Alum Experiment one

So I had the idea a few years ago to grow crystals on my 40k models. I wanted my Space Marines to have a frosted look to their armor. My first attempt used sugar and water. This worked well, until the humidity in the basement spiked which rehydrated the sugar. It turned into a syrupy mess as can be seen on the Vindicator. I asked around for a suitable replacement chemical. I was told Alum (Potassium Aluminum Sulfate) creates highly stable crystals.

The tools:

Hot Plate

Spray bottle

Soup Can

One pound of Alum

(Not pictured) A metal stir stick.

Spoon for scooping.

Box to contain mess.



Heat water to boiling.

Supersaturate mixture. (Put Alum in until the water can’t absorb anymore. You’ll know it is saturated when crystals sit on the bottom of the can.

Use spray nozzle to apply mix.

Let it sit for a few days.


Before Picture of Vindicator.
Before Picture of Marine.
Can of left over mix.
After picture of Marine.
After Picture of Vindicator.


The effect I had been looking for.

I like the results. I will have to try dipping the models to see if that spreads it evenly.