What is Diorama Modeling Clay actually for?

Recently, we have been offering this interesting and rather unusual product in the industry, which provides a wide range of possibilities. Our colleague Mateusz from Matejson Models Workshop, who built his diorama on it, has just won the Gold Cup, winning the 13th Festival of Modelling Culture in Olsztyn in the 1:72 category, so this is more than a good opportunity to present this product, as its spectrum of possibilities is neither clear nor obvious.

modellers world modelling clay

Modelling Clay

Diorama Modeling Clay is a plasticine-like, non-sticky mass that can be used to precisely shape the terrain or its individual elements, such as stones, tree branches, dams, hills and holes, rocks … in short, anything. It is similar to sculpting clay but is more flexible, and there is no shrinkage or curling of the terrain when drying. So, it can be stress-free molded onto other scale-modeling common materials like XPS polystyrene and other bases.

Molding is the key word because unlike terrain x-y-z or mud a-b-c masses, our clay faithfully retains imprinted shapes. I don’t just mean imprinting wheels or tracks. Once we have easily formed the shape of the terrain, hills, slopes, and other macro shapes, we can very easily create the texture of the beaten sand by imprinting different types of sponges, as with the “chipping” technique, or by tapping its looser forms with a brush. Speaking of sand, it can also be used by patting it into the clay and various types of pebbles, which, when dry and painted, will give yet another effect. Mud? No problem, just wet the surface, and when it gets slippery and sticky, use your finger or another object to make a muddy ‘slush.’ Once dry, simply paint on and apply a ‘Wet Effect’ or gloss varnish, and you have a beautiful wet mud.
Most importantly, all these effects can be mixed together on one base, simulating varied terrain. It’s a quick solution and doesn’t require several different ‘terrain in a jar’ products, although it doesn’t preclude their additional use on an already-dried stand. The possibilities are enormous.

Another advantage is that the mass, although very formable, does not stick to the elements imprinted in it. At the same time, it does not dissolve the imprinted shapes. This means that the traces of textures, wheels, or tracks will behave very accurately, which is impossible to such an extent with terrain/mud pastes. In the example below, you can see this effect in a sample coaster I made in a quarter of an hour for the purpose of this text. I divided the base into 4 rectangles, each using a different texture creation technique. A sponge for the compacted fine sand (a great and realistic effect even at 1:72 scale), a sponge and brush and sand, the brush itself (must be stiff, preferably cheap bristle), and a wetted surface for the mud effect. This is just a simple demonstration to indicate how to proceed, and you can work with the diorama for a long time. The clay is malleable for at least an hour, which can be extended by wetting it. Once dry, it is very easy to sculpt and resembles a plaster cast in handling.

Modellers World Clay once dry – what next?

Once the modeling clay has dried, which takes about 24 hours or so at room temperature and should not be rushed, or it may crack, you can proceed to paint. You can use any paints you like, although Weathering Paints work best here because of their sandy-dusty look and the possibility of additional realism—they have a coarse, matt texture. I’ve included the colors that will work perfectly at the very bottom. Of course, pigments will also work fine if you prefer them.

I haven’t painted my sampler, but I promise to show the full spectrum of possibilities soon on the next two projects on YouTube. I warmly invite you; if you haven’t subscribed yet, it’s time to do so!

Modellers World TV

However, suppose you expect to see what the finished work might look like. In that case, I will use the example of the work of Matthew, as mentioned earlier. The Kraz is 1:72 scale! I’m sure this is only the first cup won at competitions; more will soon come. The work also uses our sand, Weathering Paints, and your favorite, Oil Washes. It is always gratifying when modelers using our products win local and international competitions, as happened, for example, at last year’s Moson Festival in Hungary, the most prestigious in Europe. We need to publish these works more often. I promise to try!


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