First, I tossed the fossil Sculpey into the oven (275 degrees F for 15 minutes). Big mistake. (clicky for biggie)
So, to recap, a small bit of Sculpey, an oyster half-shell, tiny crab claw, half of a carnifex skull, and 4 pieces of aquarium gravel (along ith two bases) makes this mess. Obvious mistakes here are all remedied at the paint/finish stage.
1) Wash Sculpey with a thinned Graveyard Earth.
2) Apply PVA glue (thinned with water) to all Sculpey areas.
3) Reach over to the hermit crab cage and grab a handful of very dry sand...and probaby a bit of crab detritus. Apply to glued areas, shake off excess.
4) Wash the sand with Badab Black wash, then, after it fully dries to set the sand, dry brush with Bleached Bone, Graveyard Earth, and White.
5) Drill the recesses of the skull to make the carni skull a bit more skull like. Paint the claw and skull with black and then white.
6) Dry brush the shell and gravel with white, black, and Gore Red.
Oh, and the spiral shells? (Click to enlarge)
The ground cover on this one is yet more crab bedding...I think it's shredded coconut.