I started by cutting out three discs of XPS (insulation) foam on my hot wire cutter. I have a homemade circle cutting jig, which is just a piece of 3mm MDF with a pin in the middle. But Shifting Lands make a much better one. The base piece was a full disc, while the middle and top pieces were rings. I glued these together with PVA glue and used filler to smooth out all the joins.
As you can see, the base and top ring are both beveled, and the middle ring has a smaller outside diameter. I added triangle pieces on the inside of the well as I planned on adding some statues. The triangle pieces were cut from the leftover centre pieces of the rings. I then scored some lines with a blade, and ran a mechanical pencil tip through them to widen them. This makes the piece look like it was assembled from several pieces of stone. I added a stone texture by rolling a ball of aluminium foil all over it. Finally I carved in some chips and cracks with a blade. The entire thing was hardened up by a coated of Mod Podge mixed with black paint.
A trip to my local game store was now in order to find some appropriate statues to add to the well. I was initially looking for some sort of gargoyle miniatures, when I came across a pack of Reaper Bones Flying Monkeys. With three in the pack, it was perfect. “Fly my pretties, fly!” I glue the monkeys to the well and covered the whole piece with a coat of textured paint.
Painting was quite simple. The well was base painted with grey mixed with a little brown and the monkeys were just grey. Everything was dry brushed in a light grey/cream. I then applied a good amount of homemade black wash. Finally, the entire piece was sealed with a matte varnish. Be careful not to spray any exposed foam with the varnish as aerosols can melt foam.
I used Woodland Scenics Realistic Water, in several thin layers to build up the inside of the well. I experimented with tinting the water but I found that even the smallest amount of ink/paint dyed the water heavily. In the end I didn’t dye the water and instead gave the bottom of the well another coat of black wash. After the second layer of water, I put down a thin coat of black wash. The wash didn’t stick well, and it formed small pools on top of the water. This gave a really interesting effect of patchy, murky water. I then added a final layer of realistic water.
About a week after I had completed the well, I noticed that some bubbles had formed in the water. The Realistic Water can take a long time to thoroughly dry, especially if you lay it too think. And any small amount of shaking the bottle will result in bubbles. It’s recommended to gently roll the bottle instead, to mix the contents. Anyway, I’ll have to get back to my well sometime soon, cut out those bubbles (one is about 1cm in diameter!), and put down another layer of water.