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Getting the Horn Part Five: A Hard Slog

Well, some days go easily, some less well and  yesterday was a real slog trying to get al the terrain finished before moving on to the slaver figures.  Not so many “how to” pictures as a fair bit was just a repeat of earlier techniques.

First step was the gun emplacement to cover the approach to the fort.  I had originally intended this to be a tower, but I realised that this would allow huge areas where the gun could not depress to cover the approach to the fort, so I decided on a gun position.  I wanted to keep this in the style of the fort, so used the same techniques with Styrofoam.  Here is what it looked like once the glue had been applied to fill the gaps.

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I then slapped on a load of PVA before a further layer of PVA and filler mix and then a final skim of “plaster” (quick dry filler) on the wall sections and sand and rocks on the earth mound.  While that dried I got on with painting the fort itself.

I wanted to get the effect that the fort was almost rising from the rocky earth, so the paint job would use almost identical colours to the base boards.  I stated with Windsor & Newton Yellow Ochre then switched to some match-pots from Homebase, Matt Pebble and Matt Pecan.  I like to paint in three layers, base, middle and highlight.  The brown we applied yesterday was the base, these three represent the middle tones.  Start with the darker one and then simply add the lighter ones immediately, not allowing time to dry so they paints merge nicely together.  Now, with those three colours done I let that dry before applying the highlight colours.  You can see here that I am using the 2″ paintbrush in the background and a cheap side-plate as a palette.

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So here are the highlight colours applied in the same way with the same brush.  DO NOT wash your brush in between layers as it will make it soggy, we want a dry brush effect here so let it stand in between rounds.  We have Caramel Cream and then White.  I wanted to use an oil based white for the final layer, but this can take a couple of days to dry and I just don’t have the time.  I went with Vallejo which is a bloody expensive way to paint buildings.  Ho hum.  Anyway, you can see how this brightens things up.

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Finally when the last lot of paints is dry, I switch brush to a wide flat headed brush to add a final coat of pure white.  This is where I want to leave the bottom half of the walls in a dirty colour to match the terrain boards and really bring out the top of the structure in a way which looks like the sun has beaten all of the colour out of the top of the structure.  This is really accentuated across the top of the crenelations and the top of the tower and also in areas of heavy traffic.  I do that by brushing onto the flat areas and on the walls dry brushing downwards only, ignoring the bottom half of the structure almost entirely  Here you can see that effect (I hope).

IMG_3503Not great lighting, I fear, but look at the top half of the tower and contrast it with the bottom half which matches the boards.  Here you can see I have used the same technique with the gun emplacement.

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Next we move on to the Baracoon, a derivative from the Spanish word for barracks, and the lace where the slavers would secure their sad victims.  I must admit that felt somewhat melancholy as I made this, it certainly brings into focus the vile nature of slavery but the point of the game is to celebrate the leading role which the Royal Navy played in the abolition of this despicable practice and where one has good guys you also need bad guys  Unlike many games were those roles can be debated, here there can be no doubt.

Anyway.  I had a good search on-line and decided on something wooden.  I nipped into the garden armed with a pair of the wife’s secateurs and snipped a few straight bits of wood and then cut them to size.  With a hot glue gun I stuck these in place before reinforcing it with twine and then adding sand and a coupe of pots I had in my spares box.

IMG_3505 With that done, I painted it chocolate brown before dry brushing it up from there.

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I then made a roof shape out of artists mounting board, sticking it with a hot glue gun.  I added bristles from a yard brush, again using the hot glue gun.  It looked bloody awful, so I painted it with a mix of PVA and filler.

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When this dried, I painted it chocolate brown and dry brushed it up.  It still looked bloody awful, so I painted it with Strong Tone Army Painter and left it overnight.  This morning I dry-brushed it up with Khaki and Stone Grey and it is vaguely acceptable.  With little time left, it will have to suffice.  I may place couple of tactical palm trees in front of it to distract the eye.  IMG_3513

So  that’s the terrain essentials done.  I’d like to add a few twirly bits, but my goal now is to be able to play the scenario on Tuesday night at the club to test it out so I need to move on.  This morning I have knocked out 32 slavers in base colours and dipped them with Army Painter Soft Tone.  This afternoon I need to crack out a further fifty slavers, which does really leave me wondering what I am doing talking to you!   More soon…

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4 Responses

  1. PatG says:

    Great series and useful for other periods as well.

  2. John Michael says:

    Your productivity is quite impressive as well as the quality of the work.

    The fort came out quite well.

  3. Warburton says:

    Bloody impressive effort!

    The fort looks great.

  4. Stephen O'Leary says:

    I love the way he casually says “This morning I have knocked out 32 slavers”. For me that would be more like “This month …”

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