It's been quiet around here, but I've been beavering away on various bits and pieces. First to completion has been these vineyards, built in anticipation of some 28mm Chain if Command Espana games this year. I made eight strips to give me a decent field of blocking terrain.
They were fairly simple if a little time-consuming to make - I used an up scaled and tweaked method that I found on someone's blog: http://empireofghosts.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/tutorial-vineyards.html
For the build I used:
- Bases: fat lolly sticks from Hobbycraft. The same that I used for my recent 15mm hedgerows
- Trees: Woodland Scenice tree armatures - from a bag of 114 deciduous sized between 3/4" and 2" that I bought as 15mm scale trees. I used less than 20 of them because I cut a few larger armatures into two or individual stems.
- End posts: a bag of cocktail sticks from Lakeland, chopped to length with a support piece cut to 45 degrees. I got some with a few grooves cut in them which helled when adding the twine.
- Twine: black cotton thread liberated from the wife's sewing up box.
- Foliage: Woodland Scenics 'Olive green' bushes and 'Light green' clump foliage
- Groundwork: Wilko cheap wood filler, sand and flock using my usual method.
The step-by-step process, in brief as I didn't take any photos during the process (you may wish to consult my basing tutorial too).
- Take lolly sticks, discarding any warped ones
- Tidy up a selection of tree armatures - I trim the mold lines off (force of habit and pickiness for me - you many consider this optional)
- Superglue four armatures fairly evenly along the length, keeping them fairly parallel with the base. Cut larger armatures to desired size.These didn't have a base, so I drilled a hole carefully in the lolly stick and glued the stem into the hole for extra support.
- Carefully drill holes for the end posts using a suitable bit - some of mine split as I was doing it but I thought it worth pinning them in rather than just gluing on top.
- Cut cocktail sticks to desired length. Stick into the drilled holes with pva. Cut short supports to length, trim to 45 degrees (approximate). Glue supports on. Leave to dry.
- Bend armatures into suitable shapes.
- Slap on wood filler to disguise the bases for the armatures
- Wrap cotton thread around the groove of the cocktail stick, add a blob of superglue to hold. Bring along the length to the other end post, wrap and glue. Repeat so you have two runs of twine along each base.
- At this point I put a quick burst of black spray onto each side of the end posts so I wouldn't have to worry about coverage when painting.
- Add the ground texture - I apply pva then talus, sand and rocks to suit - I keep varying grades in separate tupperwares. I the. Used bulldog clips to pin each strip onto a baking tray - this (may?) minimise warping of the lolly stick base as the pva dries.
- I usually add a second layer of texture to cover anything I've missed (optional)
- Leave to dry well, knock off any excess.
- Dropper on Woodland Scenics scenic cement to bind and seal the sand (optional)
- Paint the groundwork, then the end posts and armatures to suit.
- Hot glue gun on the foliage. I started with an Olive green central clump then added Light green to the higher branches. Try to keep each bush fairly slim with definition between them. I think the smaller bushes look better than larger but ended up with a variety sizes.
- Pick off any excess foliage, tweaking the shape of the each row to suit
- Trim off any dried glue on show or hide with more foliage
- Dropper or spray on scenic cement to bind the foliage (optional)
- Add flock and tufts to taste
I'm quite pleased with them - they fill a hole in the Spanish terrain collection and rather nicely evoke the region - much more so than wheat fields or ordinary woods.