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Do you love dioramas & vignettes? We sure do.
is there anyway to keep veggie green?
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Joined: May 25, 2013
KitMaker: 544 posts
Armorama: 542 posts
Posted: Sunday, October 12, 2014 - 07:26 PM UTC
I remember just few year ago,using chemical brought from drug store,spray on veggie to keep it froming to turning brown dry.
But forgot the name.
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New South Wales, Australia
Joined: July 14, 2004
KitMaker: 33 posts
Armorama: 22 posts
Posted: Sunday, October 12, 2014 - 10:45 PM UTC
Glycerine 10% and water 90% I think it was.

I tried it but it didn't work for me. i find spraying vegetation with green much more effective.
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New York, United States
Joined: December 29, 2011
KitMaker: 343 posts
Armorama: 313 posts
Posted: Sunday, October 12, 2014 - 10:57 PM UTC
Glycerin is just for preservation, and there are numerous formulas and methods. It's a crapshoot as to whether it stays green, most of the time it will fade and needs to be dyed or painted. The "spray with glycerin" technique is terribly misleading.
- John
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South Carolina, United States
Joined: May 07, 2010
KitMaker: 2,238 posts
Armorama: 2,158 posts
Posted: Monday, October 13, 2014 - 01:29 AM UTC
You want glycerin and denatured alcohol mixed to a solution of about 1 part glycerin and 3 parts denatured alcohol.

You can get both ingredients at Walmart or maybe Carrefour - the glycerin in the pharmacy section and the denatured alcohol in the hardware-paints section.

You must soak the plant material in this solution. Spraying it on will not work.

The alcohol will penetrate into the plant material deeper and more thoroughly than water, and it will also dry out much faster leaving the glycerin inside the plant. Simply spraying the solution will only leave the glycerin on the surface and will not give the preservation results desired.

If you want, you can add green food coloring to the preservation mixture, but even afterwards, you'll want to paint the materials to get more realistic colors. After the plant material has been preserved and dried, it can be painted with either acrylics or enamels. Airbrushing will give better results with less paint and more complete coverage.

The example in this picture was just for lichens, so for "woody" plants with stems or waxy leaves, you'll have to experiment with the time required for soaking. The colors in the examples are the natural colors, which will, as John has noted, fade over time. However, the plant material will remain soft even after the colors fade.

BTW: All of the slide for this presentation, "Bases and Groundwork - AMPS International Convention 2013" can be found here:

AMPS Central SC::Bases and Groundwork Seminar::AMPS Intl 3013

Happy modeling!
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Joined: January 19, 2004
KitMaker: 2,406 posts
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Posted: Monday, October 13, 2014 - 05:51 PM UTC
All my stuff only get's a coat of green colour with the airbrush.
I have a vignette with a tree made entirely from one moss plant, it's over 10 years old (before Clervaux, so...)

For some time I sprayed my Aspargus with hair spray, just because it was supposed to preserve the plant. I collected so many plants and sometimes forgot to spray them, that today I do not know which were treated and which not. I do not see any difference on the final tree as I airbrush them any way and try not to touch them to often once on the dio.

John is right, Clycerin might help keep some stuff flexible, like the litchen, but really who cares once it is on the diorama.


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Joined: May 25, 2013
KitMaker: 544 posts
Armorama: 542 posts
Posted: Sunday, October 19, 2014 - 06:41 PM UTC
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: September 22, 2006
KitMaker: 1,081 posts
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Posted: Friday, December 02, 2016 - 09:25 PM UTC
thanks , going to try this
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Queensland, Australia
Joined: September 04, 2015
KitMaker: 1,492 posts
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Posted: Saturday, December 03, 2016 - 02:46 AM UTC
Another basic trick to preserve the most of the colors is to dry the plants in the dark and after trying to get them take less possible direct sun light, the light ruin very quickly the natural pigments of the plants
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Quebec, Canada
Joined: January 01, 2004
KitMaker: 7,564 posts
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Posted: Sunday, December 04, 2016 - 09:20 PM UTC
Using glycerin keeps the plants from drying out, which may not be what you want. The plant will remain soft and floppy. Stuff that is usually used for dioramas is dyed and dried plant material. The drying process uses silicon beads and a microwave oven. Silicon beads, or granules, are expensive - raw rice is a good substitute. Bury your plant material in a bowl of raw rice and zap it in the microwave, and continue zapping until the plant is dehydrated. This will be like the dried plants and flowers available at the florist. Dried plant material is rigid and will stand up (good for dioramas), as opposed to glycerin-preserved material which will just flop over. But to answer your original question (I sort of rambled) airbrush your plants whatever color you want, or dip them into a thinned paint solution.
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United States
Joined: April 15, 2012
KitMaker: 336 posts
Armorama: 298 posts
Posted: Monday, December 05, 2016 - 11:04 PM UTC
I've never tried it for plants for scenery, but it's common in cooking to blanch fruits and vegetables to prevent them from turning brown or discoloring when they are to be used in cooking or dried for later use, and there are a number of recipes that have you blanch basil before using it in pesto, preventing it from turning brown.

I would think that the same technique -- dipping the plants in boiling water for 30 seconds to a minute (it's longer for vegetables, but they're typically in larger pieces) before drying them or treating them with glycerin and alcohol, as described above, would preserve their color better than simply drying them.