Posts Tagged ‘how-to’

Sanger a Song of Sixpence

May 8, 2012

One of the most different things about making models for casting rather than just the tabletop is just how much longer it can take. Whereas I can have a model like the one above table ready in just three or four days for casting from it takes at least double if not triple the time to make a master. Thankfully I’ve evolved beyond making masters which get trapped in the mould, so I’m delighted with this one.

It started with single Hesco blocks. First laid was the first layer, then the second above it, the planking with scribed woodgrain and finally the steps.

Next came the lower half of the roof, or the table as we came to call it. The only real detail being the woodgrain underneath which you hardly ever see. Well I know it’s there.

Next was the corrugated roof, but that’s not really protection enough from Terry Taliban’s mortars, so it has to be sandbagged. So a line of sandbags went on, which has to be filled before the next line goes on.

It starts to look like this but very very slowly…

Finally got to throw the masters into rubber and lo and behold here’s the very first cast which worked perfectly… phew!

As did both sections of the roof. A peak of euphoria was reached in 6mil mansions.

I did take the roof out a little early hence the curve, but married together a neat piece which I hope others will be interested in.

It’s quite agreeable painted too, although I’m never happy with my drybrushing of the Hesco itself. It takes ages, look passable when it’s inches from your eye but looks a bit scratchy at a distance. Well it does to my hyper-self-critical eyes.

I’m looking forward to seeing this on the table, it’s big enough to hold five figures or a larger heavy weapons base of figures, and very tough – although my Eureka rocket launcher is on the workbench.

This model is now availble, unpainted and sans figures, from our humble Slug Industries.

Once You Poppy You Can’t Stoppy

March 6, 2012

Due to the poppylarity of my home grown opium here’s a stalk-by-stalk guide to making them yourself. I did talk about making them in the previous post but for our hobby cousins who don’t have English as their first language, like say the Americans, a photo how-to demolishes any linguistic barriers. Above is a pin and you’ll need around one hundred of these for a small field. It’s nickel plated brass which means it won’t rust. They’re made in Poland for the Hemline range and you’ll probably want them in various lengths so your field doesn’t look like a row of Guardsmen on parade. The sequins and beads you’ll need should also be available from your local haberdashers.

Then you have to bend, kink and manipulate the pin to give it a more organic look. You can do this with strong fingers but a small pair of pliers make it both quicker and easier. I did leave a lot straight on my first field, but I think these look better. Be careful though as around one percent of these pins snap, which is also why you do this bending first.

Then slip on a small glass bead, hold it near the sharp end and add a tiny dob of superglue under the pinhead. Slip the bead up to under the pinhead, hold briefly and then onto the next one.

However if you want flowering poppies you glue on a concave sequin before the bead and glue it in place. Again it’s quicker to slip the sequin on, hold it near the sharp end, apply glue and then slip it up the shaft.

Then slip the bead on to the shaft, apply superglue to just under the sequin and put the bead in place.Once dried apply a couple of rings of superglue around the shaft. Typically I do a small one near the top, and a broader one at the bottom. Then apply your flock, preferably a long fibre one. Irregularity is key in replicating nature so don’t worry if some have very little flock and some a lot – if all else fails the sparse ones can always go in the middle of the field.

Repeat the above steps a few times and then you can spray them en masse. The flowering ones will need to have the flowers painted by hand. Bear in mind how Opium poppies are not red like the domesticated variety seen in Europe, They’re typically pale pink. For making into fields I attach thin strips of cork to an MDF base, add filler to make it look more like a field, and then both glue and stab the pins into the cork. Try to vary both the angle and spacing so it look more agriculturally pleasing.

Should you like the look of them, but don’t fancy making them I could be persuaded to make some for you, but they won’t be cheap.

 

Top of the Poppies

March 5, 2012

With both modelling and gaming the views of friends and family often veer towards them believing we’re a bit special, but not in a complimentary way. Occasionally that gentle misnomer devolves into a raised state bordering between simple insanity and being found fiddling with a farmyard animal. This project was one of those for me and my family, askew looks, whispering, and pledges of not mentioning it to anyone outside of the immediate tribe. That aside I’m now the owner for a very nifty looking opium poppy field – but be aware its for personal recreational use only.

Firstly I made a trip to the haberdashers for pins of several sizes and some small glass beads which could be slid on to the pins. These were then superglued to the heads of the pins to make the stalk with it’s capsule and the pin head as the crown. For the few flowering ones I sandwiched a sequin between the bead and the pin head. Once dried I ran two or three bands of superglue around the shaft of the pin and flocked it with a long fibrous flock. These were then sprayed and stuck into the furrows which are strips of cork glued onto an MDF base. A small amount of more flock around the base et voila!

mThere’s just shy of one hundred pins on this quite small field, but it’s a handy game prop and I may even make another – and then onto maize!

A photo how-to make these is available here.

 

Trench Afoot

February 16, 2012

Gutted as I was to realise I’d already used the pun “Last Ditch Effort” I’m happy with this new secnic which I’ve just completed. It’s not only a handy piece but it proved to me how our humble Slug Industries sandbags and planking actually knock together to make a decent model without the hours I’d have spent in the past by hand making every single piece.

It also gave me an opportunity to use modrock, a bag of which I’d bought around a decade ago but never even opened. It’s a great material, gloriously messy with a hint of mudpies making the endeavour an even deeper recession into child-like joy. To start with I glued the sandbags in place, then used scrap foamboard to make formers for the ground. I wanted the look of earth which had been dug up and piled just a couple of months before, so quite smooth, howvere if you wanted more craggy a style that would be possible too. I overcoated it with Woodland Scenics plaster, or wotsit hydrocalifornia as they insist on calling it. It was great fun and I recommend it for that reason alone, anything more is a plus eh?

Then it was a bash of colour prior to flocking. I used three types, short dark for the undercoat, longer on top with a few added sprinkles of a flowery flock. The planking was stuck in place, plus a few crates, an oil drum and some single sandbages which we’ve not released yet and the piece was complete. It comes alive with a few figures, these all Uncle Crouchie’s BEF range now available from the ever regal Warlord Games.

Finally the hour spents cutting the seams on all those sandbags and the grain on the planking has proved itself worthwhile now on with the slaughter!

Last Ditch Effort

December 31, 2011

Regular browsers of this humble blog made have noticed just how quiet it’s been recently and for that I can only apologise as I have been busy as a hive of bees making masters to cast from. I really don’t want to corrupt the purity of this blog by trying to sell you things at every turn, but I will share what I’m working on purely from a willingness to illuminate fellow gamers and other chums. Pompous sermon over – so on with the serious business of gaming waffle.

Above is what was meant to be a simple aid for my modelling which set me on the slippery slope of all things trench.  Twenty-five seamed sandbags which I made from Greenstuff seemed enough to be able to make sandbag bits for the rest of my life… how wrong I was.

Making a wall from 64 individual pieces can limit the fun factor so I made a master, which then had to be properly filled, to cast from.

But then I also needed ends to cap the tessellated walls.

Now having created the opportunity of endless sandbag walls I realised how I didn’t fancy making miles of planking for walkways. So two sections of 40mm wide and one of 35mm, the larger for main trenches, the smaller for access trenches. Both bigger than the actuality, but this is for gaming.

That did involve looks of shaping and scribing totalling over a hundred feet. The calculation being made while facing the tedium of actually doing it.

They paint up rather well, these are just propped up rather than a finished piece hence the gaps, but it gives an idea of the finished product. These are available from us via the blatantly commercial place.

On the spot vine

May 16, 2011

This is a relatively simple, if time consuming, way to make vines or creepers for your models. It’s also scale-less – as it can be used for most scales. I use embroidery thread as pictured above. It works well because it’s got plenty of interwoven threads to it and can be bought in whichever base colour you might desire. I’ve picked brown because that’s the colour I want, if you were playing space games you might pick purple or lime green, or for twisted tales of horror use red to suggest veins. Hack off a lump of your thread and bunch it up to the maximum thickness you want.

Attach it to a stick or rod, twist the end of it and add a little superglue to the twisted piece. Hold until fixed and it looks a bit like the picture above.

Once dried snip it off the stick and tease it out a little. If you collect Barbies or Action Men you might want to stop at this stage as you’ve just made yourself a handy cat o’ nine tails. A great way to meet a doll of the opposite sex.

Then twist out branches and glue those wait for them to dry and then twist out some more, glue, dry, etc. Don’t feel the need to glue every molecule of the thread. For me it works well if you just glue the junctions. Even if you do use too much glue don’t panic as you can still bend it to fit whatever shape you end up fixing it to.

And that’s the basic technique which you just keep on with until you reach the end og the threads. I try to cut the threads different lengths to reflect how most plants don’t have roots or branches of equal length. Eventually you’ll be moving with some speed doing this as well as sussing just how long you need to hold the string until the glue is dry enough to let go and get on with the next piece.

Eventually you’ll end up with something which looks like plasticated veins created by an insane and sinister German doctor.  Bear in mind you can add more pieces to it when placing it, especially for the thinner pieces. To see what it looks like in place have a look at this.

Jungle is Massive

May 7, 2011

This is one of those very typical foliage-on-a-cd things which is almost compulsory for every gamer to make. This one isn’t much different other than I’ve upped my game between  making the first one and this one. So I’ve got the CD and added the aquatic plants. Don’t make the mistake of buying the Uber expensive ones from big retail warehouses use Products for Wargamers instead who are much more reasonable.

Now these plastic plants come on a larger mat, and are attached with a simple peg & hole arrangement. This makes basing madly simple – cut the base off the main mat, gently remove the plants and all you have to glue to the base is the freestanding peg, glues, paints and flocks can be applied and dried and you can reattach the plant afterward. Much easier than with your usual model tree.

For me this is the finishing touch which I quite literally stumbled upon during a game at Wobbly Steves. It’s spagnum moss aand his lawn is riddled with it and very conveniently so. Very easy to use and completely free – Hurrah!

Bamboo Radley

April 14, 2011

I made the above jungle scenic having seen a post about Burmese Infantry over at GWP. I followed the link to Michael Awdry’s blog which has a handy tutorial on making such a handy scenic.  I’ve slightly adapted his idea for the bamboo, a brilliant way to get the look of the world’s maddest grass with paint rather than sculpting it. The leaves are all cut from plastic plants for aquariums, and added to the satay sticks with drilled holes and superglue. It’s a lot quicker to realise than might be apparent, and quite an impressive feel to it. A big thanks to Mike for the idea.

Roller Coaster

April 7, 2011

Whether you’re a seasoned oldie or a fresh new comer to the world of gaming one thing is very obvious. The standards of both manufacturers and gamers have rocketed in the last decade due, in part, to the gaming world being able to share globally everything they make, paint , play or even think. The negative side of this increase in brilliance is it can be daunting to many, and not just the new gamer, to have a go themselves. So I’ve thought of a simple idea which I encourage you to share and try. That’s very small projects literally based on a drinks coaster. Those and place mats make excellent ready made bases for buildings and scenics. The idea with coasters is to keep it small and therefore simple.

This one makes use of cork scraps from the pile of other buildings I’ve made in the Matakishi Temple of Cork way. The first few layers are just lumps of cork glued on top of each other, with some carving on the side to make it look like large brick work. Then I’ve cut individual bricks from strips of cork, and laid them with superglue. The floor is scraps of plasticard, irregulary cut and laid on the floor.  Then the walls had a little dollop of mock plaster in a few patches.

The whole thing was undercoated, washed with an orange yellow ink, and dry brushed to suggest sandstone. A small piece of wooden fencing was made from coffee stirrers, the sand bags were from Warlord. Originally I was going to use two and have half of this building sand-bagged, but I’m still waiting for the order to show up and I’ve grown tired of delaying projects while suppliers catch-up. A mix of plants, Ivy both usual and brass etched, four types of flock, grass tufts, brass ferns, and a few slivers of paper painted with green ink help to make the vegetation varied enough to look realistic.

Despite being quite tiny there’s plenty of room for figures, and I made sure of this from the start because as much as it’s a piece of art it does have a gaming function and there’s little to no point making something which doesn’t play well. Although this is quite a specific piece I have tried to make it generic in as much as it would work in the deepest jungle as well as the heart of Europe, the table would set this piece’s origins rather than the model itself.

Here you can see a couple of pieces from the Warlord/Bolt Action plastic Brits set forming the in-house armoury as well as a plaster box from a 1/48th supplier from many years ago.

A much underlooked element is sanitation, so this model addresses that by providing full toilet facilities en suite.

Now despite what you might think this was an easy build and being tiny didn’t take long and won’t insist on a lot of storage space. I seriously recommend you have a bash at similar, plus having another five coasters left it should encourage you to make more – it has me so expect to see more of this neatly sized features soon.

Gunning for Fun

September 28, 2010

Blessed with another delivery from Stan Johansen I could finally set about finishing off a couple of more technicals, although I was a little miffed to notice how the commander with binoculars is basically the same figure as the HMG gunner. The difference is the arms, the commander being supplied with three (bins, pistol, AK) , the gunner with a pair clenched together for holding the gun. Now these two are likely to end up in the same vehicle, but even if they don’t they have to have more variety especially as I’ve all ready used another one in another vehicle. So out with the green stuff. All I’ve done to the commander is add a case to his belt for his binoculars, while the gunner has a new turban, a longer scarf off that, and a row of pouches on his belt.

I had some green stuff left over, so decided the ammo carrier could have a small rucksack – which he’s neglected to close properly, so he won’t look too similar to the one of those I’ve already got too.