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Svenn
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PostSubject: Cobblestone   Sat 25 Apr 2009 - 21:12

This is driving me nuts... I'm trying to make a cobblestone stamp similar to the tutorial posted in the tutorials section here. I've got it working to where it will make an impression on the foam, but I can't seem to get a stamp that I like. I want something that looks kind of "rough" and random, no patterns. On top of that, I'm having a hell of a time finding a good way to paint it. I've got some brown and grey acrylic paint, and I've been trying to do a brown undercoat and dry brush gray on top, but it just doesn't look right.

Here are some of the inspirations for what I'm trying to do:
http://www.brdlandscape.com/pics/paths/Path-Cobblestone_Steele.jpg
http://www.jetwithkids.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/cobblestone-streets.jpg
http://www.fauxfilleddreams.com/images/Cobblestone-4.jpg

Anyone have suggestions on how to get a good cobblestone pattern and/or how to paint it to look good? Right now I've actually been taking some sculpy, sitting down and placing tons of rocks into it to make real rock impressions, then baking it. For some reason the patterns just never look right though.
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PostSubject: Re: Cobblestone   Sun 26 Apr 2009 - 0:05

I'd say your best bet is to carve it into the foam with a knife or pen. Getting a random enough stamp would be very difficult. I would imagine it'd either need to be extremely large, or you'd need several different stamps.

Have you found any model terrain or bases with cobblestone you like? It might be easier to suggest ways to replicate the production and painting of something someone's already created.

A final point about painting. Sometimes things can look a certain way in real life and in photos, but when you duplicate it on a miniature scale, it looks very fake. For example, take the second inspiration photo for your cobblestones. If someone duplicated that precisely in model scale, I'd venture it'd look incredibly unrealistic.
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PostSubject: Re: Cobblestone   Sun 26 Apr 2009 - 0:12

Thanks. Btw, here's what happened with the first stamp:
http://www.tabletopgeeks.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/0418092149.jpg

The brown is what I used to base it, then I painted over it with grey (I don't have any pics of that yet). I think it looks okay, but there is too large of a gap between the stones, and I think they might be a little large. I don't have a pic of the smaller gap stamp right now either, but at that small it looks too uniform.
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PostSubject: Re: Cobblestone   Mon 27 Apr 2009 - 9:52

Here you go, this is a post detailing our current method. Any suggestions on making larger indentations or how to paint it up?

http://www.tabletopgeeks.com/making-a-cobblestone-stamp-first-attempt/
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PostSubject: Re: Cobblestone   Mon 27 Apr 2009 - 17:13

Since you're using super sculpey, you could heat up the stamp and have it burn down into the foam somewhat. This might be more work than it's worth though, as you'd have to somehow get a suitably "cool" handle to work with it.

As far as painting: drybrush, drybrush, drybrush. It also looks a lot more natural if you dab a bit of different color on different stones before the drybrush. See some of cianty's work for good examples of that on the forum here.
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PostSubject: Re: Cobblestone   Mon 27 Apr 2009 - 17:32

Alternatively, with the painting, you could try watering down some paint till it is really rather thin. Then, using a foam applicator (I use the pieces of foam that come from the blister packs) saok up some paint, squeeze out the excess and then dab it on. This provides a splocthcy finish after drybrushing and, in my opinion, looks pretty good.
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PostSubject: Re: Cobblestone   Mon 27 Apr 2009 - 20:56

Thanks for the tips guys. Drybrushing was the first thing that came to mind. The larger gaps in the early stamps and the fact that we couldn't get it to imprint all that deep made it hard to do this without getting the stone color in all the gaps.

Exarch: Interesting method. We actually bought a few foam brushes, so maybe I'll try that with those.

Right now we're thinking a dark greyish grout with lighter grey stones... and lots of highlights and color variations. We might end up hand painting individual stones at some point just to make it look really good.

And the good news is I think we finally have the final stamps that we are going to use. I think the new patterns look great, and there aren't such large gaps between rocks. Once we got a piece nice and painted up I'll put up a post with the new stamps and some fully painted cobblestone, and some more details on some of the methods we used.
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PostSubject: Re: Cobblestone   Mon 4 May 2009 - 1:46

I painted up some cobblestone today, just did some quick dry-brushing to see where we stand with the stamps and if we were going to have to find a better way to replicate the cobblestone.

It turned out ok, the 6x6 block that is painted was from one of the old stamps that we made and it worked fairly well, and i think the new stamps will work even better.

I think i need to start with a darker undertone and work to a even lighter shade of Grey, in the pictures its just 3 shades of Grey that have been dry-brushed.


I will try to have the pictures up on our blog sometime tomorrow if Svenn doesn't do it before i get home from work.
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PostSubject: Re: Cobblestone   Mon 4 May 2009 - 14:35

Wow, someone is using my stamp idea. I haven't had much time recently to pursue it further, so it's interesting to see what you do with it.

I was curious, when using real rocks for the master, do you find the texture stamps on well?

I was thinking of finding a big rock from my garden, and texturing the entire surface of the foam prior to stamping for a similar effect. The black gobbo used to have a good tutorial on doing that (but I can't find it anymore on their new website). Basically you take a big rock with lots of texture and push it into the foam.

I was fearful that the stamp wouldn't be able to "transmit" smaller textures without needing to put so much pressure that the foam breaks.

Another thing I found that helped a lot, was to cut the space between "rocks" down (i.e. the sides of each cell on the stamp). I did this after the stamp had set using a hobby knife (not sure how that would work with Sculpy). The less surface area you're trying to stamp into the foam, the deeper the stamp can cut and the more the cobblestone pattern will show.

Looking forward to seeing the finished effect. I'll try to get some pictures of my test pieces up sometime this week (so that we can compare).
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PostSubject: Re: Cobblestone   Mon 4 May 2009 - 14:38

Yeah, our first stamp had the problem of too much space between rocks. It was tough to imprint into the foam. We created the newer pieces with smaller gaps and it seems to work a little better.

It doesn't transmit any texture for the rocks themselves. The issue is that in order for a good imprint to be made the stamp has to be deep, so the textured part barely touches the foam, if at all. Perhaps you could create a separate stamp for the texture, and stamp that on, then stamp the cobblestone pattern on afterwards (or vice versa). That might work. I think stamping a texture on is going to be tough to do though. It's hard to make an imprint on the foam that stays without it being fairly deep.
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PostSubject: Re: Cobblestone   Mon 4 May 2009 - 14:56

The foam we are using seems to be very subborn when we try to make the imprint... to get it to imprint well enough i have to almost stand on top of it for it to push in.

But as Svenn said the second batch of stamps seems to work better already. Well keep working at it and let everyone know what works the best.
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PostSubject: Re: Cobblestone   Tue 12 May 2009 - 7:24

Painted pictures!
http://www.tabletopgeeks.com/cobblestone-painting-take-one/
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PostSubject: Re: Cobblestone   Tue 12 May 2009 - 9:31

VERY NICE! I COULD be just the photo, but it looks like the cobblestones could use a bit more contrast. I would suggect starting with a black or dark grey as a base. Otherwise...LOOKIN' GOOD! thumbsup
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PostSubject: Re: Cobblestone   Tue 12 May 2009 - 9:32

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing... Maybe a little bit darker gray as a base and then doing the stones themselves a lighter gray.
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PostSubject: Re: Cobblestone   Tue 12 May 2009 - 9:41

ANOTHER TRICK: if you notice, grass has a tendency to grow through cracks in concrete & between paving stones. Running lines of static grass between SOME sections of cobblestone gives the cobblestones definition & adds a bit of color to the streets. geek
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PostSubject: Re: Cobblestone   Tue 12 May 2009 - 9:48

Hrm, that's not a bad idea, actually. We'll have to test that out. Thanks for the suggestion. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Cobblestone   Tue 12 May 2009 - 12:36

i actually indented to do that, and those pieces are not finished... i just slapped some paint on em to get the general idea... but thanks for the tips Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Cobblestone   Today at 3:34

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