Terrain, Tigers and troops

September 29, 2008

Today was both invigorating and fulfilling, as I was able to get a lot of things done and commence a new project entirely.

  • My work on the Tigers continued, with the Doug Chaltry track technique rolling on – doing highlighting of the bare metal using Boltgun Metal.
  • The panzerfaust-wielders’ bases came another step closer to completion and use in-game.
  • A lot of collected research, kit assembly instructions and helpful photos was arranged, put into clear plastic sleeves, sleeves put into a large folder and the folder stashed in the Hobby Room for immediate consultation.

This is in fact becoming bit of a conundrum…I have some shelves of history books and wargaming books in the Study (as well as information stored on my PC hard drive), but also need reference materials in the Hobby Room. The Hobby Room is already crowded and room for more shelves in there is not going to eventuate, so I’m trying to think of other ways to keep the vital stuff at hand.

  • I also prepared and undercoated some 15mm figures for another (non-WW2) wargame. They take Citadel paints very well and will be worked on while I press on through all the shorter stages of painting or assembly of the Panzerfaust: Iron fist miniatures (such as the multi-stage track painting).

The reason for the invigoration mentioned at the start of this post is due to starting something I’ve read about four years ago and have been meaning to do ever since – making wargaming terrain using acrylic sealant caulk. When I started casual reference work, I came across Nikolas Lloyd’s excellent website whilst searching for wargaming information and he made an excellent, persuasive case for using caulk for making your own terrain. At that time, I’d been wanting to make my own rivers and roads because a local supplier of excellent wargaming roads and rivers (made using rubber) had shut up shop. Mr Lloyd’s article was something I kept reading over and over and worked towards commencing, collecting bits and pieces here and there, up to a point in February this year when I made a test run with my collected materials to see if I could replicate his results. I was successful, but being a wargamer, was distracted with other wargaming modelling until now.

I had previously cut a shape from my supply of sheet styrene for a pond. I decided today to try making it, using Mr Lloyd’s methods and techniques. This was to be a pond suitable for a village pond or a duckpond. In the future, I want to try a lake and a set of swamps.

With the styrene shape, Fuller’s Caulk in Colours, a caulking gun, some wooden ice-cream sticks to shape the caulk and a boxtop to rest the shape on , I began.

Step One was to lay down the first layer of caulk, to get an idea of how much I would need in order to form a good bank / pond edge:

It was pretty obvious that to make a clearly distinguishable pond bank, I would need another layer, so Step Two was to apply a second layer inside the first:

The second layer seemed to be enough, so I put down the caulk gun and picked up an ice-cream stick and began to shape and smooth the outside of the caulk:

Mr Lloyd said that once out of the tube and beginning to be worked, that this acrylic caulk would be very soft and wet…he was correct, I found. Next time, I’ll let it set a little – maybe leave it alone for 15 minutes or so before shaping it. You can see that I haven’t shaped the inside yet: . This is because it needs a steep bank, so it had to be shaped using a new ice-cream stick, using different shaping motions and on different angles.

The end result is this: and now I need to leave it for a whole week before fixing it up or correcting errors, then undercoating, applying water and final paint. I dare not even touch it to see if it’s drying/hardening, as when I did that during my test run earlier in the year, I left quite big finger marks in the caulk that couldn’t be undone.

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