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Paved Floors

There are a number of commercial products available for creating paved floor effects including embossed plastic sheets and moulds for casting them in plaster. While these can produce very pleasing results they can become too repetitive (on a large piece you will tend to notice the pattern repeating) and of course there is the problem of how to join one section to the next. In the case of moulds there is the initial cost of acquisition to consider, in addition to the cost of materials used. In this article we take a look at a number of ways of creating paving effects from scratch.

The cobblestone effect in this piece by Witterquick was created from polymer clay.

Paved Floors

I built the entire base out of Sculpey. I took lots of little balls, about the size of "Nerds" candy, and made a roughly CD-shaped circle on a clear baking tray. I then rolled the balls flat, but not too flat, with a round sculpting tool, and baked the lot in the oven. When it was cooled I glued it onto a circle of heavy card, painted the entire base in my trusted blue-grey, then picked out stones in four different greys.

The dragon bits were cast using Hirst Arts moulds and the pile of gold was made with more Sculpey over aluminium foil with sand to texture and an appropriate paint job.

Paved FloorsIn the image to the right, BlueTablePainting has simply burned the outline of the stepping stones into the foam base with a soldering iron. The whole thing was then painted grey, and the stepping stones drybrushed in s lighter shade, prior to the application of flock to the surrounding area.

Paved FloorsThe picture to the left was sent to us by kittentikka.

The paving on the base was made by cutting a thin piece of card (cereal packet) along its plane and then gluing it smooth side down. It was then painted black and brushed over with blue for a slate effect.

Because knives were not designed for this work, the card comes out rough, which makes a good scale surface. You could use bits of 'paving slab' as big as you can cut, if you have a steady hand, but more than a couple of 'feet' long would probably look wrong. The length of a miniature's arm seems to be the limit for this one, in terms of looks.

Paved Floors

The stone floor in this work in progress shot from Ariss is made from 3mm foamcore. Ariss actually has two methods for doing this depending upon whether a 'clean-cut' or 'weathered' appearance is required.

Clean-cut: Take a piece of 3mm foamcore and peel off the upper sheet of paper. Then draw the tiles, slice them softly (taking care not to cut through the underside of the foamcore) and then carve out the lines with a pen (just push it on the foam and draw the lines a couple of times) using the initial cuts as a guide.

Weathered: Take the foamcore, and draw the tiles. Slice them, without cutting the underside of the foamcore (so that the second sheet of paper remains intact and keeps the whole thing together). Carve the lines with a pen as above and THEN peel the squares off. This should produce a better result in general, plus it will cause random chunks of foam to come off, thus giving you a very realistic weathering.

If, when removing the paper, you find that the top of the paper comes away leaving paper stuck to the foam, dampen the residual paper by 'painting' it with water, give it a few minutes to soak in, and rub gently with the tip of your finger. You'll find that it comes away cleanly without damaging the foam.

The weathered method is much more time consuming and is the one shown in the picture above. You can see it being used to good effect in Ariss' Ruined Construction.

Paved FloorsThe image to the left was posted on our forum by Nathaniel and is part of an experiment to find a floor tile that he liked prior to making a mould. We do not know whether or not this ever happened however the tests are interesting in themselves.

The tests are in polymer clay which was rolled out to a thickness of approximately 3mm. Various patterns were then pressed into it to create texture. A bamboo skewer was pressed in to make the divisions and a pointed craft knife was used to make the cracks. Note however that difference sequences were tried and our understanding is that the best results where achieved by: cutting cracks first, then applying texture, and marking tile outlines last. The clay was then baked, painted and drybrushed before being photographed.

It is also worth mentioning that in the piece shown, Nathaniel was undecided as to whether to use a 25mm or 30mm as his basic tile size; which is why the tiles to the left are 30mm while those on the right are 25mm. Nathaniel eventually decided to go with 25mm.

A final thing to note is the use of larger tiles which are the equivalent of four 'normal' tiles. These would be regarded as four tiles during game play, even though they are not marked, but help to add more variation to the floor.

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