Over the last week I stripped off the top layer of foam core and applied a thin layer of premixed drywall compound, a process I’ve used many times. While it was good to explore different materials, I don’t have time for shortcuts anymore. Let me explain.

I could try a bunch of stuff and likely would have in the past. But time is not on my side anymore and I would rather master a familiar method. I’m more focused on what I enjoy about model building than ever and now prefer to go deep with a technique and explore all it has to offer.

I still have so much to learn. While the modeling in these images might look good, there is plenty of room for improvement in the coloring, texture and presentation. For example, I struggle greatly with the color of old concrete. To my eyes the color here looks too dark rather than the sun bleached gray often seen outside. Part of this is from using the sediment in my container of thinner as a color wash. I want to see if a lighter wash of color or pigment will get me closer to the right hue.

The sisal twine grass can be effective when done in mass however, it just looks straggly in small clumps. Once again it’s a case of being complacent rather than thinking about the model and its impact. The smaller darker clubs are from JTT or Scenic Express (I don’t recall off the top of my head) and look better.

I like the way the drywall compound produces shrinkage cracks as it dries. Their quality and pattern would be hard to mimic any other way. As this surface represents concrete instead of asphalt, I marked out control joints in ten foot square sections. The overall cracking pattern is better than my sample from last time. It’s more restrained and natural looking. I do believe though that I went overboard with the weeds growing in the cracks and crevices. If this were an abandoned section of pavement they might be plausible but they wouldn’t be so thick on an active surface. Looking at the images now, it feels like I succumbed to another preconcieved stereotype rather than observing the real thing. I can and probably will yank a few of them out.

In all, it’s a more satisfying effort and it’s good to be actively modeling again.