October 8, 2015

Quindia Studios Guide to Modular Terrain Boards, Part Seven

Onward! Time to add texture. The first step I use is to scatter patches of rubble, paying particular attention to the edge of roadways and rivers and around the "boulders" I placed earlier. I also cover up parts of the putty where the knife strokes seem too obvious. You can add patches in open ground as well (see the photos below) but remember that you also want to leave room to place loose terrain pieces. Your models will look fine teetering on a pile of rock, but although your cottage model will be in no danger of falling over, it won't look as good if one corner of it's base is off the ground.

The material I use for this size texture is coarse ground coffee. I started using this years ago when someone at work was about to throw out a huge tin of Maxwell House that co-workers thought was too strong. I rescued it, thinking to use the tin for the basis to build a tower. I was about to embark on my first set of terrain boards at the time and realized the texture of the ground coffee would be perfect for mid-sized rubble! That was ten years ago... and I still have some of it left. I have since found that choosing a flavor of coffee that matches the period you intend to game in adds another level of realism to your boards...

Ok, I made that last part up, but you we're already thinking about what kind of coffee would go with your Tyranid terrain weren't you...

Anyway, I put down a small patch of glue, smear it around with a damp brush, and sprinkle on the coffee grounds.

At this point, the rubble areas will look heavier than they will end up. After letting the glue dry overnight, I vacuum the boards to remove any stray grounds before moving on to the next step. Remember the advice I gave you about the iron a few articles back? This goes doubly for the vacuum. Best not to even risk this when your significant other is home...

Next we are going to apply textured paint to all of the non-grass areas to form a base for the remaining painting we have to do. You can buy textured paint in lots of different styles. I bought an empty paint can from my local DIY superstore so I could mix this paint myself. There isn't an easy way to describe what the ratio should be. I poured paint into the can until it was about half full. The color doesn't really matter - any neutral shade will be fine. I used grey because I already had some textured paint left over from my urban boards. Anyway, start by adding a small amount of sand to your paint and then stir it with a paint paddle. Pull the paddle out and while holding it above the can (pointing down so the run off goes back into the can), use a brush to thin out the remaining paint on the paddle. If the texture on the paddle looks good to you, you're finished! If not add a little more sand, stir it in, and repeat the process. If the paint becomes gummy, you went too far. Don't panic! Just add more paint - that's why we started with half a can...

You want to use an old brush to apply this stuff because it's tough on the bristles! The goal os to completely cover all of the filler, coffee grounds, tree bark, and whatever else you glued into your landscape. Vary the direction of your brushstrokes - you will be able to see the patterns of the strokes because of the sand, but if you pull from different directions, you will get a good smooth coat.

EXCEPTION: If you have a river on the board, always brush the paint on in the direction the river flows. The brush strokes should be parallel with the river's course. This will enhance the look of the river when we get around to painting it, and make it texturally different than the rock/sand around it even though we used the same basic mixture for both.

In addition to just covering the filler, We also want to blend some of this paint out onto the grass board. I stipple the paint out to get patches. This will give a more gradual transition between the earth and grass, as will all of the rest of the painting we are about to do..

And so on... Next time we will start painting. I am going to break the painting up into several articles because I want to show as many WIP photos as possible. This is the most important step because a poor paint job can ruin all of this work!

Well, ok, that sounded scary - you can't really ruin it, but you might have to paint it twice! As usual, if anything here seems unclear, feel free to post a question in the comments. I will be happy to elaborate on a point or explain anything I might have left out!

October 6, 2015

New Flags for Dutch Foot 1690

Three new Quindia Studios flag sheets will be available in the LoA shop later this week...


August 30, 2015

The Army of King William III

Here are some pics of my Williamite army for 1690-91 for Beneath the Lily Banners. My table isn't large enough to capture the whole army in one go!

As I mentioned in the last post I am currently working on some Jacobites, but I still want to add a few units to this army. For instance, I only have one Huguenot battalion at the moment. I also only have one English unit, with the rest of the army being filled out by foreigners! Finally, speaking of foreigners, I have a mind to add the third battalion of Dutch Guard and Eppinger's Dragoons in their ominous dark coats. For that matter I need more horse in general, but I need to paint some Jacobites first!

August 23, 2015

Moving Forward


It is premature to say I am 'back', but I do feel like it is time to move forward. I want to thank everyone for the kind comments on my blogs, the prayers, and the support. Life will never be the same, but I do find some comfort in keeping busy and I have not been idle.

I posted this Clanrickarde Regiment on the LoA blog a few weeks ago, but I thought I would place it here for the sake of continuity - I snuck it onto the 1690 page a while ago as well. It is the first of five battalions of foot I have planned for my Jacobite army.

There are some new flags over in the LoA shop for Sedgemoor 1685, with more to come for that theater...

I am working on the cover for volume one of our Ireland scenario book. This is absolutely jammed with information on the war between James II and William III with more than forty scenarios (yes, and that's volume one) for Beneath the Lily Banners and Donnybrook. It will hopefully be available this fall.

I also started a new blog (yes another one) for Warhammer: Age of Sigmar. I find blogs to be a great tool simply for organizing my projects.

So, lots of projects - not sure what kind of schedule I'm going to keep, but hopefully you will see more from me soon...

June 27, 2015

Sara Dohner-Harrison, July 15, 1959 - June 27, 2015

I lost my wife of eight years today - We were together for over twenty. She has been struggling with multiple health issues her whole life, but the last year has been extremely difficult. Still her passing was completely unexpected. Though I could never get her to paint 'little men' as she called them she was an amazing artist...

She did help me build terrain, would listen to endless prattle about the difference between dragoons and cuirassiers, and never asked why I ordered a pile of Napoleonic cavalry when all these Orks were scattered around the house. We moved several times over the years and she always made sure one room in our home was designated as the 'game room'. She was absurdly proud of my work Beneath the Lily Banners, Republic to Empire, and Donnybrook and never begrudged the hours I spent tucked away in my office working on these books or painting models.

She was truly my best friend and I have no idea how life goes forward. I am suspending posting for a time, but I will be back. I suspect this hobby will become an even bigger part of my life and Sara would want it that way...

June 26, 2015

Quindia Studios Guide to Modular Terrain Boards, Part Six

Before we get back to the roads, I'm going to take a few minutes to add some large stones to my landscape. Rather than use rocks, or carve boulders out of foam (either of which would work fine), I'm going to use pine bark. Take a few minutes to hop over to my Desert Terrain Boards posts (Part One and Part Two) to see what these things look like when they are painted. I'll wait for you...

The main areas I want these rocks is around the river, but I added a couple of small bits along the edge of the roads on each board to tie them together visually. In the future, I intend to add a modular board dominated by a large, rugged hill and part of the slope will be made into a cliff by using these bark chips, but for now, I only want to place them sparsely. I'm going to add more rubble soon, but for now this will do. I attached these using a hot glue gun, but other glues will work fine. I picked the hot glue gun because it dries instantly.

Ok, back to the roads. The purpose of this step is to blend the roads and riverbanks back into the landscape and get rid of the precision line where they meet the grass areas. Not only will this step give your roads a nice base for adding texture, it will also seal the edges of the grass mats and hide any gaps between the wood battens and foam at the exposed edges of the roads and rivers. I use a wallboard joint compound, but there are lots of ready mix filler compounds that work well. You want to find one that claims not to shrink when it dries.

The trick of applying this for our purposes is to place a... ummm... lump? Pile? Clunk? Anyway, put the stuff in the center of the road and use the putty knife to drag the filler across the roadway and up onto the grass mat. Work from the center out toward the grass, first one one side and then the other. If you feel like you pulled too much filler onto the grass, don't sweat it - you can cover this up in later stages with any of a variety of textures, including adding grass flocking back onto the board to narrow the road!

Then pull the knife gently along the direction of the road. If you like, you could drag a paint brush handle through the filler to simulate ruts in the roads. I want to be able to use my boards for different scales and the ruts would lend a definite sense of scale to the terrain so I opted not to do this.

Once the roads are done, you can break out a larger putty knife and work on the river banks. I use the same technique, basically putting down some filler along the bank and then blending it out toward the grass. There is no need to try and completely cover the foam since we're going to be adding yet more texture and paint. Just blend the filler as smooth as possible. You will always be able to hide any unsightly spots during the next step where we add rubble or you can sand out any rough spots if you prefer.. Avoid getting any of the filler on the river unless you want to model rapids!

Follow the directions on what ever filler you use as far as drying time is concerned, but remember that we've applied it thicker than it is designed to be used and it may take additional time to dry. The next step is adding additional texture. These things will really start to look cool after that!

June 25, 2015

Back to the Boromites

Well, not exactly, but I finally had the chance to set up some pics on terrain...

Boromite Overseer Team

Boromite Lavamites

Boromite Gang Fighters

Boromite Work Gang

Boromite Team with X-Launcher

June 24, 2015

Concord Strike Command Team

Here's the full command team for my Beyond the Gates of Antares Concord army...

More Concord troops next week...