Sunday, 1 June 2014

043. Blog template changes, terrain (old and new)...

After my last post I started playing with the settings on the old blog template and decided to spruce the old template up a bit, moving things around and having a bit of a play with some of the settings.  If anything isn't working or looking right, be sure to let me know so I can have a crack at fixing it.
So big, so angry...
On to the meat of the post, terrain.  After last post I got stuck in on the statue piece.  The plinth and outer walls came together quite quickly - a dry brush is a perfect tool and technique for terrain - and I was quite happy with it all until I washed the plinth which muffed that and I never really got it back to a state I was happy with - but live and learn and all that.

I did try a few things out with the base itself, namely making some washes from various green and tan and brown shades and liberally washing them around the place - some were too subtle, and others too strong requiring another drybrush to knock back some of the effect but I gained confidence as I went and got some decent stains/effects happening which is what this piece was all about - a bit of experimenting.
Quite happy with how the shield weathered - the lighting is effecting the edges - that's not a paint effect
I got  out some of the AK weathering stuff I had sitting around, as well as some powders.  For the post tops I had used the Iron Mr Metal as a base colour which produced a really nice metallic grey effect, I then washed this back a bit and on the corner posts applied some of the AK Track Wash and Rust Effect which played out very subtle.  On the middle statues I went an alternate route and used some rust coloured powders.  As a first time powder user I admit I made a bit of a mess of my workspace, but remembering some of Mr Justin's (of Secret Weapon fame) advice re adding and using older colours and layering I started to get some nice effects going.  On pieces this size it probably isn't noticeable, but again, as an experiment, I'm happy with what I have found out.
I tried to make the little statues around the outer wall look rusted up
The statue itself was another story.  I mentioned in one of the comments on the prior post that patience is not my strong suit and this piece demonstrated that.  I again started with the Iron colour as a base and it went on really well.  I overbrushed with the Bronze and developed some really interesting tonal differences (I wish I had been taking WIP shots to show) across the statue.  When I went in with the Copper (verdigris) look it started to fall apart - some of the statue looked exactly like I was after, and other parts it did not.  I think this is to do with the surface of the statue itself - some of it is really smooth, and other parts detailed or pitted (like beaten metal).

I got to a stage that I was not thrilled with, but could accept, and then rushed on to the next part with oils/AK like I had done on the small test plinth I'd messed around with last time.  Big cock up - I forgot to seal the prior layer - and even after I remembered and sealed it, I still got no joy.  The thinner used to move the oils and AK product around started doing funny things to the base paints which in itself was giving interesting results, but otherwise was cocking up what I had spent the first night setting down. 

Even after sealing and going again, the washes and effects were not behaving as expected (or as previous tests had shown they should).  Things were beading rather than flowing around detail, or not adhering where it should.  I'm not sure if this is something to do with the Mr Hobby paint used for the base layers, or simply a result of my frustration leading me to rush more and more.
The backside is not what I was looking for but that's ok - every experiment teaches us something
In the end the statue beat me and I called it a day.  It's not what I had set out to deliver, but its at least something that won't look too ridiculous on the tabletop either.  This is a learning piece - I got to test out my powders on something that is not that important, as well as some quick and easy methods to help paint terrain and add some interest to otherwise flat exterior surfaces.

I finished off the base with some static grass like I had on other terrain pieces I had finished a while ago, as well as with some scenic leaves, and a little bit of realistic water effect to suggest the last of the pooled/stagnant water sitting on/near the surface. 

On older terrain, I pulled some pieces out from the shed to see how I had been finishing things off before.  Here's a few of some of the scatter pieces I'd done in years past.  I'd also finished some craters, and started some other smaller pieces which I'll show off in a later post.

A stack of barrels and an exhaust port
Some fuel cans - probably full of more of that leaking green stuff
A debris pile
An unfortunate Marine from my old 'Silent Guard' Chapter lies buried amidst the rubble
A pumping/pressure station - those tools were left behind in the hasty retreat as the front line swept ever closer
The reverse side - still just a pipe
Terrain is one of those things we need if we want to game effectively - a board would look fairly uninteresting without some form of terrain cover.  While I may not be 100% happy with the final result on the statue, it has given me confidence to tackle a few of the larger pieces/buildings in my collection.

I will be finishing of the barricade piece from my last post and then going back onto some minis I think.

Cheers all,



  1. Nice stuff muppet, and that statue and its base look pretty good to me. If that were mine all i'd want to do to it is get back a little more of the verdigris.. can I ask - what are you sealing with?

    my instinct would be to wait a week for any mineral based substances to properly dry (usually the cause of beading) then hit it with a coat of klear and then a verdigris wash.

    that said its not needed - it looks pretty good as is, the back especially looks like beaten copper.

    Once you're all done with this stuff it'd be nice to see a full table laid out :) i've a thing for tables with decent terrain on them.

  2. Cheers Karitas. I generally use a Vallejo airbrushable varnish. Either satin or gloss. My final coat is a testors dullcote.

    I did go back with a normal acrylic paint, thinned with water as a verdigris effect but that's when I was getting beading.

    I think you are on to something with the need to allow additional drying/evaporation time for the white spirits to stop the beading. I'll revisit the piece in a week or so and see what I can do.