On the terrain front:
I continued work on the causeway, widening the whole structure, by adding another layer of the styrofoam against each facing. I increased the length of the broken stairway section at the top, and then, after watching the movie footage again realised there was another turn and more stairs at the bottom... so I added another stair section and raised the whole by another ~ 6". I also started on the base board using some of the foam material that was packed with the Styrofoam delivery. This new pink material has a consistency very similar to that green spongy foam florists use for flower arranging... its very light weight and fairly soft and crumbly. However its going to get coated in Polyfilla so should hold up OK...
I also had tried etching in a brick pattern with a ball point pen. This process worked well ( a lot easier than the DAS clay etch of the Victorian Buildings though yielding a wider mortar join.). However after finishing a couple of facings I couldn't help think it made the whole thing look like a Victorian rail bridge structure... so I am going to skimcoat filler over the top and not bother with a brick pattern... I think if the filler goes on rough, painting and drybrushing should yield a good enough texture to it, making it look either hewn from the rock or with some kind of render applied by the dwarves...
With the rest of this pink foam, I cut it to 5" thick widths and used to make a raised board for the Bridge of Khazad Dum scenario. I'm going with the description for the scenario from the new The Hobbit rulebook, so a 4'x4' board with a 6" wide chasm across the middle...
Tins of paint weighting down the top sheet of 3mm MDF. The bottom sheet is my left over piece of 12mm MDF from the sheet used to make the Pirate Isle. I figured this thicker sheet would be best for the base of this structure to stop it flexing through the chasm area.
On the miniature painting front;
I have been steadily working through the Hobbit dwarves set and am nearing completion, but I'll hold off putting pictures up just yet as I feel they'll deserve a post of their own... However I did complete Haldir of Lorien, in among painting the dwarves, for the upcoming Lothlorien scenario;
|Haldir of Lorien|
In gaming news;
Chris and I replayed the Hounds of Sauron scenario, using my tactical suggestion of backing the Fellowship up against the large rock just off centre of the board, and defending that area.
A heroic march to start, had the Fellowship pretty much in position on the first turn. Second turn had them aligned well as the Wargs caught them. Legolas climbed the rock to take up a firing position. And in rushed the Wargs. This time it was pretty much a breeze... none of the front rank defenders; Gandalf, Boromir, Gimli and Aragorn, ever had more than 2 wargs on them at any time, and Legolas was able to pick off wargs against Gandalf, who was probably the most vulnerable front rank fighter. The hobbits settled down to watch the show and the bodies of the wargs piled up...
|Fellowship defends against the Hounds of Sauron|
16 Turns later, and we drew the Priority roll, ending the game... The Fellowship members had not lost a single wound, though possibly one fate point, I can't recall exactly... and they had butchered dozens of wargs and the Wild Warg Chieftain.
So I'd call that a success! Chris was whooping and cheering as the game went on ... so I was happy to see his spirits raised once more :-)
So next mission and on to Watcher in the Water...
Which brings us back to terrain matters, and tales of water woe!
I have used Woodland Scenics Realistic water, for a couple of past projects, including pouring the stream on the Helms Deep, Deeping Wall scenario, and when I made my Normandy Beach section. And for the most part it has worked well. So long as you pour it in thin layers and allow to dry between each pour...
Its a fairly clear liquid that pretty much self levels with each pour... and once dry is transparent with a glossy water sheen.
If you read the page, you will see the author discusses an 'Identical' product to Realistic Water, that is much cheaper, and available through art stores. I was quite pleased with this find, and further finding the product available here in NZ, at roughly half the price of the WS product. So I ordered a pack of the Golden Acrylic, from Gordon Harris in Wello and it arrived 2 days later.
I cracked open the top, to find an opaque white product. Hmmm ok, well lets give it a go... Yep it poured out but it was very thick and was not self leveling, and had to be spread out with a spatula-like tool. It was still pretty thick after spreading, and not flat... 24hrs later with a fan blowing across it and its still white and wet... I am hoping like mad it will eventually dry out and go clear. Fingers crossed!!!
Another product I came across was this Magic Water... though it seems relatively expensive and I couldn't see a NZ based supplier so that would mean International shipping costs on top...
However, yet more Googling and I came across this video: (skip past the ad at the start)
This is just the sort of finish I want for my water areas, and what a great video find, to see how its done.
Not only that but looking at the cover of the Fellowship of the Ring Journey book, shows the same water finish effect there used for the Buckleberry Ferry scenario/diorama ;
So back to that video, and the product used to make the rippling water surface is Mod Podge:
More Googling and I found this stocked here in NZ at Warehouse Stationary... so I've bought a couple of packs. So if that Golden acrylic product ever dries, I'll be using this over the top to get the surface finish I am after!
Finally for today, and on the purchase scene I managed to grab a set of Minas Tirith Walls off Trademe. Now discontinued, this is now only going to be a 2nd hand purchase from Ebay or Trademe... So I was happy to find a set here in NZ for sale, so I didn't have to pay international shipping.
I'll use these sections as templates to make more sections from yet more Styrofoam... Now I've got a reason to get on with painting all those Warriors of Minas Tirith I have!
That's the thing with gaming Middle earth, there's so much to it, so many locations and differing Factions, you never get bored!
Till next time, dear adventurer, hold true to your purpose, and make sure you have some Lembas Bread or seed cakes about your person!