Further to our last post on this subject, I had pretty much got the MDF buildings completed so, without further ado, I slapped on my standard base coat of Bitter Chocolate Masonry Paint. Which resulted in two things. Firstly this:
The second thing was me thinking “Hold on a minute Clarkie. You are jumping the gun”. And I was. The whole idea with the buildings was to add to them to turn them into bespoke wargames models. In particular, I wanted to add external areas such as yards, courtyards and gardens. So, the next step was to grab a sheet of hardboard and start planning. I must admit that I normally use 3mm MDF to base my models, but the Viva Ras Begus build project had left me with some 2′ square sheets of hardboard, so these were pressed into service. Here I placed the buildings on the hardboard and mapped out what else I wanted to add. With that done, I used a saw to cut up the board into the relevant sizes. You can see here that I was happy to mix items from the different companies.
Next, I added the walls. Here I ordered some 15mm high density polystyrene from 4D Models in London. For home and club use I would have gone with 10mm, but this scenery is going to be taken all over the UK and Europe so I wanted something a bit more robust. This was a simple matter of cutting the polystyrene to shape and using the ubiquitous hot glue gun to stick it in place.
Some sections of wall needed more attention than others. Here the Grand Manner stone wall was capped off with sharp flint-like stones, so I rummaged around in the garden to find similar and stuck them in place with superglue. You can see that this created issues with the polystyrene, but I will have to deal with that as the project progresses.
With that done, I used a sharp knife to shape the walls in a more rustic manner and then used a biro to add some areas of bare stone where the plaster has come away. This is rough and ready, but it will (hopefully!) look alright when completed.
Following that, I cut up some artists mounting board into coping stones. These were varying in length but 17mm wide to make them just wider than the wall itself. I stuck these in place with the hot glue gun.
Talking of the hot glue gun, I also used this to create some areas of cultivated ground, representing furrows. These will clearly be textured as we go forward. I also used some random bits of mounting board to make some areas of paving, leaving the rest as dirt yard.
Next came the phase many of you will have seen before; the plastering of the walls. Usual drill; add some sandy areas, then onto quick dry Polyfilla, spread on with a butter knife. I avoided the areas of stone drawn on for obvious reasons.
With that done I polished the plaster with a finger dipped in water. It gives a rustic look and is hard wearing. Once it dries you also get some nice hair-line cracks appearing which enhances the look.
With that done I mixed some filler with PVA and applied this to the coping stones and the stone areas showing through the plaster. You can also see here how I used the filler to blend in different areas of the model.
With that done, I added a mix of sharp sand and some fine cork chips to create the earth, pouring this onto wet PVA. When that dried I went over it again with a 50:50 PVA water mix to hold everything in place.
A coat of Chocolate Brown masonry paint then did much to blend everything in together and I now painted the various stand-alone bits, like the olive press and fountain, which gave a rather better looking village. Just the paint job to do next and then some of the small detail to add.
After last week when we had fun with jungle, I thought that for this week’s Charlie Don’t Surf playtest I’d try to knock up some clumps of dense bamboo. I’d been reading some US Army AARs and the thing that jumped out was the way that the terrain could be broken up by dense clumps