Monday, 20 February 2012

SALUTE 2012 progress

Had a great weekend just gone working on the samurai Salute board and for today I'll show you one of the complete 2x2 boards.

The basic layout is shown to the right, about half the board is river with a typical Japanese bridge crossing it and the other half is a more common area of the town.

The parallel lines are the gutters, more on which later. The main construction is of 12mm MDF (generic wood, resin and glue composite) which, although heavy, gives a sturdy platform on which to build and paint.

The MDF doesn't go all the way under the raised bit, just a little to provide the top portion a bit of support. The top is also 12mm with the gutters cut out on the table saw.

The bridge is the main feature on this 2x2 board so a bit of time was spent on it. Finding reference was easy, I didn't even have to look in my reference folder, a quick google image search was all that was needed.

To build something like this the most important thing is to jig it up right at the start.

A 'jig' is a framework, support or construction that aids the building of another piece, usually they are sacrificial but get them right and it makes the whole job easier. Time spent making a decent jig, no matter how small the actual piece will save you a lot of frustration!

As Japanese bridges are on the whole arched each set of legs (five in total) had to have a seperate jig, all that was needed though was to slightly alter the height of the drawing and then cut out the parts on the laser, assemble them and place the balsa parts.

The cross members are from lasered perspex as it will lend strength and you won't see then that much. Once each set of legs is made they are attached to the main 'sleepers' by way of another jig (which I forgot to take a picture of) and then the top planks are glued on. I might go for a hand rail at the sides but as I want to get the main stuff out of the way first this will be a last minute option.

The 'banking' is made from a yellow insulation foam (the same type used in the corner paddy fields). This has been pounded with a suitable rock and then the stonework marked on with a sharp pen.

The ground work was done in the normal way of fine sand, inked over with brown ink and then brought up with several drybrushes of lightening tans. A small channel was cut out of the banking (which was painted light grey, shaded and weathered after) for the gutter water to run out of into the river.

Small 'bridges' were made over the gutters out of thin balsa to give the appearance of allowing the town dwellers access to their houses/shops. The river was also painted at this stage with varying greens and given several coats of yacht varnish.

The shot to the left shows a bit of closer detail of the small bridges and the bank. Some yacht varnish was also applied to the bottoms of the gutters just to add that little bit extra. The bridge was then painted brown with a lot of drybrushing to bring out the wood texture. small amounts of growies and grasses were added in various places to enhance the general look of the area.

As ever, I'll leave you with some more shots of the complete board. A better discription on the whole project will be in the next post in the coming week or so.








ttfn

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Japanese village base

I was hoping to get this done last month but as always 'real' life gets in the way (house hunting for one) and so it's in February's offerings.

The brief was quite simple, a village base of three to four buildings on a foot square base with enough room for an Impetus base and a cherry tree :-)

I was originally going for a simple cross road layout but after a bit of though I changed it slightly to a tee junction with a smaller 'lane' leading off the top of the tee (as can be seen in later photos).

It was made in pretty much the same way as I do most of my Japanese terrain but the buildings were given a more rural feel with the addition of stones on the roof. These were used to keep the roof shingles in place and also Japan can get quite windy sometimes ;-)

As you can see from the photo on the left, the two rear buildings have been moved closer together. This helps give the base a more rural and random feel instead of the regimented layout in the photo at the top. The buildings were dirtied down somewhat as well.

The base was sanded and painted as normal and various types of 'growies' were added in varying places to give a natural feel to the layout.

A couple of rough fences and hedges were added also. The hedges are supposed to represent bamboo hedges of the type that were grown over there. The bamboo would be tightly grown and bound to form the length and breadth of the hedge and they would be trimmed periodically to keep the height down. It seems to have worked on the model but I'm always looking out for something that would be better.

A cherry tree was added and a few bits from the additions range. I also made a small field in the back of one of the buildings and a well in another.

It should fit well with the rest of the terrain that I have made for this group (nice bunch of chaps in sunny Scotland) and hopefully there should be some more in the offing which will be nice. I believe they are putting on a demo game at Carronade on the first of May, so if you are in the area drop by a have a shufty ;-) I'll leave you with some more beauty shots.

ttfn