One of my first projects for my new game table was to build some walls. Using the Hirst Arts mold #40, and some Merlin’s Magic stone, I created some blocks.
These blocks are great, they are all very uniform and have nice clean edges. The problem is that I don’t want a wall with nice clean edges, I want one that is aged and battle-scarred. Merlin’s is very hard stuff, you can throw one of these blocks at a concrete floor as hard as you want and it will barely ding it. I remembered that when cutting a diamond, you need to use another diamond, and decided to use the toughness of the blocks against themselves in a high-tech rock tumbler, AKA a sacrificial bin.
You’ll notice that some of the blocks are broken, this doesn’t happen in the tumbler, I smacked a few of them with a hammer before tumbling them. Also note that sometimes you’ll get bubbles when you cast things, you might have a spotted some bubbles in the first picture. This is a great use for those blocks, as the dust will fill in the bubbles and they’ll wear down enough that you won’t notice them in the end result.
You may also notice a color difference. Some of these were test blocks made with Plaster of Paris. I don’t recommend using that here, it is far too soft and they will wear much more quickly and thus differently. I didn’t use most of them.
So now we have a bunch of blocks. Rather than a free-standing wall, I wanted one with a base. So I made some hardboard bases (a topic for another post) and set to work gluing them up.
I initially used a glue gun, but it did not hold wherever I did not clean off the dust enough, plus it left lots of strands. I eventually switched to Tacky Glue. I made the bases big enough that a normal figure can stand on it when touching the wall, rather than at an odd angle.
After priming (not pictured) with black Krylon, I applied a liberal basecoat of Do It Best exterior latex paint, “Charcoal Kiln” color. This stuff was like $16 for a quart and should last me for a very long time. While at the store I grabbed a Benjamin Moore paint sample of “Iced Cube Silver” for $4 and drybrushed that on (not pictured). Now for the fun part (i.e. the thing I’ve never done before), weathering.
I used Weather System’s “Soot” pigment, applied with a toothbrush to the areas that I had set up to show damage. I put it on liberally, figuring I could easily re-paint over any areas, and I’m also going to apply some creeping moss and perhaps try some other tricks.
This stuff is very messy! It’s like a heavier version of printer toner. Put a damp paper towel down underneath your work area to catch and trap the excess.
I also experimented a bit with different washes, including Army Painter Medium Tone and Strong Tone as well as a number of Citadel colors. I ended up being happiest with Nuln Oil, but I wasn’t thrilled with it. I had recently watched Buy painted! talk about oil washes, so that will be the next step.
To be continued…