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Crackle Paste Bases


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I only saw one thread about crackle paste when I searched these forums.


So, I’m going to share how it’s going for me.


I started with washed and dried 1” and 2” Reaper Bases.


I put this garbage on a 2 inch base first.


Don’t buy it.  I got it at Hobby Lobby at the time because they were out of Folk Art.


To be clear, this is Crackle Medium.

It is meant to be painted on a primed or rough surface I guess, and painted thin. I put it on kind of thick.  It didn’t crackle at all!


So, I got a tub of this stuff on Amazon.


The directions state “put over a thin layer of PVA glue.”  Pfft, who has time for that extra step?


Here is the result on a washed but otherwise un prepped set of bases.


1 inch



2 inch.



So, the surface needs something for crackle paste to work right.



This is a 1” base with a thin layer of PVA glue.



This is a 1” base with just hitting it with 220 grit sandpaper and washing it again.


I also used the 2” base with dried crackle medium on it.  Not pictured.

This is a 2” base covered in black brush on primer.


Here is the result on the 2” base over dried crackle medium.  It was hard to get the stuff into a uniform layer, as the medium created a very hydrophobic surface, so the paste slides around too easy.

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Same base painted with black brush on primer.  Two coats.  One thin to get into the cracks, one thick for surface opacity.


Here is the result of the 2” base with paste over black primer.  Sorry I don’t have a shot prior to painting over it with black primer.


Here is the sanded 1” base.  Not bad, but I feel the cracks are too narrow.  So narrow it’s tough to get paint into all of them.  You can see a bit of white at twelve o’clock there.  Will try Nuln Oil to get into those cracks.


This is the 1” base over PVA glue.

I think most people would agree this is the effect most people are looking for.  We’ll see how they all come out painted.

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Drybrush of Desert Stone, trying to stay on the highest elevation, and closer to the edges.



Crackle Medium



How it might look.  Not too bad.  Better than a plain base, interesting, not stealing the limelight from the mini.




Black Primer.



Even more subdued.  Maybe too subdued.



Sanded finish.




PVA Glue.



So, I still feel that PVA glue is the winner.


Let me know what you all think.

In looking at these, the paint is probably too dark.  It’s like a muddy lake bed that is recently drying.  I think for that blasted desert dryness, I would need to use lighter colors.

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On 9/12/2021 at 4:04 PM, Darcstaar said:

In looking at these, the paint is probably too dark.  It’s like a muddy lake bed that is recently drying.  I think for that blasted desert dryness, I would need to use lighter colors.

I think you'd want to start with a lighter brown, wash with a dark brown and drybrush lighter.

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I've used crackle paint that I liked from Michael's, called 'Distress Crackle Paint Clear Rock Candy' (pretty sure it's not candy, I will doublecheck tho, I really hope it isn't haha!). I used it more for an ice effect over an already painted area, & it dried clear with some delicate crackle effect. I think Golden paint also has a crackle medium too though I haven't tried it. I think from your experiments I like the pva glue result the best. What about the cracks air dry clay would make, (though maybe unstable over time), or maybe doing an impression into sculpey or green stuff? Just a thought. I like the effects you got!

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