in a bin at hobby shops that sell model trains, or online at places like [u][a href="" target="_blank"]National Balsa[/a][/u]. I don't understand the "slabbed texture"... are you talking about the large square slabs of wood representing the sidewalk slabs? Or something else? Looks like he either cut individual slabs and laid them with a little space between them, or just cut thin grooves to represent the joints between sidewalk slabs.

Posted by Nick H, on 2009-07-02 03:40:11

The red framing around the panel with Obie's Meats is the timber moulding - the smallest one I could find in the hardware/timber store. I think it's about 10mm wide by 6 or 8mm deep at the thickest part. It is thinner on the other edge. I didn't cut each individual slab of particle board sidewalk, I made length about 3 slabs long. I just drew black lines on them, and when I sprayed and splattered paint I would cover one slab with a piece of card so it would have slightly different colouring to the one next to it. Yes, there are ways to do nearly all of this without power tools. Materials like card and foamcore can be cut with a snap-off blade knife that costs about $2. Balsa wood is a bit more expensive but also easy to work with without power saws. I mostly use an airbrush and compressor, but splattered paint can be done with an old toothbrush. Dip it in paint, the draw your thumb backwards along the bristles, and they will spring forward as they are released and flick paint onto whatever is in front of it. So there are many ways to get much the same results, depending on what you have to work with.