A bit early for the topic, but I like to plan ahead for stuff like this that’s going to take some time to do. So I’d like to rebuild my Christmas miniature village this year. I had one a few years back that was made of an assortment of off-the-shelf packaged bits, and it was pretty once done, but parts broke, and other parts have been lost. So this year I’d like to redo it, and do it up much fancier.
Problem is, there are some things I’m not entirely sure how to do, and other things where the logistics of conversion come into play, so I’ll address each one. Keep in mind I haven’t bought anything yet, so design is entirely up in the air – anything goes right now, so any suggestions will be considered.
Miniature LED street lights. Miniature chasing Christmas light strings. All that cool and fun stuff. I want to create a realistic scene here, and I will be able to get these sorts of things. The problem though is that most of this stuff is battery powered. This presents two problems: A) Batteries. I want nothing to do with batteries. I know there is a way to wire up a DC to AC converter, so what would I need to do this? From what I can tell they’re all 3v (2x 1.5v AA batteries in series) so I’m going to need an inverter of some sort. Being that I’ve never done this before (though I am familiar and comfortable with small electrical projects like this) I’d like to know what sort of thing would be best for this kind of operation. I am envisioning as many as half a dozen or more 3v battery-operated devices that will need to be converted to AC, so besides inversion, any way that this could be condensed to use one or two plugs would be great. I don’t know if that’s feasible or practical, but I thought I’d ask.
I don’t need falling snow, but I’d like to be able to create three things that look decently realistic: Snow, water, and slush. First, snow: I’d like to avoid the old standbys – cotton batting or flour – if possible, preferably something that can be made into an immobile mass. I suppose I could spray mounds of flour or starch with aerosol glue or something, but I’m exploring other options here. Second: Water. Puddles, mostly. What can be applied as a thin liquid so that it can pool and collect in various places, but dries clear and solid? Something cheap, preferably. I’m thinking something like an old Special Effects School 101 candy glass recipe, but that needs to be baked, which is impractical here. Something that can congeal and dry solid at room temperature would be good here, especially if it can be made less brittle than real candy glass. Third: Slush. No idea what to use here. This doesn’t have to dry clear – translucent gray will do here, and can even be mixed with whatever is used for snow, but it should be sculptable to create things like tire tracks and footprints before it dries.
Any suggestions here? Even beyond what I’ve come up with here – like I said, it’s a blank slate right now with only some general ideas for a few of the supplies that I’ll be needing, so anyone who has any ideas about what else I could do with, feel free to add your piece.