Now it’s time to seal the hills. If these were troops or vehicles, I’d be sealing them (to protect the paintwork) with Testors Dullcote. I seal hills with Woodland Scenics spray-on/brush-on Scenic Cement as it glues the flock from the top side, meaning that at the end of the process it’s glued from below and above and will only come off under physical duress.

I prepare the spraying area. In the past, I put newspaper on the floor and walls of a corner of a room and sprayed. Now I’m doing it in the garden shed. I get my cardboard box shield and it’s removable cardboard floor: and place newspaper on the removable floor to absorb any overspray or runoff: then put the fllor into place and place the hills in position: . I use a cheap garden sprayer/mister with 500ml reservoir as they are available in hardware shops and supermarkets – either I pour the Scenic Cement into the reservoir (usually when the Scenic Cement bottle level is low) or put the sprayer mechanism directly onto the Scenic Cement bottle (when the level is high, as is here -a brand-new, unopened bottle).Spray from the front, the sides and very lightly from the top: then take out the cardboard floor, rotate it 180 degrees, put it in place and spray from the front. Then leave the hills to dry (I always wait 24 hours). Be sure to carefully wash out your sprayer/mister, otherwise the glue will harden and interfere with the mechanism. I rinse it out and spray clean water through it twice. Even so, glue will still ruin it in time (over a few years of annual use, so hence the need to buy cheap sprayers/misters.

Next day, have a look at your finished products! . I’m very happy with how the SeeNiks Earth Blend flock turned out – it looks like this: . I think it looks fantastic, far better than the Woodland Scenics Earth Blend which contrasts too much with green flock. This SeeNiks flock also is a bit grittier…there are cut fibres and large flakes of sawdust in there, that make it look more like broken ground that’s dry than the “polished mud” appearance of Woodland Scenics’ product.

Your hills are now complete. Remove all the posterboard pins from underneath and store your hills or get a game on with them. Here are some photos of the hills with my Tiger Is:    . Just a quick check that the hills are taller than the tanks, thus completely blocking LOS when everyone’s at ground level : – they sure are.

 

I was only able to give the tree bases the first of their two coats of Kayak Brown paint before today. Today was glorious Spring-like weather – 18 degrees and very sunny – so I wanted to spray the liquid glue onto the lichen and the armatures to ensure as much adhesion of the two as possible and reinforce the lichen for handling and normal gaming wear & tear.

The first step was to set up a small table and gather everything together: . At this point I’ll clarify something from my previous post…I’m not using PVA glue that I have watered down myself, I’m using Woodland Scenics’ pre-watered down glue which they sell under the name “Scenic Cement”. I’ve been using it before I started this blog and have always been happy with it.

Second step: fill 500ml garden sprayer/mister with glue. Holding sprayer in your good hand, pick up tree in your other hand and hold it upside down. Give it two good sprays from at least 4 different angles: . The third step is to then right the tree (just turn your wrist back to it’s normal position) and give at least one spray from at least 4 different angles and a spray from above too: .

Last step is to place them somewhere sunny to dry: . Done!

Now, I did not attach the trees to broad-enough bases (I just stuck them onto film cannisters) so whilst they were sunning, any puff of wind would just bowl them over and elicit loud toilet words from me (not good when the neighbour’s pre-school kids are playing in the garden next door!). So, I would recommend not following in my footsteps but instead stick them onto someting broader…I normally would use plastic single-serve yoghurt containers, they never tip over.

I like to give any PVA glue at least 24 hours to dry (watered down or not, placed in the sun or not) so the earliest I can put that second coat of Kayak Brown paint onto the bases will be tomorrow night.

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Due to following the wrong instructions, I drilled some holes into the Panzer III turrets and hulls that I did not have to (since I’m not attaching any schürzen). When I realised my mistake, I filled them with Tamiya’s light grey modelling putty. I then decided to respray the black undercoat rather than hope my water-based paints would adhere to it without any priming, so out came the Citadel spraycan of Chaos Black: . Great! Now the dark grey camouflage paint can be painted on.

I made that painting shield by cutting up old boxes. It’s quite useful for stopping spraypaint going everywhere…that being said, I still do my spraypainting outside, away from the house (here, I’ve set it up in the doorway of the shed).

 

This terrain project is finished, and I’m pretty happy with the outcome: Hills with pins and shadow

The hills in the above photo haven’t had the pins/tacks removed. I’ve put my 1:72 UM Marder III (h) on the larger, to give you some idea of scale.  The spraying of Scenic Cement yesterday and application of extra coarse turf worked perfectly to plug the spots where the first and second glueing attempts with PVA glue failed to thickly coat the area. I also added a few patches of flock/scatter on top of the Scenic Cement to provide extra texture – that too worked well.

The Marder III(h) above is casting a strong shadow against the smaller hill. I’ve talked in earlier posts about how shadows can reveal an AFV’s location – the above example is a practical demonstration of that. Now it should be evident why, in the latter half of WWII, German AFVs stayed under cover during the day or attached lots of branches and foliage to their AFVs if they had to move during the day…because the hard angles and unnaturally-shaped shadows really are noticeable.

These next two photos are of the hills/mountains with pins/tacks removed from their bases, so they look as if they are being used as scenery in a wargame: Hills unpinned aerial Hills unpinned ground

I’ve realised with some previously-made hills, I used a finer grade of talus to represent small rocks which I could have done here…I’ll use them with the next lot of mountains / steep hills that I make.

The BZ-35 Refuellers are coming along well – they are receiving a careful solid coating of Catachan Green, which perfectly models the green the Soviets used on their softskins and AFVs.

I’ve commenced assembly of a 1:72  Sd. Kfz. 250/3 by Italeri (kit No. 7034), which was one of kits I bought at the Model Expo Swap & Sell on the Queen’s Birthday Weekend back in June.  It’ll end up being used as a reconnaissance vehicle for encounter scenario games.

Yesterday I began work on painting up a building (4 inch square walls) from Battlefield Accessories. It’ll have the same paint scheme that I used with the AMRI railway station that I painted up last year, for re-creating the fighting around Mga Railway Station in North-western Russia.

Painting the two BZ-35s has commenced…finally.  A front wheel fell off one just when I thought all glueing was finished so I had to do more glueing of axles and I also decided to use to Tamiya Putty (Basic type) to really lock down the wheels on the rear axles.

The finished product is nice to look at, though. Definitely a worthwhile PST kit to get if you want to game the Eastern Front (or Ostfront)…sadly, it seems PST has gone very quiet of late and so you may have to hunt around hobby shops and/or Ebay to get them. It’s really a shame, because I’ve also assembled and painted their Soviet KV-1s and KV-2s (in 1:72 scale, of course) and they turned out very well.

The silly title for this post is because while working on assembling the front of each refuelling truck, the instruction sheet said I had to glue on the radiator caps.

Yes, glue on a tiny radiator cap.

On the sprue, was indeed a tiny little radiator cap.

“Well”, I thought, “that’s detail for you. They could have easily included the radiator cap fixed in place as part of the mould, but to show you how much external detail this kit can have, they’ve given me a radiator cap to glue on”. It goes right where there is a bit of flash that actually looks like a radiator cap already, which just makes it seem even stranger. (Yes, even the kit assembled two years ago also had this radiator cap-shaped piece of flash on it).

I clipped the radiator caps off and glued them in place, which was a little trickier than I expected – the top of the radiator gently curves, so they initially won’t sit flatly.

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The small hill was finished last sunday, the glue holding the coarse turf on the big one hadn’t fully dried in some patches so I had to re-do it during the week. Today I sprayed it with Scenic Cement to seal it and added some more flock and coarse turf to try to cover up the less successful patches. Tomorrow night I’ll have a look at it – I’m keeping it in a warm room to speed the drying.

Also commenced painting up a shelled house!