I discovered a workflow around prototyping. When I am trying something new, in each subsequent step, I experiment the step on my prototype. This way, I only need to reverse or fix a problematic step on the prototype.
On this project, my prototype was the smallest of the buildings.
I learned that Golden Crackle paste needs to slowly dry over 72 hours or the effect is not as cracked. I tried using my heat gun to speed up drying and the effect was not good on my prototype. Afterwards, I actually read the instructions. Usually I read instructions on everything but I think I just was excited to get the project moving!
I picked up some Golden Crackle paste because it was recommended by Luke of Geek Gaming Scenics on Youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihwPkvViSSI). Also, I had store credit and figured it was no loss if I never used it 🙂
In the video, Luke demonstrates how it cracks differently depending on the thickness. I was painting over a matt primer and ended up with a 1mm-2mm layer because it was hard to be precise over such large areas.
I had tried the cheaper Folkart crackle paste before and I was not impressed. Its works the same as when you put a layer of glue under your paint. In fact, regular glue works better.
For the top of the buildings I ended up using a different technique. A fairly thick layer of wood glue, then sprayed water. Then I sifted on plaster to a fine layer. Then I sprayed on more water until the plaster was not dry in any parts.
When it dried, the plaster was cracked really nicely, but in a totally different way than the Golden crackle paste.
The only issue with my shake-on plaster technique, is that it can be really rough in places. I think those places needed more water to smooth out. Regardless, I scrapped everything with a dull knife to blend the areas together. The rough areas just took more scraping.
Important tip, make sure you don’t have any dry plaster in spots where you put on Golden crackle paste. It will fall off when it cracks. I ended up gluing on bits of crackle that was loose later.
I started by building according to the instructions. TTCombat instructions are notoriously not good, so its important to dry fit as you go along. I used wood glue to hold things together.
I left off the ladders and the tarp bits because I thought they looked bad. I made my own ladders with craft sticks and bamboo skewers.
After the glue had dried, I filled the gaps with Elmers wood filler. This stuff is great. Its cheap, dries quickly, is easy to sand smooth and sticks on enough but not too much.
Last I checked, the price is the same as the hardware store but that is uncommon. Amazon usually costs double for hardware type items.
After sanding the wood filler, I primed with the cheapest enamel paint I could find. This makes a nice hard base layer. After that, I primed in a dark brown spray (Walnut). I just needed a dark brown to show the cracks.
Once that had dried, I put on bits of masking tape over spots where I wanted the plaster to look like it had fallen off. I ended up going too heavy handed with this. I also had some problems removing it under the plaster in areas it was thicker.
The crackle paste and glue+plaster went on white. Then I used very watery Burnt Umber craft paint, mixed with a little flow aid (soap), and painted on lightly so the plaster was tinted. I made the streaks where water might have left stains on the buildings.
I had a problem with the places where I had placed tape. The brick texture in the mdf was very small and did not look good because it was level with the building. My solution was to cut out the bricks with a box cutter. You can see on the right, I am about the add the vertical lines in the photo below.
I drybrushed everything with Folkart Linen color craft paint and a Dollar-store makeup brush.
I added more watery burnt sienna paint, especially to the bricks at this next stage.
The last step, was I used chalk pastels to add dirt to the base of the building and the edges of the roofs.
The mdf kit does not have doors so I made my own. I glued wood craft sticks on to a strip of chipboard made to fit inside the building. I actually have alternate scifi doors that are on the back of the fantasy doors. They are not painted yet though but I promise to share photos of them when they are done.
I know it was a huge delay since my last post. I have been making things and now I have a bunch of projects I need to post updates on.
Till next time, keep crafting!
I am an outdoorsy geek. Which is not rare at all. In fact, outdoorsy geeks are some of my favorite people 🙂