Sunday, 20 March 2016

Wargame vehicle base making

Despite the fact that I have developed a particular technique for making my wargame model vehicle bases, I decided to try something a little different. There was one small area of the base manufacture I wasn't happy with, that was the tracks on the ground.

One of my earlier bases. Primarily created with PollyFilla.
I make two furrows in my base surface to show a countryside 'roadway' and on this, I try to imprint a pattern of tyres and tank-tracks to give it a used look. Now, up until now, I have created the basic 'ground' using PollyFilla, which was then painted and this worked OK. But, it was a bit difficult to imprint the vehicle tracks into this quick-drying plaster.

The problem with plaster is that it remains a little too 'squishy' right up to the moment it sets hard. You have to try and catch the plaster just at the moment where it is turning and is semi-hard to press a good pattern into it - too soft and it's like trying to press a pattern into butter!

So, I'm trying out a different approach where I make the majority of the ground as normal - with PollyFilla - but then leave the strips where I want to make a track pattern bare and then I used Milliput (Terracota) to make small areas where I could press my patterns into...

Milliput has the consistency of plasticine when it's mixed and so is far more conducive to having patterns pressed into it...

Prints are far more defined and easier to make and if you make a mistake or aren't happy you just smooth the putty over again and have another go!

Now, there is a downside, Milliput can take hours to dry properly. My PollyFilla technique was dry in 20 minutes and you could have the whole base-making process done in a couple of hours (working at my speed). This new technique demands a little more patience but does pay off with a clearer and more satisfying track imprint.

The rest of the process is the same as normal, I apply a base coat, then an earth coat, weather and then apply my grass (and maybe some grass tufts and rocks). So I won't bore you with this.

I'll see how this (below) turns out and if I decide I like the effect then I will just have to remember to produce the track as a job I do last-thing before going to bed, so it's dry in the morning.

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