|Pathways for jungles or forests made out of acrylic caulk. The colorful flower foliage is also newly created, using the same technique I did for the "Jungle Pieces".|
I did a lot of searching on the internet (as well as soul searching!) to decide how to create them. Obviously, the cheapest, simplest, and least attractive way would be to cut out pieces of brown felt and say, “Voila!” Next in line, I could look for a suitable material — such as suede or other fabric — that had more of a dappled look to it. Another idea would be to cut them out of thin styrene and flock them. The one I actually settled on was an idea I found on The Lead Adventure Forum and The Miniatures Page. It involved using paintable acrylic caulk to create the roads — which would easily translate for me into forest pathways. I read several tutorials on it, which I will link at the end of this post. The material seemed to be very similar to what the maker must have used for the latex river pieces that I’d bought at Historicon. The thing that excited me the most about trying this method was that I could translate it into other types of terrain. I could use it to make that swamp or bog that I’ve been wanting to do. I could use it to make wider rivers than the ones I created. I could even use it to create a pond — heck, anything I really wanted to make with it!
The tutorials all used the caulk in slightly different ways. The biggest variation seemed to be whether to use a base material or simply use the caulk itself as the terrain piece. One tutorial advised using a fabric base and to spread the caulk atop it. Another advised using a plastic mesh (called “granny grate”) — similar to what I used as my window panes on my Saxon church. Still another advised using it without any base material. I decided to go with a felt base because I was worried about the latex sticking to flocking and picking it up off other pieces. I would doubtless end up stacking them up and I didn’t want the flock I was going to put on the pathway surface to be pulled off by the bottoms of the pieces piled on top of them.
|Various shapes for path sections drawn on white paper, cut out and traced onto the felt|
|Paintable acrylic caulk in "cedar" color -- the material that would form the surface of my paths|
|Lines of caulk squeezed out onto the felt base, which itself sits atop a ziplock bag with a piece of cardboard inside to stiffen it as a working surface|
|A wet paint brush smoothes out the caulk. This is where you would add any other embellishments, like wheel ruts, potholes, etc., if you wanted.|
|The pathway pieces, dried and with edges trimmed up. Note also the stones embedded in the surface of the road.|