DIY Back drops with Cascade (DUW)

7 years 9 months ago - 5 years 9 months ago #11693 by Jake
Jake created the topic: (DIY) DO IT YOURSELF with Cascade (alot of photos)
Hi all

Please find attached a couple of pics of DIY "back drop"
This is a simple and easy design .

. DIY made with love .

Ok so lets start
this is the equipment needed to do a basic back drop .

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A knife ,stanley knife and some blades .
Sand paper .you can use diffrent grits for diffrent texture
ruler and tape messure.
markers .to mark where to cut ..
And A water Based paint ..
polystyrene .you can use 25 mm 50mm 100mm
this depends on how deep and how much of a design you will like to do on the back drop ?! ..
Also you can use Tile grout to seal the back drop will post pics of this..

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This is also one of the best tools you will need and have and can use .

Also bear in mind that working and cutting polystyrene is messy so it best not to do it in the house work in a box where you cut it and sand and dig it with your fingers . Or the garage or a room that can get made messy and easy to clean up..

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So of course now you need to take measurements of the tank you wont to build the back drop for
AS I don't have spare tanks at the moment I"m use my roach tank as an example.

So to do measuring .
You must do inside measurement of the tank and then minus A mm when you mark it on the polystyrene to cut it .
Im sure you will think to cut the back drop to fit snug into the Tank Well not so . Not so if you are going to paint the hole Back drop Front,Sides,Back,Top,Bottom . If you are going to be painting it or tile grouting it it will not fit in the tank .
So always keep this in mind and work out for your self as you go along .. If there are gaps not worry you can use Palm peat to block and fill gaps ..
You can even use silicon to seal the gaps .

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So once you got the measurements, mark up your polystyrene and get ready to cut it

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Then you can cut away .
You get a couple of knifes made for cutting polystyrene wich some make plenty mess and other cut it nice and smooth and dont get so much white balls all over the show .
Stanley knifes/Box cutters work the best but the blades get blunt fairly fast.

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So Know you can use the sand paper the knife or fingers to get the shapes you wont this is the fun part ..
Ok if some of you have a Black Board Phobia you will really have fun HAHAH .


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Take note of the bin I was talking about early to make the mess into :P

This is the back Drop completed with all three ways of doing it .Cutting ,Scrapping and sanding it with sand paper .

then If you are happy with your back drop you can sand it with a fine grit sand paper to get a smooth texture to the Back drop ready to paint it Or you can leave rough and just paint over it .

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Once you have a coat of paint on. While the paint is still wet you can throw sand over the back drop .this is for grip for the Ts .
Let this dry and throw excess sand off and paint agian repeating this a couple of times about 3 times or so ..
You dont have to use the sand if you dont wont its your choice.!

You have three ways of sealing your back drop

1st Is painting .
What type of paint ?

A water based paint .
This is none toxic to your Ts and its easy to clean if you mess .
I like to use "Top Paints" paint .the sandcoat range .(its got sand in it and it is a very rough and strong paint)
What type of sand ?
(sand is optional) Plaster sand, building sand and river sand.

2nd. Plaster
What type of plaster ?
Tile grout can be use to plaster your back drop .It Gets really hard but tends to be soft and can move a bit( try it ) .You can also just use tile grout to give your back drop shape .
This will also have to be painted as if the tile grout gets wet it will start to wash off .
A friendly warning
Black tile grout stains your hands.
Please take note (if you have girly hands :P )any cement product can and will eat your skin away well it eats holes into your skin .
so put cream on before handling it with your hands and after .or you can do the americain way and use gloves :laugh:

It wont happen right away but it will eat your skin .But in 20 mins should be fine. not to stress just thought I would give you guys a heads up.
But there are option of tools to be used for appling tile grout .
A butter knife ,hobby knife,trowl,plastic applicator,paint brush,fingers any thing really, this will come from playing around and finding what will work for apply Grout.

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3rdly. Silicon with palm Peat
What type of silicon ?
Marine silicon and normal palm peat .
I dont really use or have done this way for my back drops .
But I have done a couple tests it does work.I dont like usen it though .
(Ill rather take palm peat add paint to that and slap it onto the back drop given it a very rough texture and plenty grip for the Ts ,you just use plenty paint though.)
If you really wont to cut a cake then just smear silicon on the back of your tank and sprinkle palm peat on the silicon let it dry and you got a back drop ..

Hope this helps all of you to become BACK DROPPERS HAha:lol:
Last Edit: 5 years 9 months ago by Jake. Reason: Photo inserted

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7 years 9 months ago #11707 by Riekert Visser
Riekert Visser replied the topic: Re:(DIY) DO IT YOURSELF with love
Nice one... I like it when ppl are not selfish of their ideas...

The biggest thing you can live life for, is to live it for something that will outlast it.

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  • Liam
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7 years 9 months ago #11708 by Liam
Liam replied the topic: Re:(DIY) DO IT YOURSELF with love
Very cool, thanks for sharing cascade. Where can a person get the sheets of polystyrene?

The early bird gets the worm... but the early worm gets eaten by a bird.

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7 years 9 months ago #11711 by Matthew
Matthew replied the topic: Re:(DIY) DO IT YOURSELF with love
ALWAYS been wondering how exactly to do it and what to use. Thanx for showing it to us, will try it sometime!

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7 years 9 months ago #11714 by Henk
Henk replied the topic: Re:(DIY) DO IT YOURSELF with love
Great stuff!
Now we just need to get a glass tank and we are ready to give it atry.
Thanks for the thread!

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7 years 9 months ago #11719 by Bachypelma
Bachypelma replied the topic: Re:(DIY) DO IT YOURSELF with love
cool, thanks for sharing!!

Selpnilg dsoe'nt mtaetr!
(unless u can't read tihs)

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