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!


  1. Impressive. I really like your series on this.. I might do something like it myself. Very nice.

    1. Thanks, JP. I'm glad you like it so far. There's plenty more to come!

  2. Excellent terrain, sir.

    -- Jeff

  3. This is awesome, the watereffect is perfect, and the cliff looks suberb.
    My compliments on what you have done here!

  4. Simply spiffing, youve captured the illusion of depth perfectly.

  5. Oh my goodness! What a triumph! Spectacular work Sir, it just looks so believable.

    1. Thank you, Michael! Of course, there's still a lot to do...

  6. Fantastic work Colonel, that Waterfall is just peachy, and the illusion of depth to your river is wonderful.

    1. Thanks, Scott.

      Enjoy your holiday and have your cowardly goose-steppers ready for a tremendous trouncing upon your return!

  7. Absolutely spectacular work. I echo the sentiments of the other posters, Well done all round.


  8. What a master craftsman! "Crackin' bitta scenery, Grommit!" as Wallace might say...

    1. By 'eck, lad! I'm right 'appy tha's impressed. Now where's me cheese gone?

  9. This is really so so good! As someone who is just starting out with bits and pieces I'm certainly going to take some of this on-board! (My boat?). Just when I think a bit is finished, you go and put extra finishing touches to it - brilliantly detailed paint jobs. I'd have been happy with the flat grey finish on the cliffs, for instance, and then you highlight it in all the right areas and add grass. Great!
    Cliffs and waterfall so dramatic. I want to try that water effects stuff too. Is it easy to use?

    1. Thank you, Genna.

      Water Effects is fairly easy to use. You just have to be patient with it and don't layer it too thickly all at once. It's possible to get similar results with PVA glue, although the latter is nowhere near as thick and so doeasn't hold its shape quite so well.

      Drama is what scenery should be about, in my opinion. There are far too many uninspiring and uninspired wargames tables out there. This is fiction, after all - go wild, I say!

  10. Elegant and artistic, sir! It looks an idyllic spot for a picnic. Just mind the Perambulatory Contrivance doesn't tread on the sandwiches. =)

    1. AJ, Old Chap!

      I'm packing the hamper as we speak! And just in case the unthinkable occurs, I've made cucumber sandwiches - they're already flat!