About Me

My photo
London, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
A mythical beast - a female wargamer! I got back into wargaming in the summer of 2011 after a very, very long break and haven't looked back since. I must admit that I seem to be more of a painter/collector than a gamer, but do hope to correct that at some point in the near future. My gaming interests span the ages, from the "Biblical" era all the way through to the far future. I enjoy games of all sizes, from a handful of figures up to major battles (see my megalomaniacally sized Choson Korean and Russian Seven Years War armies).

Saturday, 19 June 2021

Paint Table Saturday 19 June

 


I've continued to be busy since my post on Wednesday, as the workbench above testifies. After my post on Wednesday, I spent a while making these:


Lots of strips of (roughly 1:50 scale) 3' x 6' corrugated iron sheets for cladding building roofs. I've probably prepared more than I'll need, but if I haven't then it's easy enough to knock some more out.


Jungle Bases

I've almost finished the "open" secondary jungle test bases:


After taking the photo I decided to add herbs on the path areas. Tomorrow, my first job is to airbrush some scenic cement onto the scrub mix, then I will "fix" the herbs with my paint/PVA mix. When that has dried I can do the brown ink glaze over everything, then spray everything with matte varnish. I suspect that will have to wait until Monday now that the weather has cooled down again.

I've also made a start on some more scatter bases to go in clearings and some secondary jungle bases with removable trees:


To help plan things out, I also based up some trees:


I'll start adding foliage to them tomorrow.


I've Got A Lovely Bunch Of Coconuts...

Well, very nearly.  I'd ordered another 60 coconut palm trees and they arrived on Thursday. I got them prepped straight away:


Yesterday I coated the trunks with thinned frame sealant and got them painted today:


I still need to spray and drybrush the fronds - another job for tomorrow, then I can stick them onto bases, ready for use with the plantation bases. I guess that means that when my current batch of test jungle bases are done and dusted I'll need to work on the plantation terrain tiles.


Going Bananas...

I decided, ahead of spraying them, to stick the banana plants onto their bases (a 25mm round base with a 15mm round base glued on top to add height and also depth for gluing the plastic peg into - after drilling holes):


That's another batch for tomorrow's spraying queue. There are another eighty on their way to me as we speak...


"You Say Stay, I Sago..."

In one of the deliveries of model trees I received on Thursday was a pack of Sago palms:


I've prepped the six larger ones today:


These will be for swamp bases. The smaller ones might get used for village gardens.



Lots Of Delivered Goodies


Trees, Please, Louise...


You've already seen the coconut palms, but in this lot there are also a bunch of pine, deciduous and fruit trees. The fruit trees are going to become rubber trees; the pine and deciduous trees will be for primary and secondary jungle. I've probably got about the same again wending their way from China.


MDF

I've had a few deliveries of MDF stuff since Wednesday.

Products For Wargamers:

Scatter terrain and hedge bases

Large, medium and small terrain bases

Charlie Foxtrot:

Oasis and small tree bases

I also received another pack of Terrain Sets 1 & 2 (not shown).

I'm thinking of using the oasis toppers (and the ones from the pond bases I'd bought previously) on large terrain bases for swamp areas:




Similarly with the tree bases, I'm thinking of putting the toppers on larger bases for primary jungle:



I should ask Colin if he'd sell the toppers separately.


Warbases:

15mm round bases, "washers" and buildings
 
Bahay Kubo and Payag huts


I think I probably have enough buildings in the "to make and paint" pile for now:


I've also ordered a bunch of terrain and tree bases from Wargames Tournaments, but they haven't arrived yet.


Foaming At The Mouth...

Reviewing various videos on making clump foliage, it seems that people get better results using denser upholstery foam, particularly the composite or chip foam. Looking around for some to try for myself, I found some yoga blocks (12" x 8" x 2") on Amazon which should do me for several large batches and for not very much money. I bought a two-pack:


I've cut and chunked a 2" wide strip from one of them ready for blending.


This Is The Dawning Of The Age of Aquariu(m Plant)s...

The "dwarf" version of the hairgrass mat arrived today, along with another mat of "dwarf" plants:


On opening the dwarf hairgrass mat, I realised that it would actually look much better than the kunai grass clumps I've been making, and also much easier and quicker to do the kunai grass with. As a result, I've ordered another two mats from that supplier. As I'll be spacing the plants out more than they are on the mat, three mats in total should be enough to cover the area I'll need.

Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Wednesday Workbench 16 June - Including Some Finished Bits

 


That's what is currently on the workbench. I've since done a little bit more work on them:


I realised after I'd started adding herbs to the bases that I'd forgotten to drybrush the texture gunk I'd added. The drybrush colour looks a bit stark right now, but should become muted as various washes and glazes are applied.


I've now added texture gunk to the kunai grass bases. Tomorrow I will be painting and drybrushing that, then adding some 10mm static grass. These kunai grass bases will be removable from larger bases.


Finished Bits




Having done a test of edging the bases with turf mix, I think that bases done that way would be fine for scatter in clearings, but it doesn't really work for secondary jungle pieces. I'll probably do a few more scatter bases like that, but for the most part will stick with the herbs for edging the bases.

Note To Self: wear gloves when adding the scrub & PVA mix to avoid this:


I keep forgetting that my scrub mix includes Javis scenics, which use dyes that leach when wet.




I think I will add some static grass around the dungy when I am doing some other pieces - it's not worth getting the kit out to do just this one item.



These barrows will eventually be added to the base of one of the plantation buildings.

The barrows and outhouse are from Warbases.


Foam Fun


Do you recall the first test batch that I combined with the craft paint tests from the second batch? Well, it eventually dried fully, but it hadn't really clumped so I decided to blitz it down using a cheap coffee grinder. I then sieved the result to separate the finely ground foam from the coarser bits. Looking at the two tubs above, it seems that the coarser bits were from the middle of the foam pieces and hadn't absorbed much paint during the mixing. They're a decent crumb size now, so I might try using them for another test batch.

About a week ago I had chunked and blended the foam from another 3 car wash sponges. Having seen the results of the first few test batches, I took a look at the foam again and realised that I would need to blitz them down smaller.


They went from filling a 9L RUB to a 7L RUB.

The test batches using kitchen scourer foam (and grey figure tray foam) finally dried out. 

Tamsin's Tips: Don't try drying batches out in plastic containers - the top layer will foram a crust that seals in the rest which then can't dry.



They have clumped quite well, the bits which were originally on top at least. I suspect that the longer the paint/glue mix takes to dry, the less it will clump.


Twenty Double (Not Face) Palms

I got these forty palm trees painted:



These palms will be used as filler for primary jungle and possibly for swamp bases.


"Yes, Sir, We Have No Bananas..."

Well, not yet perhaps, but we soon will have.  The first eight banana plant "trunks" are ready for priming:


I'm still debating whether to bother with priming the leaves for these; I might try simply drybrushing them. If that doesn't work out, then priming them won't take too long.


Arrival of Goodies

First off, some (more) aquarium plants arrived that I'd ordered off Ebay and Amazon:


When I unpacked the mat on the left, I realised that I'd accidentally closed the wrong tab - I'd intended to order the dwarf version which are 4cm tall rather than 15cm! I've now ordered the correct ones.


The middle batch were some nice dwarf ferns. I might order another mat of these.

Edit: As a couple of people have asked in the comments, here's the link to those ferns on Ebay: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/233962787972

Update - it seems that they are now sold out on Ebay - using this Google search term you should be able to find some aquarium suppliers with it in stock: Aqua One Ecoscape Mat fern


I also got a slightly heavy parcel from Timecast today:


It contained these:


They are the reinforcements for my Choson Korean and Ming Chinese armies.


Monday, 14 June 2021

Podcast #81 - The Coming Out Stories Episode

 In a slightly astonishing turn of events, I'm posting the link for the latest podcast episode within a couple of days of it being published.

The "So, what have you painted since the last episode" discussion takes a detour this week into our stories of coming out at work as, errmm, wargamers. Which turned out to be quite handy as only a few of the less-than-magnificent seven had actually painted much worth talking about.

In this episode:

  • Jokes about my herbal highs continue
  • Timmy reveals that dodgy geezers offering you dodgy goods at Watford Gap services is still a thing
  • The great debate of Cottage Pie vs Pizza as appropriate wargaming food
  • "I'm Sorry, I Think You're An Arse" makes a welcome (Are you sure? Ed.) return
  • Andy's Quiz




Sunday, 13 June 2021

Finished: Jungle Test Pieces

Well, they're done. This morning I mixed up a dark brown ink wash and glazed it over the plastic plants to mute the colours a bit. This afternoon I hit the pieces with a good spray of matte varnish.


 These six pieces cover the best part of an A3 sheet (420 x 297 mm/16.5 x 11.7 inches) which is somewhere between the minimum and maximum terrain sizes I'll want. I probably need to do another 2-3 more batches, some of which I will do to be more open allowing figures to move through.

Some photos of the individual pieces (28mm Australian Commando for reference):

















Thoughts and Lessons

Theses have come out rather well, but there are a few things that need changing.

1. A lower density of plants would be better; these bases were rather crowded which made adding the underbrush and scrub a bit difficult.

2. It would be better to apply the brown ink glaze to the plants before adding the scrub.

3. I'm not keen on the look of the coir "under brush". I think they might look better if the bunches are trimmed a bit before adding them. Smaller pieces would also be easier to add to the bases - I might make a few up to test that out (much easier than cutting up the larger ones I have already made).

4. The clump foliage looks a bit artificial in places. I suspect that is a result of not having blended the foam down small enough, but they were from an early test batch. I think some lichen along with the clump would look good.

5. I'm not sure about the base edges; with the herbs going to the very edge they won't blend in on grassy battle mats. I might do a test base using the turf and static grass system I used on the hills.