Sunday, 10 January 2016

A Long Dusty Road

This weekend my new road stock arrived from Early War Miniatures. I've been wanting new roads, and more importantly roads that can traverse the slopes of my 'under cloth' hills, for ages. 

Late for Christmas or not (my fault, not EWM, for ordering late), I'm delighted with the present from my wife. It comprises four Track Set 3 (totalling about 30 feet). EWM were happy to change the contents of the packs to suit what I wanted, which was very nice of them.

EWM Link 

The road is made from latex rubber. Unlike most of the gamers I've known, I've not dealt with latex before and was sceptical about the ability of it to take paint - memories of silicon sealer smeared up a wall came to mind. I shouldn't have worried.

Anyway, as an aid memoir, should I be required to do more of it again in the distant future, I'm doing this 'how I did' post so I can repeat the process and hopefully end up with a very similar result. It might also be useful to anyone wishing to follow in my footsteps.

First I washed all of the sections in warm soapy water. I wet each section, laid it on a towel and gave it a gentle scrub with soft paint brush, then I rinsed it and dabbed it dry between two old towels. 

BTW: I tend to keep hold of old towels (that are heading for the rubbish bin) for use when decorating or, more importantly, making terrain with big brushes. It means I don't wreck the new ones and my wife buys me roads!
I laid them all out on some sheets of plywood to air dry for a couple of hours.
Next step was to apply a fairly heavy dry brush coat of artists acrylic - I used Daler Rowney 667 Raw Sienna acrylic. 

This is basically an undercoat that blends the road sections together, some come in a slightly darker shade than others.
When dry I added a wash of Liquitex Burnt Umber acrylic ink diluted 1 part ink to 3 parts water. Each long section got one squeeze of the pipette which was then sloshed over the surface with a soft brush. I didn't do the outside of the banks.
Next I applied three dry brushes of the road colour. 

These roads are for, at present, five theatres: The Italian Wars; The Punic Wars; The 1st Crusade (in Anatolia); The Seven Years War; The Peninsular War. As the road surface would probably be 'dusty' for most of these, that's the way I decided to do them. 

Coat one was Daler Rowney 667 Raw Sienna acrylic.

Coat two was Daler Rowney 667 Raw Sienna acrylic 50:50 with Daler Rowney 634 Naples Yellow acrylic.

Coat three was Daler Rowney 634 Naples Yellow acrylic.

I did the base coat of the bank using ink. I did consider flocking but I couldn't decide what glue I could use that would preserve the flexibility (the bendyness of the latex), so I decided to paint. For undercoat, I used Liquitex Sap Green acrylic ink straight from the bottle.

Then I stippled the green ink with three shades of dappling.

Dapple one was Daler Rowney 335 Emerald acrylic 50:50 with Daler Rowney 663 Yellow Ochre acrylic.

Dapple two was a 33:33:33 mix of Daler Rowney 335 Emerald acrylic, Daler Rowney 663 Yellow Ochre acrylic, and Daler Rowney 620 Cadmium Yellow acrylic.

Dapple three was a 50:50 mix of Daler Rowney 663 Yellow Ochre acrylic and Daler Rowney 620 Cadmium Yellow acrylic with just a hint of green.

 Lastly, I did the edge of each road with a streak of Liquitex Burnt Umber acrylic ink diluted 1 part ink to 3 parts water to highlight that there is a bank.
And that as they say is that. So far I've done about ten feet. A couple of painting sessions and it will all be finished.

This road is good stuff and I can recommend it. I look forward to Early War Miniatures producing more junctions and turns - I'll be their first customer.


Gonsalvo said...

They look very good. I have a large collection of latex roads. The original "Flex Terrain" ones by Editions Brokaw, long out of production, are my favorite. I didn't flock the edges for the reasons you cite.

Colin Ashton said...

Hi James, I have some of these on order so your post is well timed.


Hi Colin,

It never amazes me how seldom old fools tend to differ.

The roads are, however, a very good product. They'll go up and over almost anything which is why, I guess, you went for them too. I hope he makes more bits for the range. Some more junctions and some more curves / turns would be good - true T and X junctions, a 22.5 degree bend and a sharp 90 would be perfect.

I'm in the process of making a couple of junctions out of the stuff he sent me. I think I have come up with a relatively cheap and easy to do interim solution. I just need to paint the stuff and get it on table, then I'll do a short post on it.