Home Forums Terrain and Scenery Bird sand?

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  • #125151
    Thorsten Frank
    Participant

    In a talk yesterday somebody (model rail guy) came up with the suggestion to use simple bird sand (bedding) for desert and beach terrains. Somebody here who tried this already? And could this glued on a surface?
    And I, in my twisted state of mind, came immediately up with another idea: a small sand table Featherstone style…..

    "In strange grammar this one writes" - Master Yoda

    #125152
    Mike
    Keymaster

    Yup, can be glued.
    PVA, water and some washing up liquid for your dishes.
    Mix up and spray/drop on.

    Not done it for years, but I did a 6×4 table many many years ago.
    I also washed and drybrushed it too…. 😐

    #125160
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    It’s in essence fine gravel, and some model railway products are the exact same thing but usually more expensive.  I do indeed have some that I use as rough terrain scatter or to add some texture and color to rough areas, vacuum it up with a mini-V.

    Now, I also tend to use natural sand and dirt a lot.  For instance, all of my Vietnam minis are based with red dirt that I scrapped up while travelling through southern Oklahoma.  It looks exactly like red laterite, and there are even areas that are so red that it looks like what we think “martian red” should be.  My property has 6 different colors of dirt, and I used them all extensively.  The little twigs and roots that is sometimes found within also adds to great effect!  Why buy expensive stuff when you can have free, organic, free range terrain?

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #125165
    willz
    Participant

    And I, in my twisted state of mind, came immediately up with another idea: a small sand table Featherstone style…..

    Beware of sand tables, they are heavy a solid floor beneath is recommended, also sand is an abrasive and may be slightly acidic if it has not been washed so may well discolour or rub off paint from your painted models.

    I use play sand mixed with wood glue, fine gravel and paint to make up my basing material (varnish after dry as it can smell), though you can use bird cage sand, which I think is finer.

    #125182

    A lighter option is sawdust.

    #125191
    Thorsten Frank
    Participant

    A lighter option is sawdust.

    Never thought of that. I´ve got TONS of this stuff.

    . Now, I also tend to use natural sand and dirt a lot. For instance, all of my Vietnam minis are based with red dirt that I scrapped up while travelling through southern Oklahoma. It looks exactly like red laterite, and there are even areas that are so red that it looks like what we think “martian red” should be. My property has 6 different colors of dirt, and I used them all extensively. The little twigs and roots that is sometimes found within also adds to great effect! Why buy expensive stuff when you can have free, organic, free range terrain?

    That´s a bit problematic and you can laugh about me now but my region got some stuff from Chernobyl back then and I´ve got a spot in the garden a Geiger counter get´s really working.  Hm.  On the other hand you don´t know what´s already in the house. Got to think about that.

    "In strange grammar this one writes" - Master Yoda

    #125194
    willz
    Participant

    A lighter option is sawdust.

    Yes but don’t sneeze whilst playing or all your terrain will fly of the table.

    #125195

    True!

    Or “maybe”. I’ve never tried it, but read an article on the process many years ago.  The writer sprayed water with a bottle sprayer, which allowed him to shape the sawdust into hills and dips. You have to allow time for it to dry out after play, of course, if you want to store it.

    Another step is to dye some of the sawdust for sprinkling on the surface — the article’s author bagged it with some Rit Dye. You can see how long ago this was — I believe it may have been in the old (American) Wargamer’s Digest.

    Anyway,  it sounded like a good way to make a storable sand table. I just never got around to it.

    One example I did see in action: this fellow sprayed the surface with green spray paint. I don’t know what happened after the game; I assume he lifted the hard surface off and threw it away. Rather wasteful, I’d think.

    Plus, this was at a convention; other attendees were less than pleased.

    #125198
    Thomaston
    Participant

    What if you fill a pillowcase with sand or sawdust? Would it give the same flexibility of a sand table without the mess and reshapable terrain?
    Or a tray of sand/sawdust with a sheet of felt laid on top, taping the edges?

    Tired is enough.
    I like tiny miniatures

    #125205
    Mr. Average
    Participant

    We have sand tables at our club and I can confirm they’re butt-ass heavy. We have concrete floors, and I wouldn’t recommend putting them on anything lighter. Sand is like lots of tiny stones and collectively it weighs upwards of a hundred pounds per cubic foot.

    As basing material it’s my favorite. It adheres beautifully with plain white glue, which also gives it enough body to cover 3mm scale and 6mm scale infantry bases as thick as 1/16” and primes and paints beautifully. To wit:

    #125224
    6Mil Phil
    Member

    I make a basing compound as taught to me by Matakishi, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kH4hFQt-tE using the very fine sand from IKEA which is sold for home decor… finest sand I’ve found.

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