Thursday, 19 December 2013

Scenery Epithany

I had this Epiphany*. I've been making a lot of scenery these last couple of years, but OGAM really got my head together.

First, assemble your pallet. Wood, cardboard and foamboard don't work for me. Floor tiles and EV foam does. I have access to lots of scrap polystyrene and a plaster/pva mix is such fun to use.

Work out your criterion.

Keep some figures handy for scale comparison.

Plan your scenery to fit the scenario, or the scenario to fit the scenery.

It's wargaming, not model railway or art.

Many small pieces are better than one big.

Further away from the action, less detail required.

If you don't like making scenery, get some children and chain them to a table with a pile of raw material at one end. Feed and water with weight equivalent of finished product. Works for highstreet brands so why not you?**

First manifestation was using Linka building system. I've had this since the 80's – my 25mm days. I've spent the last year (plaster) casting bits and making the odd bit. My inspiration is the buildings and piratical history of, in and around Old Poole for our Flashing Steel games. Although many of these warehouses were still in use, or at least not converted until the 80's some features have changed, but many show the original doors, windows and other fittings. Then it occurred to me:

roofs are a pain and are usually not needed

every building has a courtyard, passage or other enclosed area

everything above the second floor is usually wasted and a nuiscance

So I started making modular floors, small outbuildings and all of a sudden I can do a decent dockyard. Next step is to make walled yards out of box's. 2 fit together and I have storage as well!

 Here's an experiment.

Linka assembled as a flat street-front.

This type of development can still be seen anywhere in the UK that escaped the blitz and 1960's planners.

Needs a pavement in front.

Higher class roads would have a small fenced garden and/or off-road parking.

 I've just washed this with ink rather than a decent paintjob- it's on the list.

Walls and hedges are so easy to make, either freestanding or fixed.

Scouring pad hedges.
 1). Cut to twice the height you require, cut again nice and “wavy”. Glue together using UHU or similar glue. If you use aquarium plants, the trimmings are ideal add-ons. Add with no-more-nails to a base-done!

  1. cut a wall out of cork or tile to half the height, as above, you now have a reversable wall!

“Country” hedges are about as wide as high. Cut, rip, stretch, add in layers. Trees thin it out. Don't forget the entrances.

 Brush on a liberal dose of watered down PVA then apply flock. 

Note - this batch took 3 days to dry at 19c.

Good spray with hairspray and your done!

 Tall walls. Get a piece of card, cereal packet or thicker. Fold over to the height of the wall, cut tabs to make it stand. Tile cut to size.  Fix to base or stick base. Leave to dry.

Tile won't stick to card, so lashings of PVA!
If you want a nice tiled top, use EV foam, if not, just go over base and edges with no-more-nails.


Vinyl tiles stick to foam board! Here's some big “Japanese” walls I made.
Two layers of foamboard makes a good, thick wall. Havn't decided on the top yet- watch this space.

They look so SF I'm going to add these doors.

Another Japanese bamboo wall I made with using bamboo place mat. I cut it into strips, with scissors, then added to a strip of foam board with no-more-nails. I stretched the mat, pressing it hard into the glue. I painted on the strip, first a weak wash of my favourite Antelope Brown with a “dry brush” of burt seinna while still wet.

I then looked at the picks and went "no".  Got the knife out, added ends and "tiles" using coffee stirrers.
Walls high enough to block shooting, but capable of supporting sneaky or flying models.

Gateway was made with off-cuts, the bottom and roof tile remnants from the above.  Planking more coffee stirrers.

An even smaller off-cut made an ideal T connector/gateway

All the above was mouned on the tongue-depresser size craft sticks. Note – if you mount on the edge the warping can become irregular.
I've tried plain and the pre-dyed.  No difference.  
All the above can be pinned together, if required.

*Being over 18 and married, the worst they can do is a restraining order.
** I could be politically correct and say that I'm joking.