|Just three examples. They are mounted on vinyl floor tile pieces (two pieces glued together, for strength), cut to size.|
|Same pieces, opposite sides shown. Each side is unique, as is each piece -- they never turn out the same, which is a very great thing!|
The technique involves using toilet paper tubes, and Hot Glue, to create the stalagmites. An instructional video can be found here. After the Hot Glue cooled, I painted the stalagmites, dry-brushed them (a first for me -- I have never dry-brushed before), then I sealed them with an application of Minwax's Royal Walnut Polyshades urethane-stain. Because I want them to represent a 'living' cave system, I left them with a semi-glossy finish (no matte clear coat), to show that they are moist. While there could be more done to them for detailing (i.e., dry-brushing copper, or some other metal onto them, to make them look like they are formed in a mineral-rich mine vein; or by dry-brushing some lichen, mold, etc., onto them), I chose to keep mine very simple, as these were my first attempts at this.
|Another pair, one side here, the opposite, below.|
|Same pair, opposite side. All have the same type of vinyl floor tile basing.|
Overall, I feel the techniques are quite useful, with the construction being even simpler than what I imagined it would be. The only down-side to these, was that I had to let the Minwax Polyshades air-dry, as opposed to putting them into my crock-pot/slow cooker, to heat-dry: the lowest setting (Warm) would melt the Hot Glue texturing, so patience was required.
|Another example. Note the variation in the shape of the crushed/crumpled cardboard tube, as well as the texturing accomplished with the Hot Glue Gun application of molten plastic.|