Tile design: new lessons learned

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Upon dry fitting a textured surface to the base, I realized just how much the top edge of the stonework on the sides curved inward. With the textured surface going all the way out to the edge of 2.5″, that gave it a sandwiched look. I could have hand-waved it away as a design decision. The sandwiched look seemed very rocky and quite passably like a plinth on an elevated base. The very slight overhang wasn’t textured on the bottom, but one would have to turn the tile upside down and inspect closely to ever notice that it’s no more textured than the underside of a cloaked mini. I just didn’t care for it enough to run with it. Continue reading

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Terrain: fun times ahead

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Decisions made. Other decisions forming.

Re: molding material, I’ve decided that for now the best bang for the buck for my purposes and starting scale still comes from Smooth-On’s MoldMaking & Casting Pourable Silicone Starter Kit (affiliate link), available (at this time) from Amazon for $48.94 for nearly 6 pounds of material. It includes the Oomoo 30 tin-cured silicone mold making kit (2.8 pounds), the Smooth-Cast 300 resin casting kit (2.8 pounds), plus small bottles of mold release and sealant. I’ve used it before to good effect. The silicone captures detail amazingly well. The resin reproduces all the detail I need and then some. Every bit as important, it’s durable. Flat tile pieces I’ve made all survived the “throw it on the floor” test.  Continue reading

Minor successes

Sometimes success doesn’t look like you think it should

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The good news is that the silicone caulk mold worked very well. As can be seen in the photo, it retained all the detail. The incised lines are more evident, but the test painting (black base followed with a dry brush of dark blue and a dry brush of a creamy off-white) at least shows that it’s got a gritty and uneven surface. On that point, mission accomplished. Continue reading

Terrain: slow, satisfying progress

I’ve been back to the drawing board a few times, but I’m ending up at a place I’m happy with.

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A new favorite material for prototyping…tempered high density fiberboard

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For one thing, it’s dirty cheap when bought at a hardware store as a 4′ x 8′ sheet of “masonite” (not technically Masonite any longer, but it’s the same stuff). Even at retail for a sheet, it comes out to around a third of a cent per square inch. Other than that, it resists warping. It’s uniformly 1/8″ thick. It can be cut with a box cutter by scoring both sides and snapping. The edges sand down nicely. And it is significantly less expensive than polymer clay. I’ll be using this as a base on which to work a much thinner layer of clay. The cross shape is to accommodate tile connectors.

Continue reading

Classical guitar: bad bog monster

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I intended to give myself the weekend off from both guitar and drawing practice. As I half-understand it, a short break gives the brain time to rejigger itself (I think that’s the medical term for it) and voila, improved dexterity! Then I missed yesterday altogether, wrapped up as I was in a dungeon tile crafting project. Missed drawing, too.

Tonight I was back at the guitar. While my dexterity had improved, my memory of the pieces had faded slightly. A couple of runs through each sorted that out nicely. Still not pro.