Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Kubla Con Report, of sorts

SO Kubla Con 5 game VSF campaign was a huge success with awesome terrain and miniatures painted up in colonial glory. Some pictures of the people and games follow in no special order. So here is Skrapwelder peering down on the doings of mere mortals. To the right is a shell shocked Alfrik near the end of the fifth battle on day three. Was I ever done in...

Center of the town in the 3rd battle. The factory in the lower left is a munitions plant, no one wanted to stick around and defend it with all the high explosive rounds going off..

Rod, Roderick and Foss1066 pictured here. Rod was so moved by the game he was writing really good and appropriate Haiku poetry to give progress reports! I hope that Skrapwelder hung on to some of them.

Prussian Horde attack! Entering from the right and moving left they quickly entered the edge of the town and began house to house fighting.

A view down the main street of the town to show the buildings and scenic bits as well as the road.

In another article I cover the speed painting of brick walls that I use. Oh and did I mention a captive T-Rex got Uncaptived? All infantry advance on both sides screeched to a halt. Volleys of lead bullets would not overcome what the Snauser would do!

Speed Painting Brick Walls

Ok, I was tasked with painting 12 brick buildings ranging from one story to 3 storeys with gabled ends for the recent Prussia Invades England VSF games Skrapwelder GMd and I was an assistant GM for. Looking at a vast vista of endless seeming brick walls, Debs chimed in that foam rubber brush would work pretty good and headed out to get some large clean ones. Here is a picture of a primed couple of wall sections as this article is being written after the con was over but are fairly representative of a one story building wall.

Debs returns with not foam rubber brushes but a foam Roller! It is 4 inches across, the paint was put in a glass casserole dish to allow it to be rolled around and coat the roller lightly but completely. Then Debs and I swapped off as we Lightly rolled the first coat on the buildings that were assembled and primed when they arrived on our painting table along with something like "sorry to get these over here 36 hours before we leave for the con..." heh. In only 20 minutes we had all the brick work on the 12 buildings coated twice.

Here is a wall section with a couple of passes back and forth across the brick wall, LIGHTLY rolled, do not press or you will fill all the mortar lines. The window frames and all the surfaces was of course painted in the brick color. which after the wall sections dry you can go back and color the window frames and door ways the colors you want. After the brick facings were done, we used Gray to do all of the slate roofs in a few minutes also. Window and door frames... well we worked fiendishly to get as many done as possible as well as some of the larger interior walls of the factory buildings with large open doors to improve the overall look of the building by not having a white interior wall decor.

Here is a smoother style of brick wall that most of Skrapwelders buildings are made from now. Again, Lightly rolling did the coating quickly. Should you want a fuller or deeper color of red, simply wait for the surface to dry and roll again till the color depth is achieved. Clean up of the roller takes running water and squeezing the roller under the running water till its color is back as close to white as possible, let air dry.
Windows, some of them that I had time got a thin white wash spread around on the panes with the wall flat and allowed to dry before painting the window casings. Foundation footings and some arches got quick period colors applied to meet my 3 color rule ; Things look better with 3 or more colors. And there you have it.
Stone Walls, slate roofs all paint with the roller fast. You can use a darker color on the stones and slate, then lighten and roll lighter touches to highlight to boot. Going to try lapsided wood walls and shingle roofs next.

New Brick Making Material

Been there, done that, Brick punching out of heavy card stock or thin solid cardboard...then try to paint the single bricks on the rubble especially the Sides of the bricks so after they were punched and placed they did not show white edges....very unbrick like. So:

Came across this material at the Jo Ann's Craft Store:

Foamies, 2mm thick sheet. So getting out the rectangle Fiskers hole punch you start punching out brick, SAVE all the left over lace work of left overs to chop up into smaller odd bits of broken brick rubble to add in first, then scatter bricks. Note the brick colored material.. hint hint, no painting the rubble....
The thickness of the pliable foam works well, this is not Styrofoam, but spongy. I put a couple of the "bricks" on the base Dusty is on.. with his new black boots courtesy of my cat knocking over a black wash bottle... If i paint exterior of any standing brick wall sections, then I paint it on the face of the foam, then punch the bricks when its dry, and presto, rubble bricks occasionally showing the Exterior building color, or the use of "distressed" recycled bricks that collapsed brick piles sometimes show a multitude of colors.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Quick and Easy Road Side weeds

Thought that the road sides and rock walls that adorned many of them were a bit bland, so pulling out a supply of home created Popsicle sticks, removed the ice cream my self through long dint of effort.... I cut and rounded the cut ends to supply a quick mass of "bases" for them. Basically only on problem arose, they are very light, but since they don't provide significant benefit to the class of terrain called Light Cover.. they work fine. A quick coat of green paint and I was ready to start flocking with grass material  and applying small brush. First a coat of standard turf flock, left to dry for couple of hours in the sun, then laid on a string of white glue, pressed the stick down into mixed small coarse turf, flipped over, let dry and then diluted pva to really help it stay. Not satisfied with just these I pulled some Clump Foliage out and carefully tore some stand up pieces and glued them down. So overall they make great bits to add to the side of old barns, around a stone wall, side of the road, base of a water tower, or scattered in fields to add a bit of eye catching / flat green field breaking flora.
And here are some of the torn foliage, thinking of sticking some small bits of red on them to make flower shrubs for in front of houses, around gardens and such. Tallest pictured in the last one are only about 20mm high, most at about 12mm. I'll try to add a couple of pictures with figures and buildings.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Building Rubble Update

Large Building Rubble continues with the following pictures; first is a nasty piece of plastic base that used to be under a hill and was covered to a paint pallet for awhile among other incarnations of usage.

So, on to setting up a few miss cast wall sections that were visited with a couple pairs of pliers. Hot glue secured the walls to the base. Other chunks of broken wall section were applied with what I will call the Chip and Dip method. Having a small container of Light Weight Wall Spackle, I stirred it up to make it almost like liquid, then would take a broken section of wall, scope out some of the soupy wall hole filler and press it down onto the base piece. This would work to secure the piece to the base and the excess oozed out so I could tamp it down a bit to prevent to many voids in the over all first application of rubble.

This was left to dry while working on the other 3 bases of rubble. I did try to keep excess of the wall filler from getting up on the brick walls, though I did press it down into the base of the wall if there were any gaps. The actual surface of the plastic was none to smooth with all the accumulated "stuff" over the years. A few bits of roof section are scattered about but miscast roof stuff was in short supply.

Here is the piece with a coat of flat brown sprayed on it to give a chance at avoiding the dread white bits showing.. I held the spray can close to the piece and blasted it in, while standing outside with a light breeze to dissipate the over spray. I slowly rotated the piece and shot the paint in at every angle I could obtain.

Next was the use of Spray Tack Adhesive that I sprayed CAREFULLY on the non wall sections so to provide the glue I needed when I sprinkled the bricks down on. Time constraints are such that I don't have time to do a second layer before the convention, but onwards.

Basic scatter of bricks show well across the front base of the door at right. Color of brick red on the walls and fallen sections as well as on loose bricks. Still have to get door and window frame colors on as well as adding fallen beams and such, which also will have to wait till after the Con.
Final shot is of the Interior. Lots of ground clutter to give it the fallen in look. As mentioned, have to add in some balsa wood beams sticking out here and there to give more 3D look.
More later!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Building Rubble

Start of a new project, classed: "In the Hurry and Get It Done for the Convention Game" mode. So here are the first pieces of building rubble, damage markers for the buildings as they take damage but are not destroyed situations. I thought about and will probably still take some of the plastic bases and build piles of Light Weight Patch And Paint hole filler and then glue loose bricks to them, but for now, onwards. These are currently drying before I apply a liberal coat of cat litter mixed with white glue over it all. The final coating will be bricks that I have used my rectangular hole puncher to mass produce...albeit taking breaks to avoid hand cramps... The bricks are punched out of file folder card board thickness paper. Miss punches of partial bricks was intentional to add more "rubble" look.

Dusty is filling in for the comparison shot, as usual, though he is on a really cheap retainer. So here is a sample of the bazillion bricks I punched. Usually I do thicker cardboard to give a better 3d effect to them but since I did not intend to actually build any walls, these will do nicely.

Roughed in bases with broken pieces of some of Arnica western building miscast scraps I bummed off of Skrapwelder, and then used pliers to break up and glue down along with globs of Kittie litter and white glue. I allowed them to dry only about an hour, I am in the hurry up mode after all. I did not have much in the way of brick wall sections at the time to break up so the lap siding got smeared with the globs to hide them somewhat. I Liberally sprayed them on the stick they were photographed on and then slid them onto a large sheet of white paper as show next. The liberal spray did 2 things, first to make sure that the background color got into the nooks and crannies and provide the basic stick em for the first coating of paper card stock bricks to be sprinkled on by finger pinch loads, for better placement.

First scattering of bricks accomplished. The loose bricks that missed the wet bases was easily collected back up into the holding hopper. That done, I then sprayed from on high, letting the spray paint mist down before moving in closer to soak the bases again. A few of the bricks flipped off, but this is the first layer of bricks and I did not worry about that. I repeated the process as the holding spray coat now became the application of the second brick sprinkle coat, though it was applied mainly in areas where there were not enough brick coverage to satisfy me.
Okay, last shot of completed stands, before painting. I have them sitting outside in the sun, for probably most of the day to let the 90 degree weather bake them dry, through and through. This shows a pretty good scatter of bricks over the assorted pieces. Finally, I'll be painting on them this afternoon.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Water Feature Test

Okay, been busy getting ready for Kubla Con, but here is my first water test using Kel Seal smeared on felt. I layered it on then simply Patted the surface with the spreading tool, let dry and then hit with a dark blue wash to bring out features.

Here's Dusty doing that Walk on Water routine that gets him free drinks... As this is a test piece not intended for use, I just had at it. Next will be to use some sort of tool to Touch the KS and lift in small "waves" and ripples. This would probably be a good application around Piers and rocks at the sea shore though, maybe a hit of flotsam bobbing about. Last is a shot of the piece from a distance, choice of color, maybe a light green for choppy bay water or light blue around rapids?

Bit more follows after reading some comments about this water feature with another picture to show a bit more detail of the test piece (note, this is only on a scrap of felt, not planned for use in an actual miniature setting, experimental throw away) In the picture below you can see that the KS does tend to curl up the edge of the felt a bit as it dries and contracts across the surface, I will try doing a smear on the "back" first and let it dry to preset, hopefully, a curl of the top finish side to be downwards.

Now a different try of lapping wavelets done with a short stick. I had to put on more than typical amount of the KS to make for a thick enough surface for the long edge of the stylus stick to catch, move and lift the KS. I left it to dry as you see it. Will take more practice and on a larger area to work out a beach wave piece. Figure to break out the model railroad scenic books I have and study up on it.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Reviving a Game Matt Part 2

Time to add a bit more to the How To on Surfacing. This picture I still had the Flash on but worked out to show how the plain white Kel Seal didn't get properly flocked. You can see a whiteish edge. Now to Fix it after its Dry. If you try before its fully dry you have a good chance to roll a swath back up on your rolling pin. Patience is key here. I squeeze about 3 tablespoons or enough green paint to fill the cup of your hand into a small plastic container, add in 5 large dollops of the KS and mix till its all light green. Tinting the KS Green reduces the chances of more whit line areas showing, but for the purposes of showing How To, I left it white for some more pictures.

As shown, I use a few different sticks to feather some of the KS out around the edges. Notice that I do not attempt to fill evenly or have a defined edge to the area that I cover with the KS. By feathering it out over the surrounding area a bit it really hides the over lap lines, adds thickness to areas and allows the adding of more coarse chopped turf for small bushes. Use the flat end of your spatula (12 inch ruler is what i use, the beveled top side with the numbers is the smoothing side I use) to drag lightly over heavy lines left when the spatula is used to spread the KS over a large area, otherwise when you dump the flocking and roll it you will see these Thicker lines when the excess flock is removed a couple hours later.

Here is a shot of the coarse turf tossed about first to help make sure that it gets bonded. I use several colors but do not add them all to each area as I go, to avoid uniformity. After the coarse turf clumps are scattered, then I pour on the T49 flocking and roll from the edges inwards to start then back and forth, Not as hard as I can though. You will notice some bit of the KS push up thru the turf, just dump some more on it and roll over it again. Rub any build up of KS/Flock off the rolling pin as you notice it. The stone rolling pin I use , plastic scrub pad, bit of soap and water cleans it right up,.. though the wooden handles are a bit greener....oops, could have waxed them first...

Here is a shot of putting a small pile on a spot I rolled where the KS oozed up thru, just covered it with more and rolled back over. The small line near the top of the picture is not something that is in the the KS below, but a rolling edge of the rolling pin as it goes thru the flocking. Once you have covered the entire surface with the flocking you can lay it out and spot fix any area you are not liking using a small spatula and more coarse turf or flocking. Here are a few more IN PROGRESS shots.

How the flocking looks when rolled over, the KS spread about before flocking or coarse turf is added.
Another shot of redoing a thin area or area where the flocking was just enough to cover the area but rolled up on the rolling pin and .. well, redone.

So final shot with Dusty standing on the field with the rising sun behind. The Matt is a monster 6 foot by 9 foot for a convention game. I estimate that I used 4 large bags of flocking from the Woodland Scenics T 49, about quarter of a bag of 3 different coarse turf colors and sizes, 2/3 of a gallon of KS. I did have to obtain 6 large bags of flocking though, so as to have enough to cover the spread KS thickly enough to be rolled out. The left over simply goes into my base flocking tub for future use. My 4x6 foot Matt used a full gallon of KS, probably because I over applied, it being my first go. I was not liking the way the canvas was taking the KS due to not being able to press down much as I was able to do with the Felt, but after some experimenting it worked out rather well. Today is hand cramp day... spray the whole Matt with diluted PVA glue and water... and let to dry fully. A J's idea of the spray on Matt coating is a good idea to reduce wet spills on the surface, though the KS will not dissolve in water once it has dried completely. KS will wash off with water though when its still wet, great way to get it off your pants if your not wearing old work pants and go oops... Also cleans off furniture when the cat runs over the KS and ... well, I got it cleaned up before the wife saw it!