by: Jean-Luc Formery [ ]
Signifer's Artificial Snow comes in a transparent zip bag which contains 50gr of white mineral powder and a small 65 gr bottle with light blue acrylic binder (picture 1). Instructions are provided in both French and English (picture 3).
The test diorama
To review this product I had to use it! So I decided to make a small diorama depicting a field aerodrome somewhere in Russia at the very end of the winter season. Purpose of this was to achieve the effect of melting snow. This way I could test Signifer's product in various conditions and with various mediums such as painted sand, artificial railroad grass, transparent epoxy etc...
First step was to make a small base (picture 2). For that, I used a square resin plate which was covered with sand using PVA glue. Once dry, I painted it over with acrylics and added a wash of tinted Future. Then, small spots of grass where randomly placed. These were done with railroad grass fixed once again with PVA glue.
To apply the snow, I decided to carefully follow the notice (picture 3) and used the exact same proportions to avoid any bad surprise. I therefore mixed 4 coffee spoons of snow powder, 1 coffee spoon of binder and 4 coffee spoons of water (picture 4). It is written you can add more water ( 50%) to achieve a finer layer, but I always used the same proportions for this project, diluting the product later when it was necessary and adding acrylic paint to make the snow appear dirty on some places (picture 5). To apply the product, I used a simple brush which I cleaned regularly with water.
When snow melts, water is produced. In Russia it could be quite a lot! On my base, I deliberately left some places without snow to place water puddles using transparent epoxy resin (picture 6) which I tinted a little. I used epoxy because it is thicker than varnish so you don't have to add several layers. Once dry, I placed some accessories such as fuel drums, a trunk, a dismounted table etc... (picture 7)
A second coat was then added to give more thickness to the snow and to blend the additional items. I used the same amount of powder, binder and water as the first time. Result, after 24 hours drying time, is a base you can handle without concern (picture 8). I knocked the diorama several times on the table and no snow fell down! You can even add track, wheel or footprints after 1h30 drying time (picture 9).
In the pictures 10, 11 and 12 you can see the finished diorama with a Mig-3 model from ICM (with Aeromaster decals) and two figures from the Ground Crew Set of the same manufacturer. The aircraft was painted with Tamiya acrylics and the figures with Prince August acrylics.
I have to add that I only used a small amount of Artificial Snow for this base and I could have made a dozen more in that size with one bag.
Being new to dioramas (I have made only a couple), this was the first time I replicated snow. I always thought it was difficult and only very experienced modelers could achieve an acceptable winter effect. With Signifer's Artificial Snow I can say it is pretty easy. I must confess, having only used this method so far, I can't really compare with other products. But I don't know how it could be made easier?
Anyway, I would recommend this Artificial Snow to any modeler wanting to replicate a winter atmosphere in a diorama and in any scale.
If you want to see more dioramas made with this product, take a look at Signifer's website.
Thank you to Signifer for kindly supplying the review sample.