Thursday, 14 October 2010


I've been concentrating on non-Medieval stuff for the last month or two so I though I'd put this up.
I decided that it would be nice to have a go at making some swampy terrain pieces which could be either boggy ground or marsh in DBMM terms.

I did think about showing a step by step method, but forgot until part way through. I think it is pretty straightforward though.

This one is a trial run to see how it looked. It is a half sized feature for DBMM - roughly 20cm across.

The main base was cut from perspex bought as a sheet from Homebase (about 2' by 4'). This is a bit of a pain to do. Score as deeply as possible with a Stanley knife and then carefully snap away the excess. Experiment - it can easily start to split in the wrong direction. You can alternatively cut it with a bandsaw but the recommended method is to sandwich it between some wood first.

(EDIT: I cut some more today using a cutting wheel on a Dremel type tool. This was much easier (but wear goggles!) Even if you don't cut all the way through the gouge should be enough for an easy snap. The edges are smooth but there is a ridge of cut material most of the way around. This should get covered by the terraforming even if it isn't sanded off).

The perspex is actually a bit matt so needs help to give a water effect. I'm sure shinier stuff is available.

I then sprayed it on the reverse with a chocolate brown aerosol. Spraying helped to avoid brushmarks showing through.

Whn dry, I covered the top with a layer of shellac which I happened to have. This is a transparent darkish brown colour and dries gloss. It gave the colour I wanted and gave a bit more depth to the 'water'.

I then used some brown window sealant to form the dryish land. Read the label - some says it can be painted and some that it can't. Obviously the paintable stuff is wanted. Apparently it is acrylic and the rest is silicone. I found the best method was to splurge an area and the use a wet finger to spread it a bit. Trying to use a wooden spatula left smears which needed cleaning up - in some places this scratched away the shellac.

Next stage was to paint the sealant, though the original colour would have suited.

I then gave a coat of acrylic gloss over the water to give further depth (and cover over the areas where the shellac had been damaged).

When this had dried for 24 hours, I started adding the foliage. I have a whole load of different colours and lengths of Silflor tufts so I placed these first. One of the packs I bought with this marsh in mind was the one which has white and yellow 'flowers' which I thought might work for bog cotton or various wetland flowers.

I also bought some tacky glue called Scatter Grip. This goes on far more precisely than something like Scenic Cement and does hold the static grass very well. A bit of a shine is visible so I might have a go at matting it down in some way. I used Woodland Scenics 'Summer' mix for the majority of the area. I 'm not sure about it at the moment and might go for something shorter, perhaps even scatter rather than static grass.

The perspex does get enough static charge to attract the grass so a wet paint brush is needed to remove some of the excess. I still need to get some of it off!