How to Make Miniature Underwater Dystopian Cityscapes!

Hey everybody norm from test air and Frank from custard Welcome to the latest episode of this old effects shop where we work on fun projects when you’re with Frank brick model-making Yeah, you know, we’ve built some store bought model kits before I’m gonna Gundams done VR kit bashing Yep And I want to do some modeling can say not to scratch but inspired by a blog I saw online There’s this Japanese model maker. I think his name is Misaki say mas Aki SC and he did these miniatures that were like bioshock inspired underwater cities and We’re really excited because the finished products amazing and when I looked through the process he documented so well how he did it? I thought it would be fun for us to try to recreate that process. Let’s try and do it. Absolutely So basically there are these miniature City diorama sets you can buy you can buy these online at eBay or Hobby link, Japan and They are miniature Skyscrapers I think Tokyo skyscrapers there each is a little different and I think they come in like they’re like eight different ones They connect together and idea is that they’re supposed to set your desk. Some people might paint them But what this guy did is take these paint them weather them up add foliage and then Cast them in resin to make it look like they were underwater summers. Awesome. I know it’s not a great idea Let’s try to recreate their process and I think the first step were to be I think we need to give these buildings a little Bit of damage to and also the make them look like they’re not just gray to classic little to clean Brown them up Yeah, brown them up make him look like a dystopian City before the flood comes it’s right This is like Planet of the Apes and then underwater. Okay, so you have your set I have mine I do have a third one in case you get ahead of yourself You can work on – let’s sit down and get to painting cool Okay So before I get to paint I feel like I want to put bring out some details from the sculpture. Sure before I just get to destroying it up. Yeah There’s actually a lot of detail here like mine has a water fountain. There’s a helicopter pad I almost want be like a gray Concrete building. No. Well, I mean, you know, sometimes building like buildings are like maybe black marble or weird glass or something that yeah Yeah, yeah. Yeah with just like washing in Colors just to kind of like weather everything up and make it look like it’s all Mm-hmm, you know been corroded and stuff like that And then okay, I’d be make one of your building like I might make this building darker, right? I mean there are it’s already printed. Yeah, but I might make this almost black I might actually take this and cut this and make this building leaning into that one like it’s all over um, so I think when you have stuff like this, you could really kind of get creative with with breaking the building and then I you know, I have you know, exact doesn’t have this like kind of carving tool which you know maybe we’ll get in there and just kind of like gouge out some parts you make it look like there’s Exposed beams or yeah, you could do exactly. Okay, cool. Let’s get some paint I think I’m gonna start started in carving first. I like that these all break apart. Mm-hmm so I can actually come apart That’s all you got. All one well mines on all one. I can mix and match buy one in for example, like look at these Yeah, I think um, you know breaking up some of the perfection of these is gonna be kind of key Alright alright cheated I use a bandsaw a little bit ha ha Holy Smoke So I just cut straight into that building right so that I can glue it nice have it leaning up against that one Please crack apart real nicely. I Feel like this is the part of the processes where you can really do no wrong Like yeah, I mean you too heavy a hand. That’s fine Just balance it out another side as long as it looks random maybe well You always want to try and think of like how that damage may have happened to just kind of go crazy Like yeah, that’s fine But like any time that we’re building stuff for for movies and stuff like that like that damage has to have a back story Like why? Is there a hole there or why is my that’s tributed more? Yeah the bottom at the top. Yeah, exactly Look, that’s why you know, I’m I want this building to have fallen over like, you know, something something like I don’t know something happened earthquake or something and I want to have it leaning into the other building which is gonna give me an excuse to Put these big gouges in the other building Based on what this model maker did I’m gonna hope some holes in the windows Yeah, making it look like the steel structure The buildings are there but like they’re definitely cracks and holes in the building cool and the dremel tool great idea What are you on next? I’m starting to like get some color in there. I know that in the lower Parts of the building. It’s gonna be the most underwater or the most like kind of dirty and sedimentary so, mm-hmm kind of starting down there to just kind of get some color get it really into the into the details and then kind of You know wipe some of it off too so that the The stuff like really just sits in the in the cracks I’m getting to a point where I ask myself how much destruction is too much destruction Is it too little destruction? Well again, you want to tell us like what what is it that put all these buildings under water? Was it an earthquake? Was it a tidal wave? Was it the ocean rising? Yeah climate change time Yeah, so I mean that’s that’s really 100 buildings fall Park how they deteriorate No one’s no one’s looking up. Well, if you want to just make it like natural deterioration But I mean, is there an event that caused? This specific destruction. Mmm, you know, so give like again give it a back story make it in which direction and it come from. Yeah How long ago did that destruction happen maybe there was a fire in the building too maybe there’s people that live in one of the floors still and they who knows I Mean you almost can’t have too much backstory like back sometimes Baxter like making up the backstories fun of it, you know, I Like what you did there Frank that’s really cool so You didn’t wash his on the bottom here and then you’re actually painting heavier spots. You’re leaving a long longer well, I’m kinda I’m using this brush that has like a Chopped-up bristles at the end you and I’m kind of putting it on Kind of randomly and then and then wipe it off like I’m just kind of building that up over layers And then you’re just applying it more for the building you think we want to be darker, um I’m not totally sure yet. I’m just kind of making It up as I go kinda And so it’s a brush like this where you just yeah, uneven Yeah, these these are all bristles Yeah, these are some makeup brushes that I had but I think you can get these at like regular You know arts and crafts brush stars. I think that that’s a pretty common Style brush but haven’t having that uneven and you can get like kind of a randomness to it when you’re adding You know layers of color into there It’s kind of nice, you know, like when I use these for doing prosthetic makeups and stuff like that. I use that for like Distributing, you know layers of texture and color and real light washes and you kind of treat it the same way with this stuff time for washes Browning it up You also have to think about Once you start adding in the foliage on top of this what’s gonna read through so alright I’m painting a little bit heavier than you know Maybe I would in other circumstances because I know that I want some of that to kind of read through the foliage now is your intention not to Paint like any blues or anything any colors? Not that you would otherwise pay Brown over mmm Cuz I’m feeling like if you wanted to me Brown Reading the foliage blue with the water but I’ve wanted to like have some Reds in there There were those first and then brown up on top of that I would Experiment. I don’t know Yeah, that’s what I’m gonna do. So We got some foliage from just a local hobby store and These are really made for like miniature train sets which are much higher scale so one of the challenges was figuring out what type of trees like normally if you buy Like this this would be a perfectly good sized tree for a model train set But that died be like a giant redwood for yeah, so you are a star skipper. So little bitty pieces Mm-hmm, and I’ll probably just super you know, what I may do the tree second I might use some of this ground stuff first right and then place the tree second, so I’ll put some This is probably easiest to do this with like a matte medium So you have time to like really place but I don’t want to waste that much time right now so I think I’m just gonna put some super glue and just kind of put it where I want it and then kind of dab this stuff on what’s a matte medium Matte medium is just like the the binder that that they have in paint you can get a gloss or a or a matte version And it’s just like paint without the pigment in it. Ah, okay, so you actually apply it with a brush Yeah, and then it has then dries it, you know, it’s it’s kind of an adhesive. So if you You know paint on some of this matte medium and then and then put the the turf on it And as the matte medium dries, like, you know, maybe the next day or mhm a couple hours later Then it just kind of grabs onto it and stays and so you can have things like this kind of turf Yeah, or sawdust or whatever. Yeah Yeah, you can do different scales for different things. But yeah So I think I’m just gonna use some super glue and just kind of put it on creatively and then Dust in some of this stuff to kind of Knock some of the stuff the spray glue might be a little bit too invasive like it’s just gonna go everywhere kind of come on Oh, it might work. I’m making the shot. Hey, Nick. Can you hand me a can of that spray glue? I want to try it So compared to them You new paint applications for makeup. It’s still in or painting resin kids You’re still thinking Ability layers aren’t all paint. It layers different things that both color and texture. Yeah You have to Try it in your mind. Think about where where you might want to go with some of this stuff you know You don’t necessarily have to have a plan like sometimes it’s nice to just kind of freestyle It’s funny when you were applying that the first coat of the paint with Wario’s gonna be too dark lower but as you’re putting the this this foliage on there and also Just some of this this turf on here. It kind of diffuses it a little bit it Well, that’s that’s what I was saying Like you have to remember that these these colors still you still wanted to read through whatever you’re putting on next. Mm-hmm. So You know must be a little bit heavy Frank you’re too little diorama cities of amazing. Oh I would have be more of these. Yeah, I definitely bought a lot so we can keep on going but okay I’m at a point where I’m ready to add the foliage Adding a lot of darker Browns and setting them on the bottom here a little lighter at the top Someone I was noticing as you were doing your foliage is you’re adding trees the top of the building but not so much Underwear like the water levels. Yeah, you know, I don’t think a tree is really gonna grow into water, but maybe these are like There’s gotta be like kelpy looking trees moss and like yeah There’s I mean we could probably raise the water level up pretty high And even on this one where the there are kind of brandy things it could still be conceivable that that’s That makes sense and all something that we don’t know yet is how that resin is gonna behave get porn in Is it gonna disturb the foliage that tree I’ve set down there? Yeah, we’re gonna have to just try it right exactly That’s why you did more than one. Okay. So for me to get started here I have this painted And then I want to do the turf first. Yes. So teach me your spray technique I would take the building apart and then just you know just give it a little I would I would start by holding it here and just giving a little spritz down here and Putting that on there and then knocking off as much as you can and then if you want more spritz it again knock a little More and just kind of build it up slowly It’s all about building it up Yeah, you know use the dark one and then this one and then I was taking these these branches, you know I’m just taking a pair of tweezers and yanking off a little stem you figure the Stem of these things is kind of like the trunk of the tree, right and so a small branch becomes a little tree So then you just put a little dot of superglue on there. Yeah set it in there Think about this Moss climbing the sides of the building. Let’s see how this one Like it’s just kind of right there, you know You don’t want to coat the whole thing. Yeah, and the stuffs gonna grow more on the top than necessarily on the sides There’s this with the spray as well or is this with the superglue? That’s also the spray just Because when you spray it, you don’t have to put this stuff everywhere. You could see the kind of place it got it But the glue is just gonna kind of help it grab and a lot of the stuff comes out Clumpy, so you can kind of bein still maneuvered around push it around a little bit. Yeah Ok Frank we have Dystopia iMediaShare cities it’ll be look at look at how look this is our future. I think this is cool. Yeah, it’s super fun Yeah, if we had stop right here, I’d be happy I’d be happy it’s a little diorama already They’re low on the fragile side. Like if you if you handle any of the stuff too much. It’s a lemma fall Yeah, right, right. So one way to keep in place Perfect. What we want to do is encase it in resin. Yeah, let’s go car gyp, so the encasing part Normally we have previously we’d make a like a dumb old Silicone mold, but we’re not gonna do that this time. Yeah, we want to have the resin be its own kind of holders All right. So what I did is I went over under the laser and I cut little squares So that what we can do is build a box around this, okay? And what I did is I waxed the surface the inside surface so that we can pop these walls off afterwards Okay, and that’s important because we don’t like with the silicone mold that silicone nothing sticks to it. So clones thinking that comes out Yeah, but if we advance the box here with like wood, or I may be goofing up. Maybe this will get stuck in there I don’t know, okay All right, but I’m pretty sure that just I you know, I put a couple of coats of wax on there I think it’ll be good enough that we can get this single. What type of wax using Oh, it was just paste wax paste wax Yeah, okay, and you know that resin will most likely pop off or sure stick it. Okay. All right good So let’s we’ll see. We’ll see and This base so we’re not maybe part of it. No. Um it can I’m gonna I’m gonna hot glue mine onto here Okay, cuz you want you want to make sure that this thing doesn’t try to float away. Mmm in there So I’m gonna just kind of hot glue this sort of in the center. So if it does become that’s art of it Not it looks great. Yeah, I like that Now I purposefully made these walls wider than they need to be so that way I could do kind of a staggered Staggered kind of box. It just makes it easy to get everything nice and square Now I’m gonna peel doesn’t matter if I peeled other side don’t peel the other don’t peel their side That one will I forget which side is where got it? So when it’s nice having a laser cutter because I know that all these sides are 90 degrees square So we’re not gonna be all Wonky, no looking at the model makers blog guy who originally did this He didn’t laser cut sides to his mold box. Yeah, he used what looked like a Four plastic sheets blue sheets that apparently the resin didn’t stick to and then built a more rigid wooden box around that. Yeah there’s there’s plastics out there that the resin won’t stick to I don’t really have the time to Goof around and figure out which ones he was using. You know, this is kind of my easy Yeah, I know. This will most likely work I don’t have to test all kinds of other things and I also want this to be a nice Slick surface if I had to use some other there’s other plastics I do have here But I know the resin won’t stick to but it’s kind of textured surface and I want this to be glass smooth so even when I wax these things the last thing I did was kind of polish that wax off so that the surface of this Box is is as smooth as possible That means when we remove the walls the edges of the resin the walls of the water shouldn’t need to be polished right now There’s a chance that if there’s if there’s an error We’ll have to get some like some polishing compound and maybe polish down the edge of this edges of this resin I don’t want to I want it to just come out Nice and smooth. Okay. We’ll see. All right. So what you were talking about earlier is you had made the These edges wider than the edges see how if you look straight down on there that way? Oh, it’s tight. It’s tight around. Yeah Just put a little darkness and Dalton singer I Want this to be as perpendicular as possible Okay Frank time for the resin yeah, what’s the resin we’re using today Um, well we pretty much want just any clear resin you can use an epoxy you can use a polyester I’m using a urethane because this one gives us about a nine minute work time and it says 90 minute D mold So in about an hour and a half, we can take the walls off. That’s awesome Yeah is the process gonna be to mix it and then just start pouring or yeah I mean Do you can you candy gas this if you want but I think having those little bubbles in there are gonna be kind of neat It’s gonna add some dimension. So I’m gonna when I add the pigment, I’m gonna try not like with bubbles into it And when I mix it a and B together again, I’m gonna try and not really give it too many bubbles So pigment we want to make it look a little bit like blue a light bluish still keep that trends loose and see What’s the pigment you’re using? Um, it’s just this is just a urethane pigment So I’m gonna take a little bit of this on the end of a toothpick When we make our batch and I’m just gonna put a just just a tiny little bit you want to sneak up on that color? Because a lot of times putting these pigments into a your a thing It’ll it’ll be over powerful really quick There’s no matter which Which half you put with this stuff. I generally put it in the B side. Okay, um But I’ve also seen people pigment both sides So if you’re just putting it in one side, you have to remember that it’s gonna be half this potent So if you make it like just perfect on the B side then once you add the a it’s gonna be half as strong So you want to think about that and this is one to one part? No, this is a 100 to 90 by weight so we uh, we have a digital scale. Yes. Well, we’ll do that So what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna mix up one small batch that we could pour just in the bottom Partially to test if there’s leaks. Mm-hmm because if there’s leaks then it’s only gonna be a little bit that’s gonna leak out Yeah, and another reason is I kind of want to build this up in layers I want to put a little bit of a darker color the very first in Deeper under water. Yeah, and then the other thing is, you know We’ll put that one then we’ll put the next one a little bit lighter and then we can put our little yeah, yes So we went to the hobby store and bought tiny little Rubber fish. Yeah, whales sharks sharks and They’re tiny here but in the scale of our diorama if they’re massive. Yeah, it’s perfect size. I think it’ll be cool Yeah mutant wails mutant sharks perfect for the diorama for the gradient How’s that grating gonna happen? How careful you have to be when you’re changing the tinting between the layers, you know, it’s gonna be a real subtle change I don’t think I’m gonna add it I might even add a little tiny touch of green into it to underneath so I don’t know I’m gonna kind of experiment But you wonder then you remember be consistent so you you don’t have to be too different Well, we’ll keep it in the cup so we can see the next. Yeah layer And we just kind of sort of match that so in case the resin does spill between some cracks or it’s not perfectly even what can you do afterward once it’s solid um I mean you can just cut it off and then you could polish the edge of that. You’re in mink So if I get some rubbing compound and a little uh kind of a drill polisher and just polished up, okay? So those clean up you can ship it. Yeah. All right, Derek. All right, let’s try this One tip of a toothpick at a time, yeah You don’t want to you don’t want to put too much in there cuz you can goof the whole thing up and again this like this is About as dark as I want that bottom to be I’m yeah I don’t think I want to go any darker because then you’re gonna you won’t be able to see stuff See there’s a little bit of bubbles in there but I think a lot of those will rise out And of course pouring be careful not to hit any of the buildings no, I don’t want to hit the buildings I want to just kind of get it in there go nice and slow How deep you want your whale you want to I’m gonna have mine breach so how tell me when is the last batch yeah What this is you’re gonna put the whale in yeah Let’s get and then we’ll put the last little bit that’s and then you put the whale on that I think we should have all three of ours match height so you can line them up At the top end. Oh, yeah, it’s I don’t you know, I’m gonna no you know how that’s one out tire I think Okay, it’s been a while. We have two layers in and Can tell this is a first layer Very viscous already. Well, so it’s almost all the way set. Yes, not really moving at all. And then the second layer. Oh It really accelerates close that nine-minute mark, yeah even like a minute ago it was moving around. Yep. Well, that curve is interesting Yeah, they’re experienced I guess. So now that that layer is pretty much set we can put our little Features in our sea creatures, so I’m gonna I’m gonna have by sharks swimming around circle in a building circling that cool I Had a whale I sanded off the made in China mark on it But a branded whale the future and I’m gonna try to do what the model maker did and have them breach Well, I think you’re gonna have Timon so that Remember when the resin was almost there you’re gonna head and kind of keep touching in. Yeah, because I think what’s gonna happen is uh, If it’s if you put it in when it’s wet, it’s just gonna float to the top So you need to like kind of put it in there and hold it kinda. Mm-hmm So it’s gonna be a little bit trickier nine minutes You got a little extra if you want or if you want to Check so right so I can use this to check. Yeah, that’s better But you also have to remember that this resin under here is warming up so it’s gonna create a little bit exotherm Which is gonna make that resin go faster really so you’re probably just mess it for a couple minutes All right. I always have a little bit of time to pose it Are you still holding that whale yes we’ve bonded overnight? Well, it’s bonded to the resin I think I’m let go now. Yeah, it wasn’t hard It’s nice and solid Bullock here if we decide to wait overnight Yeah, just in case well now let’s hope that the wax that I put on the acrylic will release it’s a really big moment of truth because these are Spyro molds, there was a little bit of leaking. Yep. Yeah, how would I avoid that in the future? Um, maybe a little bit better hot gluing like it probably leaked under this corner where the hot glue got it So just but that’s why we did it in stages. Like the first one was pretty much set So even that little bit that leaked out, it’s not a huge deal. Right, right It’s not all the edges edges were pretty clean as most of that bottom right there And you’re just okay, so just using screwdriver Along the edges and prying off that popped off the side. Oh, it worked it worked That’s awesome All right, I’m gonna do that It see like the color difference. Mm-hmm. Yeah, there’s a little bit of a gradient there Yeah will pop all these awesome and take a look. Look at that All right. Well Frank’s popping off the other ones. I’ll show you guys exactly these he’ll come on. This is Frank’s little diorama with the building collapsed and you can see I love that You can already see the shark that you have swimming. He looks great. Look at let’s see swimming between the buildings and That resin just went all the way through So I did I do notice the there is a little bit of a seam here hinge I think I’m gonna have more of on mine yeah, that’s just the resin squeezing between yeah, the two walls and the corners but that’s easy enough to Yeah, and this is crystal clear. I’m just looking at him in the present crystal clear right there on all four sides Plus the gradient is can barely see it but it goes from a darker blue Second layer to a lighter blue at the top a little bit more green at the bottom. Yeah It’s awesome the second shark right here. It’s a little more dynamic It’s funny You can see the bubbles that came out that were Inside of this building from the air that was in this building that I had cut open. Yes So as you were pouring the resin air bubbles sneak out. Yeah, but it’s very slowly and it’s literally appearing as the air bubbles Let’s take some type of crazy sea creature But variously I’m surprised that it’s so clear Without having to do anything with well That’s that’s why I wanted to use these pieces of acrylic like you could probably get away with Other kinds of plastic or wood or something like that, but then you’d have to polish it I didn’t want to do that even like this I think we can just run an exacto right on the seam and clean up that seam and that’s it All right. Let’s take a look at this one Yeah, these are these are awesome and the foliage inside underwater and the resin held in place even even some of the trees It just looks like moss that’s been grown Ha there you go And then finally for mine too the way all I got a breach a little bit of a brief. Yep Now what we can do is we could take some we’ll clean up these edges and we’ll take a little bit of Gel medium like acrylic gel medium and we could paint on the surface of this to look like there’s waves crashing awesome. Alright A franc of you or you’d made a silicone mold for this. Do you think the molding would be easier? Ah Any cleaner but this is a pretty good way to do it. I don’t know that I Would want to make a mold that you could reuse. It’s the perfect size pop out I mean me if I was doing bunch of these I guess but Okay, this isn’t even this isn’t that bad. Yeah, it’s real thin. Yeah, this sharp looks amazing. It’s sharp going through the buildings Okay, finishing touches finishing touches adding the waves on the top yeah you can get they have like an acrylic like gel medium that you can get at the hobby stores for doing like You know waves and like little water breaks and if you’re doing miniatures But I’m pretty sure I could just use just any kind of matte meteor herb gel medium for acrylic so I have this Nova brand we use a lot of a lot of this brand at the shop, so we’ll give it a shot Let me say a like gel medium. Yeah It’s basically like a thick version of the binder. That’s an acrylic Okay, um, it’s not it’s not watered-down and it’s not it doesn’t have any pigment in it So like if you wanted to paint something and give it like dimensionality like oil paintings have like texture on them Sometimes you can add gel medium to acrylic paint, but sometimes we use gel medium for other things like making waves and miniature models Okay, it’s giving more robust texture. Yeah, I mean even more viscous, you know, I don’t I don’t know how it’s gonna work so we’re gonna give it a try and every time or I Guess you got to think about it as like the waves are crashing So you want it to be directional? You don’t want it to just be everywhere? so You know and it goes in like in waves and so you want it to kind of be like rows of stuff So maybe not exactly parallel, but I’ll have one directionality. Yeah Okay, so you know it’s just playing out like a line with the paintbrush pretty careful It doesn’t need to go all the way across cuz you’re scared about how wide a wave is And there’s pushing it around a little bit That’s a toothpick Sure most like sculpting with with paint mmm Building up that crest. Yeah. Now this is gonna dry on top of that. Resin. Do you feel like there was a Good working time with us. Um, I think there’s plenty of working time with this. Yeah. I don’t know I mean, I’m kind of experimenting I haven’t done it before I just I’m aware of kind of how the technique works and so I Don’t know winging it when we were looking at the website when we found this inspiration The guy had done other models where he done similar technique with with the casting of the resin But maybe on the wider platform He got some dimensionality in the resin not like a wave was gonna make like, how would you I think with the resin end you would have to pour it in a couple of four so that it feels like it’s moving That’s probably pretty tricky to time it, right but so you add and hold an angle pour a little bit in Let it set mostly and then tilt it to another angle and I live in mourning so There we have it I like these these are fun Under City Tyrone’s I totally want to do more and it feels like something that you can do at home Yeah, you could buy these kits there on eBay Amazon Hobby Lane, Japan. Yep, they’re about like you get these about ten bucks each Yeah, and then we just went to the hobby store and got some foliage. Yep some turf Tiny trees the paint. We use the very standard just acrylic acrylic paint ever washes and then you can just buy smooth on this is clear it on from For the motor. Yeah from Reynolds advanced materials Or I’m sure they have it online and everything like that And even if you don’t have a laser cutter to make your mold box, yeah, you could Cut them yourself or yeah You just got you might have to figure it out a little bit. I’m sure that there’s other ways to do it This just seemed to be the most sensible way for me to do it Yep, and then we just bought also our tiny sea creatures also from another hobby store Yeah, but they’re fantastic so much fun. It’s relaxing. Yeah, it is Think I’m doing like the scale miniatures models and stuff is definitely something to Zen out and relax, too All right Well, we each have our underwater cities if you guys decide to take up this project We’d love to see what you guys put together but maybe in the future. We’ll get all these lined up together in data science Ooh, there you go Thanks for watching this episode of the side effects shop 12 more episodes, of course in the future from Frank’s cave from Frank’s workshop

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