Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Crater Mess Experiment - 2


More progress on my pie-dish craters...


Lewis gunner Jack Dillon recalled years later how ‘the mud there [at Passchendaele] wasn’t liquid, it wasn’t porridge, it was a curious kind of sucking kind of mud ... a real monster that sucked at you’. Rain and artillery fire joined forces to turn the trenches into cesspools where the men floundered and even drowned; or, killed by shell-fire, their bodies dissolved into the slime - See more at: http://www.bl.uk/world-war-one/articles/sensuous-life-in-the-trenches#sthash.beR9cXt4.dpuf
The one on the left shows the crater with splats and splodges of spackle and watered Aleene's glue, sprinkled with dried coffee grounds and sand. It breaks up the regular appearance of the plaster cast. The one on the right has been painted using ordinary craft acrylic paint. Descriptions of shell craters from the Great War speak of strange streaks of colour in the horrible mixture of mud and slime, presumably from the chemicals used in the explosive content of shells, so I added some areas of yellow and terracotta here and there.


Next I stirred green acrylic ink into more watered Aleene's glue until I got an algae-like shade and poured it into the crater. When the glue dried it gave the above result. Now, I could leave it like this. Algae was prevalent in Great War shell craters, feeding happily off the nitrogen component of the explosives literally fired into the soil. However, I wanted something that looks like recent shell craters, so I mixed another batch of glue with sepia and India ink.


This will dry like the first version, leaving a greenish-brown stain with a brighter green rim. It'll look like either a shell blasted a crater where an existing crater with a patch of algae had been, or a crater where algae is beginning to establish itself. The next stage will be to pour some Pledge polish with a light mix of green and sepia ink into the crater to look like brackish water separating out of the mud. Pictures of the final result to follow, once everything's dried.
 
Lewis gunner Jack Dillon recalled years later how ‘the mud there [at Passchendaele] wasn’t liquid, it wasn’t porridge, it was a curious kind of sucking kind of mud ... a real monster that sucked at you’. - See more at: http://www.bl.uk/world-war-one/articles/sensuous-life-in-the-trenches#sthash.DKaUW5kn.dpuf
Lewis gunner Jack Dillon recalled years later how ‘the mud there [at Passchendaele] wasn’t liquid, it wasn’t porridge, it was a curious kind of sucking kind of mud ... a real monster that sucked at you’. - See more at: http://www.bl.uk/world-war-one/articles/sensuous-life-in-the-trenches#sthash.DKaUW5kn.dpuf
Lewis gunner Jack Dillon recalled years later how ‘the mud there [at Passchendaele] wasn’t liquid, it wasn’t porridge, it was a curious kind of sucking kind of mud ... a real monster that sucked at you’. - See more at: http://www.bl.uk/world-war-one/articles/sensuous-life-in-the-trenches#sthash.DKaUW5kn.dpuf

3 comments:

Michael Awdry said...

Getting better and better.

JP Price said...

This is a great idea (though I suspect you only came up with it as an excuse to use that title!) bravo! ;-)

A J said...

Thanks, gentlemen! Yes, JP, you got me. ;)

 

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