Good news everybody! I’ve finished the islands, and I’m rather pleased with the finished articles if I do say so myself, yes scale wise they might be a bit on the wayward side (but then some of the Dystopian stuff is) and Myles isn’t that sure about the gravel ring around the bottoms of the buildings, but I did this so that the buildings can face in any direction without the pathway looking odd as it would not run up to the front of the building, anyway before I get to carried away in justifying all the various aspects of these bits of scenery I’ll get on with describing how I went about painting them, starting with the buildings, first job was to mark a cross on the bottoms from corner to corner and then drill an eight millimeter hole in the centre of each (to sit on the dowel peg set into the islands, see last week’s post for details). I had decided to use the supplied radar dishes as the piece to sit atop the towers as all the other options were offensive weapons of one type or another and as these will be predominately just scenic items I thought this would be the best option (plus I just like the look of them). Then after being sprayed with matt black they were liberally dry-brushed with dark grey before being dry-brushed again (a little lighter) with light grey, I then went back round and repainted in the arched windows rear chimneys and the metal framed window slots in black, before dry-brushing any metal bits in chainmail, next I added the conical roof’s some pipework and some detail bits in bronze before they were heavily coated with Quickshade and finally given a coat of matt varnish and they were done. Now they need something under them to stop them sinking to the bottom of the ocean, so I suppose I’d better get on with the islands themselves then!
Right before I get into the nitty-gritty of the painting I’d just like to mention that our local “Homebase” DIY store has now closed, but I’m pleased to say that all the people working there have been offered jobs at the new replacement store (a B and M discount store), why do I mention this? Well this allowed me to happily circle like a vulture over all the stuff they were selling off without feeling too bad about it. So a one liter tin of matt black emulsion paint was purchased (can’t remember exactly how much but it was cheap and always useful to wargamers), along with a pile of tester pots it various useful colours at twenty five pence a pot bargain! (I’ll put the test pot colours in brackets) Anyway all the rocky sides and the gravel building bases were painted with said matt black. Then the top of the land was painted brown (this is another matt emulsion I bought a few years back as it is almost identical to the chocolate brown I use on most of my figure bases), this was blended away around the edges into the black of the rocks, before they were heavily dry-brushed with my normal dark grey (couldn’t find a test pot that colour) and then again with matt (urbanite) light grey, Next scenic green was heavily dry-brushed over the brown and then (camouflage) light green was stippled over this. Next I added the jetties and pathways on the two islands in chocolate brown, the jetties being highlighted with leather brown and the pathways with butternut.
Water next, this was firstly given three (yes three!) coats of (marina blue), it needed this many to cover the black underneath. Firstly I went carefully around the edges of the rocks with a small brush before blocking in the outer edges with a bigger one (then repeated this process twice more (only with much more swearing involved!), next I stippled/dry-brushed (sky) very light blue over the top of this before finally doing the same again tight up to the edges of the rocks (and slightly up them as well to represent spray) in matt white. Myles then pointed out that the sea in general was now a lot paler than the cloth we had bought to use as our table cover, the Marina blue is pretty close to this colour wise, that’s why I picked it, (I don’t just throw these ideas together you know, it might seem like it, but no), so I went back around the outer edges of the bases with this again blending it in to the white at about 10mm out from the rocks. I have to say I think it does look better like this.
Now I mentioned last week that I’d glued some irregular pieces of MDF onto the top of the islands, these were to form the basis for some wooded areas, just to add a bit of visual interest to the finished pieces. Before they were attached I’d cut out some pieces of card the same basic shapes as the MDF only slightly larger, these were them painted rifleman green and then the top faces of these were thickly coated with PVA glue before small bits of Javis Premium foliage in mid and dark green were sprinkled over the top (the foliage comes in quite big bits and had to be gently teased apart into balls of about five millimeters round or less) once applied I pressed down on the top of this with a jar lid to try to spread the foliage and stick it down well, this was a bit of a rigmarole and I wasn’t sure if I was going to have to chuck the whole sticky mess in the bin and re-think the whole thing, but in the end they didn’t look too bad and once they were dry and I’d filled any obvious gaps they were glued onto the tops of the corresponding MDF piece, hence the numbers in the photo. Once secure more of the foliage material was glued around the edges of the “woods” and any new gaps were filled (this was fast turning into more trouble than it was worth!!), finally they were given a coat of slightly watered down PVA glue to seal all the bits of foliage in place. I say finally but this final coat did suck some of the dye out of the foliage pieces and when it settled around the edges of the woods it left a pale green stain, so this then had to be painted over again in the two greens the island tops had been painted (see more trouble!).
So there you are finished at last, they took quite a bit longer to do than I’d originally planned, but I’m pretty pleased with the end results. It also made a bit of a change from figure painting for a few weeks and I’d forgotten how much I enjoy (and how blooming frustrating it can be) making something from scratch. Hopefully you dear reader may have found it entertaining too. Just need to get some games in now!