Monday, 24 November 2014

Fields, cheap and easy.

Fields. An ideal project for your kids over the holiday, just add leg irons.

I need these for Song of Drums and Tomahawks plus others. You can simply cut down thick carpet, but a hedge or low stone wall adds dimension. Tewkesbury and Culloden were fought in field systems, the former hedges, the latter dry stone wall. Very easy to add a smashed through with a tank effect. I'd previously described making walled hedges and you'll have seen these often if you have been paying attention.

You need:
pack of vinyl floor tiles
pack of carpet tiles
pack of green pan scourers
pack of “lolly” sticks
and/or cork tiles
and/or bamboo table mats
a couple of old credit cards or similar
pot for offcuts
big bowl or non stick roasting pan
no-more-nails or similar
paints, suggest hobby earth colours, green & yellow
extra firm hold hairspray

Messy! Paint the carpet tiles in an earth colour, a couple of irregular washes, don't make it even.
Green paint, then sort of dry brush against the grain with yellow. Leave to dry between coats!

Cut the painted tiles into field shapes. Reverse a vinyl tile and draw around, leaving plenty of room for the hedge or wall. I number each as I go, just to save confusion. Cut out strips of scourer then cut in half with a wavy line. If using cork, cut fairly even. Bamboo place mats are fiddly, cut with respect of the stitching. I'd suggest team fences with taller structures so that you don't have pieces lying around that are likely to fall apart. I recommend painting both cork and bamboo first.

Messy! Strip back off base tile then carpet tile – careful, once together difficult to reposition. If you are going to add a building, I'd suggest tearing the backing around it then painting. Go around with no-more-nails then present the scourer to the curve of the field, try not to get an end on a corner. You can use the bits cut out for gates to hide joins and cover up any bits that won't bend. Spread the glue evenly. Cork goes on the same, but I'd use double as dry stone walling is quite deep. I cut 20mm strips then hand cut down the middle. Add one at a time and “tack” with the glue. Small pieces of scourer are useful as props to hold up awkward pieces or gaps.` Leave to dry overnight then paint the edge, not forgetting any that got on the field.

At this stage you can see what bits you have left. Add the remaining hedge bits to the sticks either singly or double. Get your credit cards, cut into shapes, add cuttings to PVA and a little paint then onto the card shapes. These bits only can be put in the oven while it's cooling to dry.

Very messy! Starting on the inside, paint the scourer in PVA then liberally sprinkle in flock over a bowl or roasting tin (glue comes off it). Repeat until all done. Let it dry thoroughly, may take several days. Now spray with hair spray – you guessed it.

Here's some I made earlier. This is one of each tile going through the process.  You can make a whole load of scenery for about £6 outlay.

the tile glue will not hold on its own

you can use at this stage, if you want winter, try a few tea-leaves or just dry brush brown

my first attempt with bamboo table matting, a piece of EV/funky/hobby foam provided the flooring and once done a fairly liquid sand & PVA floor was added to hold everything together - makes it quite strong, will hold a full cup of coffee on top.