(GAMEIN5D in action)
Walls are hard
I think I will start at the end on this post. Below is the complete wall sections that I decided I needed. They are the end result of much failed experimentation and possibly the invention of some new swear words. The walls are not stuck down yet, just put in about the right place. I've no idea how everyone else builds walls but this is how I did it.
First I spread out a plaster mix about 2mm thick across a decent sized piece of kitchen foil. Once it's was dry I bashed it up, while it was tempting to unleash all that middle-aged angst and immolate it, I tried to be careful. I wanted pieces between 5 - 10mm. The foil puts a nice texture on one side which I put on top. Then the "fun" bit. I built small sections of wall on pieces of flat foil, and tried to make the pieces overlap. Like I said, quite fun really, which probably says far too much about me. And it amused my wife, who I suspect, after deciding it wasn't quite the final straw, filed it in the "future grounds for divorce" folder.
Then I plonked them on the base and took the photo. In between waiting for paint and plaster to dry I've also carried on painting the minor items, you can see some barrels, etc. on the big photo at the top too. And the privet's out of the oven, nicely dried out.
Minding the gaps and details
I've seen some awesome sand-bags created by other modelers, but for me they are definitely a work in progress. Also, I think the whole thing needs walls. Maybe walls will be easier than sand-bags.
I can see the pub from here
Well, maybe not the pub, but possibly the end of this project. On a side note, I have actually been to the pub from the XXXX advert, it's in Oz, it's very cool and has (well had 14 years ago) a car from Mad Max 2 parked outside. I spent two weeks out there once (field work, not in the pub) and brought my wife (then fiancee) a stubby (beer bottle) holder, themed shot glass and a fridge magnet back as gifts (from a major silver mining region). And she still married me, bless her.
Also, any surfaces I think are too shiny or uniform have had a few wash coats to "knock back" the shine and produce some variation.
So, this "aerial" shot, again produced in partnership with being too short and teaching your children some new swear words because you didn't know they were in ear-shot, shows where I am now
I also need to start thinking about finishing up with accessories, some sparse vegetation, scrubby trees, some discarded equipment and a couple of road signs I think. For the trees I've got some bits of privet drying out in the oven, that's not a phrase I've used before, it'd make a great euphemism for something - "I'm just drying out me privet in the oven".
The big pieces were glued in with PVA and superglue, depending on how fricking awkward it was, then I followed that up with a misting of PVA + water for the finer stuff, then spent the rest of the evening prising my superglued fingers apart.
I'm still painting too, experimenting with what looks terrible mostly. Nuln oil wash in the craters is way too dark, as you can see above. So now I've got to lighten that up. But I'm still moving forward.
Painting the buildings
I finally got stuck in and painted the buildings, after all the putting-it-off it went quite quickly, quickly, not necessarily well. I need a lot of practice at this. The problem is, when you try to paint several things at once, you make the same mistakes on all of them.
I hope you like my Sherman, it's from the Airfix Battlefront kit which is yet another from the started-but-not-going-to-be-finished-anytime-soon pile. I'll be using the Sherman for scale a bit. When I remember
At the same time as I was murdering the buildings with paint, I was also doing a similarly outstanding job of building up the colour of the base. On a whim I'd bought a can of GOLD NC acrylic "sand". I planned to pick out the road and some of the features - to me they look an unpleasant sickly orangey-greenish colour - not very desert like. It took ages to dry as well - must resist World of Tanks.
What a difference a spray makes.
Sprayed everything with matte khaki (Halford's again) I've used this before and don't remember it being so greenish, but me and colour don't always see eye to eye. That said, things look a lot better when everything is a (slightly) more appropriate colour.
It also occurred to me to take an "aerial" shot, which was a bit hit and miss, because I'm quite short, but eventually (after filling my phone with rubbish pictures and quite a lot of swearing) I got this, which was ok.
Big North African diorama number 1 was where this all started, as a present for my eldest. I've always wanted to make another for my youngest so I was trying to get this done for his birthday. Which was this week.
Unfortunately in the background of the original were two seriously grumpy looking old fella's, remember those weird bird-things in The Dark Crystal, like that but in tweed.
Paint, tweaks and texturing
Surprising; they didn't shrink that badly, I think, because I left the buildings in the bases while they dried, even in the oven. I got a bit carried away next, it's not easy to remember to keep stopping to take photos. Before I knew it I'd spread PVA all over bits of the board and was adding ballast (medium and fine) and some kiln dried sand I had left over from constructing a patio, badly.
A road complete with something that passes for vehicle (I was going for tank,but let's stick with vehicle) tracks are created, as long as you don't look too closely...
Next up, I probably need to get some more paint on these, somehow I've come to believe that multiple layers of paint make things better. Maybe they just hide the errors, who knows? I do still have to paint all those buildings though.
Things will start to take shape now as I am sticking some of the main elements down. I guess this means this is going to be more of a fixed diorama rather than a gaming board - not that my children will mind. I've finished a few other elements. I had a load of plaster - cast rock out crops and boulders so I've included a few elements with them to increase the topography.
Finally, something that looks like something. This was a first, test layout. I'm just trying to get a feel for how things relate to one another. Looking at photos from the web, buildings tend to all be built in a similar direction, and quite close together, so I'll stick with that idea.
Hello, I'm Jon.
I'm very much a learner model maker, especially dioramas, gaming surfaces, models and toy boxes for me and my children.