A Randomly Selected Newspaper Headline:

The following is a randomly selected newspaper headline from many years ago:

Welcome to my blog. Please feel free to leave a comment. I assure you I always read and appreciate everything you have to say. Unfortunately, thanks to Blogger being, well . . . Blogger, I can not respond to comments nor leave any on your blogs. They simply disappear into the ether. Occasionally I will remember to respond in the next blog post I put up, but usually these good intentions slip my mind. So if you want to ask a question or get a response to any comments you may have please leave an email address or other contact method in your comment and I will get back to you.

I have also added a separate page to the blog for the Tower of Magic with a brief summary of all the rooms of the ToM in the one spot. The link is just below this and above the main body of the blog, or you can just click here.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Painted Desert

As promised, the 150 follower giveaway is now open.  If you look up just a little I'm sure you won't be able to help noticing the link that'll take you straight to all the details.

With Dawncrest finished last week, it was time to start work on a new project.  This one is entitled "The Dig Site" and is set in Egypt sometime around 1920.  Part serious archeology but mostly adventure movie, the Dig Site encompasses a camp ouside the ruins of an ancient Egyptian temple sealed for thousands of years.  The explorers prepare to break through the long sealed doors against the backdrop of the setting sun (or is it rising?).

I added two layers of polystyrene over two thirds of an MDF board and cut out three steps from the inside end.  More polystyrene forms walls, cutting the floor area in two the the end of the flat polystyrene and at the far end of the board.

All the polystyrene was then covered with a thin layer of air drying clay.  While the clay was wet, blocks of stone were marked out along the edges of the board.  I also added some "carvings" to the walls at this point as well.  This was done by tracing a pattern onto greaseproof kitchen paper.  The paper was then laid over the clay and the design pressed into the clay with a ball pointed stylus.

With the little left over clay I had I made, or attempted to make, a pair of pillars in "lotus bud" style.  They are two balsa wood dowels wrapped in alfoil to pad them out a little, then covered in clay.  Um, did the Egyptians make crooked, lumpy columns?  Because that's what I did.

Beyond the dividing wall the floor was covered in "tiles" made of cut up egg cartons.

All this was then covered in a coat of sandstone toned paint, but there are still many layers left to go before the right effect is (hopefully) achieved.

The whole scene will have a solid back wall.  On the part of the wall that will be behind the "outside" section I painted a desert scene over which the sun is setting.  I am very pleased with how this turned out.  If you poke the photo to enlarge it you might be able to see the fleet of fishing boats on the Nile heading home after a hard day's fishing and a man leading three camels along the horizon.

Finally for the week I made a broken fallen column by stuffing an empty roll of kitchen paper towel with newspaper, cutting it into three uneven parts then covering it with Texture Paste tinted with sandstone paint.  I drew a toothpick accross the wet paste to create the effect of stone blocks.


  1. I'm curious about this project.
    Bye Faby

  2. Tu proyecto va genial, volvere a visitarte para ver los adelantos.
    besitos ascension

  3. This is going to be Awesome!


  4. I sure wouldn't worry about those columns, put them on the floor, and they've fallen and sustained all kinds of damage over the thousands of years they were buried. . .
    Everything else looks fun and wonderful --can't wait to see the finished product!
    Val from Flickr

    1. Great theory, but there's a catch . . . . The columns are supposed to go in the "inside" scetion, sealed and preserved and still in pristine condition! Oh well, if painting them doesn't improve their appearance I can always change the plan!

  5. Wow, Alennka! As usual you are Making a Fascinating Project! I do like your sunset backdrop painting very much! This looks intriguing! I can't wait to see more!