Tuesday, August 3, 2010

WIP:My GW Watchtower, Part 1

     Well I decided terrain is where I would head next. So you get to see it. Nothing too indept, just picking up where I left off the last time I worked on it. I am working on several pieces at the same time, but I will let you follow along on this one. Perhaps soon I will do a building from scratch as I have a set of foam core tools I need to give a go at. Also a note..this is not mine, but a pretty picture for you to look at till after the jump.

     I need to state for those who have not seen the GW plastic buildings for WFB, they are extremely nice. They do not have as many options as the Cities of Death stuff, unless you feel like hacking it to pieces and combining several kits (which I am so tempted to do later). They do come with a lot of extra "flair" pieces that I tend to leave off because I don't want my OCD to require me to glue them back after they have been knocked off. 
The pieces awaiting they meeting with glue.

     So I have the main tower, but I still need to glue on the stairs and the two supports. Instead of both supports on one side like GW has in the picture I have opted to put them on opposite sides. I have also cut out a board to use as a base. This is not a required step, but I like to put all my stuff on bases. It allows me to add more to area around the building if I want.

     I use some Testors plastic cement to join the plastic to plastic, and I use "Tacky Glue" to glue the building to the base. It is still a PVA glue, I just prefer the "Tacky Glue" to Elmers for terrain as it is a bit thicker and seems to have a bit more bite than Elmers. This could very easily be a figment of my imagination, but its what I believe so its what I do.
Finished assembly and glued to the base.
      I give the Watchtower a fair amount of time to dry before I add sand to the base. This is pretty much my standard treatment for most of my terrain. I can paint it to what ever color I want, or I can glue additional materials to the top of it like flock, gravel, lichen, static grass, or what ever else may strike my fancy.

     I usually use glue and water mixed (about 3/1 water/glue) and spread it on the base. I have seen a good amount of terrain done with just glue and it works fine. I prefer to water it down a little bit as it gives me a better working time. I don't want to do the base in sections unless I have to as it can cause a ridge to appear where the first section stopped and the second started. Once I have the entire base covered I place the terrain in a box and liberally cover the base with my gravel/sand mixture. I let it set for a few seconds so it gives the sand a chance to settle well into the glue. Then I remove the sand and let the base dry.
Waiting for sand, notice I covered the whole base
Covered in sand, I pile it on and let it sit for a few seconds

     Once the sand is dry I spray paint the entire piece. Be sure that if you use any foam (pink foam or foam core) that all of it is covered with glue or paint before spraying. Most sprays will eat the styrofoam and ruin all your hard work. There really is no science to the spray painting. In case you don't know here are a few notes..
  • Don't forget the under sides of things. This tower for instance has several overhangs that will need spraying from below. 
  • Be sure to spray the sand from several directions to ensure it is fully covered.
  • Don't spray too close to the mini or spray the same spot for too long.
  • Make sweeping passes across the mini. Always try to end and start the spray off the mini. 
  • Don't spray from too far away.
  • Always spray in a well ventilated area.
  • Always shake the can well for several minutes before spraying.
  • Always clear the nozzle after you finish. Turn the can upside down and spray off to the side till paint stops coming out. This will keep the nozzle clean for your next use.
You could also do the spray painting with an airbrush, but I normally like to at least prime the piece before I try to get water base paint to stick to slick plastic.
Here it is sanded, dry and ready for paint.
So, this is step one of this project. Hopefully I can get some WIP pics of the painting as it goes. I plan on trying to use my airbrush for everything but the primer so it could be an adventure. Oh, and I doubt I do an article on airbrush use because I am fairly useless in that capacity. Till next time.


SAJ said...

This one looks fun to paint. Good info...is that just hardboard you are basing it on?

Papa JJ said...

I too am curious what you used for your basing material. I prefer to build terrain pieces on a base but haven't been able to find anything sturdy enough that I can still cut into shape. (I don't have access to power tools so using a jigsaw to cut MDF or something similar is unfortunately not an option for me.) Do you mind letting us know what you used, as well as what was required to cut through it? And thank you for the tip about Tacky Glue, I'll try out as soon as I can.

Master Manipulator (every store needs one) said...

I usually use hardboard, but this time I used some paneling material that one of the local gamers gave me. I was concerned that it might warp due to it being thinner than what I use, but it seems to be holding up well.

I usually use 3/16" hardboard. I cut it using a jig saw. Outside of that, I am not sure what to tell you. You might check with the local hardware store they sometimes will cut a sheet down for you if you are going to buy the whole thing. The pieces will be rectangles but still useful. Be wary it normally costs $0.15 to $0.50 a cut. Check into it though you may get lucky.

I used to use foam core but it is definitely not sturdy enough to last very long. It also has a tendency to warp.

You might be able to find a thick plastic sign at a local home improvement store that you can cut with a razor/exacto knife. I know the local Atwoods has a "NO Hunting" sign that would work. I have tried that in the past but you have to be sure and scuff the surface or glue will not hold long on the plastic that is that big.

Hope that helps.

Papa JJ said...

Thanks, that is very helpful. I've been working on city terrain lately so getting straight cuts at the hardware store would probably be fine. The suggestion of using a plastic sign sounds promising as well. Thank you for all the advice and ideas, I really appreciate the extra help.