Sunday, April 5, 2009
Sunday Terrain Piece 1: Easy Craters
Here is a quick tutorial for a easy piece of terrain that won't take up your entire Sunday. This is so you can do those other things your wife has been nagging you to do all week, like go to church, take her shopping, fix the garage door, and so on...
First off, the supplies:
-Keebler mini-pie crust tins (made of aluminum, cracker crumb crust things) 2.99 USD
-Jello pudding or pie filling 1.99 USD
-Patching plaster (powdered, not ready made) 2.99 USD
-PVA glue 0.39 USD
-Craft Paint, Black and White 2.00 USD
-Anything to use for texture: ballast, potting soil, dirt, etc VARIES
Total cost of supplies: about 10 bucks for approximately 10-15 craters (can be less or more depending on the types of materials you use such as the ballast or plaster)
Step 1: Make a pie and eat it too
This is the best part for a Sunday afternoon! Make the pie and eat it. You paid for a pie crust, so make it and eat it! Save the tin!!!!
Step 2: Mix the plaster
Mix up your plaster. Generally, the stuff calls for 1 part water to 3 parts powder, but I usually have to add more water than that. Adding some glue helps thin it too, and it should dry stronger too.
Step 3: Crush up the tin to look like a crater
The pie tin needs to be molded a little to get a proper crater-like shape. Turn it upside down (or rightside up for a crater) and press the middle so that you make a depression there. How deep you want it is up to you. This will also warp the sides in a little bit, but that is ok.
Step 4: Fill it with the plaster, and make a crater
Turning it back over, fill it up to the top with plaster. Give it a few taps on the table to vibrate some of the bubbles out to ensure it bonds strong. Let it sit for at least 5-6 hours (go watch some football if it is in season!), then CAREFULLY extract the plaster piece from the tin by bending the edges of the tin outwards away from the plaster piece. Once out of the tin, let dry for a couple more hours. (Do that chore on your "honey-do" list.)
Step 5: Paint and glue
Mix up a sticky paste consisting of PVA glue, black paint, and your texture medium. Using one of your lousy brushes (a big one), glop this stuff on the entire thing. Really build up the middle portion to make it more gradual, so the depression you made doesn't have such steep sides. Wait for this stuff to dry for several hours (Sunday dinner! Yum). On the plus side, because you added the black paint you don't need to base coat it again.
Step 6: Final drybrushing and sealing (Urban style, skip if you have different paint scheme in mind)
Take some black paint and add a glob of white to make a dark grey. Drybrush the entire outside of the crater, and the crater rim. Don't do the interior so much, but give it a light drybrush. Add more white to your grey, and drybrush again, but lighter this time. Adding a lot more white to your grey, give it a x3 very light drybrushing. On the inside of the crater, drybrush a light coat of earth-colored brown. Seal it with your preffered sealant (varnish, spray matte, modge-podge, etc).
Your done!! A super easy crater that you barely had to pay any attention to! You still had time for all that other Sunday stuff, and got a couple pieces made for your game table at the same time. The only downside to this method is that it does take a long time between steps, due to drying time. Your drying time may vary depending on climatic differences.
For BEST RESULTS, I reccommend making these in batches. The mini-pie tins come in packs of six, so make them all at once to save time. Also, ready-mixed patching plaster will not work the same. It takes forever to dry, for some reason, and it doesn't dry as hard.
Finally, you can reuse your tins! Just put them back into a crater-like shape after you peel them off the first one. I expect to get at least a half-dozen uses out of mine before I can no longer use them. Not too bad, for a ten dollar project.
Until next time, have fun modelling!
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