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Crystal Tokens

Hello all, I am new to TerraGenesis! I decided to make an account after I found this website when I was searching for some ways on making crystal terrain and I found a lot of other cool things on this website!

So after a bit of searching I didn't find anything quite what I was looking for until I read some articles on
growing crystals, so I gave it a shot and grew some crystals with a mixture of Alum and water. Since I haven't seen something like this on this site I thought I would post my results.

Without further ado!

Image: 20140226031447

This is a Roof Tag that has been coated with glue and a dollop of plaster dust mixed with paint and glue.

Image: 20140226031609

The crystals I grew that are pushed into and glued into the plaster paint mix.

Image: 20140226031713

And this is several of them that I made and the dusted with plaster dust.

Well this is what I have made so far, and I hope you all like what you see so far!

Very interesting. I've seen folks use quartz crystals, plastic, glass and other materials to simulate crustal, but I've never seen anyone actually grow crystals for terrain. Very interested in seeing how these turn out once completed.

Those are pretty big! How long did they take to grow?

They took about 12 hours or so, however there were very few large crystals as most of them were very brittle and broke apart. Though I will use them as ground cover and the like. After the glue is set I will take a better picture of the tokens because the crystals have a slight pinkish hue which you can't really see in the picture I took before.

I also see a package of resistors in one of those shots; were you considering lighting these up with LEDs? And where is that experiment? I like LEDs.

Oooo, this is a great idea. One I just may have to steal. Twisted Evil
So if a lot of them were brittle, do you think these will see a lot of chipping over time or when they build up that much thickness they're pretty durable?

I looked at those images for like 15 minutes before I saw the resistors, but I did think about lighting them however I decided to make some unlit to see if it would work in the first place before I would mess around with LEDs.

As to the brittleness for the most part you can tell if they will break because they fall to pieces when you handle them, but I did drop one of the bigger ones off of my table and it didn't break. I don't recommend playing catch with them however. I do plan on coating them with polyurethane so that should hardened them up quite a bit.

And now to some of the progress.

Image: 20140226201700

I blew off the excess dust with some compressed air and cleaned the crystals up with a little WD-40 on a paintbrush. You do have to be careful that you don't wipe them with water as these crystals are water soluble and will dissolve.

Image: 20140226202001

I'll post some more progress pictures after I base coat the tokens.

oh... Shocked

If they disolve in water you might not want to use polyurithane,
because it has a water base to it.

Try some varnish instead. (oil based)

Ps. awesome crystals. Thumbs Up

Good call on the polyurethane, ill try something oil based.

Unfortunately I learned that the climate in my area isn't terribly great for these crystals (I live in Florida and it is rather humid) and that handling them with bare hands isn't helpful either. All This basically caused them to lose their outer layer and lose the nice color and became cloudy and ashy. So I'm going to grow some more crystals but this time I think I'm going to seal them right away.

Quick update:

This is the new batch of crystals that I grew and was quite surprised to get the two very large crystals, the bigger one was approximately 3 inches across. I had to break up one of them however because I didn't have enough smaller ones this time. I found that the large ones were actually pretty hard, I had to bang on it with a hammer to actually break it. I'm going to varnish the big one and keep it like that as it is pretty cool. I'll post some more pictures after the glue dries and I varnish the small crystals, hopefully they'll stay nice and bright!

Image: 20140303233709

Jeez those are massive! Your crystal-fu overshadows all my meager efforts.

Also: Is that jigged-bone milano full auto or assisted?

Whoa. Did you do anything differently to get the mighty blocks? I stocked up on Alum powder over the weekend to start playing with this myself. I just haven't started yet. Any tips would be appreciated!

When I made this batch I used double the amount of Alum and Water and it resulted in two large crystals and a few little ones. When I made the first batch the crystals covered the bottom of the jar and most of the larger ones crumbled and I thought if I doubled every thing then It would result in more crystals but just resulted in two big ones. So the more Alum you add it seems to result in larger crystals but then again it may have been a fluke.

Note: The knife is actually manual folding, and its a stag antler grip.

Quick Update:

Bases were prepped with cat litter and then base coated in gray.

Image: 20140306011237

So interestingly the same problem happened to me where the color faded. However I think it may have to do more with the thickness of the crystals as the based crystals and the large one were varnished at the same time yet the thinner smaller crystal is faded, but they both turned greener for some reason. If trying to dye them I think you may have to use quite a bit of food coloring for smaller crystals. as a side note I kinda like the faded teal color so i'm just gonna work with it.

this project is really awesome! And just a liittle side note of chemistry, the hotter you get the water, the more of a compound you should be able to dissolve in it, and this may result in either larger or more crystals. This could be an interesting idea for you to explore. Though compounds will have a max that you can dissolve no matter what the tempature, a thurough investigation of this may prove quite fruitful for you.

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