Category Archives: tutorial

Hedge production…

I haven’t made any small scale scenery for a while. Far longer than I remembered. I made a load of hedges for mt 6mm games way way back in 2011! http://blog.belisarius.org.uk/2011/06/boosting-hedge-fund.html. These used kitchen scouring pads and although they worked well they looked a little ‘formal’ – more like tidy well maintained hedges rather than ‘wild’ country ones!So I wanted something a little rougher looking. I’ve seen various techniques online so adopted a variation on those for these. I’ve always used Woodland Scenics clump foliage on my bases but found the colours (especially the dark green) to be a little too uniform. So a trip last week to Midlam Miniatures in Felling saw me leave with two packs of Javis clump foliage. This seemed to have a better colour with a bit of variation and highlight to it. So I started off with a sample length of hedge using a large ‘lollipop’ stick. In the past I’ve just used PVA to fix clumps down, putting PVA in a tub and dipping the clumps in and then sticking them down. However the Javis clumps were a nightmare! Very crumbly and bits sticking to the PVA and disintegrating as I picked them up! And the ‘foam’ material seemed to compress and stay compressed as you squeezed it to get a good ‘stick’. Total nightmare! I was not impressed. And the PVA seemed reluctant to stick it to the stick so I ended up using a hot glue gun. Once it was all dry I lathered the lot in watered down PVA and the end result looked OK even if a little squished in places.

I was almost going to give up on the stuff as far too faffy to use but having paid £2 a bag I didn’t want to waste it. So… deciding that 12 strips was a good number to have I lined up another 11 of the sticks. I coated one side with PVA to seal it then when dry coated the other side and dipped it in my usual ballast/sand type mix. Rather than waste time painting by hand I stuck the stick to a board and retired to  the back yard with a can of Army Painter Leather Brown spray.Although this is a little lighter than the Burnt Umber I use for my bases once I dry brush with my usual two highlight colours it is close enough.I wasn’t keen on using the hot glue gun for all of this (and visible residue is shiny) so I just ran a line if UHU glue along the stick and having spent a little time preparing clumps in the two colours I started filling up each stick.

Once stuck I then carefully socked all the clumps in watered PVA. I gave them a proper soaking and left to dry overnight. This stiffened and sealed the clumps.And then to blend them in a little with all my basing a dabbed a few bits of PVA along each side of the hedge and added some of my usual static grass mix.And that was them done! I left gaps in a couple of hedges to allow access through.

Quite pleased with the result and the final method made the use of the Javis clumps more tolerable. Given that you can never have too many hedges (and assuming I have enough sticks!) I will make up another dozen lengths and do a few half length ones to allow a bit more flexibility in laying them out. I’ll need to buy more foliage first though! I’d hoped to set up a small table for a game this weekend but time didn’t allow. The hedges look like they will work fine for 6mm and 10mm and even for for 15mm at a push so well worth  the effort!

While making up the sample hedge I also made up a couple of 6mm pylons I have had sat gathering dust since I primed the inner surfaces more than several years ago! Can’ remember who made them but they look fine and although a little fiddly to stick together (UHU worked again!) are worth the effort. I have another 8 to do…So a productive few sessions. Not quite as exciting as going to Salute but a damn sight cheaper!

A

 

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How I paint my flags…

I never used to try and paint my own flags. I’m not a natural painter. I have to learn the techniques. Cheats. Anything to make life easier. So in the past I always used printed flags, either bought or printed myself. But when you start going down the ImagiNation route then no one does printed versions of the flags you want! So with the first Ayton event (back in 2011!!!) I painted my own flags for my 28mm Savage Swans and have continued to do so for most of my projects since then (apart from 15mm ACW when the prospect of so many stars and stripes was too daunting!). So this is how I do them…

I use a software package (usually GIMP) to play around with various line art gathered from the internet and then I’ve just used Scribus to create a template for laying out the flags. The flags for my 20mm figures are 30x30mm. I’ll be doing a 40mm template for my 28/30mm figures. Basically I build the flag up from Google’d images but a good starting point is the excellent Not By Appointment blog. I have three sets if flags planned for the Altefritzenburg brigade.

And starting on the first I block in the main colours using my base for that colour. For most if my ImagiNation forces I have fixed triads I always use for the same colours… I then paint the main colour using a variable stroke at 45 degrees matching on both sides of the flag.The wreath is blocked in in black and then the usual green triad used. I could probably get away without the base coat for this…. With the main colours done the flag is PVA’d and mounted on a temporary bit of wire.But most importantly the edges need filling in! No white! And a little curving added to the flag by wrapping it round a brush handle.

The final highlighting of the flag is done once the main curves are added and only to the raised areas…  And then mounted on the unit

I never seem to be able to get enough movement in the flags. Something I need to work on….

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