Thursday, April 22, 2010
Realm of Battle: We’ll Call It a Draw
It is finished –or rather, it is as finished as I intend for the foreseeable future. In all, I’d call it a modest success, but one that was very nearly a tremendously expensive failure. Given the ups and downs, really, I’d be happy to call it a draw with a slight tilt to my favor.
So. In two great bursts of energy on Monday I managed to take my third, and I suppose fourth, swipe at the Realm of Battle Board (one in the morning and one when I had some time later in the day …and yes -that means that as I began posting this series, I genuinely didn’t know whether I’d be able to salvage the project). Having scrubbed the pieces back to their chalk-toned base on Sunday, I basically resumed from the same point that I’d found myself on Saturday afternoon.
This time, however, I mixed in a bit of Water Color Medium into the Dr. Martin’s Water Concentrated Water Color. In theory, this is designed to help the water color flow a bit better, but it also supposedly adds a bit of strength and resilience to the colors as well. This last item was what I was looking for, particularly after seeing how quickly the water colors came up when I started scrubbing out the static grass and glue. I wasn’t too worried about “flow” as I basically slathered the stuff all over the boards in a few quick layers. Strength is what I’m hoping for.
The Water Colors spent the better part of the day drying while I went about my usual business. Later, I attacked the whole mess once more with the Benjamin Moore paint samples and the basic GW brown that comes with the basing kit for the boards. I’d run out of the Ochre that they give you in that kit, so the final result doesn’t have the same yellow-ish tint to it, which is a shame really, as I really liked the way it looked against the purplish undertones. But again, I’m quite happy with the results. Given that I’d very nearly sent the whole thing down the drain, I wasn’t really prepared to quibble at this point.
One note on static grass: I was looking at this month’s White Dwarf and noticed that, in the battle reports, they’ve basically covered their entire boards with Static Grass –which makes me wonder why they bother with the Brown and Ochre colors that you can’t actually see anywhere on those boards. Moreover, what they give you would never, in a month of Sundays, cover the boards to the extent that they have in the magazine. Finally, I’ve used some kind of static grass or another on nearly all my models, but I’ve never seen it do anything like what I saw on Sunday. Is this normal? The whole bag was basically a series of these little clusters, and some of them won’t really break apart even when I try to sift them with my hands, etc. I’m a bit stumped; however, I can say with almost irrefutable certainty that I’ll never (ever) try to use static grass so ambitiously, nor over such a wide area again. Lesson learned.
So, all in all, I’m quite satisfied with (and a little bit exhausted by) this project… but did I stop there?
Not a chance. It’s an affliction.
This may cause some dissension, but I’ve never been too happy with the pit of skulls that pop up at various points on the board. While I generally enjoy painting all the little skulls on GW figs (I’ve no idea why) these ones just didn’t ring my bell. It’s just too much of a good thing, I suppose. Regardless, I’ve never cared for them and had an idea about how I might deal with this nagging little detail.
And so, I took yet another gamble on this bad boy with a technique that I’ve never used before -resin. I used this simple one-to-one stuff, and added a drop (maybe two, but not a breath more) of blue and flesh ink. I was careful to make sure that I’d erred on the side of equality or more with the hardener, as I’ve heard stories of resin casts that never quite set properly. I’d have probably flung myself off a cliff if I ruined two of the six tiles after all of the above.
Well, I then poured the mixture into the pits, tapped around a bit to sort any air bubbles, and waited for the whole thing to dry. In order to set properly, the resin takes at least two days, they recommend three, so I wasn't entirely sure that I'd pulled this off properly until this morning. phew. Now might not be the best time to say this, but I’m considering adding one more clear layer in order to “top off” the pits, and make the surface level (or close to it) with the rest of the table. This might add a lovely bit of depth and invoke more of the water effect rather than “tar” effect that we see here. Still, I'm really quite happy with what's actually on the table, and so...
I’m also thinking that, at this point, I shouldn’t press my luck. Perhaps I’ll see what the wife has to say on the matter -and listen to her this time.
Here's a photo or two of a mock battle scene, with promise of more to come:
Thanks for stopping by and for all the kind words of support as this developed. It's been emotional. See you tomorrow for the next installment of Hailed vs. Hated.