“Just what the hell are they storing in these things anyway?”

You know how sometimes you get an idea that just keeps itching away at the back of your mind, and won’t go away until you make it? Well a couple of weeks ago you might remember I built some 28mm scale crates out of cardboard and coffee stirrers and I mentioned that these had inspired me to make something for a “Zomtober” entry, well in the end I just couldn’t wait till October. So as all the stuff I required for this build was now in my possession (Including a new batch of coffee stirrers!), I decided to make them my last entry into “Scenery month” instead. “But what are they?” I hear you ask, well taking the last two broken Zombies from the group “donated” to me last year by Myles, I thought I’d create a couple of “Zombies bursting out of crates”.

So to begin with I needed a couple of crates (surprise surprise!), luckily I still had the piece of cardboard I’d marked up with the correct sized boxes from the last batch, so azomcrate 1 couple more were cut out and glued together with the exception of the front flap, this was left loose for the moment. I also cut these front “doors” in half (like a stable door), giving me the hole the “Zoms” would be poking out of. I then clad the tops and sides of the boxes with cut lengths of the coffee stirrers as last time* (see link at the end of this post for details). I them painted then all over (inside and out) with matt black, and then the stirrer clad areas as before.

zomcrate 2When it came to the “Zom’s” themselves, I began by cutting the arms off of the two broken figures I had left over from my horde (both figures had only one arm left, as one had donated his to the “Gravestone” markers I did the other week, and the other lost his lord alone knows where!). Both figures were then cut in half at about the top of their thighs, them the arms were re-attached in lower more downward facing positions. Then after trial fitting the “Zoms” I cut two short lengths of stirrer and broke off the top ends with the tip of a pair of pliers to give a broken, shattered appearance as if hammered open from inside. This was then glued in place in the middle of the “door” and painted as before. Greenstuff was then used to build up the gaps now formed around the new un-natural shoulder attachments on the figures, a blob of putty was popped onto an old “slottabase” and the truncated figures were pushed onto this, and left to dry overnight. As far as the painting went I followed the tried and tested technique I’ve used on all my other “livingly challenged” figures, in other words zomcrate 3working from a matt black base coat I mixed stone green and coffee on the first figure (applying one then the other, then mixing them patchily together while still wet), and light blue, stone green and European flesh in the same manner on the other. Then when this was dry I added the cuts and rents in the flesh in dark red, then the eyes and mouths in black and white and some bright red was slapped about for some fresher “gore” they were then ”Quickshaded” and finally matt varnished so they would match in with their zombie brethren.

zomcrate 4These then had to be fitted into the crates, and this is was more of the “two steps forward, one step back!” palaver that the rest of the build had seemed to be. First two large (marble sized) blobs of greenstuff were mixed up and set into the insides of the crates about two thirds of the way up and were then painted matt black. After this “doors” on the crates were glued shut and the “Zoms” were fed in through the gap and pushed into the putty, and left to dry. Next more pieces of the stirrers were cut and “broken” so that they would fit around the emerging horrors and some of the larger ones were zomcrate 5painted black before being glued into place. Small pieces were then cut and broken to fit around the “holes” and the bracing “bars” were also added, these were then also painted black and then all of these areas were finished in subsequent dry-brushes of chocolate, butternut and coffee as before. Finished, I’m quite pleased with the end results though they turned out to be more awkward and time consuming than I’d originally anticipated.

So that dear reader brings us to the end of scenery month, in some ways it would have been nice to of waited until “Zomtober” to do these, but fortuitously I still have enough Zombies to fill out my four weeks of “Zomtober”, so…

Till next week, Cheers Roger.

Posted in 28mm fantasy, 28mm sci-fi, Scenery, Zombies | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

“When you can’t see the wood…”

Scenery month week two (the crates didn’t count as they were done in July, Doh!), and this week I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone by a) adding some more bases of scenery too the four I made many moons ago before this blog was conceived, for use in numerous Sci/Fi and fantasy settings from primeval, alien jungles to Edgar Rice Burroughs subterranean lands, and b) it would give me the chance to use up some of the fifty (yes fifty!) palm trees I picked up for a tenner at Salute this year.

First job was to cut out some bases in MDF, so six “ovals” ranging from about 120mm up to 200mm were cut and the edges sanded and beveled down, to reduce the jungle scenic 0thickness of the edges. Next it was up to the loft to retrieve the big bag of “plants” I had up there from when I built the last lot (see in the photo right). Some of these are fish tank plants, these came as a sheet that I have cut up into sections to use as individual trees. Then there are the aforementioned palm trees, these were mounted in groups of two and three’s onto plywood disks with the plastic “lugs” on their bases glued though the base. The rest of them are imitation flowers and came from my local florists supply warehouse. These jungle scenic 1are great for this type of thing most were about 14inches long to begin with, but it’s just the “heads” that I was interested in (just don’t ask me to name them, I know the lilac fluffy one’s were thistles, but that’s about it), some have been taped together with masking tape then superglue was dripped around the tape to secure it, and the excess wire bent outward or around to from a cross or “ring” to hold them upright, There are also some artificial jungle scenic 2“Raspberry’s”, trust me once the stalks are removed and they are glue down upside-down they look nothing like what they actually are.

Anyway next I messed about trying the various plants on the bases till I was happy with the positioning, I then marked which plant would go where with different coloured marker pens. Gluing down the taller “trees” was next, different ones needing jungle scenic 3different techniques to secure them, the palm trees and fish tank plants were fixed with PVA (white glue), the smaller bushes and tree with superglue and the taller cut down wire trees needed a blob of greenstuff to hold them in place. The other “seed pod” type ones will be added after the bases are textured.

If you look at the original four bases I did before you can see that they all have large “rocky outcrops” on them, now my original plan (up to this point) was not to have any of those on these bases, but looking at them again I decided I would have to add some small outcrops to tie them in with each other. The way I created these is virtually the same as the middles of the Dystopian wars islands I made last year…


I began by taking a lump of polystyrene I had “saved” from the bin at work and after jungle scenic 4cutting some vaguely rocky shapes these were glued down onto the bases, then taking my big bag of tissue paper (I really don’t throw anything away!), I mixed up some water, PVA glue and a little filler in a dish. Next pulling out a rather shiny piece of the paper (with merry Christmas all over it) ripped it into small (40mm or so across) irregular pieces, it’s important to not cut these with scissors or use the straight edges as torn edges blend in better hiding where one piece joins another. These were pasted on using a brush and the mix jungle scenic 5I made up before, you do of course get overlaps around the edges and corners but that is okay as I’ll hide them with the second coat. Talking of which, once this was dry I repeated the process, this time with some thin un-shiny tissue paper. This coat has to be more carefully worked out as you have to firstly completely cover the piece, then taking smaller pieces recover all the folds and edges. You should find that the small ridges a creases that are formed naturally while doing this will look like relief patterns in the rocks surface and paint up really nicely with a couple of dry-brushes. A tip is that it’s a lot easier to do these before you add your bits of “foliage” (advice I should had taken at the beginning!!). Next I “Tetrioned” (that’s spread filler to the uninitiated) over the bases, this was a little awkward around all the trees and such but we got there in the end, I left the areas where the “seed pod” type jungle scenic 6plants will go bare for the minute as I have a plan for these. Then I painted chocolate brown over all the areas on the bases that had not been left clear, along with the “trunks” of the trees that had been wrapped with tape. Once this was dry, I Tetrioned over the bare areas and while this was still wet, painted these areas with the chocolate brown. Then again while still wet I put superglue onto the bottoms of the seed pod pieces and set then in place and left this all to dry overnight.

Next morning all of the bases were dry-brushed over with khaki before the “polystyrene rocks” were given a second dry-brush of butternut, and then the entire bases were given a final light dry-brush of coffee. Areas (quite big areas!) were then jungle scenic 7repainted with scenic green and then after I’d glued down some clumps of rubberized moss, the green painted areas were slapped with PVA and sprinkled with some hairy flock, and they were done.

Sorry for being a little late with my posting this week, but these have taken a bit longer than I expected, but I should now hopefully have enough to cover a 4ft by 4ft table, I can see however that I will need to make some more of these at some point in the future.

Till next time, Cheers Roger.

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“A grave development”

Imitation is the sincerest form of compliment they say, in which case Simon you are most welcome! Mr Moore recently posted some excellent “headstone objective markers” and as I’ve decided that August is going to be scenery month here at “Webb towers” (we don’t actually have any “towers” as such, I decided the moat and dungeon was enough), I thought I’d dig out the tombstones I myself had lying about and make some of these myself. You can see Simon’s excellent versions here…


But anyway on to mine, the three metal memorials in the picture to the right are by Bob Olley and formally come from his Olley’s gravestones (a)Armies collection (these are now owned by someone else but I’m not sure who, sorry), and the smaller plastic one is of course part of the GW plastic ”Skellys” box set from a few years ago. All of these were mounted onto 40mm hexagonal plastic bases, these are actually “Glyph” tokens from the “Heroscape” board game (as I have shed loads of these and I thought their shape would help distinguish them from my round figure bases). I mounted the plastic headstone on a blob of greenstuff to add a bit of height to its somewhat diminutive dimensions, and as it was still a bit on the boring side compared to the other three I thought I’d spice it up a bit by adding an arm emerging from grave in front of the stone, this comes from one of the Mantic Zombies I “inherited” from Myles last year that I didn’t paint up as it was broken off at the ankles. This meant I had to wait till both the greenstuff under the headstone and beneath the arm were dry before I could “tetrion” the bases. This did give me the opportunity to spread out a gravestones (b)little of the filler onto a “Pringles” lid and to let this dry as well (I’ll tell you what this was for in a bit).

So next job was to “Tetrion” around the bases and blend in the bases of the headstones I built up the middle sections into an elongated “hump” to represent the graves themselves, before doing around the “arm” I took the now dry filler I mentioned before off of the lid it was on and breaking it up into small irregular pieces glued some of these around the base of the arm as soil cracking and breaking away around the emerging hand., the rest of the base was then built up around in the same manner as the others. Once this was dry it was out for a coat of matt black, before all the stones were heavily dry-brushed in dark grey. Next I mixed up a mid grey colour using black gravestones (c)and white, and this was then dry-brushed over the stones as well. Then I took some stone green and dry-brushed this over certain areas, and a much lighter mix of the black and white was used over other areas. Now a couple of the pieces have ivy growing up the sides and the odd tuft of grass around the bases, the ivy was undercoated in German field blue then highlighted in light green and lime green (partially mixed on the model), deep bronze green was used as an undercoat on the grass and scenic green formed the highlight on these. I then brushed on a wash of matt black across the top edges of the pieces and added some stripes down the faces to simulate dirt and water marks from years out in the open. Turning to the emerging arm next, I laid down and undercoat of flesh tone seven and then added stone green and pale flesh highlights that were blended into the still wet paint, once dry I added some bright red “bloody” marks to gravestones (d)the hand and figures. The arm was then given a coat of Quickshade so it would match the rest of my figures, but the rest of the models were left clear as I don’t Quickshade my scenery.

Bases next and I used my usual colours and technique’s to do these, the only additions being I added a couple of pieces of “rubberized” moss to a couple of the bases to add a little interest, and added a tiny bit of the chocolate brown around the base of the arm to show were soil had stuck to it on the way out. Then it was out for a spray coat of matt varnish and they were done (well I did decided that the red on the figures looked a little to “pink” gravestones (e)now so touched up the red again, but then the really were done).

I decided to drag out my “Mantic Zombies”, to form a little set dressing for the photos, as Christie Brinkly wasn’t available, and that’s it some more bits of scenery that have been hanging about far too long finally painted. I’m rather pleased with how they came out in the end.

Till next time, Cheers Roger.

Posted in 28mm fantasy, fantasy, Scenery, Zombies | Tagged , , , | 23 Comments

“Packing it in”

This week I have been mainly mucking about! Simon Moore over at “Fantorical” has been turning out some rather nice scenery of late and with a couple of other bloggers crate 1jumping on the “scenic” bandwagon, I thought it was time to join the party and give my little chaps something to fight over and around. The ubiquitous packing case is always useful so I thought I start with some of these, I set to work making up a “test piece” before I went into “full production” as it were, so after marking out on some spare card the shape of a box template, with the dimensions of 15mm x 15mm x 30mm I cut this out and glued it together. Originally I had cut crate 2“tabs” where the edges joined but these proved to be too thick and awkward so I cut these off and just used superglue to glue the sides in place. Next I cut lengths of “coffee stirrers” (I have some differing lengths and thickness ones of these “liberated” from various sources), and these were then glued onto the sides and ends as planking, a few more pieces run around as strengtheners and my rather ramshackle crate was complete.crate 3

Painting of course came next, so an undercoat of matt black was painted all over, and then a heavy dry-brush of chocolate crate 4brown and another of butternut were applied. It looked alright but I decided that a final light dry-brush of coffee was still needed and this “aged” the wood nicely. Reasonably pleased with my crate I decided it was time to go into full production, so a crate 5much larger piece of card was marked out with enough pieces to make up ten more boxes, and the process was repeated as above. You can see in some of the pictures that a few of the “stirrers” have been used to stir pots of paint in the past, re-recycling how’s that for environmentally friendly!

crate 6But anyway that’s what I’ve been up to this week, just a short post this time, so till next week.

Cheers Roger.

Posted in Scenery | Tagged | 12 Comments