Part Two: Terrain and Buildings.
Having sourced a pool of figures for the Taliban, and talked someone into painting some Americans, the next step was to construct some 15mm scale buildings. While googling pictures of Afghan buildings, I came across the excellent Matakishi’s Teahouse site. I’d used cork tiles for some ruined buildings some time ago but never made extensive use of them. I’ve got to say they’re excellent for these types of buildings, much better than the foamboard I’d used previously. So, armed with a few ideas and some cork tiles I began construction of suitable scenery items, with some hits and some misses.
Matakishi gives an excellent tutorial on how to do the basic compounds so I’ll just show the first two compounds I made here:
Following these, I thought I’d try a market. As a first go, I decided to just add some stalls to the back of a building. The stalls themselves are made of mounting card and bamboo skewers. Circular ‘tins’ are sections of a paintbrush covering tube. The boxes are very small strips of card glued on to the stall tables. This is a bit fiddly so it’s best to use tweezers and contact glue. The sacks are made of greenstuff. I’ve not got too much experience using this but it’s pretty straightforward to make bags. The left over bits were rolled into a thin irregular tube and cut into pieces for the long vegetables. The contents of the containers are sand for the spices and ‘hundreds and thousands’ for the fruit. Larger cake decorating ‘pearls’ were used for the melons. The cloth rolls are just paper rolls, though next time I think I’ll make use of the excellent persian carpets from Adventures in Lead:
Next up was a ruined building. Rather than the usual ‘top down’ ruin, I thought I’d try a building with one side blown off. The cork is really good for this, just tear bits off to get the irregular edges. The rubble piles are mainly Perlite (excellent stuff for rubble available from gardening shops), with bits of mounting board, wooden coffee stirrers, and brass tubing.
I also thought I’d do some poppy fields. The idea here would be to make sections with sizes related to the bases of the figures, so when figures were in the fields, you could lift sections out and put the figure bases in to give a ‘3D’ effect. The field sections were made with 6mm static grass applied to the bases with a static grass applicator . These are easily made from an electric fly swatter by anyone with the most basic knowledge of electronics. So I bought mine from ebay for a tenner. . . . While the grass is drying, the next step is to colour some scatter. This just involves mixing some scenic scatter with red acrylic, keep adding paint until the colour is what you want while trying to keep the mix fairly ‘dry.’ When the coloured flock has dried, you may have to rub some bits between your thumb and fingers to separate any clumps. Then, brush some PVA over the tips of the static grass and apply the coloured scatter. It’s quite a lot of work and the resulting effect wasn’t so great I think. In hindsight, it probably would’ve been easier to just add some coloured scatter to some static grass and sprinkle it over a field.
While on the subject of fields, I had a go at making a crop field from some synthetic grass. You can get a fair amount of this stuff by googling ‘free sample artificial grass.’ You can usually select the types you want and they’ll send you some samples. For the field, I cut one sample into strips and glued them to an mdf base. The other side of the grass sample base has a few mms of weaving, so it doesn’t sit flat on the base, so the gap has to be filled in. Again, I’m not entirely convinced by the result, though it may work better in 28mm.