I'm thinking about ordering a castle topper for an up coming cake but they are expensive ($50 ish) and I don't want to get it and be sorely disappointed and be out the money. It says that it can be airbrushed. Once airbrushed, is it very obvious up close that it is styrofoam? I don't want to put all this effort and money into this cake to have a dinky looking topper, you know?
Are you sure you don't cover the topper with fondant first, then airbrush?
Yes, in fact, the color will seep into the seams between the cells, and darken. In a way, that may be to your benefit, since depending on size, it may look like stone. But I wouldn't risk it.
Why don't you take some toilet paper cones (to use as tower forms) and make your own with gumpaste?
Styrofoam is too delicate to try and cover with fondant. You could end up scratching and denting it.
Sorry, but I just can't see blowing that much money on a styrofoam cake topper, when you could be charging $50+ for something that costs you 3 bucks for paste, 2 at most for color, 10 for a cutter, and 5 for a texture mat, and can re-use the tools for another project later.
hmm... here is the topper in question. I can't see the 'styrofoam look' but maybe it is just b/c the pictures aren't close enough, you know? Anyhow, my client really wants this particular castle and now I'm in a bit of a bind...If it hand make it, it likely won't be exact and if I order it, I'm afraid it will look cheap.
I would explain to the customer just what it's made out of...then it's their risk.
If that's what the client wants, and the client is willing to pay for it, I would say get the topper.
And it may not be the normal kind of styrofoam - I just bought styrofoam balls (for lobster eyeballs - don't ask) and they're not all pitted like normal styrofoam, they have a smooth surface that takes paint really well - can't even tell it's styrofoam after it's painted, looks more like a ping-pong ball. Maybe the castle is made with that kind of finish?