Category Archives: scenery

Timecast Goodness…

I’ve paid a couple of visits recently to Timecast in Shrewsbury, mainly to pick up trees and to chat about techniques and things. They’ve always been very helpful and I have a small pile of their buildings waiting to be painted! In the meantime, for use in out Cold War Commander games, Ian had commissioned a few pieces from Timecast and there arrived last week and I finally got to pop round and see them tonight. I took a load of pictures, partly to display here as examples of Timecast’s fine work, and partly to steal ideas for colours and layouts for my own stuff – when I get round to it!

This is all 1/300th for use in Cold War Commander and is intended to be German in theme. First up is the town:

 
 
 
 
 

This can be extended to include a light industrial area:

 
 

And on the outskirts of the town is the airport:

 
 
 
 
 

And if you don’t fancy flying you’ll no doubt need to fill up you car at the Petrol Station:

 

It’s really nice stuff and I just wish I could afford to buy some myself, but it has given me inspiration to do my own. I now look forward to laying waste to the lot of it with my Soviet hordes in the next game! 🙂

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Boosting the hedge fund…

Back in March (don’t time fly!) I had a first attempt at making some hedges for my 6mm games. I knew I’d seen the idea of using the scourers before and the credit must (at least for me) go to Michael at Angel Barracks forum with this article. The main difference is that I use the magnetic foam I purchased from Hobbycraft (although I’m not sure they still stock it). This seems heavy enough to stay in place and has a certain flexibility to it. The first couple I did were full length (c.12″) but the rest I decided to do in 6″ lengths – basically the length of the scourer and the same as in the original article. And I also paint them all brown before applying the flock. So anyway, here is the process:

1. Cut the foam into 6″x10mm strips (metric/imperial – I don’t care!) and the scourer into strips with one flat side and one uneven to give the hedges a little ‘shape’

2. Apply neat PVA to the foam side of the strip and stick the hedge down the middle. And while the PVA is still wet apply a load of whatever you use to texture your bases. I use a fine/medium mix of railway ballast:

3. Once dry this gives you something like this:

4. I then sprayed the whole lot Army Painter Leather Brown. It’s a little lighter than the Burnt Umber I used for my normal bases but close enough. I then dry brush the ballast as I would my bases:

5. I then use a dilute PVA mix and paint the sides and tops of the hedge liberally and dip it in a fine dark green flock (mine is in a tub now and I can’t remember the make).

6. When you’ve done the lot let them dry fully. I also tried doing a larger field (right side) and a couple of smaller fields (bottom) which I applied static grass to.

7. Once it’s all dry the whole lot gets a coat of spray matt varnish to seal the flock.

8. I even tried a couple with an Irregular Miniatures gate stuck in the middle.

The big field seems to have worked OK though I’ve yet to do the interior. I tried this on the two smaller fields but the PVA seems to have warped the foam more than I expected. I tried coating the reverse side to no avail. The foam is flexible enough to bend flat but at the moment it keeps warping back.

So I need to find either a non-shrinking glue or a different base material for this part. The foam (this was one sheets worth) was 59p. The scourers I paid 40p for a pack of five and have used three. And you can see how much of the flock is still left. So overall I nice cheap result. I quite like the green and I prefer the brown underneath as it means that if you miss a bit the brown ‘branches’ show through and you can leave a little gap at the base to show the ‘roots’ of the hedge.

I have a batch of roads nearly done (see the first article) and trees lined up next. Once the lot are done I’ll put together some ‘pretty’ shots!

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Hedging my bets in a new field…

Following on from my trial efforts with magnetic foam on the trial road, I had a bit of a sort out in the attic today (took a day of work to chill!) and along with tidying up I did another couple of trial terrain pieces. First up was a resin field I bought AGES ago. Can’t even remember the make. Anyway, spray with Army Painter Leather Brown, dry brush and static grass to give…

At the top of the picture you can just make out a try at a hedge I did a while back. Lollypop stick, length of scouring pad stuck on. Paint it all brown, slap some PVA on the scourer and apply flock. I wasn’t too happy with the flock colour and it was too short a length. Anyway, while at Hobbycraft I bought a sheet of the brown magnetic foam. Cut a couple of 10mm wide strips (conveniently the same length as the road sections), slap on PVA and stick the length of scourer on, scatter some sand/ballast mix on the sides. Spray the lot with the old Leather Brown. When dry, dry brush the edges, and then slap on some PVA over the scourer and apply a different green flock I picked up at the weekend. To give…

 
 
 

The foam is quite flexible so I left the gaps in the scourer to allow some give. And it has a little weight from the magnet so overall I think this too has promise!

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More roads…and the attic gets some storage!

Despite having a nightmare day with the kids I managed to get the batch of vinyl roads finished and put together a howto, try out the magnetic foam roads, get the Helmer units put together and find time to sit down and write this lot up! I’ve still got to log in to work to run some database updates but that can wait 🙂

First up, the vinyl roads.

1. Cut the tile into 40mm side strips and then cut any curves, junctions required. Peel off the paper backing to reveal the adhesive and lay them all out. Then scatter the lot with a mix of fine and medium model railway ballast.

 

 And as you can see, I had a helping hand from my daughter. She insisted and it was easier to say yes!

2. To make sure the ballast is well fixed, use a spare spray can as a roller and make sure it’s all well stuck. Don’t press too hard though as the ballast seems to ‘powder’ under heavy pressure!

 

3. Once it’s had a little time to dry in, adjourn to a suitably open space…

 …and spray the lot with Army Painter Leather Brown

4. I’d intended taking a pre and post grass picture but didn’t have the camera to hand during the first session but basically, a good dry brush with my mid-brown and then a top brush with a cream/off-white. And then PVA and my standard static grass to give it some contrast.

 

I’d decided to add some bits of bush but I’m not sure it’s necessary and may make storage a but harder as they’ll not stack as well

5. Finally I sprayed the lot with matt varnish. I’ll likely try the PVA mix other people have suggested on the next batch of scenery.

Overall, quite pleased with them. Not sure how they’ll hold up to regular use, but that’s unlikely to be an issue with the number of games I play!

Following the suggestions of a few people on other forums/blogs I picked up some magnetic backed grey foam sheets. This was to use as modern tarmac roads. The easy option is to just cut it into strips and use as is. But that’s too easy for me! So, I’ve tried to add a verge (no grass on yet) and some white lines. These latter were problematic. I used a white gel pen and it doesn’t take too well to the foam, but not too bad though. It would also have helped if I’d got the lines in the right place!

 

This gives a view of the thickness of the foam. Although the magnetic basing adds to the thickness, it also makes it more robust and the added weight helps hold it on place.

I was almost tempted by the idea of coating my boards with sheet metal as then the roads would ‘stick’ in place! Again, I’m not sure on how tough the foam will be but it should be OK. And for 49p a sheet it’s a bargain! These roads are 35mm wide. I may still do the main batch in 30mm wide. And I also need to look into what the correct road markings should be!

And finally, to conclude this lengthy Sunday night post, I made up the Ikea HELMER drawer units. Given the amount of thin steel and sharp edges involved I only managed to draw blood once! They are a great little find (£20 each). I’m going to line each drawer with a non-lip sheet, and maybe make up some compartments to separate stuff. It would also be useful to have some holed ‘panels’ to store Vallejo pots upside down. I think this may help the issue I have of the ‘dropper’ drying out and blocking up.

As you can see, the desk is a little cluttered

 The plan is to move the two units under the left side of the desk

 So there we have it. Some progress of sorts. I now need to decide how many credits I can claim for the various roads pieces?

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On a road to nowhere…

Well, eventually I suppose it will go somewhere. And for these poor Carthaginians this one definitely doesn’t lead to Rome! Anyway, my visit last weekend to Poundland/Poundworld was a bit of a disaster when looking for magnetic paper etc. but I did end up picking up a pack of four vinyl floor tiles for, obviously, a pound!

Now my first test with these is to use them for roads. They are fairly thin, flexible and the ones I bought were wood effect with six 50mm strips so you don’t even have to measure to cut, just cut along the line, with scissors if you want a rougher edge.  So I cut one strip. The tiles are self-adhesive so just peel off the paper and then scatter ballast material/sand (I used the former in fine and medium mixes) over the adhesive. I then used a spray can to roll over the top to press the sand in place. Let it dry.

I had intended spraying adhesive over this as well but the stuff I have seems to come out in strands so was no good! Instead I just sprayed the whole thing with Army Painter leather brown spray. Let it dry properly, then dry brushed to match the bases I use for my figures. Then PVA along both edges and flock to give a grass verge. Once dry, spray the lot with matt varnish to seal it.

And we have:

 

It’s thin, flexible and I should get 6ft out of one tile! The others will provide some curves, junctions etc. Then I plan to do some thinner strips, use a very fine sand/ballast, spray black and dry brush grey for modern roads for my micro-armour. And then a few more for fields/rough ground.

Not too bad really for a pound…

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