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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Thank you Kipnlilo and skwerl! I should make a lot of progress this weekend. I can't wait to get to work on it. My goal is to make it look realistic, not just a bunch of pipe in the shape of a spider crab, LOL. Yes, it did resemble a spider crab! I have a lot of work to do to get there, but, I see a path foward, finally. There are still a couple things that I don't like about it, and I may make a few modifications.
 

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Looking good so far. What are you planning on coating the roots with? I read you said foam, but guessing something like great stuff or something like that?

As to color, I'd agree with the later of the two you are thinking (roots that have been submerged for a while). If you make them a lighter color like roots that have not been submerged I think the contrast may be a bit too mach against your shale color BG. So something that looks like it has been in the water longer will probably look best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
Thank you Steve! I think you are correct and will give the roots an underwater look. I have underwater photo examples to follow for that.

AS far as covering, I'm going to fill in some gaps and angles to get rid of unnatural lines with black pond foam (similar to Great Stuff). After that, the next layer(s) will be grout, and then painted with layers of Drylok/cement dyes. I'm going to use more grout than foam to reduce buoyancy as much as I can, but will need both to do the job.
 

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Cool look forward to seeing the progress. I use a lot of drylok and have used great stuff, but haven't tried grout. You'll have to be sure to post up your how your experience with it goes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
Hi everyone. I added more structural detail including a tree root knot and an area where bark wore away, and some twig like roots. I also added one more small root to break up the large open space a bit. I was going to apply some hot glue on some key spots so it holds tightly during the foaming step, but, I'm out of hot glue sticks, so I'll have to pick some up tonight. After I hot glue everything in place, then it's foaming time. Here are some pics of the progress:

Some detail added to the long root:


The knot:


The worn spot:


The overall structure:


Fitted in the tank and a close up in the tank:

 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
I was able to work on my background and roots again this past weekend. First, I used a hot glue gun to secure all of the root structural pieces and fill in some of the smaller gaps. I may do more of this in the future.

After that, I used Beckett's Pond Foam to fill in the gap in the background between the center and left piece. It turned out well, so I'm pleased.


Then, I used the spray foam on the roots to fill in gaps and add some bulk to the root structure. It was a messy process, and it expanded a lot more than what I think the directions stated, so I'll have plenty of carving and sanding to do to transform the structure from a bunch of pipe with blobs to a more realistic root structure. Overall, I'm pleased with the result. I've never carved this stuff before, so I'll have to experiment on what tools to use. Below are some pics of the roots after foaming.

The foamed root structure:


The knot:


The eroded root:
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
Kipnlilo said:
Good luck with your carving. Can't wait to see more.
Thalas_shaya said:
Really starting to take shape! Thanks for sharing your progress.
Thank you! I think the fun part will be applying the grout, and it should really start looking like something other than pipes with stuff on them, LOL.
 

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it expanded a lot more than what I think the directions stated
Yep ain't that the truth :D I remember the first time I used it it started to grow like one of those kids toys you soak in water that expands, it must have expended 10x more than I thought it would lol

Looking good it's coming along very nicely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
Steve C said:
it expanded a lot more than what I think the directions stated
Yep ain't that the truth :D I remember the first time I used it it started to grow like one of those kids toys you soak in water that expands, it must have expended 10x more than I thought it would lol

Looking good it's coming along very nicely.
Thank you Steve.

I've used great stuff several times, and it didn't seem to expand as much as this stuff did. The can said 3x, but you're right, it's like 10x! It also came out of the CAN very slow, almost painfully slow. Maybe they did that on purpose...now I know. I don't want so much foam that it floats concrete, LOL! So, I have a bunch of cutting, trimming and sanding to do. One thing that i learned from this, is that I can fill smaller gaps with hot glue, and it's way cheaper than foam, doesn't float, and you can control exactly the size and shape you want (for the most part). I did learn the hard way...that glue is hot! (DUH! :lol: ). I can't wait to get this carving part done. Applying the grout should be fun...I get a kick out of the shaping/sculpting thing. I also need to make sure that I use enough grout to make sure this thing doesn't float, or find a way to attach it to a piece of tile or something, and silicone it to the bottom of the tank.
 

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I don't know why some cans of that stuff do that. I've had a few like that too. One can you have to squeeze the trigger so hard to get it to come out and then it comes out at a snails pace, then the next can shoots out like a fire hose. I've always wondered if it maybe has a shelf life and some cans are older than others perhaps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
Steve C said:
I don't know why some cans of that stuff do that. I've had a few like that too. One can you have to squeeze the trigger so hard to get it to come out and then it comes out at a snails pace, then the next can shoots out like a fire hose. I've always wondered if it maybe has a shelf life and some cans are older than others perhaps.
You described exactly what happened to me, that it came out at a snails pace and I had to squeeze the heck out of the trigger. Come to think of it, I did purchase this stuff quite a while ago. So that makes sense about the shelf life. Another issue I had was that, having to put a lot of effort into squeezing the trigger, the dang tube would come unscrewed as I worked, so I had to constantly tighten it up again. What a pain in the neck that was. Live and learn, eh?
 

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How goes the roots Kevin, any more progress on them lately? :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
Steve, the root build is moving along, slow but steady. Other activities are getting in the way, LOL (Ice fishing, end of bow season, and family plans). I used spray foam to fill in some gaps and add some bulk (posted last time) and have since carved and sanded the foam. I got rid of a good bit of the expansion, to improve the look and texture, and to reduce the amount of foam overall to help keep them from floating.

Here is a before carving/sanding pic:


Here are some pics after carving/sanding:



Fitted in the tank:


The next steps will be to first, cover the pipe with plaster wrap to give the grout something to hold on to. Then, apply the grout for the final bulk and root shaping, including more carving for realism. After that, I'll paint the structure with Drylok mixed with cement dyes to get the coloration that I want.
 
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