Hard-Boiled Update: All Your Base Are (etc. etc. etc.)

Since the last update, I’ve moved forward on the base, going as far as to finish the construction–all but a little sanding and all the painting, anyways. Going back to the reference photo (this one), I really wanted to replicate the look of the cement, including all the seams and cracks. While my first idea was Milliput, my first attempt was actual drywall "mud". But I’m getting a bit ahead of myself…
I needed something to form my faux-cement into a circle to fit on the base–so a rougly 4" diameter circular form. I also had to be able to "pop" the cement out of the form so I could attach it to the base. After a somewhat exhaustive search around the house and around the hardward store, I ended up with a pair of 1/8" thick standard sealer rings for sinks. While the inner diameter was shy of 4", they were easily the best solution I found–and clocked in around $1.50 at the hardware store.
So… Getting back to the top, I used glue-tape to stick one of these rings to a thick sheet of styrene, and then tried putting drywall mud into the form, painstakingly trying to get it smooth on the top. After that, I let it dry for a little more than 24 hours. And then I tried to remove it. It was at this moment I found that the drywall mud wasn’t going to work. It just completely fell apart. Scratched that off the idea list.
My next thought was to use the sink ring to make a resin mold and just pour resin to make the base. In order to get the lines and cracks in the resin, I had to try to build them into the mold. So… I decided that the bottom of the mold would be the "top" when it was done (in short, I was going to flip it over to make it the "base". With that in mind, I used some pieces of styrene half-round to form the cement seams and applied some semi-dry Squadron putty to the base to be scraped out of the dried/cured resin to form the cracks and crevices. And… It worked! I ended up with a smooth top surface, perfectly straight and uniform seams, and simulated cracks where I removed the seams. Hopefully the use of pigments will give me the blending appearance of the surface of cement. Other than painting/weathering, I’d say the base is just about done. Not only that, but I’m pleased with the results. That’s a pretty rare thing.
… And hopefully I’ll follow this up in a day or three with a clear picture of the base that I just spent all that time describing…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: