It’s all about the Base, the Base, the Base

GM_Forge LOGO art2


Haven’t had much time to sculpt the last week or so. After finishing up the Lighthouse/Temple piece I decided it needed a proper base to be perched on — high above the crashing surf.

Been a few years since I’ve sculpted extruded foam but it didn’t take long to bust the rust. Here’s some work in progress photos.  You can see I stole the stone steps I was going to use for the swinging bridge project (I’ll be picking up a replacement at Pet Smart — it was an aquarium piece).

The idea is the Lighthouse keepers have to row out to and from it. When I’m done there will be a small dock and stone steps leading up the rock face to the door.




There are plenty of tutorials on youtube and online on carving pink construction foam into terrain. A lot of people use hot wires and foam cutters to work with the stuff. Even electric knives.  I prefer to use a broken hacksaw blade to chip the foam, a wood shaver and drywall sanding blocks. Every terrain smith has their own approach.



Once I start getting the general shape I use spackling compound fill in the joints.




Finally, I mix up some really soupy plaster – almost like thin paint and just paint the entire piece with it. This creates a hard shell that not only gives the piece a nice stone like texture but it helps harden the foam. Really important since I use pressure to pinch some rock features into the foam. Foam has a bit of memory and without the plaster is can eventually expand and return to it’s original shape where it’s been pushed in or pinched.


This pic is out of order but here’s a side view showing how I plan to place the steps.



Finally, after letting the plaster set for 24 hours, I applied the first base coast (simple house paint I had lying around). The paint also creates a hard shell on the foam and gives the paint I’ll apply in the next stage something to hold on to.

I use the spray-bottle technique for painting natural sone pieces like this. Basically you take 3 or 4 spray bottles and put a different color in each one. 50/50 mix of water and acrylic paint. The colors depend on the type of stone you are gong for but black, green, burnt umber and red produces beautiful weathered tones. Which you will hopefully see in the next WIP pics.

Oh almost forgot. The wife is offering a non-listed special on her Etsy ships through Feb 24th.  All four boats/ships for $75.00 + shipping.

Game on!!

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