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Dirt for a base

Discussion in 'Habitat and Exhibit' started by TN Bucknasty, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. psycho

    psycho 2011 WORLD CHAMPIONS!

    Joe, hope to see you this weekend at the Ohio Show. If you dry it out really quick it will crack also. I think 50/50 is to much but that just my opinnion but I don't have any problems with my habitat cracking unless I want it to. Dan
     
  2. joeym

    joeym Jeannette & Joey @ Dunn's Falls

    I use dried peat moss. I take it and grate it through a small hardware cloth (the size used to make cricket buckets). This creates a very uniform texture and color. After building my base, I spray paint the bottom flat black, I then apply white glue thinned down with water (50:50). I shake the sifted peat moos onto this, and it is ready to use in a couple of hours.
     

  3. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    I have painted with a brush, straight Elmer's on the base, and threw the dirt on right behind brushing as I go. To thick and it will run, paint to much area and it will skim over before the dirt can set in it. But it is easy to do and is dry over night, no cracking. I would not add water unless using moss, 50/50 water and Elmer's can be sprayed on moss and will keep it from falling off after 24 hours of dry time.
     
  4. I mix my dirt in a big bien with elmers glue until you get a real sticky mixture then apply it to the base and the glue dries clear with no glossy look it give a natural look but the dirt is hard as a brick and stays in place for a long time!
     
  5. Shooterschoice

    Shooterschoice work is for people who dont fish

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    i just pour elmers glue all over it and use cheap potting soil for 3.50 for the potting soil it will last me 4 or 5 habitats for fox/coyote sized mammals
     
  6. FeatherHorn

    FeatherHorn New Member

    You can also mix up some fiberglass resin, then mix in whatever dirt and bebris you want in it and spread it on. Then hit it with a heat gun till you start to see it bubble a little. If you try this way make sure to mix the resin and hardener first before you add the dirt. This way also does away with any mold issues caused by too much moisture. Do this ouside as well ;D
     
  7. Troy Rose

    Troy Rose Learning...one of life's greatest treasures!

    I don't think there is any right or wrong way to dirt a base. I generally use Elmer's glue diluted down with water (3 parts glue: 1 part water) You get better coverage and it tends to dry a bit quicker than straight glue. I've done the dirt glue mix, but I do not like how long it takes to dry. You can also use clear silicone caulk instead of glue. They both work and dry about the same. I use cheap potting soil and sift out the larger particles using various sized sifters (made out of 1x4 and hardware cloth). The drier your soil is, the faster your base will dry. I apply an even coat of diluted glue with a paint brush (do not let your glue dry out to much and film or glaze over). Sprinkle your dirt on. As the glue absorbs into the dry dirt it will start to give it a wet look. I add more dirt until the the wet areas disappear. I try to gently shake off the excess. This will allow more uniform dry time. CAUTION... I have found that if you set it in the sun to dry, or under forced heat, it will dry to fast and glaze the surface. The outer layer of dirt and glue will look dry, but the under layer contacting the foam stays wet. I've had this happen several times, and it sometimes takes days for it to dry out completely! It is usually easier to peel it off and start over. Once your base is completely dry (several hours to overnight at room temperature), gently blow of the excess. I usually dirt my bases twice. The first coat is fine sediment. Let dry, coat again with glue, then dirt again. If you want the larger particles to stick I will sometimes spray the base with a 50/50 glue to water mixture. Again, this will take longer to dry. Good Luck!
     
  8. Bondo thinned down with fiberglass resin. Maybee 50/50 . Add a bunch of hardener from both the resin and bondo. Poor over whatever you want to cover , you can use a tongue depressor to move it around or those cheap brushed you can buy at home depot. Take your sifted peat Moss and sprinkle it all over, Put way more on to coat the bondo/resin and press it all in. Make sure it is covered completely. Give it a half hour even an hour and tip the base upside down and then blow it off with a air compressor. Dirt is done. Pretty simple and fast . If you done want the dry dirt look, or just darker dirt, take a can of Deft flat or satin clear and spray the base. I got sick of waiting for Elmer's glue to dry so I went back to this route. Just thought Id throw that in.
     
  9. Here is a picture, Im not a base expert and my skills suck but the dirt sticks real well LOL
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Dean

    Dean New Member

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    I just did a seminar on base work at the MN show. I put plywood and blocking into a large plastic bag. Pour foam into the bag and over the wood use the bag to help with the general shape of the base. I mix the mineral burnt umber ( powder) in the foam to give it a nice brown look . It has little to no effect on the ex pantion of the foam When it's set I then carve off the skin and carve out how I want the base to look including any rocks I want in the scene. It's all done in one piece. I then mix bondo and fiberglass resin together and brush it on. I add the burnt umber powder to the bondo mix to make it dark. Don't mix the resin /bondo very hot. You want some working time. While its still wet sprinkle dry peat moss over the bondo mixture and press it in. If you see wet spots soaking through add more peat. Where the rocks are I put a thin layer of dry tile grout. Pat that into the bondo mixture. In a few minutes it will be set up. Shake off any remaining grout and peat moss. The base is done. The rock has a Nice rock texture with little to no color needed. The rest of the base is dry and ready to add the mount and plants. This base can be done from start to finish in less than an hour and you can get good money for it.
     
  11. craigjw

    craigjw http://www.back2lifetaxidermy.com

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    Mixture of dark grout, dark 100% silicone caulk, and add some topsoil, or peat. Can even add some small pebbels.
     
  12. RedTx

    RedTx New Member

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    Nice thread
     
  13. linspace

    linspace New Member

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    Here is a question.. I am doing my first beaver mount. I screwed up the feet somewhat I want to make a mud looking base... with some of the mud covering the feet. What is the best method to make a muddy looking dirt base?
     
  14. taxidermyfun

    taxidermyfun New Member

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    I take spray glue with anything dry, spray area apply dry peet moss spread with hand looks good.
     
  15. Andrew L.

    Andrew L. Member

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    I mix mache (slow set mache) and dirt to a consistency of pennut butter, and apply it to the base. I add high and low spots so its not
    just a flat base. When it drys I brush on elmers glue, then sprinkle dry dirt over it.

    Here's a picture.
    [​IMG]
     
  16. Very Nice andrew, Im gona give that a shot !!
     
  17. A very good thread. Thanks to everyone for some useful info. Wishing you well, stargazer.
     
  18. Andrew L.

    Andrew L. Member

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    Thanks charlie. Another thing; don't mix the mache 50/50, use more mache than dirt. If you use to much dirt the mache wont set right.