I am quite happy with the paintjob I gave my Reaper Bone’s Kraken, especially with the cheap hack I stumbled upon to make nice-looking seaweed or kelp. I first did up the ship in a dark brown, the body in purple, the mouth in a 50-50 red-purple mix, the shell in a 50-50 shiny black-dark blue mix, the tentacle in a 50-50 suede-blue mix, and the teeth/beak in suede.
I used a shiny black for the gills and blowholes, while drybrushing with a purple-suede mix on the body. The ship got various intermittent drybrushing of suede, suede-green, and suede-yellow to seem like rotten timber. Then I added a layer of fine sand for the ocean bottom and painted various colors on the corals/barnacles that then got a brown wash. What I was most nervous about though was the seaweed as every resource I saw online used home-made seaweed from dyed and cut paper or coffee filters. I am lazy though, and searching through my bits boxes, found a bag of old chai tea that I saved from being tossed out.
Placed on white pva, the leaves soaked up moisture and became flexible enough to brush on more pva while adjusting them to seem more flotsam-like. I think with a little practice this would look even more realistic and is certainly a cheap option, ten bucks is enough to get you over a half pound of the stuff, more than you’ll use a long time. Certainly easier than dying, cutting, and forming your own paper-based kelp!
For my next sea-beast, I’ll have to try doing some arranged chai leaves to see how they look when forming long strands of kelp. Or, with some wire I wonder if the chai leaves could be glued to look like floating kelp standing straight up… Let me know if you try it out!