(GAMEIN5D in action)
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.
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.
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.
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.
So I've made a load of bases for the buildings, arranged some of the broken wall elements into a ruin and based that and built a load of bomb craters. I don't know why but I love making bomb craters. Might have got a bit out of hand. I just flatten a ball of modelling clay into a chubby disk and start squishing the center outwards forming a ridge. Eventually I start pinching the ridge to give it some sharpness and finish by adding a bit of text by pushing some rough surfaces gently over the whole thing.
I also felt that a well was needed, so I built one of those too. I think it's come out ok. All these elements are made from that Das paper-based modelling clay. It's some mix of papier mache and clay I think. It shrinks and takes too long to dry (unless you nuke it in the oven), but it's pretty cheap and easy to use. Notice one of the many exotic tea towels in use here. Present from the in-laws, they get cruises, we get tea towels, lots of tea towels.
All these bases are dried out now (because I nuked them in the oven) and so they've all curled up a bit at the edges. I'll sort this by using the gentle and sophisticated method of gluing them to death and leaning on them until they capitulate and stay flat.
I am starting a new big Diorama. Going for North Africa, 1941(ish), I'm thinking small skirmishes as part of operation Crusader. Got a load of Panzer IIIs and IVs and at least 2 Airfix Matilda's in my stash (most of which remains untouched). Working in 1:72, so I'll end up trying to paint some of my sons big variety of DAK and 8th Army troops. But they'll need somewhere to battle in as well.
Hello, never blogged before, or twittered, face-booked or dipped any kind of toe into the social media world for that matter. And here I am, trying to build a website, and write a blog, oh blimey! It's not that I'm a technophobe or particularly socially awkward (or even possibly Canadian), I've just never had anything much to say to potentially everyone. But, "hello" seems a fairly safe place to start.
Thankfully, this blog isn't really a lot about me, more about what I'm trying to learn to do and get better at. And that is: make models, gaming boards, dioramas - anything like that. In particular it's about me using GAMEIN5D, an invention of my own (patent pending) which is a system of folding and interlocking gaming surfaces that also make pretty robust boxes.
In short, I wanted a way to build as much model stuff as I liked, as big as I liked for me and my two boys, but they had to be able to be tidied away after. So with one imminent birthday approaching the GAMEIN5D was born.
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.