Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Sometimes it does work!

As you might recall, the grand experiment with the crackle medium didn't exactly go as planned.  Undeterred, the experimentation would continue... this time with a medium from Vallejo.

It is called Mica flakes, and that's precisely what it is.  Tiny flakes of mica suspended in the gel medium.

I noticed Scott using this for lava effects while at the big Screaming Heretic hobby fest.  As I looked at it, it made me think of piles of leaves, a very interesting forest ground cover!

He was kind enough to lend me some to test.  Here is a close up shot...

It is very interesting how you can manipulate and control it.  You have to use enough water to isolate the mica flakes, but not so much that you make the gel disintegrate completely.  That's what binds the whole thing together after all!

I used a few of the cork bases which I created during a mini basing demo the previous day.  Right off the bat, I was very happy with the effect.

Here's a secret project that could really benefit if the overall effect did what I thought it would.  Don't tell anyone about it yet! ;-)

Nothing helps the mind focus and calm the nerves during an experiment like Canadian Maple Whiskey, eh?

Now for the big show!  Would I be able to paint the leaves.  Here are my initial layers...

Even at this early stage, I could see that things were working according to plan.  I will, however, prime the mica flakes in the future prior to painting.

With all the light colors laid out across the leaves, it was time to begin working in some darker shades.

Once I did that, I was even happier.  It was really looking like leaves!

Here's an image showing the painted bases next to the original mica and cork bases.

Success!!! Yes!  This is what was envisioned in my addled brain when I first saw the mica flakes.  Vindication is mine!

Many thanks to Jen and Joe and all the good folks at Screaming Heretic for hosting me, and letting me participate in some of their podcasting.  That was a ton of fun, and a lot was learned all around.  Be sure to check them out at Screaming Heretic.com!!!


  1. Hmm...this is really neat. I don't know if it works so much for leaves as it would for lichen/moss. I have no idea stuff like this even existed. Thanks for taking the time to share!

    1. No problem! :-) The idea behind this is that it will serve as the 'ground cover' leaves that are smashed down, partially rotted. I have the 'decorative' leaves that will be placed in key areas. This is nice because I only have a limited amount of the nice leaves!

  2. I love that you used the top of an orange juice bottle for the base of that "secret project." It has so much architectural interest that I've never noticed before!

    1. He he... I have been saving them for almost 2 years, for either terrain projects or something like this :-)