Previously I started a base, dubbed “The Old Way,” built from a cork round normally used for coasters or plant mats.  From that point I roughed out the bit of terrain by adding more cork, sand, Sculpey flagstones and more.

I moved on to more detailed additions.

First I added some red foliage.  Alright, some of it is still wet with glue so it’s kind of pink foliage there but it will dry back to solid red.

Foliage

The red is ground foam.  I have giant bags of red, black and leaf green foam.  The black and leaf green will be used separately and mixed a bit on the creek bed for lichen and moss.

Once the glue is set for the red, I can wash sections of it with Reaper Walnut Brown to make it look more like foliage.  I’ll likely also add some orangy/red highlights to give it a more fall look.

Red Foliage Added.

Some of the “foliage” you see in here are loose bits.  I haven’t gone in to clean them all out yet because there are still some wet spots.

Why red?

Well, I like the unusual mixed with the mundane.  Amps up the fantasy aspect of the base without overwhelming the whole thing.  It’s not like there aren’t red clump foliage options in nature but the treatment here is definitely outside the norm.

Lichen & Moss

To add the the Moss and Lichen, I placed some black and leaf green ground foam, respectively, to the water way areas.  Next, I placed some sand in the crevices of the flagstones.

I also added a wash to the red foliage as I mentioned above to add depth to the whole thing.

Yes, the “black moss” is rather light at the moment.  As is the Lichen.  But they will darken once the white glue sets.  Just like the red foliage did.

I will also add a dark wash to them to set them apart a bit once they are dry.

Washing

The foam is dried for the lichen and moss.  I added some washes to the whole base now.

So far… I created a transition image from “Adding Red Foliage” to “Adding Moss, Lichen and Sand” to “Adding Shadows and Highlights.”

Time to Pour the “Water”

I had some time to setup and pour the resin to the first level of the piece. Once this sets I will place some mid-level floating items and then fill it to the top level, which is about 3-4mm.

Floaters include a largish branch, some floating lichen/moss on top of the existing lichen/moss.

Second Pour … er … 1.5

I know this stuff has a decent amount of contraction as it cures but it looked like a coating more than a watery surface when I checked it this evening. 

It’s also likely that the water seeped into the cork crevices a bit.  It is made from several pieces glued together.  Although I did seal the cork and cracks with glue in many places.

So, here’s the second pour.

You can see the finished product in there.  Even though I do plan on a final pour.  You can also see a puddle to the side of the trunk.

The second pour kept its height as it cured.  Here’s an overall shot:

Here’s a close up of creek bed.  Sorry it’s a little out of focus or I moved.

And here’s a close up of the upper puddle … again it drained away considerably so I added some more to it this morning.

Detritus and Water Pour

Added the log and another pour of Realistic Water as well as some straight Ground Foam to create the algae/moss/lichen effect in the water.

annotated
Post Pour – right side
Post Pour – left side

annotated

After this pour, I figured I would have to top this off one more time.  I also added more water to the “puddle” on top.  And we hit the level where the water overflowed around behind the piece so I filled that in and will likely have to do several pours to get it to level.  We’ll see.

In addition to the foam placed before the pour, I added some directly to the water after it settled and I cleared all the bubbles.  This gives the foam another level to exist on for dimension and I wanted to spread it out.  By adding the foam directly to the surface and “mixing” it into the water, I can add eddies and pools to the underwater flora.

As a whole, this project has been quite educational and entertaining for me.  And possibly some of my best work.  I acknowledge that the creek bed is coming out amazingly well.  I keep expecting to muck it up.

Special thanks for the painting advice to make the twig look like a driftwood log goes to Mr. James Wappel.  I did air on the side of more sun bleached based on it’s trapped location.  But as Jim says, “greens and grays.”  It doesn’t look it but there’s a lot of green tinge to the colors of the log.

Speaking of colors … I used a mix of the following for each shade of the log:

Reaper Caucasian Flesh mixed with Reaper Concrete Gray to get the dull driftwood base color

Vallejo Neutral Gray mixed with P3 Cryx Bane Base

And mixes of the lot of them as needed to blend the edges and create shadows.

Here’s how the latest pour turned out the next day:

The areas on the new side shrank as much as I expected

You can really see the extra foam I mixed into the already poured water in these shots.

Last Pour?

Made the last pour … on the main section … I hope … last night.  Might have to pour some more on the back, smaller portion.

I mixed in more foam to add more depth to the flora in the water.  I also pulled the foam up onto the log to add some creeping moss.

I also added some “stones” to the water to cover some issues and add some more interest under the water.

Here are a few close up pics in a collage.  I included a shot to show the majority of the water.

Reveal

Okay, the tape is off and two of the cork pieces are “glue” together which I kind of expected.  I painted the edges below the water and will likely “spackle” the gaps between cork bases and repaint it.

The outside is still somewhat flexible and the now fully cured section shrank a lot. 
First, I think I will trim the “lip” of the water and brush on some realistic water to smooth out the cuts and fill holes, etc.  When that has fully cured, I will re-evaluate the need for an acrylic wrap.

All-and-all I love it and can’t wait to get it to finished.

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