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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Getting Close to the "End" of Terrain Building

Today's post shows some 'in progress' shots of the terrain as it gets colors added.  Once I'm done with the post I will be working on the 'greenery'.  Some of it is done but not yet photographed.  I have one piece near by that has at least 16 different plant species on it.  All total, I've probably collected somewhere between 20 and 24 plant species to populate my tropical terrain.  Indulge your patience and enjoy these photos while awaiting "the jungle."
 A very careful observer of the above shot will see all 18 pieces of terrain scattered about my garage.  Next to the spatula on the right is a piece of my "wedding cake" hills that will, eventually, be textured and painted to match.  This is a small piece, I have much larger pieces and many of them, some of them are three piece sets that add up to 3" height.  In the left foreground are piles of the "small terrain", all told there are 72 such pieces.  I realized something was missing and have 8 very small pieces I'm adding - needed these to add flora to the lagoon pieces, the others are just too big to fit.  When all is said and done, exclusive of the beaches, we will have built 100 pieces of terrain for this game - including the two piece volcano.
A closer in shot of the four main islands in there 'all together' arrangement with the first four colors added, the "browns" with the last one being a light tan color.
 An even closer shot but with some sort of lighting variation (the flash, maybe?) that shows the stippling effect - comes out blotchy at this stage.
 This shows some of the green having been added and some of the smaller islands being used as hills - just to give a sense of variety of uses for this terrain beyond the pirate game.
 Another closer shot of the terrain and hill/island.
 And another, this is where I noted the need to be careful about how I painted the bottom edge of the set-on pieces to have them blend in better.
 Some trees - from a kids toy set, repainted.  Remember these and try and find them mixed into the 'jungle' when I get it done, photographed, and posted here.  Really.
 A little trip over to the palm nursery yielded a bit over 300 palm trees that are already being 'planted' in there new homes.  They are simply cake decorating palms that have been given a spray painting session - I believe I used nine or ten different colors, browns and tans and greens for the trunks, and various shades of greens for the fronds.  I'm not sure how well the color variation will show on the computer but, in person, they look really good.
 A shot to show the three different sizes of greenery bases.  The two circles, 18 each, the oblong, 36 of those.  And, as mentioned above, there will 8 even smaller circles for the lagoons.  These have wood bases, the tops are insulating foam carved with a serrated steak knife, full strength wood glue binds them together.  Simple and, when you see them in there final form, very effective.  And durable - already passed the "drop on concrete" test.
 A staged photo with some troops in it!  That is all six redoubts, assembled and painted by Nils, with two pirate groups inside.  I had all the gabions and the stakes and decided it was time to put them to good use.
 Just a closer shot of same.
 And a cropped seagull's view.  As I get closer to having everything done, I actually can take time to make the photos more 'friendly.'  Who knows, someday soon I might even be able to put together a narrative thread illustrated by more photographs.  Don't hold your breath!  After the game comes the honey-do list.
 Another overview shot, I believe at this stage two of the four greens had been applied.
 And another cropped shot.
 Another color added.
 And a closer shot, again showing things still look blothcy.
 And another view of the small terrain - now given a coat of spray paint to 'seal' the insulating foam.  Also, a field that will be used in the game - from JR Miniatures.
And last, but by no means least, a shot of the terrain with the last color on it.  The last color applied was a yellow-green that is very decidedly on the yellow end of that spectrum.  It was applied with a very dry brush using a light dry brushing technique (some of the early steps benefited from an ever so slightly damp brush for the stippling effects).  This was the critical and unifying step that pulled everything together.

Careful study - very, very careful study - will reveal that all 8 colors are still visible in the final view.  You might also look carefully at the 'back' edge of the piece to the top right.  Except for the last two colors added, all the other colors are there to help the edges blend in to each other.

By the way, that very last dry brushed coat is why the sand was glued on before any painting was done.  To get that effect required the 'teeth' or 'texture' or both that the sand provided.  All the other effects can be achieved on a smooth surface but you just can't get the same highlight effect without that texture.

And thinking beyond the pirate game, at some point I will have an equal number of small bases worked up for deciduous trees and the same for coniferous trees.  And also, though maybe not as many, some sandy desert pieces.  Once all is acquired and built, including the 8 large pieces still to be assembled and finished off, I am going to have an incredibly diverse and highly functional collection of terrain.   Oh, and I am still planning on building an "actual" mountain range - that is down the road a bit, even though some of the raw material is at hand.  Will also be adding some 'mesa' pieces for Apacheria and some rocky pieces.  Yes, you can call me "The Terrainiac"!  I wear that moniker proudly.

Now, I have some jungle to go hack my way through.  Where did I leave my machete?

...and a bottle of rum...

1 comment:

  1. Simply amazing stuff your doing! I wish I lived closer and could make this event.