Just a quick test I did for a miniature base.
I had a left over small ball of Magic Sculpt. I made a thin ‘sheet’ out of it and I textured it by pressing a piece of cheap jewelry that had a nice “mosaic” pattern to it. I wanted to see if I could get a ‘ruin’ or ‘mosaic’ effect for basing minis quickly this way.
In the end, I was not that pleased with the result. I decided to break the dried ‘sheet’ in smaller pieces in order to use them as flagstones.
I assembled the little pieces, like the pieces of a puzzle, and glued them with PVA glue on a plastic base. At that point, I needed some kind of grout or mortar material to put in the joints. So I tried using… real mortar (modified thinset mortar for grouting floor tiles, bought a the local hardware store for our bathroom remodeling). This is the “textured” mortar, containing (I presume) fine sand.
So the recipe is just like for real tiles: mix a bit of mortar powder with water until it gets to a cake frosting consistency, then apply it liberally all over the mini tiles and wipe out the excess with a damp cloth. Once dried, I applied a thin coat of diluted PVA glue, just to set the whole thing and make a non-porous surface for painting.
The lesson here? thinset mortar can be used to create bases for minis. It has a nice textured look, it is rock-hard when dried and durable, it is quick and easy to use, and is very cheap (I mean: I used less than a teaspoon and the 50 lbs bag of the stuff sells for around 30 CAN$…).
I’ll certainly do some more tests with mortar. It is an interesting material.