If you are making scenery for a sci-fi game then crab skeletons
and the hard shelled remains of other sea-life can be a cheap and easy
way to spice up the terrain. I particularly to combine them with the
arid terrain, evoking an image of long-gone seas, perhaps banished by
terraforming, where these giant and exotic creatures once roamed.
Many sea shells such as this crab shell and sea urchin shells are
very fragile. If you just stick them to a base then they will just disintegrate.
To prevent this, mix up some fairly runny plaster and smear a thick
layer (half an inch or so) into the inside of the shell.
As well as the main crab carapace, I also dotted around some other fragments
of shell to give the impression of the remains of a whole animal.
Attaching to base
The shell parts should be stuck to the base at Stage
2 of the arid terrain piece process, before the terrain piece
has been textured. This will make it look as if they are almost embedded
in the ground which will be more realistic than if they were scattered
on top. Use plenty of PVA or epoxy
The crab skeleton was practically this colour already, but it was
painted to accentuate the texture.
Reddish brown wash - First it was given a light reddish brown
wash. There was no base coat - the natural colour was allowed to come
through to some extent.
Light brown drybrush - (fairly wet)
Dark Spots - Note the spots are different sizes to create a more
random, organic look. One effect of these is to emphasise that the
various fragments are part of one animal.
Final Drybrush - After the spots had been painted on, a delicate
drybrush of 'Beige' Sandtex was applied over the top of the whole
shell. This made the spots look less stark as well as providing final
highlights for the main shell.