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Desert Island Discs

The Caribbean project is still progressing but for a change, I decided to make some scenery. It should make the games more interesting – it’s always nice to add a bit of local flavour. It also makes sense as I am now well into writing my rules set for the Caribbean and a bit of scenery will make play testing more fun.

The obvious choice was to make some scenery with palms trees. It’s a nice straight forward project and requires the minimum of material. For the bases, I used an idea stolen from one of my gaming colleagues and recycled a couple of old DVD’s that I had kicking around. I simply covered them in a layer of Milliput and pressed in the palm trees – Arcane Scenery, of course! To add a bit of extra interest, I placed a few rocks and some smaller jungle plants into the milliput and then let it dry.

Jungle scenery on the work bench

Jungle scenery on the work bench

Close up of Scenery in progress

Close up of Scenery in progress

There’s no need to cover all of the disc with milliput, just enough to give some height and to secure the trees. I let the milliput dry over night.

The next stage was simply to cover the base in Vallejo dark earth texture paste. I really like this stuff and use it on most of my basing. It’s quite robust when dry and because it seems to retain some flexilibity, it doesn’t crack or flake in the same way that say, Plaster of Paris or Polyfiller does. I just used a light skim and it doesn’t matter too much if you get it on the trees or rocks. It wipes off easily whilst still wet.

Vallejo texture paste added

Vallejo texture paste added

Once again, this was left to dry overnight. The next stage was to paint the bases. I have been using Vallejo paint for this job but remembered that in the past I had been using a Matt emulsion to paint my scenery. Sure enough, I still had the tin on the shelf, so the bases were painted in ‘Delhi Bazaar’! Using matt emulsion is a much cheaper way of painting war games scenery than using your best Vallejo paint. Keep an eye out for match pots at your local DIY shop. The irony is that they are more likely to be selling off the darker brown colours cheaply, as whilst these are ideal for wargames scenery, they don’t look so good on your living room wall…

There’s no problem in mixing emulsion with Vallejo though. I used a mix of emulsion and Iraqi Sand to dry brush the bases and bring out the detail – you do not need very much paint for the dry brushing stage.

Bases dry brushed.

Bases dry brushed.

I also repainted the rocks. I often leave them in their natural state but decided to give them a coat of paint to bring out the detail. It is a simple matter to paint them dark grey and then dry brush them in lighter shades. You can also see my latest batch of Rebels that are nearly ready for the table. The nice thing about these scenery projects is that you can get on with other stuff whilst each stage is drying.

Woodland Scenics Scatter added to the bases.

Woodland Scenics Scatter added to the bases.

Once the paint was dry, I brushed on some PVA glue and added some Woodland scenic green scatter and a few tufts of grass. I kept the grass tufts to a minimum. Although a bit more vegetation would be more realistic, I wanted space on the bases for my figures when playing!

Jungle scenery ready for the table.

Jungle scenery ready for the table.

So that’s the first of my scenery done. I will add a few more of these to my scenery collection, using some of the different type of palms and trees that we have. I think that using CD’s/DVD’s is quite a good way of basing your scatter scenery, so long as you are not ruining your favourite film or TV boxed set! The effect can be perhaps a bit uniform but placing two or three together makes this less obvious. I also intend to make a few textured bases in MDF so that I can create ‘area scenery’ for the table – more on this in a later blog, perhaps.

If you would like to make some similar scenery, you will have to supply your own DVD’s but we do have most of the other items used and at the time of writing, send out post free to most worldwide locations.

Here are the links:

PALM TREES

MILLIPUT

VALLEJO TEXTURES

WOODLAND SCENICS SCATTER

PVA GLUE

TRENT MINIATURES CARIBBEAN RANGE

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