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Question: anybody have a really good way to do a Bonneville-salt display base?

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Posted (edited) · Report post

That's the question in a nutshell. This years NNL Southern Nats theme is salt-flats LSR racing and Rt. 66. I'm looking for a scale-looking way to do a salty surface to display a couple of period LSR cars on, and I'd like to avoid a lot of experimentation time, if possible. Proven techniques and good ideas appreciated. :)

Edited by Ace-Garageguy

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Posted · Report post

Sandpaper. Find a grit you feel is in scale, and spray it flat white.

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Posted · Report post

In the future I want to do a salt flat car. A quick thought was to use a rolling pin on some sea salt, chuck in a little sprinkle of dirt, add water and let it dry out. I have no idea how this would turn out, but that is what I plan to try at some point. I am hoping to get some of the crackled look of some parts of the flats. Drying time may have an effect so it might go into the oven. Without an oven it may end up looking like a more flat, continuous surface that could be brushed lightly to loosen some of the surface to give a more natural look. Again, this is me rambling without any actual facts..

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I have an idea ,but not sure if it would work ? I used Micro-Balloons for filler sometimes .It's a light weight filler for air planes and it's a fine powder that kind of sparkels . you can mix it with super glue or epoxy to make a caked on salt look.

Embossing Powder may work too.

Edited by Road Runner 79

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Posted · Report post

Spray your surface offwhite (or white) if you want, while the paint is wet sprinkle evenly seasalt from Petco or the like over it and allow paint to dry. When paint is dry, shake off the excess salt.

Now you have actual salt for your salt flats.

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Posted · Report post

sanded grout would work

also, what about simple wall filler or plaster-of-paris (crafts product) and add sand for texture, then complete with white airbrushing as needed

either of these, would allow you to form the tire track impressions, like are at the real salt flats

of course these would be more difficult to manage, and risk of cracks while drying

if just a subtle ground impressions, then the airbrushed sandpaper - heavier grit - sounds good, and you could make tire track impressions on it by removing some grit in the tracks, and while paint it wet

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Posted (edited) · Report post

for fine salt i would try to break a few old white light bulbs and put it in a bowl and grind the glass down ..

thats very very fine glass and you can almost grind it into a white powder ..

why glass , if you grind it it looks like salt ... its still strong and resistant , gluable you could mix glue and grinded glass and make a spreadable pulp out of it ..

just try to take and old light buld put it in a cloth and brake it with something hard you will see how fine that glass is

i did not try it yet but that was my plan .... not to proud to share it here before trying it myself haha

but i will try that myself and i am convinced thats going to be very realistic

Edited by crazyrichard

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The problem I have with most of these techniques?...While some really good ideas, would not SCALE salt be more on the consistency of talcum powder?...Or not...(grin)...'Z'

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The problem I have with most of these techniques?...While some really good ideas, would not SCALE salt be more on the consistency of talcum powder?...Or not...(grin)...'Z'

Yup, thanks everyone...and so far this is the best idea I've tried. Talcum powder sifted over wet white paint (shot on a very smooth base) gives the best scale-looking surface to my eye, but it's just a tad too fine. And it smells like baby powder. :D

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Posted · Report post

Bill what about baking soda .

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Sandpaper. Find a grit you feel is in scale, and spray it flat white.

+1. does the job, quick, easy, & will travel well without cracking. spray adhesive mount to built-up base of foamcore for rigidity.

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The problem I have with most of these techniques?...While some really good ideas, would not SCALE salt be more on the consistency of talcum powder?...Or not...(grin)...'Z'

Ground salt could be scaled to whatever you would like it to be if you simply run it through specific mesh count screens.

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Posted · Report post

I tried this a few times years ago. On one base I used a piece of fine sandpaper, sprayed flat white. For another I used some of that textured spray paint from Walmart ,

I also tried that canned snow that they sell around Christmas time to spray on windows. It was a bit too coarse, but wasn't too bad. You might also just put a base coat of flat white and then pull back and dust some more from a distance.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Do not use real salt! Salt will absorb any condensate in the air and make a mess over time.

I have been to Bonneville and stood on the salt flat. It's very hard, I couldn't kick into it with my heel. It's also not slippery. It had a gritty surface like those non-slip stair treads in an industrial setting, or like walking on stucco. Every so often there would be a small hole in the surface, like a mole hole filled with water. There would also be puddles on the surface in some areas. That's because salt attracts moisture!

Fine sandpaper painted off white (more antique white) would be decently realistic.

MVC013S-5-vi.jpg

Me on the salt. A surreal environment. Interesting that it was so vast and you couldn't judge distance since there was nothing to get coordination from. Those mountains never changed no matter how far we went out on the salt. They could have been 1/2 a mile away or 50 miles away.

MVC012S-6-vi.jpg

The surface up close. Note the small hole filled with water as described above. Surface was like stucco.

Edited by Tom Geiger

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