Thursday, 24 November 2011

All Quiet On The Blogging Front...

Phew! Been a while hasn't it? But fear not - I'm back, and with pictures!

Even though I've not made a post for a while it's not because I've not been doing anything. Progress on the TYW table is storming along, and we're well on the way to getting it finished in time for the Wargamer show on 11th December (just 17 days to go!)

So, carrying on from where we left off: between Sunday 6th and Sunday 13th, Gary finished off texturing the rest of the boards and gave them all the first coat of paint: a "Bitter Chocolate" (from Homebase I think...). Gary also started on the roads, giving them their basecoat (a Mid Stone colour if I remember correctly).

Sunday 13th came (after the Remembrance Service in the morning) and we started with the second coat of paint; a heavy drybrush of "Nutmeg Spice", again from Homebase! While Gary started drybrushing the boards, I began painting the river and stream

The water sections were largely experimentation - we went through a box of Gary's watercolours and acrylics and picked out ones we thought might be appropriate. The basic scheme was a basecoat of dark green, a mid-layer of mid green in two strips near the banks (leaving the central channel as dark green) and then a further 'highlight' layer of a light green. All blended in and looking suitably waterlike, if a bit too turquoise-y and "clean". Naturally, Gary couldn't resist playing and he started adding yellow. Soon enough the whole thing looked like a chemical spill, but he managed to correct it and get the yellow to blend nicely with the green. Still quite green, so we'd be adding Devlan Mud into the mix to darken it down and bring all the colours together.

While the boards were drying, Gary started work on the first redoubt while I got on with building the wood sections. The redoubt started out as a base of thick card (mounting board) and a few offcuts of dowel. A few more bits of card were used to raise the dowel off the base, and Gary found a few metal gabions to add

Some lollypop sticks, coffee stirrers and lots of wood filler later, a redoubt was born!

Meanwhile, I started on the woods. The bases are made from hardwood, and we sort of cheated by utilising the bases from Gary's existing scenery pieces. To get them looking like they belonged though we were going  to go through the same process as with the boards themselves. The edges of the templates were trimmed slightly to give a chamfered edge, the bases were PVA'ed and covered in railway ballast, and when that was dry they were given the same basecoat of "Bitter Chocolate"

You'll notice that for the most part, there's a distinct lack of trees. That's because we've decided to do the majority of the trees on separate bases, so that we can have the option of removing them during play.

That concluded Sunday's meeting. We managed to squeeze in a Thursday session as well on the 17th and we started on the next layer of paint for the boards, this time the first green. This was a "Woodland Fern 1" (this time from B&Q!)

As you can see, we left a few patches of the original texture showing through just to add some variety. As well as the boards, the roads were given their second coat of paint, a drybrush of a lighter colour (can't remember which...)

Things all looked pretty garish at this point, and we had our first moment of doubt - was the green too light? It didn't look like it did in the book (Paul Darnell's "Touching History Issue 2" by the way), but we persevered. Being as we had already painted all the boards, it was a bit late to do anything else...

From here, Mr Darnell's book said to go straight from the Woodland Fern to a Warm Yellow, but we tried it and decided it was far too stark a contrast and the yellow far too bright. We quickly agreed that a layer of a brighter green was what was needed, and so we broke out the Goblin Green (having no other suitable colours in any sort of bulk). We tried unsuccessfully to find a similar shade in any of B&Q or Homebase's tester pots, and so we persevered with the GW. Between us, we just about had enough to get all the boards done. It looked decent, but was still too dark for what we wanted.

The next two layers were done on Sunday just gone, and we broke out the yellow. First was a lighter drybrush of the Warm Yellow we were originally 'supposed' to use. This brought the boards out another level, but was still too dark and a bit chalky. So we decided to go up another notch, introduced Yellow Submarine and it all came together.
The transition from start to finish: Woodland Fern 1 (top), Goblin Green
drybrush, Warm Yellow drybrush and a Yellow Submarine drybrush (bottom)

 And we were done!

Well, done with the boards at least. We gave the roads a final drybrush of Ivory and the water sections have now been given wash of Devlan Mud and a few coats of Gloss Varnish. Gary has spent the last couple of evenings adding reeds to the stream and marshy area (just the river to go) and building the second redoubt. I've been working on hedges and trees, all on individual bases. I'll update on those in the next post.

So there we have it! The bulk of the work now done, and with time to spare. We've got 17 days to get everything else sorted: trees, hedges, back scene, redoubt, and then all the other paraphernalia we need for the game (like rules, figures, game info etc.) We're even planning a banner!

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