On The Desk - Creating a Lava Base Part 1

Today I'm going to give a little step by step of making a display level lava themed base. As always with my project I use a mix of the knowledge I have gained from the community with some of my own flair by studying reference photos.

I wanted a rock outcropping with lava all around it, lighting the rock from below. The rock as usual was made mostly with cork tiles, a versatile and cheap building tool. I cut off several scraps (as well as using some off cuts from previous projects) I attacked them with knife, pliers to lose those distinctive edges and give myself a natural shape. I use PVA glue and sand to help hide any telltale lines where the cork tiles connect and add some interesting texture.

Micro beads! You can get these from jewellery shops but I'm using the Silica gel beads you get with furniture and the like. These will be bubbles in the lava, a fairly common technique.

Sadly I don't own any water effects (it's on the to do list) so I decided to use PVA glue for the main body of the lava. I used a thick layer and added more as it dried (PVA does tend to shrink a little) I used plastic shards melted over a flame to add some lava splashes to the surface of the water, this isn't a calm pool! Thanks to Ana from Chest of Colors for a superb guide, check it out here: http://chestofcolors.com/how-to-make-lava-splashes-tutorial/ As lava dries you get crusted areas on the surface, I decided to use some of the Vallejo textures to represent this, in this case the White Pumice. In some areas I mixed it with PVA glue to vary the texture. I also used a toothpick to apply this to the underside of the rocks where the lava has splashed up onto it.

I was making this as ther Crystal Brush results were coming in, I saw this piece by Frank Kahsar (http://crystalbrush.coolminiornot.com/cbartwork/index/id/1041) that won best of Dark Age and was immediately inspired to add some lava dripping down the sides of the block! This was done with milliput for the shape with again PVA and White Pumice over the top to add interest.

I primed with black and a light white dusting from the top. I then went back in with the white onto the lava as it'll be easier to get the results I want over the white (also has the handy side effect of starting the OSL on the rock) You can see I also added a few bones and a skull to the top before priming. Join me next week (if I get it done in time) for the painting!

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