Friday, November 20, 2015

Tablescapes Project (pt. 3) Putty & Paste

So I have a bunch of mdf tiles, with awesome plastic temple details, and large expanses of... nothing.

This post needs paste. Let's add some texture, shall we?

les ingrédients
I wanted to add the look of muddy swamp land, something with enough depth and texture to take paint, and still smooth enough to function as a gaming surface. I grabbed some key ingredients, and set about mixing them together. Fun Fact: That "Florera" was purchased at IKEA. I believe it was sold to be used in flower arrangements or decorative vases. All I know is, I bought about 20 bags of the stuff from the clearance area for 30 cents a piece. Win.

Not pictured: the mix ratio
Spackle, PVA glue, ballast grit, and a fair bit of water. A smart hobbyist would have recorded the ratios so that the exact(ish) paste could be replicated in multiple batches, across the multiple days this endeavor would require. (A smart hobbyist would also add brown paint into the mix at this point, so that future chipping would not expose light grey spacklepaste. Alas.)

I did no such thing. I just slopped them into a cup using the ever analytical "Eh, this feels about right" method of measurement. The net result was a gritty, grey sludge. Perfect!

Like pancake batter, for the worst breakfast ever.
This mix was carefully poured across the open spaces of each tile. I kept the mix thin enough to self-level, and poured carefully into corners and around key features. I also kept the final level below that of the stone tiles, to leave room for foliage and water effects.

The downside to making multiple batches of different mix? Some did not dry quite as well. Too much PVA glue in one batch caused the paste to shrink a bit when drying. This resulted in some pretty serious, tile-wide cracking.
Swamps typically don't have salt-flat style dry earth cracks...
No worries, I just mixed up one last small batch and painted in the cracks. The net result was 6 happy little table tiles, with plastic tile details, and a nice gritty earth texture slowly overtaking the temple.

One of Six. Not as attractive as Seven of Nine.
With that, it is time to prime and paint...

Until next time~

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