Dustan has started work on a new gaming table for the Wyrd Games Malifaux system. Malifaux is set in a decayed, urban Steampunk setting and he was looking for a quick way to create a set of cobblestone roads for the table, so he built himself a textured cobblestone roller! This is something I briefly considered trying back when I started work on my own Mordheim table, but instead I opted for casting what felt like a million Hirst Art tile pieces. However seeing Dustan’s results I wish I had actually tried it myself.
First he built a master tile from a set of cast Linka mold pieces, filling the joins with a heat cured modeling clay called Duk-it (a cheap local equivalent to Fimo) that he fired with a hot air gun.
Then, taking a small painter’s roller he applied another layer of heat cured clay onto the roller and carefully rolled that over his tile to transfer the texture. It took him a couple of cracks to get a satisfactory result, mainly because of slight problems with the different thicknesses of the cast pieces in his master tile creating voids on the roller.
Once he’d transferred the texture successfully he carefully cured the roller with the heat gun again. I’ve avoided heat cured clay in the past because I’ve always been afraid of shrinkage causing warps if you simply baked it in the oven. For some reason it never occurred to me to cure the clay with a hot air gun like this. It may take a little longer, but it seems like an excellent way to control the cure to avoid warping issues.
His resulting texture roller seems to work pretty well for what’s essentially an experiment. Here’s some more Duk-it clay textured with the roller. He can cover a lot of ground very quickly with his homebrew roller and it easily generates enough texture for nice drybrushing effects. Personally I’m looking forward to seeing some of this clay painted up! His whole roller experiment is documented on our forums here if you’re interested. The progress on his Malifaux table is on the forum too in a different thread.