Jim I make loads with a foam core or balsa wood base, with either
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a carved shape or a contour made of plastic (or whatever) and then
only a very thin sprinkle layer of the "cargo" material. This way
I use less material, save weight, and the load is easily removed.
Some models have lightweight plastic inserts too, and those are easy
to sprinkle a new layer onto.
I have also found that AZ Rock makes a specific package for
Beach/Sand House Sand. In the package it is a very light tan.
After the white glue dries it is a few shades darker. It seems
to be very close to the color of sand house sand reported by
several of you for "sand sourced from the Monterey, Ca. area".
I did not find getting the sand to pile 'perfectly' was all
that easy. I could pour it into a nice peaked pile no problem,
but when adding the wetting agents (I tried several and settled
on isopropyl) and then adding the diluted glue the pile tended
to move in some areas. I built it up in layers (letting it dry
between) and found I could end up with something pretty
convincing (at least to my eyes). It's been done - and drying
to get truly dry - for a couple of days now.
Thanks again for your advice and suggestions!
- Jim B.