Tuesday 10 April 2018

Going With The Flow: Part 2

The last post under my modelling label dealt with the actual construction of river sections. A couple of off list email have prompted this additional post. 

Apparently, a brief description of how the sections were painted was not sufficient so to save further queries here, with my narrower 100 mm wide river sections, is a blow by blow. 

These sections were constructed in exactly the same way as described in Part 1 so, lets not dwell on construction.

So early in the construction process the backs of each section were undercoated with emulsion paint left over from household decorating. 

I'm not sure this is necessary but I do it anyway. The colour is probably unimportant. 
Next, after construction is finished, I undercoat the upper side, again with left over household emulsion paint. 

This is probably a good idea as it saves the next colours, the ones you want, from soaking into unprimed wood and card.

The first proper colour I painted on was the dark brown shade on the banks. I used Dulux Golden Bark 1. 

Being the first colour you can be a bit messy with this one.

When dry (and if you are doing lots, this is a follow on job) I did the first dry brush using a 1:1 mix of Dulux Golden Bark 1 and Wholemeal Honey 2.

To give more depth, I then did a second highlight, in patches, of the same colours mixed 1:2. 
Next up was the water. 

These two sections show three applications of paint. The first shows the base colour (Dulux Royal Regatta 1, Indian Ivy 1 and Night Jewels 1 mixed 1:1:1) followed by a highlight of the same mix with Dulux Azure Fusion 2 (1:1) in a rough dry brush. 

The second section shows an extra highlight of neat Dulux Azure Fusion 2 for more depth of colour.

Note that this dry brushing was applied with an old, rather splayed 1" brush where the bristles had 'splayed' gaps between them.

Note that the dry brush follows the direction of 'river flow'; dry brushing in any other direction never looks right.

Apart from this ford section, the only other colour that was needed was for the banks. The colour used on the banks was Dulux Indian Ivy 1.

To delineate the shallower water of the ford I used a mix of Dulux Azure Fusion 2 and white emulsion. Again I did this with a lateral, with the flow, brush stroke and kept the pattern 'jagged'
Once all the colours are on, and before varnishing, I looked over the banks and corrected any 'over-spills' with a small brush to give good clear edges.

When completely dry I added a coat of Yacht varnish mixed with a couple of thimbles full of wood stain (two teaspoons to half a cup of varnish -ish). This darkened the tones and softened everything nicely.

I left this to dry overnight.
The next morning the banks were coated in PVA glue and dipped into a tub of flock. 

Obviously everyone's choice of flock will be different. My table is quite bright so I chose this light mottled green mix. It's Javis flock: Light Meadow Green and Spring Mix at 1:1. 

Note: Good quality household brushes are well worth the money for this kind of job. This one, by Harris I think, has man-made fibre bristles; I've been using it for years and it has unbelievably, and totally retained its shape.

All of the sections laid out to dry, on a flat surface, in my nice warm and dry wargaming room. 

I'll leave them here for three or four days. They are already pretty warp-less and flat but, once completely dry, they should be completely flat. 

Here there are:

12 x 12" sections
7 x 6" sections
1 x 6" ford section
3 x 4" sections
4 x 3" section
7 x 22.5 degree turns (should have been 8 but I bodged one).
3 x 30 degree turns
4 x 45 degree turns
4 x 15 degree turns
2 x 180 mm to 100 mm forks
1 x 180 mm to 100 mm T junction
1 x 100 mm to 100 mm T junction
2 x 100 mm to 50 mm T junction

That's about 25'.

It's a good idea to keep a note of any paint mixes you make in some kind of diary - that way when you want to repeat something you can. 

Here, two new sections have an old section between them. Not a bad join, IMHO.
I decided, at the start of my river project, to make things integrated. Here are some intersections that should help in this. I'm pretty sure I have not thought of and made everything, including 'narrows' which I thought of last night and might add later.

The two forks, going from a 180 mm wide section into two 100 mm wide sections, were made so I can do 'river island' games so often seen in scenario books. I decided to do them 180 mm - 100 mm wide so that I didn't need to make another six feet of 100 mm wide sections just for this purpose - you have to stop somewhere. Plus, for most river islands it seems wide rivers running into two narrower ones is the natural run of things (?).

The other junctions are for tributaries and will be added to the two 180 mm wide rivers with 50 mm wide T junctions I made last time. I'm not sure how often these will ever get used but if they are needed I will have them.

A painting tip. Do not throw away your old small paint pots. Wash them out so that they can be used as 'big mix' pots that, once a batch of paint is mixed, you can store for later use. Tins are much better than jars for this - mainly because you can prize the lids off with a screwdriver if they get 'glued' up with paint. Also, it's probably a good idea to paint the top of the lid with the colour you have inside.

My favourite 100 mm wide section is this one (shown here before flocking). The varnish has dulled down the 'shallow water' of the ford very nicely and a bit of white foam has brought the stepping stones (a feature of many European fords) into life. 

As with the other sections, there is nothing too clever here; everything has been kept very simple and tidy. The stones are 2.5 mm thick balsa wood sheet cut into irregular shaped blocks.

The road has been textured using heavy body artist's acrylic paint from a tube (Emerald green, I had lying around, in this case) then painted with the same emulsion as the earth banks. I can't recommend artist's acrylic paint enough for texturing things: It sticks like the proverbial; you can apply it with a brush that doesn't 'bung' up like brushes do with plaster; it never flakes off; it is easy to work and over paint.

Next up I will have to make three fixed bridges and a further section with pontoon ramps. They will all be 6" wide, adding another 2' to the total. I may well do a post on this - Part 3 - what do you think?


L'Empereur said...

Great & big job ! Brao !
Where do you buy the light mottled green mix ? Or is it home made ?
In this case culd you tell your secret ? :-)

Prufrock said...

Looks great, James. Thanks for the how-to!


It's not a secret, it's Javis flock. 1 bag of Light Meadow Green to 1 bag of Spring Mix. I decided to restock my flock for this job and bought two bags of each. I've made almost 50 feet of river with 30mm deep banks to either side. At a rough guess, I have about 40% of it left. As I still have 20 feet of narrow river to make I'd say I judged that about right.

Note I've edited this reply into the post.

WSTKS-FM Worldwide said...

Some of the nicest river sections I've seen anywhere. Looks like you have enough for some of those more complex Charles Grant river (through and around a small town) scenarios.

Best Regards,


L'Empereur said...

Thanks James for informations !

caveadsum1471 said...

Always nice to see how others do their terrain and usefully reminds me to 1finish off the ones I've done and2do some more!
Best Iain

Tony Miles said...

Very nicely done. A prime example of good prior planning.


Jason said...

If you want "ripples" cheaply and easily, I've described what I used on my blog if it helps: