sturdy sculpting material for underfoot

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we're doing "into the woods", which i've always wanted to design... i'm working on ideas for sculpting large tree roots that pile up and fall over the edge of the stage as in this photo: http://belizebreeze.com/images/lamanai_tree_roots_rev_lowres.jpg
and i'm looking for a material to use for sculpting that can be walked on... any ideas??? thanks!
dan'l
I would start with PVC then add fiberglass or some type of thinset. Few questions, how long is the run, how much cash do you have to work with, how do you see these being walked on the entire show or just a few times during any given performance?
 

danl

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west virginia
it will be a three two week run plus tech and rehearsal time... cash isn't unlimited, but we're also not broke... knowing the show and talking to the director, i'd say that we're going to use them frequently, but not the whole show... no dancing or anything like that, though...
 

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Fiberglass or concret seams to be the only logical thing. Fiberglass would be by far my first choice. You could build everything up with ripped down PVC and a heat gun, secure it to ply, then mold the fiberglass or concrete on top of that. Its going to weigh a pretty good deal, but it will work and should take paint and the abuse very well. Any type of foam will not make it, i don't care how much foam coat you use.
 

avkid

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You could make the front and other parts that don't get walked on out of foam to save some $$$.
 

Van

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Danl,
do a search for VSSD < vans super secret scenic dope> I've posted a couple of recipes on here, for varying applications. As stated above you could manufacture the armature from PVC or sonatube or carpet tube, as long as it's realtively sturdy, then an application of VSSD and you can scuplt/coat all the surfaces to be as realistic as you want. The nice thing about VSSD is that it's realatively non-toxic, as it's all latex based, it cleans up well, and depending on which formula you use, you can make it extremely hard, slighty pliable, water resistant, and all the surfaces have decent "grip" to them. As I said search for the VSSD recipe, and play with it a bit, a little time expirementing will have good result. You can stretch the formulas by adding all sorts of things, as long as they are water based or soluble. I've used plaster mix, shredded newspaper, newspaper pulp < drain it real well first.> Water Putty, Vermiculite, sand, etc., etc. Good luck.
 

danl

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Aug 24, 2004
Location
west virginia
Danl,
do a search for VSSD < vans super secret scenic dope> I've posted a couple of recipes on here, for varying applications. As stated above you could manufacture the armature from PVC or sonatube or carpet tube, as long as it's realtively sturdy, then an application of VSSD and you can scuplt/coat all the surfaces to be as realistic as you want. The nice thing about VSSD is that it's realatively non-toxic, as it's all latex based, it cleans up well, and depending on which formula you use, you can make it extremely hard, slighty pliable, water resistant, and all the surfaces have decent "grip" to them. As I said search for the VSSD recipe, and play with it a bit, a little time expirementing will have good result. You can stretch the formulas by adding all sorts of things, as long as they are water based or soluble. I've used plaster mix, shredded newspaper, newspaper pulp < drain it real well first.> Water Putty, Vermiculite, sand, etc., etc. Good luck.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH... this seems to make perfect sense... i'm probably going to try the cement additive... i'm very excited!!!
 

danl

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Aug 24, 2004
Location
west virginia
See also this thread.
i've made a homemade version of brusan several years ago... worked great... probably not as strong as the actual stuff, but i took heavy duty aluminum foil (for grilling), spray adhesive and cheap muslin... i sprayed the foil while it was laid flat and then applied the muslin to it... in a few minutes it was ready for molding... i used it for a holiday window display in new york (made some awesome snowy drifts that we used to display crystal stemware, jewelry, etc.) did a quick white paint job and added some (ugh) iridescent glitter to the top... looked beautiful...

i would never have dreamt of walking on it, though... lol...