Operation Afghan Village – Part Six
So, the big day was now here when we began to see what the final buildings would look like. I must first apologise for the quality of photos here, it looks like the lens of the camera has got a bit greasy, so the images are not crystal clear. Sadly I cannot go back and change that, so I must ask you to forgive me.
Anyway, it was now time to apply the magic gloop. I am now a big fan of tile grout as a medium for strengthening buildings made with polystyrene, so I use this as a base with the usual addition of PVA glue, but this time with with added sand. I sieved the sand which had also been dried. You just cannot do this with damp sand as it will not mix. I reckon the ideal mix is about 50% tile grout, 25% sand and 25% PVA. Sadly I used about 33% or each and I now reckon that I have lost some strength, but that’s a bridge I will have to cross when the buildings start taking damage. It’s frustrating, so please learn from my error and don’t skimp on the grout. Anywya, here’s how the buildings looked after the gloop had been applied.
Nothing very exciting there, so, moving swiftly on, I let that dry and then applied sharp sand to the base with PVA glue. Once this dried, I washed over the surface with a 50% PVA, 50% water mix to hold all the sand in place. The two stage process is necessary to ensure real stickability.
Next I added some larger stones around the bases of the walls and in nooks and crannies. This further visually ties the structure to the base and allows any holes or gaps to be covered. Again, this is a two stage process. PVA, glue and then, when dry, more watered down glue to fix in place.
Once that is dry, and I really do mean dry – if you fail to allow what we have done so far to completely dry you will come a cropper in the next stage – we add our base coat of paint. Here I was very keen to use Sandtex in Chocolate Brown which terrain superstar Silver Whistle recommends. However, my local DIY store only had their own brand in that colour so I went with that. I have no idea if it is as good, but I splashed it all over with a large brush. I actually did this outside as this is a messy stage. Fortunately it stayed dry!
The next conundrum is to decide on what colour to paint the terrain with. I really want the rich almost orange look of the photos and videos I’ve seen, but ultimately I am going to be using a sand base (as in real sand on the table) so I need to tie it in with that too. A compromise may be required. Anyway, I bought a whole host of small pots, as we can see below, blowing a ludicrous £38 on this lot and a paint brush. I should have gone to Wilkos as Silver Whistler recommended.