Tuesday 28 June 2016

Egyptian-style tomb

I have had several nondescript rectangles of foam sitting about glued to boards for a couple of years now.Recently it occurred to me to make them slightly less rectangular, and so was born the idea of making some (presumably ransacked) Egyptian-ish tombs. The first one is complete, so here you go. Construction is pretty self-explanatory.I cut a hole in the block, and added a sloped frontage, then clothed that frontage with black foam, and the rest of the tomb with foamcard. I scribed stonework on with a pencil, added a few offcuts to the roof, and then textured the foam with a light coat of filler. A little paint later (and some sand on the base), and here we are. I neglected to consider that thickening the inside of the entryway would make it a bit too narrow for a standard base, so our usual Scots officer has had to move outside for the after shots.

Monday 27 June 2016

Small Hill Spruced Up

Today I present a little detour. I was inspecting a box on a shelf, and chanced on a very dusty hill I had completed ages ago. I think it was an attempt at a more realistic style, but it may be too small even for 6mm. Anyway, I wasn't quite happy with the colouring, and so it must have ended up forgotten in the box. I have been becoming steadily happier with flock, and so I brushed it down and gave it a go. I am pretty happy with the result. Here's a brigade of Napoleonic Brits from Baccus standing ready to defend the vertiginous heights.

Saturday 25 June 2016

Lost in the Jungle

Inspired again by Mel the Terrain Tutor, I have been revamping some old jungle terrain, which has been long abandoned. This mainly amounted to covering the bases with loads of cheap herbs - the purchase of several tubs of these led to a certain amount of bemusement on the part of the lady operating the checkout. My explanation that I was working on a jungle didn't seem to clarify things. How odd!

Anyway, I had and have in mind to use it for games of dinosaur hunting and, of course, Predators hunting humans. I need to get some more gloss varnish to give these a protective coat once they have had a highlight or two, but for now they look pretty fine. This is the majority of my jungle, but I have a few plants left over, and am in the process of making some bamboo outcrops.

Thursday 23 June 2016

The Hunt for Red September: a practice naval board.

There is a top-notch chap on Youtube called The Terrain Tutor (well, his name's Mel, but we risk being drawn into a Wellington/Wellesley distraction). He has a plethora of wonderful videos for the enthusiast, and I encourage you to check out his channel. He has a true passion for the hobby, which he communicates beautifully. One of his great tips was for creating a textured surface for a gaming board using filler. It's a bit too late for me to apply this idea to my own land boards, as they are already coated with sand. However, I have long fancied making a naval board, but was unable to get my head around how to do it. When I saw this I had a eureka moment. I shan't detail the way I made this, as he covers that perfectly in his video.

The colouring is also simplicity itself; I laid down some dark greens and blues, let them dry, then coated them with a single slightly lighter blue, and let that dry, and then applied a protective layer of undiluted PVA. After allowing that to dry, I dry-brushed white onto the board. You can make out the greens and blues in the photograph, but in the flesh the whole appears fairly uniform. I am very pleased with that, because it means that those colours have gone on just right. The PVA is essential both as a protective coat and to provide a sheen to the majority of the sea. I drybrushed the white on after it because I was mindful of advice in Richard Windrow's Osprey book on Terrain Modelling.

I made a handful of mistakes there, so I want to highlight them for you. Do not drybrush to the edge of the board or you'll end up with a white perimeter. Don't make your drybrushing strokes long lest you end up with obvious areas that are clearly brush-strokes. I know it's tempting when using a  brush! Take a break instead.

Here are a few photos of the board (you can make out some of my naval reading in the background). A small Soviet/Russian force (1/3,000s, though I forget which manufacturer!) is making an appearance: a Typhoon-class submarine (I have two more), and then every other Russian ship I have: a couple of Kyndas, a Kuznetsov, two Sovremennyys and a pair of Kresta IIs. I picked up these guys and a handful of (mainly American) NATO ships some years ago, but never got round to doing anything with them. Truth be told, I prefer my dreadnoughts, but I sent them off to a friend some time ago! Anyway, the diabolical capitalists are in  the process of being painted, so perhaps some day they'll kick consarned Russky ass. Balance in the UK means being rude to both sides. :D

Wednesday 15 June 2016

Egyptian-Style Tombs and a Permanent State of Distraction

I think the key to being me, in terms of my model-making personality, to be precise, is to always have* too many projects on the go. For instance, as well as several long-abandoned projects** I have been working on completing hedgerow for three different scales of gaming,*** renovating some long-forgotten jungle terrain I was never happy with, working on my Tudor-style houses, those castle walls, and, in the last two days, distracted myself by fiddling around with some blocks of packing foam. Years ago I glued these to bases, and just couldn't think of anything to do that wouldn't leave them looking like blocks. So I abandoned them. For some reason or another, inspiration finally struck, and I am now crafting some things that give the feel of ancient tombs. I make no pretense at scrupulous historical accuracy; these things owe more to Indiana Jones than Howard Carter. Apologies for the quality of these pictures. I cannot find the cable for my camera, so I'm resorting to my telephone.

* Remember to split your infinitives from time to time, kids: linguam Latinam non dicimus (We aren't speaking Latin).
** Whatever happened to that table I was going to turn into an apartment building?
*** 6mm, 15mm and 28mm.

Friday 3 June 2016

Wargames in Congleton

Would anyone in this vicinity like to have a wargame? I have a plethora of faults, as you can tell by reading this blog, but I urge you to set against them the potential 12' by 6' playing area available in the attic, and the abundance of terrain available here. There's a whole range of scales and periods here, and I'm happy to broaden my horizons, even if you don't particularly care for first edition Shako or pretty much any scale in the Great War, from 6mm to 28mm or section-level to divisional. ;)
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