These arrived yesterday; more Ming and Koreans. There are still a couple of packs to come from this order (and one from the previous order).
From Everest Models (EBay seller):
A veritable forest of twisted wire/foam trees and plastic palms.
I've almost finished the Ming cavalry - since taking the pic below I've given them a ~Klear/ink coat. Tomorrow I'll airbrush them with matt varnish then do satin and gloss varnish where appropriate. I should be able to get the initial basing stages done as well.
I've done the initial prep on all 8 packs that arrived - snipping off excess metal and smoothing the bases with a rough file. I've also managed to fully prep half of them. Two bags (Korean infantry, Ming crossbowmen) have been washed, dried and stuck onto painting sticks.
Another two bags (Ming infantry) are currently being washed. The rest will get prepped during the week.
Playing With Trees
The twisted wire of the cheap EBay trees looked a bit obvious so I decided that they needed something to disguise that. I'd seen people using brown acrylic caulk for various things and thought that would be perfect. Sadly, none of the DIY stores in my area stock it, only white. So I bought a tube of that to play with (at £1 it's worth trying).
I took a few of the trees and experimented a bit. Acrylic caulk is paintable, but that would mean an extra step. However, I wasn't sure how easily it would go onto the wire neat or whether I might need to thin it a little with water. I also wanted to test whether it would mix with acrylic ink.
I tested one tree with neat caulk. It was difficult to apply, so I thinned the caulk with a little water. That went on a bit easier, but I think I needed a touch more water. The third tree I added a few drops of brown ink to the caulk - that thinned it just enough, and the colour mixed in nicely.
Here are the results of my quick tests:
|Untreated, neat caulk, slightly-thinned caulk, thinned and inked caulk|
The neat and slightly thinned white caulk didn't really cover the twisted wires, unlike the slightly more thinned and ink-coloured mix.
|Untreated, thinned and inked caulk|
So, a useful experiment. I now know that the caulk will mix with acrylic ink and that it needs to be thinned a bit to apply easily. I've also worked out that I need to spread out the wire branches a bit more before applying the caulk mix.
I'll also be titivating the foliage at some point with flock and sealing with PVA to prevent shedding. I'm not sure how I'll need to work out how to do that with the fruit trees to stop the flock getting onto the fruits - maybe a dab of oil to stop the glue adhering?