Making a mine shaft at first seemed pretty easy.... "Famous last words!" It's actually quite a process and I've had to do a lot of brainstorming and experimenting to get everything to work.
My first problem was carving out the mine shaft itself, my initial thoughts were to simply use a sharp hobby knife and rasp to slowly hack away until I had the depth and shape I needed! This is what has held me back from actually starting the project when I first envisioned this diorama over 12 months ago. The people over at the foam factory got in touch with me and asked me to have a look at their range of tools, I immediately fell in love with the foam router tool and knew this mine video would be the perfect fit and there isn't a more perfect tool for the job!
I also got the foam sled tool as well which makes getting the perfect angle and depth a breeze, these tools were sent to me for use in my scenery videos but to give you my honest review of the tools I've used so far I can say they are awesome! I'll definitely be personally buying additional add-ons from them in the future and you'll see in the next upcoming video just how useful and versatile the tools actually are.
Another problem I ran into whilst planning the video was how to line the interior of the mine shaft? I did some testing by simply pasting plaster onto the internal walls and adding texture however after looking at prototype photos I discovered the interior of most mines is very rocky. So I decided to attempt to do a similar process of pasting plaster over the interior walls and with a sculpting tool I then attempted to carve the rocks... Needless to say my results were average at best!
The rocks were perfect, they had large flat sides with just enough detail to make for a good mine interior wall.
After applying 6 thick coats of latex rubber and allowing the latex to dry between coats (Which took ages given that I'm living in a very humid climate!) the molds were then peeled off and some test molds were done using plaster of paris. These rocks are perfect because they are flat and I can carve them to shape so they fit perfectly inside the mine shaft.
As for people to populate the mine, I've picked up a couple of different types, I have some Woodland Scenics Masonry Workmen as well as some Preiser figures as well. The Preiser figures are unpainted so I'll need to sit down and give them a bit of color.
For the most part I have everything I need to complete the video however whilst I was doing some testing on painting the rocks I decided to use the leopard spotting technique using the Woodland Scenics Liquid Pigments... The only problem is I do not have any pigments so they are currently enroute to my house! I expect to have them in about 4 days so it looks like I won't be able to get this video done for a least another week!
It should be a pretty exciting video and I think it will be worth the wait.