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Discussion in 'Habitat and Exhibit' started by kabang27, Mar 19, 2008.

  1. kabang27

    kabang27 New Member

    What do you guys use for your "dirt" scenes? I want to hear of some other ways so I can get a little more realistic than what I am doing now. any methods would be appreciated.
    Thanks, Jeff
  2. bill@hogheaven

    [email protected] New Member

    Cant get more realistic than using dirt for dirt.

  3. kabang27

    kabang27 New Member

    I know to use dirt. The question was how can I get the dirt to "stick" so there is no spots that look empty or bare.
  4. Modge Podge
  5. you can mix 50/50 elmers white glue with water and then put this on your habitat... then use dirt in one of the 'shaker' and shake it over the glue.. just like using a salt shaker... are you treating the dirt at all before using it? make sure that there are no bugs or parasites...
  6. Jim B

    Jim B Active Member

    Mix the 50/50 Elmer's into the dirt making a mud that you can spatula on the base.Smooth and blend it with a wet paint brush.Sink small rocks or objects in it before it dries.It will dry in a day,the dirt will be well sealed and durable.
  7. Hagans

    Hagans New Member

    Jim B,
    in my experience doing what you suggested tends to make the "dirt" look like mud. Do you do anything to remedy this?
  8. bill@hogheaven

    [email protected] New Member

    sprinkle dry detritus on the " mud " while still wet, shake off excess when dry.
  9. PWS

    PWS Active Member

    Use acrylic latex floor adhesive.... inexpensive, easy cleanup, dirt NEVER has a problem sticking. You can thin down to any consistency, put in a ziploc and use like a pastry bag to squeeze between rocks, on vertical surfaces, etc.
  10. mjroberts

    mjroberts gator season will be here soon

    there is a guy on here don't remember his name but he makes a bucket of dirt.I have seen a lot of people enquire about it. I think he wants 35 bucks for the bucket it some one can help him out on finding it for him would be great
  11. amerriam

    amerriam Alright, Baseball's Back!!

    How do you "treat" your dirt. Do you freeze it, or put it in the oven? I know washing it would be a mess. Could you spray it with somw bug killer?

  12. What a timely post! Jim B thanks for the technique... this is my first habitat that I'm going to put a small tan coyote on. This picture was taken right after doing it so it was wet, it's drying nice today and looking real good, the little root hairs and rocks are showing up. Wished I'd had the foresight to put some coyote tracks in it before it dried!

    Gotta give a shout out to my wife, she made the wood base out of pine trim and stained honey oak. I've got about $25 in this base so far.

  13. Jim B

    Jim B Active Member

    No problem Doughtman.Somebody told me about it.Tracks would be cool.Oh well,there will be a lot more bases in the future.
  14. born2shoot

    born2shoot New Member

    i only have a little experience with dirt but here are someother ways i have found besides with glue and water,....u can use spray adhesive on the base and sprinkle dirt on and spray again over top it does give it a wet look but sprinkling dirt over it will look more of a natural look..i have only done that one a couple of time...i would suggest doing A TEST RUN FIRST...you can also try mixing dirt in with pro rock it takes longer to set up with but gives you longerworking time...i havnt done this one yet just heared about it ..
    like i say try first to make sure you can get it right because even witht the limited experience i have had i wouldnt want to mess up anyones mount thats why say do a test run
  15. DDavis

    DDavis Active Member

    Take your dirt or potting soil mix it in the 50/50 glue and water spread it over your base , Then sprinkle loose dirt over top of that , pat it easy to kinda lock it in . Let it dry , turn it over to get any loose dirt off . Then take your airbrush with the 50/50 glue and water spray it over top of the dirt to lock it all in . After it dries it looks good and does not look like mud , and it is locked in .
  16. cattrax

    cattrax Beats being in the shop!

    You can also try clear PolySeamSeal caulk mixed with water. Squirt some in your squirt bottle, add some water and shake to mix. The difference from Elmers is that it is flexible when dry. You can also dip habitat materials in it (leaves or crushed leaves) and just place them in your scene and they're glued down. The leaves are much more durable dipped in the caulk mixture.
  17. Justin P.

    Justin P. Active Member

    I use Mache mixed with a lot of dextrin. 75% mache, 25% dextrin. Mix the two together while dry (before adding water). Add a dark latex paint, or a powdered paint etc. This will darken the mixture and conceal any thin spots. Now spread this over a well prepped foam surface using a putty knife and or brushes. Once your surface is covered throw dry dirt at it. Best to do this outside! The dirt will imbed itself into the mache mixture. Let it dry, shake it upside down and blow it off. Wa-la a forest floor ;-) Dirt looks dry and does not have the "mud" look. Very durable and natural looking. Small amounts of mulch, leaves, pine needles can be mixed with the dirt before to add some more small details. Play around with it!