Diorama Man


How to Make a World War 2 Diorama - Part 6 Making Mud and Building Rubble

In this part of the tutorial I show you how to make realistic mud and realistic rubble and add them to your diorama. This is really not that hard and I will give you several different options and some advice on scratching up some materials cheaply. Mud is a very important part of many World War dioramas and lots of people send me email asking me how to do it.

To make realistic mud you only need two things. First off you need some brown acrylic paint, almost any shade of brown will do and this shade will of course depend on the scene of your diorama. It should closely match any surrounding dirt terrarin. Secondly you need some kind of a product that will give the colored paint some body and allow you to shape it a bit. I have three different products that you can use to do this.

The picture above shows these three products. You don't need all of them. You only need one and here are some of the specifics of each one.

The first product on the left is called Realistic Water ( Realistic Water, 16 fl oz ) This is a liquid material that has almost the consistency of honey, but is easier to pour. You can simply add a small amount of paint or dye to this and pour it right into the muddy areas of your diorama. This is the easiest mud making method. But you have to watch this stuff if you want to add some shape to the mud. Let's say you want to add tank or tire tracks to the mud. You have to give this several hours so it gets tacky then add the textures.

The second product (this is my preferred method) is something called Gloss Gel Medium ( Liquitex Gel Mediums ). This is an artist product and you can get it online or at stores that have supplies for artists such as Michaels or AC Moore. It is a thick liquid kind of like a melted marshmallow. It dries transparent and you just add some coloring to it and brush it onto the diorama where you want to mud to go. The thing about this product is that it has a lot of height to it. You can build it up and brush it into shapes without having to wait for it to start drying. In effect you can paint it into rough three dimensional shapes so there are patterns and imprints in the mud.

The thrid product is Gloss Super Heavy Gel and it is very similar to the medium Gel except that it is very heavy and you can build it up into shapes that are quite significant.


Pour the gel

Whichever product you decide to use put some in a small container.







Mix with paint or dye

Mix it with a small amout of paint or dye. You can tinker with this but go easy because the paint goes a very long way.








Apply to the diorama

Apply it to the diorama and start brushing it into shape. Remember that mud settles into the low parts of terrain so put it in low parts of your diorama.






Making Tracks

Once it starts to get tacky you can use your tank to imprint track marks in it. You also might want to use a little bit of it to apply mud to the side of the tank. This way the color of the mud on the tank matches the color of the mud.





Let's Continue on to the Rubble Making


Realistic Water

Realistic Water, 16 fl oz - No mixing required. It is ready to pour.





Liquitex Gloss Gel Medium

Liquitex Gel Mediums - 32 oz, Gel Medium, Gloss





You might also want to try:


Water Effects

Water Effects, 8 fl oz -

  • A heavy-bodies, moldable product that will hold it's shape
  • Use to create pond ripples, waterfalls or rapidly moving water
  • Dries clear in about 24 hours
  • 8 fluid ounces

Water Effects models waterfalls, rapids, or churning water. No mixing required. Pour directly from bottle. Water Effects dries clear and is non-toxic. Flexible, therefore easy to model and is water-soluble for easy clean up.




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