In March we ran a new modelmaking workshop inspired by the range of Woodland Scenics products introduced to the shop earlier in the year.
Jess from Alchemy Forge FX, took charge of the 1 day course, which guided attendees through the process creating a true to-scale model scenic diorama.
Each diorama included several elements of a scenic modelling, namely, rough grass areas, waters edge, flowing and still water, rocks & boulders, shrubs & bushes and model trees.
The processes and techniques taught can be transferred to a wide range of interests and professions, especially railway, architecture, table-top/war-gaming, theatre set design and garden design.
All attending had a fun day and were very enthusiastic with the results:
“Great teaching, excellent fun! Thoroughly enjoyable and it has given me the confidence of what I can achieve.” Paul Fabricius
“Thanks very much! A great workshop, learned lots and was inspired very much!” Jon Pell
“I enjoyed when it all came together and put on the finishing touches. It really came to life. I had a blast!” Ciara Doyle
“Thanks for the workshop it was a great experience. I love my tile very much!” Marco King
This course will be running again on Saturday 18th May, further details can be found here.
Plastidip is a substance that was developed to coat tool handles with a rubber-like grip. Ben, one of our workshop technicians & a live action roleplayer, saw it as an excellent product for making his foam weapons.
Not only is it relatively hardwearing and easy to apply, but comes out much more consistently than something like latex, which is the usual standard for this kind of work. It provides an easy way to transform three-dimensional foam designs from chunks of glued foam into a single, unified piece.
To apply, follow the directions on the can, ensuring that you use a thin coat with each pass. Make enough passes so that it appears wet. Allow to dry for 30 minutes, spray enough coats that you are just beginning to lose definition, usually 3-4.
We have very creative staff, in fact, they are chosen for their knowledge and experience of all branches of 3D design. With that in mind, mid way through 2018, we asking them to create small dioramas from left over and oddments found around the shop. Their only other criteria is that they had to fit onto a 125mm square stand.
We now have quite a few secreted between shelves, on top of cabinets and under bell jars. If you cannot get along to the shop, take a look on our Google 360 and see if you can find them.
Atelier La Juntana led a 1/2 day practical course at 4D to discover the world of model making through casting materials and resin encapsulation.
The course gave participants an overview of the world of casting materials and its use for architectural models, covering different techniques and materials such as silicone moulds, epoxy resin, encapsulation of animation and colouring layers of resin.
We hope to have Armor back to repeat this course in 2019.
Craft foam clay is a new product we added in November.
It is a clay product that dries to a foam with a slightly spongey consistancy a similar to EVA foam. We thought it would be best suited to Cosplay and prop making, so decided to make an oversized coin.
We chose to make a 140mm version of a 2nd century BC Parisii stater coin.
We enlarged an image of the coin and printed it out, then overlayed it with a piece of clear acetate allowing us to make a tracing guide.
We found the Craft Foam Clay quite tricky to work with at first. It has to be handled with care as any excess pressure caused dents in the surface.
Once we had become familar with its handling, we could quickly make up the features on the coin.
After the Craft Foam Clay had dried (24-72 hours) we stuck it to a sheet of craft foam using a superglue.
We then primed with black Hexflex and finished by dry brushing with metallic paint.
4D have always offered a photo etching as a service, etching in traditional brass and nickel silver.
Iain, our Workshop Manager, has looked at may ways of improving the service over the years and has successfully pioneered and introduced Controlled Etching and numerous ways of In-Filling half etched detail.
He has now mastered the art of applying the photo sensitive resist to copper sheets, so can offer Copper Etching as a service.
The resultultant etching are quite stunning and are ideal for name plates, awards and to embellish projects where aesthetics are important.
A great example of this is the copper etchings designed by Will McNicol for Tom Sands Guitars.
'I wanted to give a nod to my classical guitar upbringing with a radial pattern, but as understated as possible to not detract from the natural beauty of the copper'.
'I believe it was Miles Davis who uttered the immortal: "It's not the notes you play, it's the notes you don't play" and in this instance it was definitely a case of "It's not the lines you etch, it's the lines you don't etch".' Will McNicol
On Saturday the 14th of July, we (Alchemy Forge FX) ran a beginners prop making workshop at 4D modelshop. We are often asked how we make our costumes and props and although we love giving advice, we honestly believe the best way to learn is by doing. This was the driving force behind why we started running hands-on workshops in which attendees can really get stuck in, learn new techniques and skills and have fun whilst doing so.
Choosing from the templates, stencils and Plastazote embellishments we had on hand, each attendee designed, constructed and painted their own shield; leaving the workshop not only with a prop, but also the knowledge and skills to make the next one, a completion certificate and memories of a creative day spent with like-minded people.
We covered all the steps needed to turn a simple sheet of EVA foam, into a shield fit for a battlefield - or at least one that looks like it! The students learnt how to cut EVA foam, the best adhesive(s) to use and how to use them, using different tools and techniques to create effects such as woodgrain and leather, how to prime and paint EVA foam and more.
The day was informative and full of activity, whilst being relaxed and social. Not only did we discuss prop making, we also chatted about other creative ventures and shared stories, such as the dreaded misuse of expensive fake blood!
It was a very fun day all round and we are extremely excited about the next one. If you would like to make your own shield, you can book onto the course for August 18th. Do you have a group that would be interested in doing this? Please contact us for group bookings/discounts.
Alchemy Forge FX
'Had such an awesome day yesterday with Alchemy Forge FX at their workshop for beginners guide to prop making at 4D modelshop I would thoroughly recommend!' (@ciarajdoyle)
'HAD A TOTAL BLAST AT Alchemy Forge FX's 1 day workshop for shield making today. Made Lagertha's shield from vikings. Didn't have the opportunity to complete it with a boss today but I'll finish it when I get back to Australia as it will be easier transport wise. Thanks so much Alchemy Forge FX had soooo much fun' (@thedevilwearssupre)
Calling all prop makers, costumiers, fabricators, cosplayers, LARPers and more! We are excited to announce that from the 14th of July we will be stocking a range of EVA foams, foam dowels, foam balls and paints and sealers designed to work with them.
EVA foam is an extremely versatile material which is easy to work with, lightweight, comes in different densities/thicknesses and is used in a variety of different applications. The foam is easy to cut, form and bond and can be painted and weathered to simulate lots of different finishes such as metal, wood, plastic and leather to name just a few. The material is used in many different industries – from fashion to film sets. You could use it to create giant sci-fi armour, a Viking shield, distressed fantasy leathers and much more.
A guide to EVA foam (1.7Mb PDF).
We ran a 1-day model making workshop as part of the London Festival of Architecture entitled 'Use of Metal Etching for Architecture Models'. The workshop was led by Armor from Atelier La Juntana.
Building on the Festival´s year theme – identity - participants were asked to explore the role that building facades, particularly architectural skins, play on defining the identity of the city.
Each participant created an architecture skin through a geometrical pattern of their own design which was drawn onto a transparent acetate and then transfered onto a brass metal plate through the process of cyanotype and photo etching. The process recreates the materiality of perforated metal, a cutting-edge material widely use in modern architecture.
Iain, our Etching Supervisor, was onhand to help with the different stages of the etching process.
The participants left the workshop with a full understanding of the etching process as well as a diploma for attending the course.
We will be repeating this workshop sometime in the future, you can register an interest by contacting Armor at Atelier La Juntana via the link below.
The Thinking Place is a project by Mark Riley that emerged from his PhD studies at Goldsmiths College back in 2005. He looked at the relationship between a philosopher, Martin Heidegger, and his ‘thinking place’, an unassuming wooden building in the Black Forest.
From here, he began exploring other thinkers and the locations and buildings associated with them.
The creative work involves a number of practices including the construction of accurate scale models and dioramas.
His work is now features in the exhibition ‘Machines a Penser’ at Fondazione Prada Venice as part of this year’s Architecture Biennale. The exhibition runs until the 25th November 2018.
He has made three dioramas for the exhibition, Wittgenstein's Hut at Skjolden, Heidegger's Hut at Todtnauberg and Rousseau's Cabin at Ermenonville.
Mark used a number of our products for his models including: Clear acrylic sheet, balsa, styrofoam, acrylic spraypaint, enamel paint, model trees, flock, foliage, plaster bandage, wire mesh, UHU and balsa cement.
We took the opportunity to get involved with the 'Tree of the Year' competition run by the Woodlands Trust.
The competition shortlists 28 trees from around the UK and the public to vote for their favourite.
The Gilwell Oak came out on top and was put forward to the European Tree of the Year competition, in which it came 5th attracting 12,955 votes.
The Gilwell Oak, situated in Gilwell Park in Epping, has historic connections. It is reputed to have been used as a hiding place by Dick Turpin and is synonymous with scouting movement.
Situated close to the Scouts training ground, it was adopted by Robert Baden Powell as a metaphor to young scouts that big things are possible from modest starts.
Our model of the Gilwell Oak was presented to the Scouts and is now on display in their Gilwell Park headquarters.