Pimp My Windmill. Now, there’s a line I never thought I’d type! However, a recent purchase of the Grand Manner Spanish windmill was always done with the intention of making a somewhat larger terrain piece, specifically by placing the mill on top of a hill. I was out in sunny Spain last year (I even know a song about it) and, logically, these mills were placed high up where they could make the most of the breeze. Anyway, here’s the basic model.
It’s a rather spiffing model, as one would expect from Grand Manner and, like so many of their smaller buildings, is very reasonably priced. I next decided to mark out the shape I wanted for my hill and cut that out from the 2″ blue styrofoam that I had left over from the Ras Begus for project.
Using a sharp saw I cut this out and then set about it with the wife’s boning knife. I wanted to create a rocky look which would paint up nicely, so used the knife to get that effect. The key being to allow sufficient space for figures on the plateau around the windmill.
Following that I sanded the foam down to get a smooth finish. Here’s a real action packed photo of that. Following that, I stuck the styrofoam to an over-size base with hot glue and added some larger rocks, again with a hot glue gun. You can see that I slapped these all over in a pretty rough manner. Just gun on the glue and then tip a cup of stones over it. They stick where they stick, the rest fall off.
With that done, I added a mix of sand and grit to all areas apart from the rock face using PVA glue.
I then allowed that to dry before painting the whole model with PVA glue and left that to dry overnight. In the morning I painted the whole thing in bitter chocolate masonry paint and left that to dry. While that was happening I turned my attention to the sails of the windmill.
I was looking for an authentic Spanish look, so I consulted a lot of on-line photos. I then added some cotton all round the spokes of the windmill. a dod of superglue on each spoke secured this in place.
Next, I made some material sails out of a tissue. The tissue was cut along the fold, so the resulting triangle was actually a diamond shape which could be wrapped round the cotton.
Once in position, I washed it again with PVA to hold it in place and left the whole thing to dry overnight. The next stage would be to paint the model.
First I painted the ground with a heavy dry-brush of Homebase World of Colour Pebble Beach. The tower I started off with Terracotta. I don’t worry about precision here as the colours will, I hope, blend the building and ground together so that the stone windmill looks like it has been made from local material.
Next I start working up with ever-lighter colours. Here we see Warm Yellow has been applied with a further coat of Classic Cream. I’m not waiting for each coat to dry, but just working up, allowing the colours to blend.
Next I use a Light Stone and then finally use a White to highlight the edges.
I thought it might help to see my palette at this point. As you can see, this is just using the newspaper to get the wet paint off my brush before dry-brushing. It does give a good view of the colours I’m using. You can see that I am using a Vallejo White for the highlight, rather better quality paint than I’d like, but it is important that the highlight is not watery. At the left of the picture, you can see how the White is used for prominent areas.
While the main building and hill dried, I focussed on the sails, painting the canvas in Light Stone and highlighting in white. I dry-brushed the wooden bits with the same colours. Next I painted the roof tiles with an undercoat of Saddle Brown before drybrushing in Red Leather. Finally this Red Leather would be lightened up with whatever was on my palette for a final dry-brush.
With the model painted I waited briefly before starting to add static grass. I used PVA glue which I painted on, doing one area at a time. I simply tipped on the mix of static grass which is a summer mix with a dry grass type added is.
After each stage I tipped the grass off onto the paper then recycled it into the pot before moving on to the next area. The finished model looked like this:
Apologies for the British chaps not being based, but they give an idea of size. Overall I am pretty please with this completed model. It provides a rather more interesting piece of terrain than just the mill. I’m looking forward to playing Sharp Practice on my new set up, but in the meantime I am waiting on some other bits of terrain which I think will make the final setup look very special. More on them as they arrive.
The Boshin War was a conflict fought from 1868 to 1869 with the forces of the Tonugawa Shogun on one side and those who sought to return power to the Emperor. Looking to find out more? The full lists for Sharp Practice can be found here: Boshin War