Wow, the competition is heating up! I know have two most worthy opponents to face off against in the Miniatures Competition. I would have entered the Terrain Competition as well, but have been busy with my Zombie City paper minis (will post review when I have the final touches up!)
This is a quick and simple tutorial how to create Water Weirds from a couple of simple materials.
Total construction time will be less than two hours (more or less). Complexity is low. If you know how to handle a glue gun and how to do some dry brushing, you should be fine.
Step 1: Necessary materials
The list of materials necessary for this project is very short.
Tools and materials
- a small plastic cup,
- four or more ball pens,
- a lot of glue sticks (>10 of the small ones)
- acrylic paint (blue, white, black)
- a small glue gun,
- a large glue gun (optional),
- a box-cutter
- a small candle, for example a tea light
For the body of the water weird you’ll need a couple of old ball pens. Search in your drawer for the kind of ball pen that comes in a crystal clear case with a removable top. The have a very long shaft that is quite sturdy but can be easily bent around if you carefully apply heat to them. If you don’t have them lying around, buy a few of them (google for BIC Cristal).
For the well I used a cheap plastic cup that I had in crafting box. The cup I used was about 2 inches wide and 1 inch high. I choose this one so it would fit on top of a well I had already prepared for my collection of dungeon tiles. Depending on your need, You might want to go for a much small cup or even construct your own base from cardboard or something completely different. The cup doesn’t have to be translucent, any other cup of the same size or smaller will be ok.
Step 2: Preparations
First you’ll need to disassemble the ball-pens. The ball pens I use for this have a small cap on the upper side. Pull it off and then remove what’s inside. Also remove the cap covering the ball pen tip. All you’ll need for this tutorial is the crystal shaft.
Next you have to prepare the cup. Punch a hole for each appendage into the bottom of the cup. Use a small screwdriver to punch the plastic and then widen the holes with the tip of your hot glue gun. From time to time stick the upper part of a ball pen into the hole to see if fits tightly.
Hint: Punch the cup very slowly. Any excessive force will rip the top of the cup making it more difficult to attach the ball pens.
Step 3: Shaping
The next step requires a well ventilated room as we are going to bend the ball pens utilizing the heat of a small candle.
Light a small candle and keep it well away from all stuff that it could set aflame.
Next decide how many times you want to bend each balls pen. I recommend three times.
Now move one of your pens toward the candle and slowly roll it between your fingers so the heat spreads around the area where you want to bend it. Take your time and be careful to keep some distance or it will catch fire. As soon as you feel the plastic becoming soft, bend the pen toward the desired direction. Apply some more heat if necessary. If you are satisfied with the result, let it cool down for a few seconds and then move on to the next spot. Change the angle and direction to give the ballpen a curve that is pointing inwards and upwards.
Do this with all your ball pens.
Step 4: Texturing
Now we will give those appendices some structure. Fire up your glue gun and draw lines of hot glue on the pens.
Start at the top and move from joint to joint. Near the bottom you can slightly tilt your glue line so it ends in a circle around the base. Do this as often as necessary to cover the whole shaft.
Take your time. Don’t set two lines directly next to each other. Instead leave a small gap and go once around the whole pen. When your finished, let the pen cool down for a minute and then add a line on top of each gap. This will prevent lines of hot glue from melting into each other.
Step 5: Attach the ball pens
After you have finished your base texture, you can attach your appendices on top of the cup. Use the holes to position them for best visual effect (image 5). As soon as you are happy with the results, turn the cup around and fixate the ball pens with a healthy glob of hot glue.
Step 6: Refining
Now its time to add some details and additional texture. Remember that we want to create a creature that is completely made out of water. Think of waves and ripples and then start adding glue.
Start at the tip of one of the appendices and go all the way down to the bottom. Again, give it a slight tilt near the end, but this time don’t stop at the bottom but continue on the top of the cup, move toward the edge and the all the way down in a wave-like motion.
This will add the impression of water flowing over the edges of the well and also add some strength to the plastic cup.
Step 7: Coating
As a base-coat mix blue acrylic paint and white glue (1:1). This will help the paint to stick on the plastic cup and on the hot glue. Don’t worry about the color because even that much white glue will not have any effect on the original color.
Hint: Don’t apply too much paint at once, but use two or three thin layers instead. You can use a hair dryer to speed up the process considerably.
Step 8: Painting
Painting the water
After your base coat has dried, give the miniature a white drybrush. This will give you a better grasp of the textures and it will also be very helpful to blend between different shades of blue. Again let it dry for the next step.
Now mix a lighter blue with some water and quickly spread the paint over the whole miniature.
Again let it dry and then finish with an additional layer of dry-brushed white.
After you have finished the water part of your miniature, you can paint the parts of the well that have not been covered by water.A quick and dirty method to fill the spots between the water is to use black ink (I mean the kind of ink you use to write letters). This stuff is highly pigmented, but very fluid. It will flow into the tiniest spots and even a small amount will completely cover every tone of acrylic paint.
After the ink has completely dried, you can give these areas another white dry-brush. This will turn the pitch black areas into a stony surface with a nice texture. Use the black ink to add some masonry to the surface and the well is finished too.
This is my Minis Entry for the World of Craftwar October 2015 at the dmscraft forum. If you are interested in crafting, you should definitely sign up and become a member of the community.
If you have questions and or feedback leave your comments below or write me a mail.