Here, in the one boxed set, are all the exciting episodes where I, Eastern Funker, make a model river for wargaming by following the Nikolas Lloyd way. Relive those desperate moments, great battles and humourous interludes, as a method of making wargaming terrain using caulk as expounded by Nikolas Lloyd is put to the test by a wargamer on the other side of the world.

Episode 1:  Carving out a river, on a Wednesday afternoon…

Episode 2:  How I made my 20mm wargaming river (“Carving out a river, on a Wednesday afternoon…” continued)

Episode 3:  Getting some IG-18 field guns (7.5 cm leichtes Infanteriegeschütz 18) ready for firing…

Episode 4: Knarloc and Orkhide

Episode 5:  How green was my river sections

Episode 6:  How green was my river sections 2

Episode 7:  Eastern Funker vs. Painting river sections: Round 1 – fight!

Episode 8:  Eastern Funker vs. Painting river sections: Round 2 – fight!

Episode 9:  Eastern Funker vs. Painting river sections: Round 3 – fight!

Episode 10:  Eastern Funker vs. Painting river sections: “finish him!!!”

Episode 11 (Conclusion):  Eastern Funker vs. Painting river sections: I win!

Grab the popcorn, your favourite beverage and kick back!

So, a week later and it’s back to the rivers.

As was stated in the previous post, I was going to have to correct some errors and do a little re-working. I did both of those and learned something along the way…which is that next time, I’m not going to let paints mingle whilst wet like Mr Lloyd does. Sure, I had a lot of success, but the errors were not worth it and in correcting those errors, everything had to look uniform…which meant effectively having to repaint everything. Mr Lloyd’s technique is too strong for me with a project like this!

I had luck using his “mingle-while-wet” technique with one-shot projects like ponds and a lake for another wargaming system & scale. This time I didn’t. I’ll keep it for one-shot projects like lakes…not a multi-part project like this.

OK, so today I began by repainting the deepest water, using pure Orkhide Shade (and a mix of Orkhide Shade and Black for the lake): . This was the easiest and quickest stage.

Next came painting on the second deepest water, which was mostly Orkhide Shade with a little Knarloc Green: .

The third deepest water (or middle band/layer of depth) was about 60% Orkhide Shade / 40% Knarloc Green: .

The fourth stage was to do the second shallowest (or fourth deepest water). This was probably 65% Knarloc Green / 35% Orkhide Shade : and I also streaked / used a nearly dry brush to get some lighter of the same colour on where the pure Knarloc Green was from before, just to give a little more variation, differentiation and most importantly, realism.

The shallowest water is the pure Knarloc Green (with the occasional highlighting touch with Goblin Green) left from the previous two days spent painting. In other words, I didn’t have to anything this time!

I don’t know why I thought in my previouspost that correcting everything would take days. It only took two hours. Perhaps this project is just dragging on for me? Anyway, it’s over 4/5 finished – I’m close now.

Tonight I’m just doing the soil and mud at the fords and adding a little flock onto two drops of Orkhide Shade which accidently fell on previously-laid flock.

Time permitting, tomorrow I can commence the ‘Ardcoat varnishing / water’s surface.

I pledged yesterday that today I would start painting water on the sheet styrene, caulk and Heki & Woodland Scenics’ terrain materials river sections come what may. Well, I fulfilled my pledge.

Beginning here – – undercoated sections, I started meeting my pledge by shaking up the two pots of paint I would need for today’s work, those pots being Orkhide Shade and Knarloc Green. I had already decided to start by painting on the deepest water, which for now was going to be pure Orkhide Shade. I commenced and made sure to make sure the deepest parts followed the logical flow of water. For straight sections, I ran mostly directly down the middle. For curved sections, the deepest water had to flow into and hard against the outer riverbank: .                                                                         Those trips fishing for trout at Bright and around Country Victoria were really useful in assisting me to visualise rivers and streams and where the water goes, how it scours into the ground and how it reacts to barriers. I translated all this easily with the #3 Francheville brush I was using. All I had to do was control the brushstrokes.

It didn’t take long to finish , although I did make a small error on the smaller of the ford sections. That was corrected with Kayak Brown.

I then allowed an hour for the Orkhide Shade to dry. It was a cool day here – even so, it dried fairly quickly.

Now I was at the most difficult stage – mixing the two colours. It involves painting on some watered down of the original colour, painting on the next green you wish to use beside it (in this case, Knarloc Green), then mixing the two using a third brush. Nikolas Lloyd’s painting technique is: “The river itself I painted with mid green near the edges, where the water is slow and green stuff may grow; then had a band of pale brown and pale green for the shallows; then in the centre, more mid green, lots of dark green, and streaks of very dark brown, to represent the deeper faster moving water. All of these colours I painted on quickly, with watery paint, and I was happy to see them mingle while still wet.”. I aim for a variation of this – I want the wet paints to mix but in a streaky and uneven fashion. I want them to naturally mix and create an equal mix inbetween them so that the end result is the first darker colour (pure Orkhide Shade), then a ‘band’ of the two colours blended together with streaks of both on both sides, then the second colour (pure Knarloc Green).

This took some time and patience. Even with time, patience, inspiring music and a big mug of tea, I still made mistakes. Here I am, a few sections done and happy with my work:  then a section or two bucked the trend and just wouldn’t behave  . This one in particular  is going to require some serious alterations when it’s dry.

They were nearly all done by dinner and the remainder were quick to do after a good feed.

It had taken an hour longer than I’d intended, but this stage of making the river sections was finished . I looked over the dry and nearly dry sections – they had overall turned out pretty well, as you can see here  and here  . Some need some extra paint like this one and you’ve already seen one particular miscreant who needs some intensive correction. However, the corrective & extra work stage shouldn’t take as much time as this stage has. Maybe I’ll do it tomorrow – we’ll see what the ANZAC Day public holiday brings.

Just before Christmas 2009 I sat down with the remaining large pieces of my sheet styrene supply and my trusty Olfa cutter and cut and shaped all the pieces I wanted to use in making my first wargaming river. I talked and showed you about it here. I then put that project aside while I busied myself with Revell Panthers and some other things. Having completed the Panthers on Thursday night (photos tomorrow) I was free again to tackle the river. I checked the weather report and it said we are in for 7 days of sun and a temperature of 29 degrees each day…in other words,  perfect conditions and I would be foolish to do something else and waste such an opportunity, especially as we are now in Autumn. I took the box that the river sections were in and prepared my work area. Here’s how my work are looked:

What you can see in that photo: caulk gun, Fuller’s Caulk in Colours, leftover sticks from Magnum icecreams, the aforementioned river sections cut from sheet styrene, two plastic jars filled with different grades of Woodland Scenics’ Talus, Woodland Scenics’ Modelling grass and lastly real pieces of sticks and twigs that I have collected. At this point I was ready to continue my learning and practicing of Nikolas Lloyd’s modelling tips, this lesson being in making rivers.

First, I squeezed the caulk onto the river section: . When you do this, the caulk will pull along a little as you squeeze it onto the section – meaning that if you commenced flush with the edge, it will get no longer be so at the end of application as it will have pulled off the edge in the direction you are squeezing and you’ll have to go back and add a little bit so that it is flush again. This became very annoying very quickly so I would commence squeezing over the edge of the river section and then lay it onto the section and along. This solved the need to go back. I may need to cut off the excess hanging off the edge, but that’s fine – you have to do this at the other end of the section anyway! So I wasted a little bit of caulk, but the amount is negligible and an ‘equal’ or ‘balanced’ section of river was made each time as a result.

Second, you need to flatten and shape the caulk. I did this using the wooden sticks from Magnum icecreams – they became my trowels. As you can see from the photo, the caulk comes out as a rounded tube shape and will stay like that unless you shape it. I’ve begun to flatten the sides down so they look like natural river banks or levee banks on the outer side of the river section. Something that you didn’t see in the first photo was a roll of paper towelling. This was necessary to wipe excess caulk from my wooden icecream stick-trowel.

This shaping and smoothing takes up the vast majority of the time spent on the project as a whole. You don’t want the banks to look unnatural and you also don’t want ‘holes’ or ‘pockets’ being exposed in the caulk bank as you shape it. I went back and corrected areas many times. I’ll give you a warning now…this part of making rivers is not easily completed! Don’t start, thinking that you’ll have it done in an hour! More about this later.

Here I’ve finished shaping and smooting: . Nikolas Lloyd then brushed caulk along the length of each section in order to create ripples and other detail effects on the river’s surface. I opted not to do this with caulk but will do it later with PVA glue, where I can use a brush that won’t end up clogged with caulk. I also don’t want the same amount of water surface detail that he does.

I added extra details to selected sections, just as Mr Lloyd did. Here I’ve added modelling grasses and talus to a section: . The grasses were cut in half to get a better size (in the packet they are about 4 inches long) and then securely and firmly stuck them into the wet caulk. I would then check their free-standing position and adjust any clumps that were not more or less vertical. This sometimes required pulling them back upwards a millimetre or two. I’ve also stuck some talus here, to represent where stones and pebbles are visible after erosion.

I needed some river crossing areas. I chose to make fords. Here’s one: . I’ve tried to represent where the river widens a little and is a little shallower, hence the muddy wheel tracks and wheel ruts showing where everyone else has succesfully forded the river. I’m happy with this and especially the effects I got in shaping the caulk, but paint will really help in conveying water depth and so on and complete the picture in my (and hopefully anyone else’s) mind’s eye.

At the end of the session, all river sections were completed: as was a swampy section of river, a seperate free-standing swamp or bog and a lake!

I commenced at 3pm and finished at 7.30pm. I had a couple of five minute breaks, sure, but ultimately all this took four and a half hours. Most of that was spent shaping the caulk. Doing things like the talus and the grasses took very little time overall – probably 90% or more was spent in all the shaping, smoothing and adjusting of the caulk. A warning then to all of you – make sure you have a whole afternoon or a good few hours if you want to do this yourself! Also remember this – Mr Lloyd added all that extra caulk and shaped it to create water ripples and riffles – if I had also done that, maybe I would have needed another 2-3 hours?

Anyway, this caulk needs a full seven days to be fully cured – so it can sit on the spare table and enjoy this weeks’ Autumn warmth.

Panthers tomorrow.

Battlefield Accessories is a local wargames terrain/wargames scenery manufacturer producing mostly for the 1/72 & 1/76 scales.

Having already made up ‘BA14 Ruined Building Pack Size 3’ last year, I picked up ‘BA16 Ruined Building: Spare Wall Pack’ this year at our Open Day this year, for which the contents are 4 x4″ & 4 x 2.5″ Walls.

Since I still have so much 1mm sheet styrene lying around, it would supply the bases/floors for two of these buildings. I also decided one would be undamaged and one damaged.

The logs piled against the walls are real trigs that I found during walks around the neighbourhood, that are already dried out. Providing one uses a fine, sharp saw, they become very suitable 1/72 scale logs.

The moss effect almost entirely covering one wall on each building is ultrafine leftover flock that I originally purchased to represent duckweed on ponds. I’m now using it for modelling moss growing on walls.

The other green effect, looking like veins or cracks but fluffy is an attempt to model vines or creepers growing up and spreading their branches out along the wall. I’m fairly pleased with the final result.

The burnt effect is model railroad coal and some 50% Black Ink spattered beyond it to show where flame spread but didn’t consume the wood.

Now that these are finished, it really is time to get cracking with some Nikolas Lloyd caulk waterways!

Still 4 weeks of Spring left, but today is the second day of over 30 degrees…in fact, looking at the MelbinYewni real time temperature graph, today got to just over 34! This means it’s time to think about doing lots of wargames terrain / wargames scenery, as there will be the heat to cure and dry everything thoroughly and promptly.

I’ve made a start: the three telegraph posts from an old ESCI Diorama Accessories set have been assembled, based and given some lumpy earth around their bases…ready now for painting.

I finished off a platoon of PaK 36 anti-tank guns with crews, plus that ICM Krupp truck, so that they wouldn’t bother me and so that “Operation Barbarossa” next year will be a reality. The PaK 36s are from Fujimi, the crews are the one worthwhile figure from the Fujimi set the gun comes in, a chap from the  Revell  Fallschirmjägers and one of the two ESCI / Italeri Sd. Kfz. 251/1 crew. Photos: PaK 36 teams & truck PaK 36 gun & truck .

Some more comments about the ICM Krupp L2H143 Kfz 70 kit…it turns out pretty well and looks great painted. I opted to have the MG 34 on a pintle mount in the rear tray option, to fit in with the Kubelwagen Type 82 which also had pintle-mounted MG34. I don’t like the decals that ICM provided for this kit, though. There is too much excess clear decal surrounding the rear number plate, and even drybrushing with Kommando Khaki as a coat of dust didn’t help…in fact it made it worse and drew attention to the excess. There was also far too much excess on the front number plate – which is meant to wrap around a front bumper bar which is probably only a milimetre wide. Stupid! It wrapped but wouldn’t glue. I know some modellers add a special glue under any decal they apply, but I don’t have that glue and don’t think it should be necessary. The front number plate decal’s glue didn’t hold and so the whole thing popped off during drybrushing. A shame. Sorry ICM, sorry Roden, but I’m not having much luck with your decals.

Now, Fujimi’s product is meant to be 1/76 scale, but it isn’t. Let me clarify…the house probably is, but the figures and PaK gun supplied with it are definitely 1/72 scale or even larger…possibly even 1/70 scale! Anyway, only one figure from that product is worth using with the anti-tank gun because the others are even worsely sculpted and moulded than the figures Hasegawa provide with their WWII AFVs. Hence why each PaK 36 base I’ve done has figures from other manufacturers to make up the two-man crews that Panzerfaust: Armored Fist requires.

Lastly – a couple of Battlefield Accessories wall sections (enough to make two simple houses) have been assembled and are being painted, along with a Faller German, Austrian or Swiss log cabin that I bought at a model railroad shop.

Oh, and there’s a Wespe and that other Kubelwagen still in Tankoberg…but I’m feeling the time is nigh to make a caulk creek / stream following the laws laid down by Nikolas Lloyd.

 

 

So begins one of my summer terrain projects – making up lots of Russian roads for the Eastern Front.

This is following the techniques publicised by Mr Nikolas Lloyd, for whom I have great respect.

First of all, gather what’s needed: starting-tools

Sheet styrene; an Olfa cutting blade; measuring tape (not shown); caulk and caulk gun; some sprues of extra truck wheels, to inprint “realistic” tyre tracks in the surface.

Second, begin cutting the lengths and then the widths with the cutting blade: getting-road-widths-right-using-a-jagdpanther

I’ve used a Jagdpanther to get the widths correct. The roads around Leningrad during Operation Barbarossa seemed to be about 1.5 Tiger tanks wide, so making these roads about 1.5 Jagdpanthers wide should be fine.

Third, make sure what you want will fit in the carrying boxes – this is something you can easily forget about as it’s easy to get carried away while cutting/carving/shaping… can-it-fit

I’ve ensured the maximum length still has at least 1cm clearance for the smallest size box I use for carrying/storing terrain (pictured on left, with those unfinished Tigers living in them). I’ve also done three different length…while fixing up and shaping the sides later, I made a fourth length. Not everything will fit on the table.

I also made two different crossroads, two different t-intersections and two different curves/bends.

Now I need lots of caulk, so it’s time to put this aside for a day or two.

More of ponds and Panzers

October 19, 2008

Click on it and have a look at it in a larger format. I took seven photos and this was the only one that did it justice. Sorry that the half-assembled Revell Tiger isn’t at all visible in this photo – it was in the other six that were rejected.

My verdict on my handiwork? Well, this is a damn good first go using Mr Lloyd’s techniques. It’s not a bad pond – its actual placement and use during a Panzerfaust: Iron Fist game will be its final test.

Particulars: I’ve used four fairly thick layers of Citadel’s ‘Ardcoat for the water (and hence the glossy shine on it’s surface). This has come out fairly well, except that the ‘Ardcoat stayed where it was brushed and didn’t completely flatten out and cover the entire flat base. So, if you look extremely closely, you’ll see that the water is in fact raised off the edge of the pond bottom. Given that I’m talking about a milimetre from the edge and about a milimetre of height, and most wargaming is not done in full sunlight, it’ll never be seen. But as a piece of my handiwork – I guess I’m being tough on myself. When doing water features previously, I had used Woodland Scenics’ Realistic Water which, if you read the description once you’ve clicked on that link, is self-levelling. After application, it flattens out and covers the entire bottom. It requires many layers until you’re happy, though, and certainly has a longer curing/drying time than ‘Ardcoat. Still, with the set of swamps I have in mind to start on soon, I’m going to buy a bottle and see if I am happier with it than just using varnish.

The other particulars – the Citadel colours used (from centre of the pond, spreading out) are Dark Angels Green, Snot Green and finally Goblin Green. Drybrushing the crusty dried mud was done with Kommando Khaki.

The Tigers mentioned earlier have finally had more productive work done to them. I’ve applied the glacis plate (having put two layers of black paint underneath the engine vent grilles first!) and have applied the rear and side mudguards plus the jacks. Applying the side mudguards invloved some drilling. I’m not sure why, but on all four kits so far, the holes for joining the mudguards to the hull are visible inside the model, but somehow during moulding, the plastic has flowed over the holes from the outside and sealed them over again. A hobby hand-drill with an extremely fine bit allowed me to neatly re-open them. Certainly, these Revell kits have lovely detail and I’m looking forward to viewing (and then using, of course) the finished product. In a forum I occasionally visit, there has been discussion again about the Revell Panzer V Panthers and their accuracy…well, for wargaming, these kits are looking fine by me. I’m slowy buying up some Panthers. They will have to wait, because first I am going to do my recently-purchased MAC kits and some Revell (1:76 scale) Jagdpanthers.

Of ponds and Panzers

October 12, 2008

The caulk-and-styrene pond is half-complete. It was undercoated with that household acrylic (“Kayak”) that you’ve heard about so many times, and then flocked with both coarse flock (to represent weeds) from Heki and fine Green Blend flock (for grass) from Woodland Scenics. You can see the result here:

Now I’ve started painting in the water depths, following Nikolas Lloyd’s advice and recalling my successes and failures when I have followed his advice with previous pieces of water terrain. Using Citadel’s Dark Angels Green, Goblin Green, Snot Green and some water, so far the result is satisfactory. I’ll wait until it properly dries before I pass final judgement.

The sides and bottoms of the Tiger hulls have nearly had all basic painting completed. Then on will go the mudguards and I can work on the upper hulls and turrets and hopefully can have a platoon of Tigers ready for gaming in November. There are some renovations at the Mitcham venue of NWA that is somewhat affecting gaming there, so I’ve set myself a reasonable rather than ambitious deadline.

***

The current world financial situation has caused our Aussie Dollar to fall way, way back against the British Pound and the US Dollar in the last three weeks. Good thing that I ordered and received a few boxes of two certain model kits that is sure to flesh out this German force I’m building up…more in another post, soon.

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.