Showing posts with label Scenery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Scenery. Show all posts

20 June 2019

Work in Progress - Rorke's Drift Hospital and Supply Depot

My wargaming buddy Carlos recently bought the Italeri Battle of Rorke's Drift set which comes with a very nice MDF version of the hospital and supply depot.

Image from

Carlos had put the buildings together but said he wasn't in the mood to paint it, so I was more than happy to give it a go.

The walls were first given a thin coat of Vallejo "Sandy Paste" to give them more of a gritty look.

Then once the sandy paste was dry, the buildings were given an undercoat from a cheapo spray can of matt black paint bought in a local tack shop (here in Spain there are thousands of these tack shops, affectionately known as "chinos" as they are generally owned and run by people from China).

After the undercoat was dry, the walls were "whitewashed" with a few thin successive coats of acrylic paint.

The buildings were then detailed, and finished off with some dry brushing, washes and given a good dousing of pigment powders.

Enjoyed painting these, it was a nice change from tanks and figures, and I'm pleased at how well these laser-cut MDF building look once they're painted. They're also very sturdy but lightweight at the same time.

Anyhow, Carlos now has the buildings back and hopefully he'll finish the roofs soon - he's going to use some fake-fur to give them thatched roofs - we'll post some pictures when they're finished. 

13 June 2015

How-to : Rivers, Ponds and Marshes using X-rays

mprovised Rivers, Ponds and Marshes using X-rays

Some time ago a friend from our wargame group, Juan Reyes (Brazo de Nelson Wargamers Club) had a brilliant idea of using cut-outs from old X-rays that he painted over with gloss paint to use as wargame scenery to make marshes.

In a recent game scenario we needed a wide river section to cross the entire table, and so inspired by Juans marshes, we cut-up some old x-rays with scissors to make improvised river sections.

These are not painted, just the bare X-rays but they actually work very well.

The game was one of a series of scenarios weve gamed from an Arnhem campaign. The bridge spanning the river is an Airfix Pontoon Bridge, mounted on supports made from Lego and painted concrete grey.

18 November 2013

Toy Tree Upgrade

I've had these toy trees in a box since last year, just before Christmas, when I got them in a department store where they were selling shiny plastic plants and trees for Nativity scenes.

As I'd been working on some other scenery stuff over the weekend, and after seeing that the shops are stocking up again on Nativity scene stuff, I remembered I had these hidden away and so I dug them out of their box.

The trunks and branch structure are basically really good.

The only things that needed changing are the radioactive green shiny plastic leaves.

I gave the trunks a drybrush and added some dark foam foliage.

They just need the bases flocking and they'll be finished.

17 April 2012

Abandoned Tram

A few weeks ago my mate Iván phoned me and said he'd found a 1/72 scale model tram lying abandoned in the gutter and immediately thought of me.

I like to think he thought of me because of the 1/72 tram, not me lying in the gutter - as a respectable middle-aged man I now no longer end up in the gutter after a mad Saturday night out.

It's a promotional model of some kind that the local tram company must have been using at some event, and must have been just slung away when they finished with the promotion.

It's a bit scratched, but it looks the business and all it needs is a bit more dirtying up and we've got a nice scenery piece for a modern-day / post-apocalyptic game.

Thanks Iván.

13 July 2011

"Dream House"

I was in the UK a short while ago and happened to go into a "Poundshop"

Sifting through the tack, you can usually always find something useful in those places and I found these brightly coloured 1/72 scale "Dream houses" - well, actually half a house, you have to buy two to make a full-house.

When I get them painted up they should make half-decent scenery items.

More than "amused", I found the description hilarious :-)

01 May 2009

1/72 Scale Italeri Coastal Defense Bunker

Italeri 1/72 Scale Coastal Defence Bunkers.

Nice solid models that paint up really well.

These were made and painted by Carlos de Concha from the Tenerife Brazo de Nelson Wargames Club.

26 May 2005

Copper Wire Armature Trees

Copper Wire Armature Trees

The technique of using twisted copper wire to make tree armatures is quite well known to railway enthusiasts, diorama builders and wargamers.

The twisted copper wire armatures have been covered with various layers of white glue and black paint and the foliage has been made from steel wool (like Brillo but without the soap) covered by dried herbs and scatter material.

You can also use lichen, as can be seen on one of the trees in the photographs.

25 February 2002

Choo-Choo Trains

Browsing in a Toys-r-Us store I found a great bargain, an old-fashioned looking steam train. Not just that, two metres of track, two carriages, a fuel/water tank and even a tractor.

And I'm thrilled with the farm figures and cute horses and cows that come with it.

A railway line, plus train & carriages are just the thing needed to spice up a table.

This train just HAD to be a Russian train too. Once painted black, and with the addition of a couple of red stars and a resoundingly uplifting slogan "death to the fascist invaders" - many thanks to Sveta Thomas, my friend Mark Thomas' wife.

Similarly,the carriages were given a thorough "dirtying"

Below,the tracks after painting and flocking, and the water / fuel tank. I also painted that bright red tractor green and added a couple of stars.

And you know the train actually works on batteries. You can see those wheels spinning like mad, and it also has a little light to see in the dark.

01 March 2000

Making a Stone Bridge from Styrofoam

Making a Stone Bridge from Styrofoam

Bridges often form an important focal point or strategic element in a game, and can also often make attractive centrepieces for interesting dioramas.

Building from scratch is not too difficult and the object of this article is demonstrate how to build a simple but effective representations of these stone bridges.

Construction materials 
  • EPS foamboard, also known as “Styrofoam” 
  • Cereal box or stiff card 
  • 1 sheet of paper 
  • PC & laser / injket printer 
  • Scissors 
  • Craft Knife 
  • Ball-point pen 
  • White glue 
  • Black, grey, white acrylic paints (or other colours according to preferences) 
  • Very fine sand (optional) 
The main material used to make our bridge here is EPS foamboard (greatly superior to expanded polystyrene) because it’s compact, can easily be cut without crumbling and is durable. You can buy it in sheets at hardware stores (a well known brand is called “Depron”) but you can also use the same stuff that little trays are made of that you find in supermarkets to pack fruit or meat.

Making a Master

In order to make the bridge we’ll first need a master and making this isn’t particularly difficult, though it can be a little time consuming.

For a basic bridge we need to make four templates from very simple shapes as shown here. If you click on the image below it will open in a new window. You can download and print the template onto A4 paper.


Print your masters onto a sheet of A4 size paper, then with a pair of scissors cut the templates out. The sides of the bridge and the base sections will be made from foamboard, so we’ll use shapes we’ve cut from paper as templates Place these templates onto the foamboard and lightly draw around them with a ball-point pen and then with a sharp craft knife cut the foamboard along the pen lines.

Now all we have to do to represent a stone pattern is to draw it on with a ball-point pen

We need to make the pattern convincing so it’s important to take a little time doing this.

Best not to use anything sharp to do this, you´ll need to use a ball-point pen because instead of scratching on a design, we have to leave an imprint and the ball-point pen “glides” across the foamboard.

Once we’ve got the stone pattern finished then we can assemble the bridge. 

Stick the two sides of the bridge to the bases with white glue and wait for it to dry overnight so it’s fixed well.

The next stage is to make the road section from stiff card,making sure that it curves without any creases and just stick with white glue (a bit tricky and you might have to hold this for quite until it’s stuck well). Finally the last piece to glue the underside of the bridge’s arch.


Painting is a matter of personal taste and everyone has their own techniques and preferences. I used artist’s latex based paints that you can buy from hobby shops, starting with undiluted black paint then mixing in some very very fine sand and once you have this mixture ready paint all over the bridge and leave to dry for a few hours.

Once the black paint is dry, take a suitable stone colour and give the bridge and roadway an extremely heavy drybrush and you’ll see that the stone pattern becomes very nicely defined due to the black undercoat staying in the recesses of the pattern - it should now resemble a stone bridge. Just to finish off give a final very light drybrush with some white or other very light paint according to your preferences.

The only other thing I added was a border of grass and small rocks along the side of the base as you can see in the picture at the top of this article.