One thing that goes with this territory of building and maintaining dioramas is that sometimes things don’t go as smoothly as you’d like. I am now running into this with the leaf making. Here is a list of the problems as they stand right now:
1. Ken had difficulty creating a matrix on the scanned mold. I have to see if he can come up with another way to do this. If there is not an easy way, my prints won’t fit well into the molds.
2. I experimented with the opaque white Inkaid substrate and found that the 50-50 and 75-25 mixes with transparent substrate were too thin to get good saturated color. I airbrushed full strength white substrate and even that didn’t give me the saturation I got in the fabric. It might be that fabric absorbs more color into the weave and therefore is innately more saturated than acetate. I will spray out a double coat of the white and see what I get. The single layer of white still gives me adequate translucency.
3. There is not as much strength in the vacuforming as I had wanted and this is because of problems I am having with the 10 mil acetate and the need to do one leaf at a time. If I use a heat gun on the printed acetate, the ink discolors or burns easily. You have to be very careful for this not to happen. I found that if I cut the leaf to the contours dictated by the print, lay it down and register it on the mold, cover it with a larger piece of acetate and heat all of it, I can get good suction and a leaf with good contours, but not with the veins and subtle detail. The lack of full saturation of color is not going to derail this, but if I can’t figure out a way to get better detail, I’m not sure I will find this method as workable as I’d hoped. I guess I could let the print give a 2D representation of the detail, but I want the form of the leaf to show it too.
4. The non-print side needs attention because it is white.
So, there are a lot of things to consider before this is really ready to go into production. Stay tuned!