Text, models and images by Luca Cinacchio
Some months ago, for a small diorama in 1/72 scale of my Henschel HS120 B-2 that you can see here, in a winter environment, i used for the snow a product from De Luxe Material. The result was not so bad, but their snow looked at my eyes still too much "salt like".
So i looked around for an alternative to use on my future dioramas, and browsing on Internet i found a new company called Precision Ice And Snow, that preduces a media called Krycell.
The great amount of infos, tutorials and tips presented on their website at the address http://precisioniceandsnow.com impressed me well, so i decided to go with a test of their complete starter kit, with everything you need for some dioramas of medium dimension.
On the site are available also the refills only for the Krycell medium : each pack of 115 gr., enoug for 2 dioramas like the one that you see in this review, is offered at the price of £ 8.00.
With £ 22 i got the Complete kit, containing:
- 2 bottles of Krycell Medium by Precision Ice and Snow
- 1 precisione 700 micron stainless steel sieve
- Full instructions
To test well the product, i decided to go with 2 "sets": a diorama with a 1/35 tank and a ruined building, with medium snow condition; and a car with a base, in 1/25 scale, with deeper snow conditions.
When the kit arrived to me, i was amazed by the nice package: after so many plastic blisters, finally i found a product packaged in a very nice way, inside a sturdy carton box. Opening this robust and elegant box, i was welcomed by to leaflet, printed in color on nice glossy paper, full of suggestion about how to use the product.
These very useful informations are just a sample of what you can find on their site, where there are also some instructional videos (there is also a Youtube channel here)
After the instructions and a layer of elegant wrapping paper, you finally see the kit: 2 bottles of the Krycell medium, and a wonderful 700 micron steel sieve made made with stainless. If you haven't at home a similar instrument, with a so very fine net, i suggest to order this one, because it allows you to spread the medium on the best possible way.
A Tiger in the snow
For the first test, i had at hand a Tiger from Academy, that i built some 5 years ago. since them my skilled improved a little, the space on the shelves inside the house is finished, and so i was planning to give it away as a gift to friend. A perfect candidate for the test, having the chance to improve its look, setting it inside a snowed diorama.
For the base a used a ruined wall of a building, made with plaster, part of a bigger scene (that i already partly used in other projects), on a base made with wood.
I spread a layer of Das Pronto, and then using a ready-made base, i "imprinted" some cobblestone in the Das. I am aware that the effect is the reverse of the real one ("recessed" cobblestone instead of "raised" ), but quiet often the eye doesn't realize it, and in any way the ground will be covered by the snow.
After the Das was cured, some quick washed and pigments completed the ground, and i then added some ruins (from the real street) and i was ready to go
The instructions suggest to use as a glue for the product some aerosol product, like the Spray Mount 3M or some hairspray.
I had both at hand, so i decided to use the 3M for the tank, and the hairspray for the pick-up.
A good trick is to orientate the base. before to spread the Krycell product, with the same angle of the "snow-falling" that you want reproduce from reality (the snow doesn't fall every time perfectly vertical).
For this dio and the tank i went with an angle of about 35° , being consistent for each layer applied on the base and on the tank.
The nice think with this medium is how it builds-up nicely layer after layer: in this way you can control with great precision the amount of snow that you want in your diorama.
You can have just a lightly snowed terrain, as you can see in the first photo, after applying just the first layer.
Or you can go further, each time spraying a new layer of 3M or hairspray followed by a layer of medium, spread with the sieve.
As you can see by the images, the snow look very realistic.
I found it very easy to apply with the sieve, building it up as i liked. When i sprayed a new layer of glue, the product didn't fly away.
The very fine grade of the medium, offer a very realistic look: it true seems snow, and behaves like snow.
In the photos, due the poor light conditions, the subtle sparkling of the product is not reproduced at the best, but it looks very real: not too strong like in some "x-mas tree" snow medium that you see around, but not too soft: just the perfect grade.
The Ford Pickup i went with a much simpler base; but this time i wanted a deeper snow, and an almost 90° angle, like in no wind conditions.
Last but not least this time i used a very cheap normal hairspray, and i have to say that the medium performed wonderfully with it. Each layer of hairspray was quiet enough to bound the medium to the ground. Ad the hairspray has a great benefit: if you are spraying it on a model where some part will be not covered by snow, it doesn't change the color or the finish of the model in any way!
Here you can see the results:
I was nicely impressed from the Precision Ice and Snow kit: not only the product was nicely packed with great instructions, but it also performed just as i wanted. Highly Recommended .