Monday, 19 November 2012

Into The Woods - part 2 - undercoat and scatter

But first, an aside.

I'm making a second (larger) wood base, for which I chose to use the Tamiya textured diorama paint I use for figure basing, instead of Woodland Scenics foam putty. To be honest, it's a tossup - I marginally prefer the Tamiya for ease of working, but the Woodland Scenics is a lot cheaper!

Anyway. Onwards.

Next up, undercoat.

I confess to being permanently slightly puzzled by the number of people who undercoat terrain boards they're going to flock, in green. After all, the underlying colour is earth, which is brown: so, I use brown. Specifically, and until I find a cheaper match, Humbrol Matt Dark Earth spray.

Since I don't want to paint the magnetic sheet, a) because it's only borderline strong enough to hold the trees anyway and b) because I like the look of black dots where the trees have to go, I dropped a spare 2p piece (in fact, the ones I'd weeded out as being pre-1992 and not magnetic) in each tree spot before I sprayed.

So, that bit's easy. One generous coat so it all looks the same colour, wait for it to dry...

...then turn it upside down and catch a rain of falling 2p bits. Easy!

At this point, I figured it was time to get my ducks in a row.

So, here we go, working from the back across through the arsenal of things I might possibly use before I'm done:
  • Static grass tufts from tajima1 on eBay.
  • Old margarine tubs of 
    • Javis Static Grass (a mix of spring and summer)
    • Javis Earth scatter
    • Javis Moorland scatter
  • Noch 12mm Static Weeds
Next row
  • Javis grey fine ballast
  • Gaugemaster garden flowers
  • Heather tufts from tajima1
  • Army Painter dark grass scatter
  • Deluxe Materials Scatter-Grip Tacky Glue
  • Javis scenic glue
Front row
  • Woodland Scenics purple flowers
  • Gale Force 9 Steppe Grass
  • Gale Force 9 Arid Grass
  • Gale Force 9 basing grit
  • Army Painter Meadow Flower tufts
  • Army Painter Jungle tufts
  • Citadel basing sand

And with that lot, away we go.

The one thing missing from this photo, actually, is a pot of Treemendous Forest Floor scatter, which is brilliant stuff: a mix of small leaves, dirt, a few larger branches etc. It's actually made by Javis, but I picked it up on eBay. You can just see it on the left in this photo, which documents the next stage - supergluing the Woodland Scenics tree bases to those handy metal discs I mentioned earlier.

Then I liberally coated the base, with the tree bases inserted, with the tacky scatter glue, and left for a good 15-30 mins. The aim was to paint the bottom of the tree bases with glue, but not the trunks or top. Not always as easy as it sounds. This is also the time to move the cutting board under the terrain board and replace it with a sheet of newspaper!

My next step is then to sprinkle the edges with static grass, so that, once I get a terrain base to match on my wargames table, the piece will blend in. I find that for short static grass, dropping small pinches between my fingers, like I was dropping salt into a recipe, is enough to make it stand up when it lands.

After that, I wanted to mark a path through the woods, so I laid a line of earth scatter across the board from one edge to another, winding between the trees, and fading out at the edges off the board.

As the glue stays tacky for, pretty much, ever, you can take your time over these stages.

Next step, the Treemendous Forest Floor scatter, liberally around the bases of the trees. This really gives it some character, and reminds me of walks through Epping Forest.

After that, you're really on your own. Little patches of flowers, tufts of longer grass, a few fallen limbs of trees, a couple of bushes, etc etc.

I'm trying pretty hard to keep it reasonably flat, so that with the trees removed figures on bases can stand upright.

The final step is to seal with a coat of matt varnish - this is very necessary as the tacky glue dries gloss where there's no, or thin, patches of scatter.

And there you have it. Next (and last) the trees, and some photos of the two finished boards.

1 comment:

  1. Mike, that looks tremendous. I really like the dual-use you've created for the trees and the wood and the insert. That way you get a lot of use out of your work on different tabletops. I also much prefer the ground base in brown or grey...Epping Forest or Sherwood Forest or any old wood in the UK and the ground is much more likely to be covered in mud, dead leaves, saplings, shrubs, ferns and moss than verdant grasses - so you've made the right choice here. And it looks terrific, and packs away easier as the trees can be laid flat. A winner all round!

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