Spent some time trying to bring a couple projects to a close. For starters, I made progress on the swamp base.
I added the grass and cat tail, painted on some scum, and then put in another layer of water. It hasn't cure yet, which is why it looks cloudy. I think if I were doing it again, I'd use some fine flock instead of just paint for the pond scum. I also think I'd like the 'dry' mud to be darker. I might go over it with some gloss to make it look wetter.
I made the cat tail by mixing white glue and brown paint with fine flock, and then putting a glob of it on a thick strand of 'grass'. There are two problems: one, I couldn't control the flock mix well enough to get the smooth, regular shape of a cat tail. Two, since I had to sit it down to dry, it's got a flat spot. So, the result isn't great, but isn't terrible, either.
And, I put some highlights on the red metal experiment. I went straight to metallic medium. It looks much better in person - no wonder everybody prefers NMM for things that are going to be photographed.
Still, for my purposes, I'm done with this guy. I have a sense for what it looks like, which is all I needed.