Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Termite mounds

Hi Folks,

Keeping with the recent rash of terrain projects I've got going, I figured I'd throw up the latest one. My wife and I made a killing the other day at our local Michaels store. Much of the stock was marked at a discount for the holidays plus they have their normal coupons in the local paper. So we headed over and I went on a walkabout. I picked up a number of craft paints for $.79 as well as some odds and ends.

Nurgledeathmonkey over on the Zombiesmith forum posted picuters of some awesome termite mounds he built for his table. Inspiring me, I thought I would give it a go. While I was at Michaels, I saw a number of foam cones in the florist section. They ranged in price from $2 - $4. But with the coupons and stuff I figured I would grab some.

These are the hard white foam with the course texture. They had the green florist foam, but I've never had luck with that stuff. So I grabed a zip knife and began cutting out chunks from the foam. Once I had a rough shape, I sanded down any rough edges left on the foam. Then I just gave it a quick brush off to get any pieces sticking to the cone. Note to self: This stuff is very staticy and will cling to everything......

Once the cones were shaped I took some drywall spackle I had and mixed it with water. I didn't thin it down to much as I needed it to stick to the cones. Think soft toothpaste..... Wearing latex gloves I grabbed a bunch of the spackle in my hand and coated the cone. I didn't try to remove all of the rough texture just coat it. Once the entire piece was coated I set it down to dry. Once they were dry, I did the same paint technique I used on the Jakdul piece. I started with a mustard acrylic paint I had. (similar to German Panzer Yellow.) I then used the Krylon textured paint and sprayed an uneven coat. Once that was dry I drybrushed some buff paint over the top. Here is what they look like with some figures.....

They were fun to make. Not a lot of difficult steps. I plan on making some more now that I have seen how they look. I may get a little more involved in the process as far as how they look. I will also look at smaller sizes as well. These are pretty big even for 28mm.

Hope you like,


Sunday, December 5, 2010


So what do you do when your snowed in. Make desert terrain......

As I said in my last post I enjoyed playing in a Sudan game put on by my friend Dave. During the game my friend Tom asked if I could make a set piece of terrain for an upcoming game he wants to play. He asked if I could create a piece of terrain to represent the Wells of Jakdul.

During the War in the Sudan, Jakdul was a hidden group of wells half way between El Deb and Khartoum. The British would go on to fortify these wells to use as a base for keeping their stores. At the time, the british forces didn't have enough camels to transport both supplies and men. So they would bring some of both half way and return for the rest. Once everything was in place off they would go.

So for constructing Jakdul, Tom had requsted something about 12" around. It just so happened I had a piece of pink foam board that size laying around. Taking that and a bunch of foam chunks I had laying around I began building the base. At the time I also had a can of "Great Foam". So I thought I would try it to see how it would work as a binder and filler for the gaps. In hindsight, I would suggest not using it. Basically the density of the foam is too soft compared to the pink board and is more the consistency of a firm sponge than foam. So after placing the blocks I began carving out the rock structure with a zip knife. Once the structure was carved to what I liked I made a mix of ballast that I glued to the foam.

Once the ballast was dry, I made mistake number two. I painted the whole model with Gesso, thinking it would seal the foam for my next step. I was wrong. But heres what happened. I started spraying the gesso'ed foam with a golden yellow spray paint. I immediately saw the foam was melting. The gesso didn't seal it good enough. So I switched to a similar color acrylic paint I had and covered the whole thing. Once that was dry I hit it with a beige Flek Stone paint. Mistake number three. Even with two separate coats of acrylic paint the foam still melted. Strong stuff I guess. So after that, the detail I carved was gone, but there was different details in its place.

So this was the final effect. It looks good but the resulting shrinkage of the foam opened up all of the seams a bit. I gave it a quick drybrush to make the detail pop a bit as well as distinguish the sandy areas opposed to the rock. I showed Tom who liked it but asked for a little more in the sand area. I made a mix of ballast again and glued it down where the sand would be. I then gave the whole thing a heavy drybrush to lighten it up. I also added some elmers white glue to the water area at the base of the mountain. This is still drying at the time of the picture as you can see the white in the photo. The great thing is it will be clear when totally dry and show the base color underneath.
Overall I'm happy with it. I think it will look good on the table with figures on it. I learned a couple things regarding my construction choices, but all in all, its all good.

Hope you like,

Busy, Busy, Busy........

Hey Folks,

So lets see whats been going on. Actually quite a bit.

My friend Tom and I just finished our third game of an ongoing Battlefleet Gothic campaign. We have tried to do this for years with other friends, but as we all know getting everyones schedules to match are nigh impossible. However, Tom and I work together and have half days off on Fridays. We got with Travis from our local gaming store and scored Fridays for ourselves to game. So we have actually played 4 games, the first as a primmer to reacquaint ourselves to the rules, and the last three actually as part of the campaign. And as usual I forget to bring my camera. I tried to take some pics with my camera but they were terrible. Next time bring camera! Of the three games we have run the Convoy scenario, Blockade Run, and Cruiser Clash. As to the score, I have amassed 15 renown, with Tom getting 7. If your not familiar with the game, the higher the renown the better your choices become during the game. And the weird thing is you don't have to win the scenario to get renown. But the system is actually quite interesting.

The day after Thanksgiving my friend Dave had his annual game at his house. We played a Sudan game based on the Battle of Ginis. I had a very enjoyable time. Not because my Fuzzies ran ruff-shot over my opponent, but it was a laid back fun time. I controlled the far right wing of the army, and pretty much pushed the British far left back and into the center. By then the British Cavalry was threatening my flank so I had to pull back into a better position. It actually turned into the typical battlefield dance with the battle being fought 90 degrees from how it started. The rules we used were written by a friend of ours called Victoria's Battles. They were available for sale, but the last time I talked with Frank he was redoing the base set to include all the Victorian elements. There are actually 4 different versions of the rules at the moment. This game also lead my friend Tom asking me to build something I will put on the next post.

I've also been putting a bunch of woodland scenic trees together. I must say I'd rather just buy the pre-made trees in the bag. Building them from the kits is a pain in the butt. And it seems to take forever. Maybe its just me.

I've also been working on some stuff for my Quar. Both the 15's and my 28's. That will be coming up in a couple posts too.

Well off to make more stuff. We'll see you in the next post.