This was my first attempt with gum paste. I wasn’t sure what the right medium would be for all the sea and sand creatures, so I bought fondant, gum paste and marzipan. I’ve never worked with modeling chocolate, but that is TOTALLY on the list – just need to convince my husband that what he needs more than anything for his birthday is a cake which allows me to express my love for him in modeling chocolate. But back to the mermaid. Everything is edible except the Barbie torso and head and I am only moderately scarred from frosting the naked Barbie boobies. I made all the sea creatures, coral and sea shells the evening before so the gum paste (the final winner) had time to harden. I do need to do some more tests on keeping the colors vibrant because they do tend to mute in the gum paste as it dries. Even with all that done ahead. It still took 1 1/2 to 2 hours to just assemble the cake. Thankfully, it was very straight forward and we had no structure issues to deal with. Plus the Birthday Girl was THRILLED!