Thursday, November 15, 2012

Looking into the Crystal Ball... the conclusion

Today was about the most frenetic day I can remember, and that is saying something.  Both of us on the phone at the same time trying to figure out a path to survival, crazy journeys, bizarre endings, twists and turns everywhere.  And that was all before 2 PM!

Anyway, I can finally get around to finishing off the post on the crystal rock base.  As you saw in the last post, wrapping the apoxy sculpt around the tin foil saved on time, material, and made things lighter.

You can see what effect pressing the rocks into the wet clay (literally in this case, as the water prevents the rocks from sticking to the clay!) can have.  I try to use one rock in my left hand to "hold" the thing in place while pressing more texture with the rock in my right hand .  This prevents fingerprints, and gives you more rock texture with each press.

By the way, it is best to let the clay set up for a few minutes before pressing, so that it won't slide around or smush too easily.

The sharper and pointer ends of the rocks are great for getting into crevasses like this...

You can even create channels and cracks if the rock is pointy enough.  

Now you will find out why the crystals were carved first!  Since the clay is still soft, all you have to do is press them into the clay!

Try to create patterns that contain one big crystal surrounded by smaller and smaller ones.  It is also best to work in odd numbers.  One big crystal, two smaller ones nearby.  Avoid symmetrical placements like two right next to 2 similar sized crystals, etc.

I am still trying to lave empty space for the miniature to stand...

Here are some views of all the crystals in place.

Then it is time to break out the handy Oxide Paste and gravel!


More rocky bases to come!!  Stay tuned...


  1. I have to say, reading through your blog the last week or so, I'm glad to finally find out what you meant about using rocks to make rocks. I'm getting back into miniatures, and so far I have bought some green stuff and sculpy. I also bought a small jewelery drill, like a cheap hand one and some 20 gauge wire for pining. What other materials do you suggest for base building and scenery? I know you also use cork board and apoxy.

    1. Having lots of different types of cork is handy. Bulletin board cork is very different from cork that goes under a planter, etc. I am constantly seeking new plasticard textures and widths, etc. The wood carving tools are also very helpful. The more the merrier!

  2. I use a similar technique to add texture to pink insulation foam - if you made a gaming piece/board and wanted to add texture by pressing real stones into it. Great for flagstone/cobblestone courtyards or castles/walls made from the pink foam. Once you've scored your block pattern into it just press some rocks into the foam and it holds the texture quite nicely. So many applications - Rocks rock.

    1. It sounds so simple, yet it was such an incredibly powerful idea. Not only dies it cut down on sculpting time, but the results are so much better!

      There is a randomness to sculpting this way that is also more natural. We humans want everything "just so", instead of nature's more organic patterns :-)