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Chinchilla dust

Reader Feedback: You mentioned using chinchilla dust as a diorama ground cover in the August issue of Scale Auto. Years ago, I discovered that chinchilla breeders often sell these fuzzy creatures pretty cheap if they are not of “coat quality.”

I bought one for my then-girlfriend/now wife of 44 years, and every morning it’s had to take a bath in some exotic powder to keep its coat clean. That exotic powder turned out to be plain old Portland Cement.

You can pick up a batch that will last several lifetimes for roughly five bucks at the local building supply store. I’d bet that it’s similar to chinchilla dust!

-Mike Kendel
via e-mail

Ken: Thanks for the tip, Mike. It was mighty thoughtful of you to buy your then-girlfriend a fur coat, one piece at a time. I hope the little critter didn’t get wet after its bath.

Portland Cement would work in some applications, but you have to be careful to merely dampen the surface before sprinkling on this powder so the end result would look like loose soil.

As always, if you’re going to experiment with a new technique, try it first on a piece of scrap material.

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