Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ironmonger's Terrain Tutorial: Large Woods pt. IV

So this will be the long overdue conclusion of my terrain series concerning the construction from the ground-up of a large terrain feature... in this case, a large wooded area separated by a worn trackway running down the middle of it. When I left off posting last time, the basics of the piece of terrain were completed: trackway in green stuff, stumps, trees, and a nice foundation of masonite for it all to sit on. Here, I'll take you step by step in flocking, adding accents, painting, and the use of weathering pigments...



So, at the end of the last post, the woods looked something like this:
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I used a mixture of fine sea sand with a little bit of coarse basing material, dabbed white glue over the whole of the base, and made sure to both spread it on nice and thick and even, and allow it to dry at it's own rate without attempting to knock sand off or speed it up. When you have a large piece of terrain such as this that you're trying to base all at once with a large amount of glue and sand, don't rush it, or else you run the risk of the glue not fully drying in time, and alot of the material sloughing off prematurely.

After it dried, I used Chaos Black primer to give it all a nice undercoat, to aide in the basecoat sticking as well as give a sense of shadow and depth to any of the basing exposed after the flocking layers went on. This is ALWAYS a good idea, and the basic concept comes from Japanese gardening philosophy: detail everything, even the hidden areas. That way, if they are seen, it adds additional depth and life to your creation. After a coat of Khemri Brown (a nice earthy foundation colour; I do all my terrain in it), I add another drybrush of the same colour on top; again, it gives it more depth, and I end up with something like this:
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After the whole of the terrain piece has been covered with the Khemri Brown, I wanted to move on to the track way itself and it's borders. I wanted the trackway to "pop" a bit more then all the rest, so whilst I did give the whole of the piece a light drybrushing of Graveyard Earth followed by a wash of 1:1 Devlan Mud:Water, I built up some detail on the trackway with drybrushing Graveyard Earth, washing Devlan Mud, drybrushing Kommando Khaki, washing Devlan, drybrushing Bleached Bone, washing (yep, you guessed it!) Devlan. This created depth and brought out detail you probably won't even see until you move across the track: perfect!

I then gave the entire piece a few passes with matte spray varnish to add longevity and stability to the terrain (it is being used in wargaming, after all!), as well as secure the basing materials to not come off in the middle of flocking. A brief note: try to do this BEFORE you flock, as well as a light go-over after you're DONE flocking.

The border areas of the trackway were then painted with white glue and flocked with a mixture of Woodland Scenics Fine Turf Burnt Grass and GW's Burnt Static Grass. This added some interest to the flocking right around the trackway, and looked like this:
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After the trackway, the rest of the piece was a pretty easy, pretty straight-forward job of gluing/flocking/gluing/flocking, using a variety of flocks in various patterns to create interest in the ground to complement the trees:
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Around the borders of the entire piece as well as some of the features like stumps, I added more GW static grass, and then some modeling reeds:
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I think this really give a piece of scenery life and a sense of the "real," when you have variation in the landscape, reeds, weeds, thick bushes and such.

Almost done, I added on the trees and some finishing touches of WS Coarse Flock and Dark Clump Foliage. I still need to clean up the trees a little and then glue them into place, but that is an option when doing a piece like this: I wanted two big chuncks of thick forested growth that you were FORCED to move either around or down the middle of, but you could just as easily have left the trees unglued to allow skirmishers and such passage. As well, I may add a few more spots of thick foliage as bushes, as well as some more clumps of reeds/weeds to really give the two sides of the "figure 8" a sense of growth too dense to pass through. After that, I'll make a light pass over of the whole piece from multiple angles in order to ensure the foliage (both on the trees and on the ground!) stays put.

This was the look I was going for:
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I don't think it was perfectly executed, but hey, it came out ok, and it was my first big piece, so good enough!
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Next up: SWAMPS!!!

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