Sunday 15 July 2012

Anyone For Bridge?

Hi, All!

Sergeant Tetley and his men investigate the new find.

The unearthing of The Lost City of Ah-Pul-Sh'Napps continues this week, with the discovery of a section of street, complete with a footbridge.

According to local legend (as related by the Eternally Lost Tribe of Wutha F'Kahwi ) this once great city fell foul of the gods and was destroyed in a single night of rain, lightning, landslides and floods. For centuries since, the Wutha F'Kahwi have believed the place to be cursed, calling it "Gonnta Kh'rap" - literally meaning, "Where the Great Ones Empty Their Bowels".

A pencil sketch of the rough layout disfigures "Whistling Round The World" by Roger Whittaker. A corresponding layout is planned on a sheet of foamcore before the paper is stripped from one side.

The street is built up. Key elements are inscribed before drawing in the random stonework.

I've been enjoying working with styrofoam - both inscribing it and also carving it - and the results are very pleasing.

Street level - the gutters were inscribed with the rounded end of a paintbrush. This is a delicate process - repeat softly several times in both directions to avoid cracking the foamcore.

Ground floors and a bridge support in place. The paving is complete. One set of buildings is filled with a block of foam where landslides have buried the ground floor.

Bridges are a great way of adding extra depth and dimension to cityscapes - be they ruined or otherwise - and also provide for interesting gaming possibilities. So I like 'em.

The main span (left) carved from green foam. The sides of the bridge (right) cut from one piece of white foam, then sliced into two to creat two identical 5mm thick pieces.

The main span is checked against the walls.

This bridge was constructed of three pieces, mounted on columns. I carved the paved span first, checking that it would fit the model correctly, then designed and cut the sides.

The pieces of the bridge are inscribed and carved until they look sufficiently stony and ruined.

Professor Heineken takes in the view from the bridge.

Having constructed and detailed the bridge, the upper floors of the buildings were built. A soon-to-be partially buried staircase was carved from foam and moved around a couple of times until I was happy with where it would sit. I also added a section of broken wall to protrude from the ground behind the buildings. It is little extra touches like this that help to make a model just that little bit more interesting.

Walls, columns and a section of staircase carved from foam.

The ground was built up with modelling clay until I was happy with the bulk of it. Slips were modelled into doors and windows.

The model before painting. The ground has been built up with clay and is ready to be textured.

Painting and texturing the completed model followed the same techniques as the temple and house featured in my last post. The same simple palette of colours was used. The stonework was painted and highlighted first, then the landscape was gritted, painted and flocked. This ensures that ground cover realistically blends in with the ruins it is covering.

The finished piece from above.

A view of the buried stairs and the bridge.

Mud slides fill the doorways.

Little remains of the upper floor...

I'm very happy with this piece. I've now started on a section of city wall and also plan to build a watch tower and several more street pieces.

Army and Navy combined operations secure the city...

Keep watching, folks! More soon...

All the Best!

Monday 9 July 2012

This Week, I 'ave Been Mostly Makin'...

Hi, All!

Lieutenant Boddington and troopers explore the ruins of an ancient temple.

It's been a productive week for me, model-making-wise.

My Lost Continent terrain is taking shape fast, with a ruined temple, giant boulders and the beginnings of a lost city completed in the last few days.

First up: boulders.

Boulders are carved from green foam, sanded and glued to blank DVDs.

Any wargaming table should start out with a few basic pieces - trees, hills, rocks, whatever. I'm going for giant boulders.

The boulders are painted, highlighted, then sand is added to the DVDs.

These are based on blank DVDs - I have started using DVDs and old vinyl records as bases, as they are thin, yet guaranteed not to warp when you glue stuff to them. I've picked up a few records from second-hand stores for just this reason - being careful only to buy the kind of music I don't mind improving with copious amounts PVA, sand and paint.

Seductive Belgian adventuress Stella Artois and the infamous Professor Heineken liaise amongst the finished boulders.

Anyway, what more can you say about a bunch of rocks? They were quick to produce, although it is worth mentioning that PVA dries really slowly when trapped between chunks of insulating foam - Hob-e-Tac is much better...

American explorer Bud Weiser and his Nemesis, the wily Frenchman, Phillippe Le Glasse.

On to the next bit:

The Lost City of Ah-Pul-Sh'Napps.

Major Glenlivet leads sikh soldiers of the 4th Imperial Indian Exploratory Force into the unknown...

The Lost City will be made up of a number of set pieces of various sizes. In order to speed things up a little, I started by making up a sheet of walls which can be cut up and used as required...

The sheet of walls (left) and a single strip, showing interior and exterior detailing (right).

This will enable me to quickly produce a few pieces along the lines of this first one - a ruined house. It sits upon pavement next to a stone-flagged road complete with drains. Clearly, this was once a mighty civilisation.
I plan to create several houses, crumbling city walls, a watch tower and a few more big pieces too (more about those later...) The techniques are the same, regardless of the complexity of the design.

Black foam core forms the street, glued to a 10" record. At this point, I have not yet added theupper storey of the house.

Music connoiseurs might like to know that this piece was built upon a 10" recording of Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians - 'Piano Magic'...

Plenty of ground cover, moss and weeds break up the outlines of the ruins and add to the feeling of age.

I opted for a very simple colour scheme, using just one base colour and one highlight colour, so that the more important characters and machines stand out well against the terrain. Having painted the walls and street, the rest of the ground was built up with modelling clay, grit, static grass and clump flock. the same colour scheme and technique was used for the temple...

The house, viewed from above.

The Ruined Temple of Jinaan T'Onnik...

Pieces are carved from green and white foam and inscribed with a pencil to create stonework.

The temple is a 12" piece. I opted for a sandstone colour for the project because I wanted a nice bright table, and so that the various ruinsstand out against my grey cliffs. (Yes - this means the stone was not locally quarried...)

The unpainted walls and painted obelisk.

The centrepiece of the temple is a giant black obelisk, inscribed with strange characters and capped with a golden point. Again, this contrasts with its surroundings and stands out nicely.

Grit is added after painting the walls. The obelisk is glued in place.

The unfinished temple from various angles.
The finished article.

The mosses on the tops of the ruins were built up with various tones of flock, static grass and tea leaves, then gently dabbed with red paint here and there.

The Ruined Temple of Jinaan-T'Onnik, viewed from above.

Anyway, I can't stay here, blogging away all day! There are more cliffs awaiting my attention and I want to bury Rolf Harris' Two Little Boys...

All The Best!

Monday 2 July 2012

An Opportunity For Reflection

Hi, All!

A steam launch patrols the river...

Work has continued on my cellophane river this week and I'm finally happy with the impression of depth.

Six coats of paint later, the river finally looks deep enough.

The banks have been blended in and (apart from a couple of creases which I hope will stretch out) it's rather a nice result. So:

On to the next bit...

I decided I wanted something of a backdrop for my table, so I started on cliffs. And what is a cliff without a waterfall?

A piece of board is roughly sketched to join onto the river. This is about the extent of my draughtsmanship for most ideas.

There is little practical need for such scenery on a wargaming table, but then, there is little practical need for a 35cm long steam-powered walker with 3,630 rivets, towering above even the tallest buildings...

Foam is carved to form a lake and riverbanks.

C'est la vie!

Cliffs are hacked out of foam.

The piece starts to take shape.

Cliffs were carved from more green foam and layered together. They were then over-sculpted with DAS to hide joins and solidify the look. I used a whole packet of DAS on this one piece.

The unfinished cliffs reflect beautifully in the river.

The Bazalgette Light Armoured Perambulatory Contrivance and officers of the navy, shown before the undercoated cliff.
Big Mike's Wagon Train at the base of the finished cliffs. Now to finish the waterfall and lake...

Following this, undercoats of grey and brown were painted on, before highlighting the rock face up through light grey to white. This was followed later with occasional patches of green and brown to imitate plants clinging to the cliffs.

You will note that I have only added grass - no larger plants. While it was tempting to add tree stumps, foliage, ferns and what have you, this would dictate the flora for the table in general and I want it to be adaptable.

The Bazalgette Light Armoured Perambulatory Contrivance admires its reflection.

Once the cliffs were done, the waterfall had to be constructed. This was relatively easy for the most part. I painted Woodland Scenics Water Effects onto a piece of clingfilm and let it set before draping it over the fals and gluing it into place. The lake had to be painted in the same manner as the river, including white 'foam' under and over the cellophane...

The waterfall is glued in place and foam is added with water effects and white paint. A couple of rocks add bulk to the top of the falls.

The lake section flows into the river section.

So far so good: this is starting to look like a pretty good table.

The two sections together.

A view from the waterline...

Next up:

The ruins of a lost civilisation start to take shape...

Sikh-ing lost treasures...

All the Best!