Eggs & Nests

   

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Nests from old brushes (Click thumbnails for larger images)

Materials & Tools:

Old paintbrush, back brush or similar

Painted Base

PVA

Sharp scissors

Cocktail Stick

Eggs (optional)

Stage 1

Using the scissors, chop short lengths of fibres from the head of the brush. The length of the fibres will determine how small the finished nest can be - about half the width of the nest seems to work.

Stage 2

Add a liberal coating of PVA to a roughly circular patch of the base, and drop bunches of the brush fibres into the glue.

Stage 3

Use the cocktail stick to press the brush fibres into the glue, then move most of the fibres from the middle of the nest, leaving a hollow in the centre. Once you are happy with the shape of the nest, allow the glue to dry. Then tap off any loose fibres.

Stage 4

If you wish, you can now add eggs to the nest.

You can make opaque eggs from modelling clay or peppercorns, or translucent eggs from hot glue or silica gel beads.

(Instructions coming soon)

 

Here is a finished nest with translucent eggs made from hot glue.

Nests from scouring pads (Click thumbnails for larger images)

Materials & Tools:

Scouring pad

PVA

Sharp scissors

Needle-nose Pliers or Forceps

Eggs (optional)

Stage 1

Using the scissors, cut a rough circle from the scouring pad to the size you want your nest.

Stage 2

Using the pliers or forceps, pluck bits from the centre of the circle, and also around the outside edge to leave a rough finish.

Stage 3

Spray the piece black.

Stage 4

Drybrush a mid brown colour to bring out the texture of the pad.

Stage 5

Here is the finished nest with white peppercorns added for eggs. You can glue the nest to the model, or leave it as a separate feature.

 

Here is a much smaller nest made using the same techniques, but the central hole doesn't go so deep.

 

A rough drybrush on the scourer brings out the texture. The eggs are tiny silica gel beads painted in a light blue colour.

 

   

Swallow Nests (Click thumbnails for larger images)

Materials & Tools:

Modelling Clay

Craft Knife

Flock

PVA

Paint & Brushes

Stage 1

Roll out a cylinder of modelling clay about 6mm or 1/4" in diameter. Round off one end of the cylinder, and flatten one side of it against a base-board.

Stage 2

Cut the end from the clay with a knife.

You should end up with a shape that is slightly larger than a quarter sphere. You can indent the top of the nest slightly if it will be seen. Allow the clay to harden and dry.

Stage 3

Paint PVA over the outside of the nests and sprinkle fine flock all over. This is to add a fine texture to the surface, so the colour is unimportant. Leave to dry thoroughly.

Stage 4

Paint all the exposed surfaces of the nest in an earth-brown colour, and highlight if you like.

Stage 5

Fix the nests to your model with PVA. Swallows usually nest beneath the eaves, or high in the rafters of a building with an open doorway or broken window.

 

As an alternative, mould a small ball of clay around the end of a fine paintbrush to form a bowl shape. Once dry, paint with PVA and add flock as above.

 

 

The new nest painted and highlighted.

 

The nest with eggs added.

 

Wolf Spider Nests (Click thumbnails for larger images)

Materials & Tools:

Wet Wipe

PVA

Paint Brush

Pencil

Drill & Drill Bits (optional)

Stage 1

Wash the wet wipe in soapy water and rinse, then leave to dry.

Stage 2

Pull a section of material from the sheet, a little larger than you want to make the nest.

Stage 3

Turn the piece of material in your hand and pull a small amount off the edges all the way around, especially on any straight sections. You should end up with a fairly random shape with trailing strands all around the edges.

Stage 4

If you are modelling on foam, make a hole with the point of the pencil, otherwise drill a suitable hole in your base. Paint a dark colour inside the hole and allow this to dry.

Stage 5 

Place the wet wipe material in place, and push the pencil into the hole through the material. You will probably have to remove the piece in order to push the pencil right through.

Stage 6 

Replace the material over the hole, and apply PVA to each of the trailing strands, attaching them to the base. Work your way all around the piece.

 

Stage 7

Press the pencil gently into the hole once more, forcing the material down, then twist and carefully remove it.

 

 

The finished result.

 

 


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