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Thursday, September 6, 2012

N00b Zone: Even More Painting and Modeling Tips

...and, we're back! After a bit of a break, it is time once again for some painting and modeling tips. Today, I am going to focus on some terrain making tips. Terrain is very important in Flames of War, and can really improve your enjoyment of the game. These tips are especially geared for newer folks, but may be useful for veteran hobbyists as well.

Using the right method to fix your scenic stuff can be tricky and you can waste a ton of time if you do not use the right thing. I use hot glue for rocks, fences, foliage on trees, shrubs, etc. Basically, if hot glue can be used, use it. Hot glue is super fast and you do not have to wait out long drying times. If you are not using a hot glue gun, you are very much wasting your hobby time. Be careful, as you can burn yourself very easily!
You will have to perfect your gluing technique -- you can easily get little glue-strand 'hairs' all over the place, ruining your look. When I glue something down, I tend to apply the glue, then wrap the strand around the tip of the hot glue gun. This does get glue on the end, but I can scrape that off with a hobby knife when the tip cools down.
I put the stuff on the bases below with super-glue and it started to let loose. I remodeled with hot glue, sealed the foliage, and it is all good now!

For ground cover flocking, I just use some 50/50 watered down white glue -- or sometimes just the wet paint! I end up sealing it anyway....

One of the most important things you can do to your terrain is to make it durable. If it is some good looking stuff, your friends are going to ask you to host games or provide terrain for game nights and tournaments - right, Eric? Most of the flocking and clump foliage that you use is pretty fragile and squishable. One way to make it tougher is to use some Matte Medium.

Matte Medium is kind of like a watery PVA or White Glue. You mix it up 4 parts water to 1 part Matte Medium - check your bottle for instructions. Paint this stuff over flocking or trees or whatever and let it dry. You get a hardened surface that resists squishing and doesn't shed your base material. Unlike white glue, this will also not turn yellow over time.
I use this stuff on set pieces, trees, flocked ground cover -- everything. In the picture below, I used matte medium on the ground surface and the trees.

When we first hit the tournament scene, we got to play in a ton of the i95 tournaments. Eric Lauterbach always had the coolest mats that he made himself out of landscape fabric. The cool thing is that the rolls come in 4 foot sections which makes for easy measurement.
Here are the basic instructions:
1) Cut out a 4' by 6'4" section.
2) Spread out the fabric on a junk table, as paint will seep through the fabric!
3) Use latex paint (brown or green) to paint on the 6X4 foot section. Do not be shy about using the paint!
4) Take your favorite flocking, and shake on top of the paint.
5) Hang up to dry on a clothesline with the 4" extra, or lay out in the sun on top of the grass.
6) Seal with clear matte spray.
Now, in between step 2 and 3, you can use masking tape to tape off some roads if you want. Just go back after 5 and paint them with brown or grey paint.

Got some tips? Head on over to the Forum!

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