Saturday, August 21, 2010

Terrain: Alien Plants

Hey, remember in my last post where I saved that big blob of insulation foam for a "future project"? Well, this is that project:

One of the reasons I was so keen on saving it was that it was a very "organic-looking" shape - something that's not easy to come by when scratch-building terrain. Sci-fi buildings are dead easy; wander down any aisle in the home improvement store and you'll see a dozen things that you could spray-paint silver and they'd look at home on a gaming table. Mimicking nature, especially nature from a fictional world, is a bit more difficult.

Here's what I was starting with - the cured "bubble" of expanding insulation foam, left over from my last project:

While I was looking at it and trying to decide what to do with it, I decided it would make a good giant alien plant-thing - it reminded me a bit of a giant corpse lily.

To start, I grabbed a scrap piece of foamcore board to base it. I laid the bubble on the foamcore and roughly traced the outline with a marker:

Then I cut out the base and attached the bubble with hot glue. I made sure to cover any square edge thoroughly with hot glue, to keep everything "organic"-looking:

Using an old brush, the entire piece received a generous coat of PVA glue - this will allow me to use traditional spray primer, without having to worry about the foam melting:

After that had dried, I flipped if over and coated the bottom (I don't want the internal core of the foamcore board to melt, either!)

After the glue had dried, I gave it a coat of white primer:

It appears that the foam was actually still curing a bit when I primed it, and the primer and the foam cured at different rates, giving the piece a more shriveled, "brainy" appearance. This was actually kinda cool looking.

After the primer had dried, I was ready to paint. I didn't have a particular paint scheme in mind, so I just grabbed some colors that said "alien plant" to me and went at it.

To start, I made a 50/50 mix of Vallejo Game Color Black & Citadel Goblin Green and started at the base. I laid the paint on pretty thick at the very bottom, then "feathered" it up with a wide brush:

After that, I worked up the piece with Citadel Warlock purple. I wet-blended that into a 50/50 mix of Warlock Purple & P3 Carnal Pink, into straight P3 Carnal Pink, and a final dot of Citadel Skull white at the top:

After it dried I was ready to clearcoat it. While I usually use a matte acrylic varnish, I want this piece to have a wet, "pustulating" feel to it - so I used a high-gloss varnish (Krylon Crystal Clear Acrylic Coating #1303):

Next, I needed some leaves. I wasn't going to bother trying to model leaves, I just used some leaves from an artificial flower arrangement:

(By the way, if my wife asks you, I totally didn't steal these from one of her household decorations, okay? Okay).

These leaves had a pretty severe "curve" to them, so I laid them out and cut them at the point where they laid flat:

Then I just took my hot glue gun and started gluing them to the underside of the base:

I tried to keep the spread of the leaves roughly symmetrical, with the largest leaves opposite each other, then filled in the gaps with the smaller leaves:

Here's the finished product:

So there you have it - a cool alien plant, made in about a half-hour. Total cost: Free.

1 comment:

  1. That looks very nice :)

    Is it normal that in some of the pictures it looks very delicious to me?