0.10 Flocking Together: Terrain Boards the 3rd

We’re Going to Need Paint, Lots of Paint.

Burnt Sienna in Action

After the base coat of Burnt Umber, sand, and gravel has thoroughly dry it’s time to do some fun stuff. For these first boards I’ve constructed I’ve decided to paint in three stages. The second stage is a very heavy drybrush of Burnt Sienna. That sort of rich dark red is a very earthy color and mixes well with the Burnt Umber. Obviously. They both have Burnt in their name.

Loamy!

And this is what my coat of B.S. looks like. You’ll note the dishrag I’ve been using to dry my (cheap and practically disposable!) brush on. You’ll want to dedicate a rag or three to painting, otherwise you’ll go through paper towels at a prodigious rate, and that’s just not cool on many levels.

The third and final stage of painting the boards is to apply a lighter drybrush of Yellow Ochre to pick up some highlights. Honestly, I’m not 100% happy with this color. It contrasts a bit much with the darker brown and red of the Burnt Brothers. I’ll probably try another shade, next time.

I like ochre. Yellow ochre.

Then again, it really does bring out the gravel/sand texture. I didn’t get a good shot of it, but I laid on the Yellow Ochre on the road fairly thick, to simulate dried mud and dust (I followed up with a drybrush of Iraqi Sand, as well).

Dry, but not too dry.

Terrain Boards: The Flocking

Flocking can be made from sawdust and paint. If I had ever used the stuff before a few days ago, and had had any idea what it actually looked like, I would have tried to make my own right off the bat. As it was, I ordered some fairly healthy-sized canisters of Woodland Scenics flock. It’s not cheap, especially for what it is. In any case, I’ll be trying out the method detailed here next time I need flock. Which will be fairly soon, at this rate.

You’re going to need a good-sized brush, a small tub of some sort, some water, a drop cloth (or newspaper) of some sort, and a good amount of glue for this next step.

This could get messy...

Flocking involves spreading PVA glue all over your board(s). I water the glue down to a milky consistency with simple tap water. Apply the glue everywhere you want grass.

Here comes Santa Claus...

Shake flock all over your board. Do it up thick, as we’re going to harvest the excess later. Try to use a couple of shades of flock, so your battlefield doesn’t look like a manicured golf course.

The Flock Monster

I wanted to show that there was a little less wear in the center of the road and driveway. This may not be accurate in a time and place where horse drawn carts and wagons were still commonplace. Certainly, if you plan on using your boards for earlier periods, you shouldn’t have grass in the center of a road. In any case, I used a bit too much glue, and thus have a bit too much grass in the road.

Keep your excess.

So, there it is, a flocked terrain board. Note the excess flock, ready to be returned to its container? This particular board turned out quite well. But there are problems. Behold the next photograph:

The Ignominy of Defeat

Ok, so the problem. As a final step on my terrain boards, I’ve been going over them with another coat of watered down PVA glue. This makes them quite tough, and keeps them from shedding flock everywhere. I got this tip from a used Games Workshop book that I found.

Getting on to the problem, you’ll note that the board in the lower left-hand corner (the one we’ve followed through this little tutorial) looks quite a bit more…verdant than the other two boards. I have no idea why. I used the same methodology for all three boards. I can only guess that the milkiness of the other two boards is due to a) temperature during the curing time, b) humidity during the curing time, or c) a pva/water mix of thicker consistency than the one used on the final board. I really think it’s a mixture of a&b, as I used a space heater in the room where the final board cured, and a space heater makes for a very arid environment.

So, to recap, three things I want to experiment with next time:

  • Something a little less bright than Yellow Ochre for my highlights.
  • A thinner mixture of water & pva for the final protective coating.
  • Forgoing the protective coating altogether, in favor of some sort of spray lacquer.

As an aside, this last photograph shows the level of completion that I’m at as of 11/22/11.  I’m getting closer to being ready for that first game! I need to finish the little house, create a bunch of trees, some hedges, and a rock wall or two.

 

 

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