Saturday 31 August 2019

Terrain: Make over, Cheap Trees.

This is a quick look at how I made some pretty basic, cheap trees appear a little better. 

The basic tree and a cut base made from hardboard.

First thing I did was to cut the trunk to give a flat bottom, so it would glue to the base easier.

Also I sanded the edge of the base as well.

Then I snipped a bit of the branch work off with the view of placing it elsewhere.

Getting the branch to glue back on with super glue could have been a pain, but using Bi-carb makes the glue set straight away.

Good and strong, it does give off fumes, no problem in a one off situation like this but if you were doing all 15 in an afternoon, make sure the window is open and wear eye protection.

Then I used a glue gun to stick the tree to the base,

I used a mixture of Das and PVA to develop the trunk.

Then I used a modelling tool to create the bark effect.

This was the shortest, fatest trunk I have made on all the trees I've done so far.

Then after the trunk was dry I covered the rest of the base in the same Das mix.

The next stage is to paint the trunk and base brown and the dry brush with grey,

Then add dark green flock followed by bright green, all from Luke's APS. I coated the whole base with PVA first and sprayed with watered down PVA after. 

Penultimate stage is to add the tufts and add one or two stones.

Finally I added bright green flock to the top of the tree and sprayed the whole thing with watered down PVA, then I did it again when dried and then again later...

With the new base, the extra flock, the re-positioning of the boughs and the new trunk I felt the trees looked much more interesting than they had been. 

The trees came from ethersell88 (via Ebay) and would like to point out that I don't work for them or sponsored by them. £14.37 at time of purchase, for 15 trees.

Monday 26 August 2019

Cheap Home Made D&D Mats

First off, I would like to say that these are a bit of an experiment. I had a camping sleep roll knocking about in the loft some I had cut into to create a buffer between my 2" MDF boards. It occurred to me that I might be able to use them to made a gaming mat. The main reason I decided to experiment was because of this lady from Kamui Cosplay:

It made me wonder how well EVA foam would take acrylic paint and if hers worked well why not mine. Hence the experiment.

Now unfortunately, to my mind at least, my sleeping mat was textured which was not perfect, however because I am a skinflint I decided it didn't matter as it was an experiment.

Basically I started by base coating the EVA with cheap acrylic emulsion, tester pots.
Mainly black, but also that sort in Fang Grey, cos I have a large tin of that :-)

Then I used the stamp shown at the end of this post and some more match pots to print onto the foam. Lastly I went round with a brush and first checked there were no glaring areas I had missed, then I chose a complimentary colour for a bit of variation and dabbed it on.

What surprised me was that even when I rolled up the mats quite tight non of the paint flaked or anything. Impressed the life out of me!

The white, snowy mat is the only one that is not finished really. I feel it needs a blue or green wash in places, but am yet to decide.

After they had set I went on to give them a coat of the varnish/stain you see here, mainly to turn the bright colour down and also for protection.

The stamp I made, cappa or foam board mounted on a bit of left over Balsa wood, for a limited amount of strength.

I just eyeballed where I was putting the stamp, no marking, which is why they are a little off. Although that does not worry me as much as the texture.

As you can see I have enough foam to create 2 more mats with what I have left over and I will not be buying another mat unless I see one dirt cheap and smooth and feel I need some more. We will see :-

Wednesday 21 August 2019

Small Scatter Pieces

These are a mixture of pieces, the mat and the tree in the background are fairly new and so are the 2 bamboo grove pieces, all the smaller terrain"Blobs" were made a while ago, perhaps 2 or 3 years ago. However I recently added a load of tufts to them that I had spare after making a load for Luke's APS. 

The mat is an experiment, made from a sleeping mat bought cheaply from Asda, I think, it has a texture which isn't great but it works OK.

Not keen on these huge round stone/rocks, really OK in rivers but not on these.

The added tufts made a huge different to these "Blobs" so I was pleased how they came out.

The bamboo grove was a bit of fun to be honest, I used real bamboo, skewers and sticks meant for the garden, then more tufts added to suggest the leaves.

More trees coming up soon when my sinusitis has finally gone, can't work with a dripping nose and a thumping headache.