Monday, April 19, 2010

"Ikura" From Silica Gel and Coloring Resin Clay

I opened up the packet of silica gel last night and was feeling brave enough to attempt to color a batch of my own. The packet I obtained from Daiso contained mostly clear gel beads and I used a bit of Tamiya Clear X-27 Red to dye the beads. I poured enough beads to cover one layer of the small sauce cup I was using to dye them and enough paint to just stain a thin layer of the bottom of the cup.

Didn't take any process photos since I was expecting a failure since the paint or the beads may clump or just chip off or it might not stick properly to the gel beads.

I was unexpectedly treated to a surprise after the beads dried.

The gel beads are not all same in size so some are very very tiny, like microbeads, which others are large. I left the clumped beads to dry on their own and then ''unclumped'' these by pressing them between my fingertips. Three to four of the beads broke on impact in fact -- maybe there was some strange reaction between the paint and the beads (I have no idea...) But most of them were nicely and evenly colored. ^^

The other thing I accomplished tonight was to try out a couple of new paint mediums on Grace Clay. Unexpectedly, a few small drops to and fro was able to make these tiny lumps of clay achieve a brilliant and deep, or a light and delicate color. (No - they aren't expensive paints!) I made mostly fruit colored lumps for use in the danishes later.

Wish I had made rainbow colours indeed -- but I will have kind of no use for the blues eh ^^;

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Inspiration Danishes

After an onslaught of danishes by Snowfern, I was inspired to make a load of my own and some other sweet pastries too. These were molded from a couple of 1:6 pastry master molds made with Alley Goop. (I used Re-Ment miniatures to make the base and further modified it since most of the Re-Ment pastries have fruit or frosting on them) It was the first time I am using Alley Goop and I must say - this stuff works much better than the purple x white molding material I got from a Japan-based hobby shop.

The usual round danishes, bear claws, beignets (not exactly a danish but they are good!) and cinnamon swirls. (the clay is air-dry clay, a combination of 2/3 Hearty Soft White and 1/3 Grace Clay. I have used a mixture of ochre and naple yellow watercolors and FolkArt ButterCup Acrylic Paint)

Pastry with a latticed top

Danish Twists.

These would probably be great with any 1:6 scale dolls - probably the child BJDs or end up as mini-pastries if you are using these for a 1:4 or 1:3 doll. I'll get these painted tomorrow after they have dried and shrunk - these things need at least 24 hours of drying before I paint on them!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Bountiful April! Utensils and Molds!

Being caught up with RL work, I've put aside miniature making for almost a month as I am simply too tired everyday to try to craft something! But then again, I have not stopped thinking about what projects to create next and have been crawling *evil laugh* about the Net in search of better resources to enhance my hobby experience. At this moment, I must really thank the presence of deputy sellers - and if not for them, I would not have collected so many wonderful tools from all over the world.

A lot of babies came in the mail this week and one of the most precious sets is this set of 1:12 bowl/plate/cups molds that I got off Taiwan's Ruten; a online shops collaboration between PCHome and Ebay. The original maker of these molds can be found here - Bruce Models (his/her website is in Mandarin, you may need a translation program if you do not understand the language)

The molds are around NT295 each (USD 9)and every single one of them is beautifully made. No air bubbles, all the edges are well-defined and the whole thing is perfectly compact. Each mold is individually wrapped and comes with its own instructions in Mandarin. The deep-dish mold comes with its own tiny wooden tool to create indentions. A set of 4 pearls (different sizes!) also comes with the bowl mold and he/she teaches you to make your own ball tools using the pearls and bamboo sticks on the website.

My grubby fingers holding up one of the molds!

Next, I'd like to introduce a certain miniature wholesaler from Hong Kong by the name of Yee Long Pte Ltd. You may or may not have seen / heard of them -- but their products would be something commonly found in many other second-tier sellers or distributors. Their prices are a little steep but for some of the rare items they offer, I am certainly bought over. If you are interested in buying from them, please check the FAQ on their website -- they have a minimum purchase amount.
Some of the 1:12 miniature utensils I bought from Yee Long :

From left to right - oval dishes for dorias and gratins, 4 sets of cutlery, plain tray and partition tray, and black cup and saucer set, with plate.
A lot more other tools came in the post too - including a very neat doll-hair maker tool, perfect to squeezing out miniature spaghetti or ramen, a bottled set of Japanese craft resin and bundles of Farinetta. <3 Deputy Sellers!