The Old Way.

I can’t count the times I’ve read a book or story with “The Old Road” in it.  You know the one … with perfectly paved stones and only a century has finally brought it close to becoming overgrown.  The concept is pretty popular with some fantasy / sci-fi authors who use a cataclysm to bring back magic or have an ancient, advanced civilization disappear.

This is one such road … yet time wasn’t the only culprit.  This time water had its part to play.

So I took a 4″ cork round which is backed with MDF, and after some brief consideration about how much was water and how much was land, I started removing the cork.  I left a lot of the cork for shallow water but I also took the cork right down to the MDF.  You’ll see why later.

Then with my shape made and excess cork removed, i added more cork to the project.  I continued building up the land gluing in layers of cork.  I used 2″ cork rounds I have.

And yes, it looks like a s’more.

The flagstone pieces are left over from my brick making for the Ankheg.

Once the glue was set, I roughed up the edges.  I tried to blend all of the layers of cork but some edges will still appear and it will look a bit like layers of dirt washed away by water.

Bet you want some chocolate right now.

The last thing I  did once I had shaped everything was coat it in a glue wash to help make it more solid.

Yes, now it looks like a s’more dipped in milk

The glue is mostly water mixed with a craft quick drying glue.  I would guess 3:1 or 4:1 ratio of water to glue.  It hardens up nicely and the cork absorbs a lot of it.

I basecoated the whole thing in Reaper Walnut Brown.

Tree Trunk

I decided it needed a tree trunk on the flat where the three pieces of cork meet.  So I drove some hefty plastic tubes into the hole there and glued them to the base and each other with superglue.  Then I stuffed a cardboard tube over the smaller plastic tubes.  This gave me a solid base for the trunk.

Junker Note:Okay, show of hands … who here saves plastic juice caps, cardboard, and and other bits and bobs for use when crafting?  Yeah, I do as well.  So, the plastic tubes I mention above are from a cheap, generic version of Q-tips.  My buddy’s wife didn’t like the brand so he cut all of the tips off and kept the plastic tubes they were made from.  And naturally he sent me some.  The cardboard tube is from an insert into a shoe.  The insert is bent at one and and helps keep the shoe’s shape for shipping and sale.  It’s got a quarter inch opening.  So it slides over dowels and such nicely and is great for building columns on. You can see the top of the tubes in the image below.

Tubes to fill space and get a circular top for the
green stuff sculpted trunk and roots.

You can see in the image above that I added cork bits along the ledge with the trunk.  I didn’t use them as gravel but as leaves.  You’ll see in a moment.  Also you’ll notice that there is sand along the creek bed for the water.  And while it is just plain sand … from a beach in Virginia … I did add some Vallejo Dark Sand to some of the sand to change the tone.

Painting thus far …

Reaper Muddy Brown covers the bottom of the river where there isn’t sand.  The gray on the flagstones and ledges is just Vallejo Neutral Gray.

The tree stump’s heartwood and sapwood looks like a sunny-side-up egg.

After coating the crumbled cork with more Reaper Walnut Brown, I then hit it with Reaper Palomino Gold along the tops of the cork.  The greenish hue on the rough ground and among the layers of dirt of the cork as well as amidst the sand is Reaper Rattlesnake Leather.  I went around with my favorite wash of Reaper Walnut Brown to add shadows and dirt to the basecoated grays and the creek bed.

Here’s a trio of views showing where I am at:

Next up … details.

I will be adding some red foam bushes to the gold leaves near the tree plus some sand/glue moss to fill in some of the flagstone cracks as moss.  Then some black and green foam to the creek bed.  When I add Realistic Water to the creek bed, the foam will look like lichen, moss or algae.

Stay tuned and check out other fully realized pieces in Markshire Studios’ GrandStand section.

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