Wednesday 27 February 2013

40mm Alamo part 2

Here is the second in a small series of posts about the development of the Gringo 40's Alamo game for Salute 2013. The first post was before Christmas and covered the building of the chapel. Here is the page if you missed it first time:

and scroll down the page to part 1

Stage two involves making most of the rest of the compound. The game is on a 8ft x 6ft table so the whole Alamo complex model has to be scaled down to fit. I decided to cut out the footprints of the various buildings and lay them out on the boards to see how the arrangement looked. Once I was happy with these buildings I could fill in the gaps.
I have already made the chapel and started the old barracks as you can see but the outlines of the rest of the buildings are clear and you can see the layout. Each board is 2ftx2ft so it gives you the idea of how big it will be.

The buildings are all made from 10mm thick foam board. I used this thick board to give the walls the satisfying thickness that made them look right.
The walls were in very bad repair so I hacked the tops around abit and added small pieces of balsa. I then added daz pronto clay which turned the tops of the walls into decrepit walls.
I also covered the rest of the buildings in Daz.
Once the clay was dry and carved sections of it to look like stone.

It all looked a bit odd at this stage but I then added render all over the structures except  for the carved stone areas. I use internal filler- any cheap stuff that you mix with water and it seems to work well.
The sections now really felt and looked like buildings and I was pleased with the results so far. The final job for now was to start painting so covered them with my usual yellow ochre paint ready for a wash of raw umber and then dry brushing.
I have built 6 sections to go round 3 sides of the compound. I am just missing the north wall but I won''t know the exact size of that until I have all these first sections complete.
That is it for this one. The next one should see these sections finished as well as details on building redoubts and other extra bits.

Wednesday 20 February 2013

Normandy Village Part 9

There is still plenty of time to Salute (I wish) so starting the last module for the Normandy village at the beginning of February showed far too much forward planning. The whole game will be at Salute and will be show casing my work along with figure painting by Artmaster and AFV model making and painting by Troop of Shrew.
This last module is a row of houses to go at the end of the village, backing onto some hedges. The plan was as on this sketch:
The front of the base is curved to give a curved road when placed on top of a cobbled area. The base is made up of five small houses with back yards. Non of them needed to be higher than 2 floors and the two on the right needed to be ruined.
I first of all designed and cut out the fronts of the houses. I used 5mm thick foam board for most of it except for the ruined walls where I used 10mm thick foam board. I have some resin pieces that I had made of ruined wall that are 10mm thick so I needed the base wall to be the same thickness.
Once I had the designs cut out I then ruined the two that needed to show battle damage.
I then repeated the process for the backs and sides of the houses and then glued it all together and added the resin bits of damaged wall.

You can see that I had also added the windows at this stage. They are laser cut 1mm mdf that I have used on the previous Normandy modules.
The ruined bits of resin wall have been one of my favourite bits of resin I had made. I find them extremely useful and the effect is just what I am looking for. They look a bit odd in the above shots as you can see the join but it gets better.
The pavement was tackled next with textured plasticard with the edges covered in masking tape. I use the biggest sheets I can find to reduce the joins.
Once that had dried I started to render it with interior filler. It goes on easily and you can mix how much you like to the consistency you like.

The interior filler doesn't warp the foam board so I find you don't need to brace the walls with internal supports unlike when using Daz Pronto clay which save a a bit of time.
The next thing I did was to add internal walls and floors into the buildings that weren't damaged. The floors were necessary for putting in figures when playing but I add the walls to stop you being able to look through the house to the back. It seems to me to be very rare for you to be able to do that in reality so by stopping it happening in the model just helps making it look more real.
I also add floors and walls to the ruined buildings. The floors are planked as you will be able to see them. Before I do the second floor I add wall paper to the ground floor. This seems to catch the eye and just gives the whole thing a bit of colour.

The upper floors of the ruined sections I plaster as it helps cover up the joins with the resin bits and when painted makes it look really damaged.
Once that had dried I added more detail on the outside of the houses including shutters and drain pipes.
The final job that I completed this afternoon was to add the back yard walls.
I used 10mm foam board to make them look substantial.
I still have a bit of model making to do- adding the back yard ground work, texturing the yard walls, the roofs and adding general debris to the ruins. Once all that is done all that is left is to paint it.
The plan is completion by the end of February.

Tuesday 12 February 2013

Hill fort

Sorry for the long silence but I have been so busy with work that I have had to put the blog on the back burner for a while. It does mean I do have some new projects to post about over the next few weeks.

Anyway, down to business again. Last autumn I was commissioned by a customer to build an ancient hill fort based on the forts found in the UK such as a remains of a fort in Yarbury in Wiltshire
The fort was to cover a 4ft x2ft area and I was supplied with a very good sketch of just what was wanted.
You can see that there is a hill and a fort to fit in so the first challenge was to get all that to fit the space I had. I had to sketch out what I wanted on the boards and play around with it until I was happy with what I had.
Once I knew where everything was going I built up the hill with polystyrene and once the glue was dry carved it into shape. I use polystyrene as a base I will cover it in grout which dries very hard protecting the polystyrene. It means I don't have to buy the tougher but much more expensive high density blue foam.
The sides of the hill are vertical so I add plaster casts of rocks to create a cliff face.
The cliffs are about 6 inches high to give you an idea of the size.
At this stage, the fort has really taken shape but is just bare bones of a structure. I now added the wooden Palisades on top of the banks of earth. I bought long lengths of 6mm dowel and cut them to length and then cut them in half and added a point to one end. I like to cut them in half so you loose the smooth edges of the dowel.
I cut a ledge on the outside of the earth banks, added grout onto the ledge and then placed the dowel pieces onto the ledge. This gave them support and made their height regular though out the fort. I left them for 12 hours and then filled in the gaps around the dowels and then covered the whole board in grout and let the whole thing dry for at least 24 hours.

You can see I also added a bit of cat litter at the bottom of the ditches just to give some different texture than the rest of the landscape.
That is the modelling just about complete so down to painting. The earth was done with a brown emulsion washed in raw umber and then dry brushed. The wood was painted with a watered down raw umber and then dry brushed with the same cream highlight as the ground. The cliffs were painted with a dark grey and then again washed in raw umber and dry brushed in a series of lighter coats of grey until the final touches with white.
up to the brown wash

grey and washed cliff

dry brushing starting to show details.

The final stages are approaching so I now add the flock which is a base of Woodland Scenics Weed turf, followed by their green turf with a final highlight of Nochs spring grass. I soak the whole thing in watered down PVA glue to make sure it wont rub off- a messy job but very important.
Once that is dry the last touches are to add a few bushes amongst the rocks and that is it.

I was very pleased with the result and I found it fun doing something I hadn't done before. I think it would make an interesting game trying to take the fort.