Tag Archive | Scenery

The manor of highlighting

Spent some time painting the manor this weekend. Put on the base layers of dark brown and dark grey. I also created a highlight for both these colours, adding white to the base dark paints. On the palette, and when applied to the building, it looked great. But coming back a couple of hours later when it had dried the effect just wasn’t there. The tonal difference between the shades had all but disappeared.

No problem, though. I will just have to make a slightly stronger mix next time. If anything, it will just mean the building has a lot of very subtle shading and highlighting. Just not intentional subtly.

I also finished stripping the rest of the metal miniatures. Once dry I put them into basic piles. Going clockwise from the centre left we have a bunch of Wood Elf miniatures, a Dwarf Engineer, Vampire Counts pieces (mainly giant bats), the enemy character models from the Warhammer Quest expansion Lair of the Orc Lord, a couple of 40k guys, bases, random bits, and in the centre ancient Chaos Warrior parts.

They have all been dumped into plastic zip-lock bags, and are awaiting inspiration to hit.


Paint at last

Finally finished adding the tiles to the roof. That didn’t half take long. But I am happy with how it turned out. I also added a small triangle of balsa to the end of each top plate, to hide where the MDF and cardboard don’t sit flush.

Then I under coated the whole building (the roof I did last, as I was still waiting for the capping to dry).

Then paint was applied. The bottom section will be stone walls and foundation, with wood edges. The first floor will be totally wood, while the roof will again be a mixture of stone tiles and wood framework.

I also managed to strip a few metal miniatures today as well. They have been sitting in Simple Green since I picked up some more on the weekend. The regular concentrated Simple Green I usually use wasn’t available, so I decided to give the new Orange Scented Simple Green a go. It strips equally well as the regular stuff, with the added bonus of leaving my models smelling orange fresh!

Just more tiles

A short one today. Really only worked on adding more tiles to the manor house roof. One end is done, so I added a capping section to the top, to see how it would look. Not too bad. Once I tile the other two sections I can add the other three caps, and move on to basecoating the whole thing.

Manor details

Did a couple of things to the manor today. Started out by adding this mossy vine next to the door. The vine itself is made from a tiny piece of wire, with additional lengths used to create some more branches. Basing flock is then glued around the vine to create moss, much like what I did to the Skaven Tower.

Next I worked on the first story fireplace. In order to sculpt a stone front I needed something to use as a back, to make it a bit easier. So I used a couple of light drops of PVA to attach this window offcut. This way I have a surface to work against.

I used wood filler to create the fireplace front. When it was done I just lightly tapped the window off with a hammer. To make double sure the front was attached I used PVA around the edges.

The only thing left now is the roof. I have started on one side, cutting 10mm high strips of card and marking them at 10mm intervals across. At each mark I scored the card with a knife, and then clipped the edges away to make the tiles look worn. Each second row starts with a 5mm tile, so that the tiles all overlap. Just this section took me three or so hours to do, as I cut each strip individually and made sure it was fitting.

Inside and outside

Detailed quite a bit of the manor today. Started with the ground floor interior, adding in a door frame first. Then skirting board, and finally small slivers of balsa to be ladder rungs.

Moving onto the ground floor outside, I first attached the new front door arch. I cut off the obvious Imperial crosses, and filled in the skulls. The gargoyle, though, could stay. I will be making this building more Bretonnian flavoured than Empire.

Before gluing on the front door arch I had traced out a shape for the door itself on some balsa wood. I cut this out, but unfortunately the door was slightly too small. In retrospect I should have traced it a little differently, pointing the pencil inward. Alternatively I could have cut a rectangle of balsa and glued that behind the arch, giving the impression of the shape. Either way, there was a bit of a gap around the door so I used very think cuts of balsa to create a secondary lip. Hopefully this will look alright once painted.

For no real reason I decided to detail the majority of the outside ground with large stones. Behind and in between a number of these I scattered the ever-present giant rats. You can see them peeking out from cracks, or only just catch their tails as they scamper for cover.

Next I moved onto the first floor. The floor went down first, slats of timber cut from balsa. I decided to change the direction, having the planks run shorter (unlike the ground floor, where they run the width). Using more strips of balsa I created vertical beams that mirrored the beams on the outside. Then I ran horizontal beams between them, above and below each window. This is to give the impression that the windows are a separate item, rather than just holes cut in the side of the building.

One the floor was dry I cut the hole that the stairs came out at.

As I was finishing up I decided that the area to the right of the door was looking a little bare. There were some window archways still spare, so I cut down the curved ends and the peaked centre piece to fit into the area between the building and the edge of the base. When the glued had dried enough I added in a layer of wood filler. This will become a planter box. I would like to have a vine in here that is growing up the side of the building.

So far I am quite happy with how the building is shaping up.

You have floored me

While it has been a long weekend here, a time to traditionally get a large dent of hobby stuff done, not as much progress has been made either painting or on the house. Largely because it has been hovering up towards 35 degrees. Not good painting weather, or for sitting out in the shed for an extended period. Still, I did get some work done.

I used wood filler to start covering up the more obvious gaps and joins. The pre-cut MDF had a door section cut into it, but I decided to fill this in. I have a plastic door frame in the Empire style that I am planning on attaching instead.

One of the things I have been in two minds over has been detailing the interior. On one hand this piece will probably be mostly used for Warhammer, thus making an interior redundant. However, the ease with which it separates into the different floors makes gluing it into a single piece seem like a real waste. I want to get back into building dioramas this year, so doing a basic interior for this manor seems like a good start.

I cut strips of balsa to the length of the room to be the floorboards. Some offcuts were used to cover the side of the staircase, to make it look a little more sturdy and less like a short sliver of MDF board.

I also cut a rectangular piece to fit into the gap left by removing the centre walls on both sides. Next I will add in some skirting board and trimmings, so that these bits of balsa become some kind of wooden feature wall.

At the moment I doubt I will furnish the room very much. The fireplace should get some logs and ash, but otherwise the room will be very bare. This is just in case I want to use this interior for something in the future, like a Warhammer Quest or skirmish game. Then I can add in props as needed.

House renovations

Way too hot to paint today. I doubt I would get a couple of brush strokes onto a miniature before it had all dried. So I decided to attack another project.

This is one of the things Brad left with me before his departure. It is a pre-cut wood house that you punch out and assemble, made by CNC Workshop.  The whole piece opens up, the roof comes off to reveal the first floor, which also comes off the reveal the ground floor.

As you can see, as well as the distinct segments there is also two ‘halves’. This is because it is essentially two smaller houses that you can push together, creating one larger building. Now, me being me, of course I have decided that I only want the one large building. So I am going to attach the two halves together to create one seamless piece.

First things first, I want the building to be quite open, so the centre walls have to go. The first levels walls came off fine, I guess Brad hadn’t got that far in the gluing yet. However, the ground floor walls proved to me far more bother. I couldn’t figure out if they had been glued in or not, but they certainly wouldn’t budge, whatever had been done to them.

So I went with the easiest solution. I broke out the ancient Dremel tool I possess, and cut the walls off. Now, if you are going to do this yourself, a couple of things you should know.

First, a Dremel tool like this was probably amazing thirty-five years ago, but in todays age it is a scary device of loud, whirling death. And on top of that, it is maximum effort for minimal result. I would have been better off using my smaller hacksaw than the Dremel, but I had committed to the tool and wanted to see it through.

Secondly, as well as saw the wood, it also scorched it. There are some fairly pronounced black scorch marks down the cut, where the blade has been burning the MDF. The billowing clouds of smoke should have given away that this was happening, but again, I just soldiered on.

After cutting the walls off I glued the sections together. This meant using PVA to glue each half together, as well as brush some glue into the joins of each piece.Obviously this is stage one. When dried the ground floor will be attached to a single piece of thin MDF so that the centre of the two halves isn’t the only place they contact. I will also have to add some further braces to the centre walls, to both create stability and to cover the large holes left from the tabs. Then I’ll add a floor, most likely made of plasticard, to the first level.

As for the roof, I didn’t have to take out the centre walls here, so there was more area to glue to. However, I still think I will add some kind of overall frame to support both halves. Though made of what and how I am not yet sure.

It was also at this point that I noticed the very ragged edges. Obviously Brad hadn’t cleaned up the pieces from where they popped out of their frames initially, and there were these odd little bumps over the whole thing. I just cleaned these off using a Stanley knife, carefully cutting away slivers of them parallel to the flat of the board.

Later this week is Australia Day, so hopefully I will get some time to come back to this in a few days.

Definitely not Taubmans Endure

A quick one today. Got a couple of layers of paint onto the Skaven building. It isn’t looking too bad, I am actually quite pleased with how it is turning out.

So all the basic colours are applied. Hopefully I can finish all the smaller details during the week, and then that is another piece of scenery down.

Keep stuff in here

Constructed most of this Skaven building over the last two days, from popsicle sticks. I don’t imagine Skaven would have a very high architectural design ethic towards their mundane buildings, but at the same time I didn’t just want a boring wooden cube. So I decided to try and make it a little more interesting by giving it a couple of heights, as well as this odd overhang on one side.

As I imagine it, when Skaven set up in caverns they would construct something like this as a kind of storage shed. I didn’t want to put a door on it, as that didn’t seem to fit the nature of the structure, so I left a rough opening. So it doesn’t look like some empty shack, I glued some boxes and items just inside the door, so it looks like there is stuff piled in there.

After it has dried I can attach some more details to it, to give it a bit more interest, and then base it. After this it just needs under coating and painting.

Not a scat free evening

Managed to squeeze in some time with my scenery projects today. It is pretty hot at the moment, around 32C, so the paint was drying quite quickly. This meant it was fairly easy to power through the rest of the painting.

Using acrylic artists paints, I did a drybrush of a dark green over the black undercoat on the Corpse Wall sections. Then I applied a mid-grey colour to the bone areas.

Once that had all dried, I applied a light brown acrylic to the wood sections, and some clothing. Mixing the grey and green together I got a very sickly, rotting green, which I drybrushed over the entire piece. Then I added some of the light brown to this mix, and used this to roughly highlight the rotting areas. Lastly I applied a drybrush layer of light grey to the stones around the base.

The wall sections are far from stunning, and downright clumsy when you go in for a close look. But they will suffice for their intended purpose, to appear in mid-to-long shots of the battle report.

The Limestone Heap was a lot more straight forward. Drybrushed the light grey over the grey undercoat, both on the ‘limestone’ and onto the base.

Then when it was dr, drybrushed the light brown over the base, to add a bit of difference between it and the limestone. Also drbrushed the skeleton in the same colour, for the same reason. Used a darker brown to paint the rat.

Again, not a technically fantastic job, but sufficient for the intended purpose.

Also built a Dung Heap, while I was at it. Cut thin slivers of styrofoam from the off cuts of the wall and glued them onto a piece of card. Then textured the remaining areas with basing material.

The idea is, when I spray undercoat the piece, the spray will eat away at the foam creating irregular pockmarks and formations.  Hopefully this will create a texture and look akin to piles of poop.

Once undercoated and dried I applied varying layers of green, brown and grey, with added mixes of the three colours to create a bit of tonal variation.

I am quite happy with how it turned out. Some of the foam was dissolved all the way to the cardboard, so there are a couple of conspicuous flat areas. But overall it is achieving the look I had hoped for.