I bought a sample bag of a slow drying cement based product called PalTiya, and I need more beetles. So I sculpted these two rather humble beetles as a PalTiya experiment! I found that this product is likely designed for, and best used for, larger sculptures. The fibers are problematic for tiny details, the finished surface is a bit grainy, and the slow drying & curing time is frustrating for smaller sculptures.
PalTiya is not cheap, and the weight means you pay a relatively high shipping cost. While I found this to be an interesting experiment, I don’t love the results. If I use more if this, it will be on a larger work. And I have used ordinary cement with acrylic & fiber additives with some success, so I am not completely sold on this particular product.
I found quite a few of the tiny fiberglass strands in the mix were still clumped together. The recommendation is to burn off fibers if the end result on the finish coat is too fuzzy, but when clumps of fiber are burned, this leaves small voids that are not easy to fill with the fiber rich PalTiya. I filled them with a 2-part sculptural epoxy, and textured the small patches by pressing a scrap of rough sandpaper gently onto the surface of the putty.
My paint job may not hold up, although the beetles should. This product is advertised to be very strong if cured properly (slowly and kept wet). I used about three coats of thinned artists’ acrylic paint. I will spray them with a topcoat: probably two coats of clear acrylic finish before installing them anywhere.
My original plan was to make molds of these, and cast a few more beetles for outdoor use. But now I am not really sure I need to duplicate either of these beetle people! I made these humble beetles as a PalTiya experiment, and I am not exactly thrilled with the results. So it goes!