Thursday, 25 April 2019

Moving boxes, and a shelfie...

Since I now have a large studio space that isn't being used by PE2Collectables, and Reuben left me four bookcases, I've done a bit of moving:
  • Because I'm running out of shelf space in the music room (and anyway, I'd rather that shelf space had musical and 3D printer kit on it);
  • Because I need shelf space for some scenery bits;
  • Because I'm fed up of clearing the kitchen table or half the dining room to play board games;
  • Because my military history books are currently upstairs (about 3 shelves worth still to move), and
  • I've committed to doing some IABSM and Dux videos (if TFL don't beat me to it), for which a decent uncluttered table area with space around it for camera tripods, with a suitably nice backdrop, wouldn't hurt.
Like... this...

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Beach boards part 7 - some additions

Not much to account for - most of today's hobby activity was tidying and moving shelves in the studio, and gluing the railings to the watchtower.

But I did pop out into what I think is going to be called the workshop, where the beach boards are, and do a little carving and gluing, just to add a few different bits of rock around the base of the promontory. Also managed to snap the long blade I was using in the craft knife, so I'll need to pick up some spare blades or (given they're cheap) a new pack of knives. I'll probably do some more surface work when Andy's next here, and then possibly some careful application of a heat gun to smooth off some of the edges (this is a trick I picked up from Luke APS on YouTube).

The aim is to have the top flat, grassed but largely untextured in case I don't want to put anything on it, such that any building with a roughly 8' square or maybe 10" near-circular terrain base will sit flat on it. This allows me to (for example) base the watchtower on a terrain cameo that lifts it another 2" up, or create a base for part of the club's Warlord Atlantik Wall set.
Obviously not the final base, but you get the idea.
The little stack isn't glued down (or shaped yet), as it'll get in the way of texturing the inside face.  
This face still to be hacked about.
Some exploratory carving done here.

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

More on the Warbases watchtower

Just a quick round of what's pretty much the usual for Dark Ages buildings. Artists filler on the walls, white undercoat, light wash with dilute off-white, paint the wood using Vallejo concrete as a first step.

Roof is also done barring teddy bear fur thatch, but I forget to put it on before I took the photo.

More layers on the wood to do, and the thatch, then it's basing and we're done. Basing may be a little interesting, and I may wait till I've done the promontory it's going to be standing on.

Quietly chuffed that the Omaha Beach boards are in the Terrain Tutor's top 6 from Salute.

Monday, 22 April 2019

The Miller's Tale - Episode 6

Episode 6: In which Mike talks about responsibility.... (ooo! scary!)
Links to things mentioned in the podcast
If there's anything I missed, please let me know. I'm keen for any feedback, obviously enough - you can comment here, or if you'd rather it wasn't public, by email to

[Apologies - I do appear, on editing this episode, to have had more of the tail end of a cold than I remember - I've done my best to edit out the heavy breathing where I can :D]

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Beach boards 6 - more rock experiments

A happy Easter those of my friends who celebrate. Been a bit of a fragmented day today, largely due to two visits to church and sorting out a parental crisis (Mum's Kindle - 7 years old - died, and she's pretty lost without stuff to read (has eyesight worse than mine, so the ability to essentially make any book large print is a huge win for her, and Amazon in their wisdom only have one Kindle with page turn buttons any more), so there was much sorting out of how to get her a new Kindle Oasis ASAP)...

I managed to pop in and out and do some more rock tests, and negotiate a free morning with the Domestic Goddess tomorrow to edit and post the podcast. Re the former...

Another spare bit of pink foam. This time I hacked it about a bit with a long-bladed craft knife.
Note: for this you really need XPS foam (extruded, not expanded) variously available in grey, pink and blue these days. The white expanded stuff used for packing won't take the detail. 
Texture applied with foil rollers as before.
And then hacked about a bit with the blunt serrated knife, then undercoated with an equal parts mix of mid grey emulsion, white acrylic, PVA and water. Slightly runnier, so it got into the cracks a bit better.
I can't remember *exaclty* what we have here, but I think it's (L-R in the seven bands):
- Dilute yellow ochre
- not sure
- Vallejo wash over dilute yellow ochre
- not sure
- rather lightly applied Vallejo wash
- AP Dark Tone
- Vallejo wash and a dry brush of pale cream acrylic

Yes, I should have taken notes.
I think on the whole, the first test from yesterday is the winner. maybe with a much gentler dry brush of pale cream.

Saturday, 20 April 2019

Beach boards 5 - rocks part 2 - OMG! WOW!

Holy freaking.....

Anne is wondering why I'm dancing around and cheering, having just got back from the parents at 10pm, popped in to the workshop to .... ok.


Step back, Mike.  Upload the pictures and add captions:

Take some cheap white acrylic, semi-drybrush on the rocks (the Terrain Tutor calls this 'overbrushing') just to lighten up the base coat.
And this is still grey, which is not a good limestone colour. So.... Allow to dry while spending Easter Saturday with parents (mmm, fresh baked hot cross buns by my friend Piers in Doncaster - if you're anywhere near, just BUY the man's bread!)...
Next step. Take a big brush, and a pot of Vallejo's Game Colour Wash.... apply fairly liberally. 

Friday, 19 April 2019

Beach board 4 - experimenting with rocks

Only just got back from church band rehearsal after a busy day, so didn't really have time to edit the podcast as have to be off to parents early.

Did have time to do a little on the beach boards, specifically seeing if I can figure out a way to do the limestone rocks on a tester piece. This gallery is a combination of Mal the Terrain Tutor and Ballan Parkway's methods - follow the captions.

Here's a left over piece of pink foam from the
promontory/bay build the other day.  If I could have been bothered I'd
have roughly carved the surface with a craft knife to be less flat, but
for the purposes of this test piece it doesn't matter.

And this is just a piece of freshly screwed up baking foil.
All you do is roll it, pressing quite hard, on the surface of the foam... 
And presto! instant texture.
Same again, but this is the lid from a Gü cheesecake pot,
so it's noticeably stiffer foil. This I more pressed than rolled,
almost using it as a stamp.
...and even more texture. If you just wanted some random
rock, this would do fine. However, I want limestone...
Ideally what I wanted was the double-toothed saw blade off
my previous Swiss Army knife, but in the absence of that, this
old kid's safety knife from our kitchen drawer will do
(with Anne's blessing! 
(Slight focus issue, sorry)
Just use it to gouge horizontal strata in the rock face. The reason for the wider,
blunter blade is it leaves wide gouges and it also tends to rip bits from
the edges, which makes it look less even.
Final stage for tonight, paint with some neutral coloured emulsion and
leave to dry, With hindsight I might recoat with a paint/water/PVA
mix to seal it even better. Yes, I know rocks aren't grey.

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