So, by Thursday afternoon, the paint-ink-and-paint had dried at long last. I gave, once more, a very dry brush to the entire table and focused specifically on the valley and rocky areas in order to give them that proper, dusty feeling. You can see here a bit better the way in which the dry-brush will tamp down the inks washes but leave the texture and odd patterns underneath. I love this kind of technique as it breaks monotony and provides a rich bit of visual interest without being glaring. Inks, in my opinion, are compulsory in table building.
Thursday was a crucial day. I needed to get the resin mixed and poured and I needed it all to behave perfectly. In theory, the two part resins take 24 hours to dry. Don’t you believe it. After AdeptiCon last year, I learned that the resin can/will remain tacky, even sticky for a good 48 hours and perhaps longer if the layer is sufficiently thick. I had no plans for anything quite formidable, but I didn’t want to leave it to chance. Thus, the resin was mixed and poured Thursday evening.
After pouring, I watched for a good long while, making adjustments to the level here and there as the resin started to settle. Though the table was flat enough, there’s a natural slope in my garage where I was working that the resin began to run a bit too dramatically toward the open edges. I had left only a very subtle lip for a very thin layer on that ends that were designed to meet, so I was sure to keep a very, very close eye on how it all splayed out. I think it best to check up every once and a while, regardless, as the resin will settle slowly, and I live in fear of finding some disastrous surprise the next morning if I were to simply pour and walk away. A shim here. A shim there. and all was well.
One more note on the resin. I put four, just four, small drops of ink into the mixing pot. That was plenty to tint the entire batch a suitably murky color. By extension, I would calculate that if I had mixed the entire bottle for a giant batch, I would have needed no more than six or seven drops. Anything more would start to tint the resin rather dramatically. That’s a tiny amount in what is probably something like a quart of liquid.
Friday afternoon was bright enough and sufficiently windless that I brought the tables outside to sit in the sun for a while. Even though relatively thin, the bulkier edges were still a bit tacky (careful, by the way, testing this or you’ll end up with fingerprints all over the water). Likewise, wind can bring all kinds of miniscule amounts of dust and pollen and whatever, so I do not recommend this step in anything less than ideal conditions.
The radiant heat from the sun works a wonder. Within just a few hours, slightly tacky resin was rock solid, and by Friday evening, the matter was done and dusted enough that I could flock the remaining bits of grass as they had been (more or less) before I got involved. I had been prepared to skip this step entirely, but felt confident enough once I saw how well the resin had set by the morning.
I had already flocked around the valley a very small bit so that some of it would be underneath the waterline, and so that the areas nearest the stream would be most obviously verdant and lush, but I also didn’t want to push it unless all that loose flock make a layer on/in the surface of the resin. That would have been a disaster. Still, all good, and I applied just a bit more dried-out flock further afield to suggest that everything was scorched at a distance from the stream itself.
Early Saturday morning, Anton dropped by to collect the goods… and there it was, less that one week later, a brand new table.
Action shots and some notes on gameplay this weekend (or perhaps just after).