Sunday, 9 August 2015

Fences and Gravestones...

This week has seen a couple of mini-projects finished! As well as the Chaos Wastes terrain in my previous post, I finished up a couple of other terrain pieces I'd been working on at the same time, and rather than spreading them out to two posts I'm going to pack it all into one!

Cast your mind back several months - picture the scene, it's just after Salute, and our intrepid narrator is all fired up to start playing the Batman Miniatures Game (having gotten very excited with a friend of a friend and made all sorts of elaborate plans). 

I've built up quite the stash of coffee stirrers over the last few months (the ones from Eat are the best, I think, as they're chunkier and more 'plank-like' than the skinny ones you find in Starbucks), and so set about making lengths of wooden fencing!

I made various lengths, aligning them with various plastic Renedra bases (of which I seem to have a ton, from the various boxes of plastic minis I've bought for the ASOIAF project over the last couple of years) so that I could use them singly or in groups; making yards or just blocking terrain between two buildings if need be.

I also make a couple of corner pieces, using matchsticks for the corner post, so that I could make enclosed yards if need be.

A couple of months pass.

Deciding to crack on and finish this project off, I finished off the last couple of lengths of fence and set about trimming the plastic bases down so that the fences could be lined up snug without any gaps. Due to the wonky artisanal nature of these fences (I wanted them to look quite rundown, so that they can e used for post-apocalyptic games as well as modern-day), this meant that I ended up with various lengths of base, which I'm more than fine with!

I originally planned to hot glue the fences to their bases, reasoning that a good glob of glue once covered in texture would hold it nice and firmly, but alas my hot glue gun is terrible and old and the glue was drying on the wood before I could get it into contact with the base! Instead, the old faithful cheapy superglue from Poundland stepped up and did the job instead.

A couple of pieces would later start to come away during painting, but this was easily fixed with a second application of superglue.

Cork chunks were added to the bases, to break up the flat expanse and also make the point of contact between the fence and it's base less narrow, to hopefully reduce the chance of breakage in the future.

Doesn't everyone have several baggies of differently graded cork chunks? I think these mostly came from my generic set of rocky terrain and skull rock builds...

I think at this point I decided that I should make some urban rubble barricades, as I already had the cork out and a variety of resin pieces, and I'd be able to paint them at the same time as the fences, maximising my efficiency. I found a couple of sprues of Renedra gravestones, as well as some old Horrorclix base parts and a limited edition Uncle Mike's Strange Aeons gravestone, so I of course built and based them instead.

I had originally planned to base them all singly, so that each base would have a headstone and a slight raised mound, but whilst having a quick google for other people's finished sets I found this post on and decided to base mine in a similar fashion. Most got multi-based, but I left half a dozen or so single based (as I'm fairly certain there's a Strange Aeons scenario that needs something like 6 or d6 grave markers...)

Then comes basing. I'd originally considered a non-traditional method of applying sand to a gluey base (to whit, a salad spinner...)

But that seemed awfully wasteful, so I went with the old faithful method of globbing the glue on with a shaved down matchstick and dunking each piece individually in a lunchbox of meticulously hand-blended grades of sand.

Having sent some of the bendy Doctor Who Weeping Angels to Gunbird from 20mmandthensome, I fancied using one in my graveyard too. a couple of GW bases later and we had a mini-plinth for it to stand on...

And lo, one batch of freshly textured scenery.

But, I wasn't quite happy with my Weeping Angel statue - it just wasn't tall enough...

After a couple of days peering at various small plastic pots every time we went shopping (the wife is used to this sort of oddity by now), I decided to take matters into my own hands, and set about cutting a chunk of cork.

The first attempt, I carefully measured the base, and when I test fitted it against the plastic base it just didn't look right (the plastic base seemed to hang just a tiny fraction over the edge).

So, for the second attempt, I intentionally cut the slices of cork slightly too large, and then trimmed them down with the angel in situ. One plasticard plaque later, and I was much happier with it!

As these pieces were individually quite small and light, to prevent them from just blowing away when I spray undercoated them I covered a chopping board in newspaper, which I then covered in lines of parcel tape sticky side out so that I could just stick everything to it. This worked a treat, except for when I put the tray down on my lap and it stuck to my trousers (as in order to make sure the tape was firmly in place, I wrapped it completely around the board...)

And so, everything got the usual spray of poundland grey.

This was, of course, on the wettest day ever, after I'd spent an entire week of sunny evenings not being able to do it.

The fences got a hefty drybrush of brown...

...before I gave everything a hefty wash of watered down Vallejo Smoke.

It's a filthy business, but you gotta do what you gotta do...

After that, everything was painted up with various drybrushes. I went over various fence panels and gravestones with a couple of washes and light tones, to give a bit of variety, and carefully picked out the sculpted foliage on some of the gravestones (word to the wise - it's not easy to do detail paintwork with your five-month old daughter sat on your lap trying to steal your paintbrush). I also used the texture paint Stirland Earth to make a layer of dirt in the larger grave, and painted the plaque on the angel statue with the new Retributor and Liberator Gold paints.

Then it was just a case of adding flock and grass, both in places that looked like grass would grow (generally out from under chunks of rubble, as they'd be protected from the elements) but also anywhere that over-zealous drybrushing had revealed bare cork!

Et voila, cork gap fixed!

And so, we have one competed graveyard and a set of fences. The fences are straightforward enough that I should be able to easily make more if needed, and the gravestones was only half of the Renedra set (as you get two identical sprues in a pack).

Everything here also fits quite neatly in a small cardboard box too, for ease of storage, which is nice.

What next though? I've not really been in the mood for figure painting recently, so the nice broad strokes of drybrushing (or brusherating, as terrain for hippos would have it - this is why my fences are highlighted up to tan, rather than Bleached Bone as I would otherwise normally have done) has been a way for me to still get some hobbying done. I still plan to make some urban barricades (piles of rubble and urban detritus that are based so that they can either be used as random rubble markers or lined up and used as barricades), but then again with the Deadpool movie out next year maybe I should try and crack on and finish the Deadpool miniature that's sat half-finished on my painting tile... Or some of the Batman miniatures I bought at Salute... Or the Fallout miniature that I did some green stuff work on this morning when I got woken up at half 7 by my upstairs neighbours banging and crashing around (sneaky peek of this over on Instagram)...


  1. Well done! Everything looks absolutely brilliant!

  2. Well done that man, they look brilliant particularly the fences.

  3. Tons of inspiration here. I have alot of generic terrain that needs built, so I'm thinking its time to invest in a hot glue gun. Well done!