Thursday, 13 November 2014
Lost in the Oakbound woods part 3- Can't see the wood for the... paint?
Another Thursday, and my last clear day to work on the scenic slopes. Today's task- trees and shrubbery! Yes, shrubbery!
Plants had been causing me some problems. There are lots of ferns and the like on these slopes which give them quite a distinctive look, but to buy enough etched ferns to cover the slopes would be very expensive. I did laser cut a few from paper and have scattered a couple across the lower slopes, but I don't really like the look of them and they were taking ages to cut. They do give that nice semi-tropical look to the lower slopes though. In the end I settled on the combination above- green felt, pulled into strands and glued at the very top, then dragged down the slope to give fine fronds, and the tips of a fake Christmas tree branch. With the needles cut off I grabbed a selection (making sure they were the right way round) and stuck them in a dab of hot glue. I sprinkled some green flock onto the visible glue to accentuate the base of the plant (and hide the glue) and tweaked the fronds into a pleasing array.
Next I had the trees to deal with. I used a 1mm drill bit to drill into the twigs at appropriate intervals and insert paper clip branches. With this it's a combination of studying real trees to get the arrangement of the branches looking natural (for example- on these trees the branches tend to go in opposite directions at the same height, alternating side to side and front and back up the trunk) and going with what looks good on the miniature. The twigs also give you some knots and clefts to work with. I added a dab of PVA to the ends of the paperclips before sticking them into the holes to give them a secure base. Once this had dried I used Milliput to thicken out the branches. Not being too careful about getting it smooth or neat since the texture helps the look of it, but making sure the branches taper to the ends. Then I painted the trees with a grey-brown colour. This lighter tone helps distinguish them from the banks, I'll work over them in a lighter shade and some inks when I next have a chance. The branches are also not finished yet, I have a plan involving twine, super glue and more fake leaves for them!
So, getting nearly there. I need to do the water in the pools and waterfall, finish the trees and paint the MDF sides and backs to neaten it up. Oh, and finish the river modules to go in front. Just a bit more work then!