Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merijny Christnovsky


 Merijny Christnovsky abnij alle aza Criziz inj Alcovnisk

Cheerjski Morodny

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fast Ball in the Outfield!

The UNMENTH Office & FOB, somewhere in Hav

Captain Price: "Soap! Op on! Ops room now!........You're on the bloody Xbox aren't you?"
Soap: ".......Yes Boss.....Call of Honour3 Contemporary Warfare, really ally stuff...........the op?"
Captain Price: "An Italian Parliamentary Deputy has been grabbed by the Slavicovan National Army and is being held in a farm near Hradsograd."
Soap: "NRA? They're nutters! "
Captain Price: "Right. We have less than 24 hours before they top him or the Italians give them what they want. "
Soap: " We'll need to get across to NE Alcovia....boss , Ullos got one on for us already, he'll bite the carpet if we overfly..."
Captain Price: "Sorted - some of those Iqmenis I trained are on their army council, they'll let us stage out of one of their bases."
Soap: "Nice one Boss."
Captain Price: "OK, whose on Readiness? "
Soap: "Butch is on leave, Snooze is in trieste , Dai has the D&Vs so it's you me and Stench."
Captain Price: "Right, get onto Mavrakis at the CRB. Tell him to have 2 bricks of his best blokes ready to move now, then you select 8 of them. Make sure they have NATO kit, not that Hav spetsnatz wannabe stuff. Ok?"
Soap: "Crystal. Epirou airhead in 2?"
Captain Price: "Good one. Move it!"

Transmission ends; further report to follow.....



Friday, November 11, 2011

Hav-Trebizon Government makes formal denial

"Good Evening, we interupt our popular soap opera 'Alcovians do the funniest things' to bring you an announcement by Minister of Protocol Vannos Sperakos."

"The Government of Hav-Trebizon has become aware of speculation, misguided speculation, as to the involvement of the Republic of Hav-Trebizon in the assassination of an Alcovian officer by British Special Forces in 1985. We deny this completely; the actions of the then Levantine Republic of Hav, which of course expired in the Co-National Crisis of 1986, cannot be laid at our door. No doubt things were done by many people that would be regretted were those persons still in power or even alive, presuming that those actions even took place. Today, the United Nations Mentoring (force) Trebizon-Hav (UNMENTH) would never allow our armed forces to act in such a way.

Furthermore, the officer, a Major, now General, Bostic is alive, well and living in Trebizon as a respected member of the expatriate Alcovian business community. So, you have to ask, assassination, what assassination? We must also refute internet desciptions of our honoured Bongolesian guests as "gun runners". Bongolesia is a major trading partner of ours, the agricultural spare parts sector is booming thanks to their entrepeneurial flair and they are always welcome here - the tragic death of three Bongolesian diplomats in a broom cupboard in the Royale Casino last summer haunts me still. Thank you."

"And now we return to 'Alcovians do the funniest things' where Latka is still looking for his goats in the potato shed......"



Thursday, November 10, 2011

Trouble in the Borku?

Jeremy Paxman: "......Thank you Evan. So, with the EU crisis rumbling on, it cannot be any consolation for the EU leaders that trouble is not confined to the eurozone. Down in the Borku, things are pretty ugly too; there's been a civil war in Alcovia for almost a year and now, apparently, the Alcovian King, Ullo, is looking to pick a fight with the neighbouring state of Trebizon-Hav. I am joined by Martin Bell, BBC War Correspondent and former MP, and Mr Jeff Ross, formerly of the US State Department. Gentlemen, just what the dickens is going on?"

Martin Bell

Martin Bell: "Well, Jeremy, many people would say King Ullo is simply making the usual noises."

Paxman: "The usual noises?"

Jeff Ross

Jeff Ross: "Martin is probably right but for the wrong reason, there is no real indication, firm attribution, that Ullo said anything of the kind."

Paxman: "Mmm. So, what did someone say that Ullo may have said?"

Ross: "Allegedly, he may have said that..."

Bell: "He said 'One of these days we are going to have to level that tiny little City-State' "

Ross: "Allegedly said"

Paxman: "That's pretty clear cut isn't it? I mean there's a lot of history here."

Bell:"From 1453 down to today. I was in the Borku in the mid 80's during the Hav-Trebizon war and I can tell you that there were Alcovian Special Forces and Militia all over the place."

Paxman: "Jeff, you were in the CIA, weren't you, what were the Alcovians up to then?

Ross: "I really have no recollection and wouldn't be disposed to discuss it if I did"

Paxman: "Come on Jeff, you can do better than that!"

Ross: "I seem to recall you Brits had some Alcovian adventures of your own?"

Bell: "I know I did, not that I wanted to. The thing is, Ullo has a civil war on his hands, he's not going to invade anywhere. This is someone close to him stirring the pot and trying to scare Hav."

Ross: "And Hav has come a long way since '86, they have rebuilt, renewed and have a major entrepot down in the deep water harbour at Epirou."

Paxman: "So there you have it, trouble in the Borku, well at least they aren't in the Euro. Goodnight."

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Down to the wire

We return to Captain Price's top curry house, somewhere in Herefordshire, with a post chicken saag tiger beer, the Captain finishes his story....

"Great, mints..... now, there we were ghillied up in a hide on this ridge extending into the Ladu Pass, with the road winding around it in a U shape; Angus has a good shot lined up, our exits are clear so I give him the OK to shoot. As I did, I ping a file of guys in balaclavas, woolie hats, the usual militia walters, bimbling off on our right. Too late, Bostic is down, his guys are piling into their trucks and the spetsnatz are heading for the woods.....I reckoned on a couple of options, sneak back to the border through the woods, relying on the ghillie suits and banjoing any local heavies who popped up; second, lurk down to the BMW hotwire it and floor it to the border or thirdly, stick to the ridge and then cut back to the border. The patrol was getting closer, the guys in the trucks were driving off to the checkpoint in a hurry and the spetsnatz had gone to ground somewhere......OK, the woods it was. Now, visual aids....this knife is the ridge, these mints they're the woods and the border is over there by the beers....."

The Ladu Pass in happier times

Captain Price (left) and Trooper Angus "Smelly" McTavish (right)

cunningly concealed as trees Bostic is down, the Border Guards realise that with a VIP
dead, they really need to be elsewhere; the local balaclava boys go for a stroll

The SAS hide in the rocks while the Militia "patrol" past

And the Militia still cant spot the SAS - but uhoh, the SAS can see the Spetsnatz

Price and Angus pretend to be trees once again

The Spetsnatz stop, have a cigarette, think, realise "that's not a tree!"
and make their move. Angus drops one and the SAS take a lot of return fire but succesfully lurk backwards into the woods and then leg it for the border

"There's the wire Angus!"

"Action right Boss!"

The Alcovian Border guards time their patrol to perfection

Or not.

Angus drops one and Price banjos the other two with his MP5, over the wire and away.

"What were the Alcovians doing on the Hav side of the wire, Boss?"

"Shut up and keep running"

"So, Bostic slotted, pursuit evaded and banjoed as appropriate and me and Angus back to Hav in time for the floorshow at the Casino. Of course, back this summer, Craig from the Scalphunters nailed Urquhart in his Hav office, so I reckon he'd sold us out to the bad guys. Right, I'm off, nah, the curry's on me. Cheers!"

Captain Price calls for a taxi from the curry house

A thoroughly fun game with far less shooting than usual. Heavily inspired by CoD MW. Figures - Liberation Minis, terrain - mainly FoW Battlefield in a Box, barbed wire made in Hong Kong approx 1968, rules - Cold War 83. Curryhouse - The Panama. Angus? Soap's less famous brother. And a final word from Captain Price:

"Angus chopped Bostic back in '83. One hell of a suprise to see him meeting some Bongolesian gun runners in Hav in 2011. We're going to have to shoot him again."



Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A blast from the past

In a safe curry house, somewhere in Herefordshire, Captain P reminisces:

".....Back in '83 I was posted to Akorotiri on the Special Projects Team, training up locals from the Iqmemistani National Resistance. We had this fastball, direct from D Ops in London, no scalphunters available so we picked it up. Deploy by next BA flight to Athens, then drive up country to Hav, pick up kit from Urquhart, tab up to the Alcovia border to the Lampardij Ladu Pass, get into a LUP and wait for a convoy of Warpact military to meet this BMW, take out the guy in the safari suit from the beemer. Home for tea and medals. Easy. Yeah, right. Yeah, pile into the poppadoms, the brinjal pickle is cracking...."

"Anyway, the target was this Major Bostic of the Alcovian Gendarmerie, a local fixer and all round bad guy. He wasn't on our "to do list", apparently the DGST had it in for him but being frogs and useless had no local capability. Meanwhile D Ops, a devious sod called Burnside, needed a favour from the French and Bostic was their price. So there we were, me and Angus up to our knees in goatshit, eyes on target, only matey boy Bostic has half the Alcovian Gendarmerie with him and he's swigging vodka with these guys in blue berets who have 'spetsnatz' tattooed on their knuckles; Angus is saying "do I take the shot, Boss?' and all I can think is 'I hate salt on my chips, let alone mining the stuff for the rest of my natural'. Happy days. What did I do? First things first, lad - mine's a chicken saag, pilau rice, two kheema naans and another large Tiger. Cheers!"

As soon as Captain P has worked his way through his curry, he'll be here to finish his yarn, pull up your sandbag and watch this space....



Friday, November 4, 2011

Alcovian Village Houses

Looking to expand my Alcovian village, I picked up this group of three Triang OO station kiosks for just £1.99 on eBay. The single storey, hipped roof architecture is just right for Alcovia. Well, at less than 70p each that is.

Their footprint is 90mmLx60mmWx65mmH which makes them perfect for 20mm figures. They look a bit bland right now but imagine them with corrugated iron verandas, maybe barn doors or an extension covering the opening - could even turn it into a walk-in village Borsch shop.

Not far off, eh?

A couple of extra windows are necessary and potentially, I could add a small dormer in the roof to give the building an upstairs but I'm not convinced in this instance.

Finish off with wooden or breeze block or mud brick extensions out the back and/or to the side, catslide tin roofs and a small brick chimney and we're done!

Well almost..... The walls are smooth and I am already thinking of some sort of rendering or a mix of rendering and exposed plasticard or cardboard breeze blocks/random stone.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Armor Update

For the past months I have been slowly but surely accumulating preassembled and if possible prepainted vehicles for use in this setting. I had hoped to use plastic models but found that finding time to assemble and paint them was proving more difficult than I had hoped.

So, what I have managed to accumulate are five T-55s from two different manufacturers (Easy Model & Model Master), two Easy Model BTR-80s and an assembled Trumpeter BTR-80. The preassembled but unpainted BTR-80 was given a turret swap using a RH Models 30mm turret available separately through his website.

I have a few more vehicles on the way but am hoping to focus future purchases on soft skin vehicles and terrain elements along with more infantry. I should also note that I have a whole slew of plastic kits for Russian Hardware so there is the possibility of a big battle played in 20mm some day but only after I'm bold enough to start the grunt work.

Take care,


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Alcovia's King Addresses War Torn Nation

October 20, 2011

Today marks the one year anniversary of the civil war in the kingdom of Alcovia. Though there was no lull in the fighting between NAA and APA forces, citizens of the nation gathered in public squares, near their televisions and computers to hear King Ullo address the nation. The king was described as hesitant and pensive as he said these words in his short, direct, but heartfelt address...

King Ullo IV
 Brave people of Alcovia,

Today marks one year since our homeland was wrenched into the crushing grip of a war forced upon us by those who would seek to destroy the sanctity of our way of life. It is not a war for freedom. It is not a war for equality. It is a war brought on by mistrust, misunderstanding, and the inability to look beyond the recent hardships visited upon us all to see the greatness that has and will continue to be Alcovia.

The men who call them revolutionaries, freedom fighters, or even saviors have chosen to abandon their sacred oaths to their nation, to themselves and most importantly to you, the citizens they have sworn to protect. These men, who have taken their cause from simple defiance to open hostility have allowed their fight to spill into your homes. Because of them, you have suffered, you have seen others suffer and you have seen your beloved home cut open to bleed out like a bear on the cold winter snow.

But this you all know...

<King Ullo paused here to clear his throat and wipe his eyes>

But there is more that you should all know.

My cherished people, know that your king, your princes and your army still watch over you and value the love and loyalty you have always shown them. We will not abandon you to these rebels, these bandits, these criminals. Those who you have entrusted and who god has entrusted to protect your way of life will not waver in their pursuit of that solemn duty. They will not stop fighting. They will not stop...dying until those who are responsible for this festering wound of a rebellion are brought to justice.

I ask that all of you remain strong. Remain firm in your beliefs and your convictions. Do not let those who have lost their way drag you down into their blood-stained mud. You all know who you are and what it means to be a true Alcovian. Just as our ancestors fought to come together that they might make something more of their warring clans, so shall we all come together to preserve what they struggled so valiantly to achieve.

It saddens me to say that I cannot tell you when this will all end. What I can tell you is what my own grandfather once told me. When the wind would howl and the snows would threaten to break down our doors, he would take my hand and say only this, "The morning shall make it all better."

It is these words that I hope you will keep with you as you find your way through the trouble night. Look to the day that will make it all better. That day will come. We will bring that day, all of us. Together...

The remainder of the addresses were made by the king's cabinet of advisers with inspirational readings from notable Alcovian authors and poets as well as a somber rendition of the Alcovian national anthem. the address was closed by the reading of the names of all Alcovian citizens, some 4500, who have died on all sides of this conflict.

Monday, October 10, 2011

One Year of Civil War

October 10, 2011

With the one year anniversary of the Alcovian Civil War fast approaching many questions still loom over the nation's strife. Whether the sudden declaration of independence made by General Kusatya, the hesitation of the monarchy in declaring an exact and decisive doctrine in the conflict, or the growing indications of foreign involvement in what had begun as a civil crisis, the longer the nation of Alcovia is at war, the more confusing the entire thing becomes.

In ten days the nation will have seen an entire year of conflict with no end in sight. With public works and infrastructure starting to break down due to war-inflicted damage or general disrepair caused by lack of funds, manpower, access or available materials, many parts of the small nation have been reduced to struggling local economies with many people living at pre-20th century standards. In some regions, water, fresh food and basic medical care have become treasured commodities, often controlled and sold by the various gangs and militias who have turned a war into their opportunity. Government officials have promised an increase in aid to these depressed regions, but so far such aid has been scarce if not absent altogether.

What's more, King Ullo's insistence against foreign aid has only served to increase the hardship the war has inflicted upon the nation's people. In eastern Alcovia, the region most affected by the civil war, this policy has done much to embolden the cause of that regions various militia factions as well as polarizing the region against the monarchy. Even with UN relief stations being set up across the Borka river, the far flung edges of Alcovia are not receiving enough aid to make up for the ever-increasing tole the war is taking on its people.

The monarchy's inability to control the eastern regions has also left the long-contested border between Alcovia and Iqenistan vulnerable to incursions by dissident factions from that nation and other opportunistic governments who might benefit from sowing the seeds of unrest and rebellion. Sources within Alcovia's intelligence community have indicated that there is no doubt that at least some amount of aid is being fed to the Alcovian People's Army by Iqeni terrorist organizations as well as ethnic Iqeni militias operating within Alcovia itself.

Ambassadors from both Germany and France have visited the king and his family in the capital city of Chubakrev in hopes that a plan for the peaceful reconciliation of the conflict might be reached, however King Ullo seems reluctant to accept a non-Alcovian solution to what he deems "an Alcovian problem". Royal advisers indicated, in a press conference with national and international news agencies, that the king's reluctance comes from a concern that accepting foreign solutions and aid will weaken the strength of the Alcovian identity and cost the nation it's "heart and soul".

It is said that the coming year may see official visits from both the United States and United Kingdom as with additional rumors circulating of visits from both Russian and Chinese dignitaries. Whether or not hostilities will allow for such meetings and exactly which factions are to receive such attention is as yet to be determined. Whatever develops from any such ambassadorial missions, it should be worth watching to see how events unfold in the second year of war within the kingdom of Alcovia.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Alcovian Schnitzel


Thought you might like to see some more of my Alcovian Forces. These are Irregulars/Rebels/Para-Military etc inspired by Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. I had them painted for me by Mark Griffin of Pumpkin Models and having more done as I really like Mark's wargame painting style. Plus he's a good bloke!

The figures are from Rolf Hedges' Liberation Miniatures and quite fun. Rolf's just released some guys in Balaclava with RPGs so they'll be put on order with Mark too.

You'll have notice that the Alcovian front has stalled in recent weeks. A couple of reasons behind that. Not least of which being a neurological condition which has required me to withdraw from many aspects of my life in order to allow my brain time to repair. I've withdrawn from forums and blogs and don't even look at TMP or Lead Adventure Forum. Winter of '79 has been my one and only wargaming focus and even that has proved difficult at times.  The last two months have seen a turn around but I've needed every ounce of spare energy to get over the last hurdles and after 5 months being variously in hospital and immobilised at home, prepare myself physically, psychologically and emotionally for returning to work, leading a new team in a new office and most importantly, having a normal life once again.

Chatting with Eli recently, we both found that we were experiencing the same 'frustration' with our miniatures. They simply didnt match our own internal visions for Alcovian troops. What had stumped me the most was that my vision of Alcovia was based on the ex-Hotspur range of Afghanistan era Soviets. The originals were lovely models. The inspiration came from Tims Miniature Wargaming Blog - see picture below:

Courtesy of Tims Miniature Wargaming Blog

Well, the first figures I ordered from Stonewall looked like they'd been stamped on before they were despatched and even those Maff carefully picked out for me at a wargames show were still badly moulded and in many cases had broken rifles and RPGs.

Then came a floundering search for replacement minis. Come back 15mm Sci Fi all is forgiven! Each new search presented its own challenges. Whilst sending for samples, corresponding with manufacturers etc ate away at budget, time and enthusiasm. And all this happening against a background of increasingly impaired mental and physical functions.

Rolf finally stepped into the breach, but my god! One can go snow blind looking at those lists without photos ..."as above", "as above", "as above"...... You may say "well there are photos on this that or the other forum" - I say "Bollocks" unless the thread author has said "these are left to right pack RSH11, 12 and  ARSE13" I'm left only slightly less in the dark when the choices are so vast.

All in all, frustrations and false starts turning what was meant to be fun into a morass of futility. You can only compromise your vision so far...... Hopefully Rolf's new 70's-80's Russians in body armour (with covered helmets) will reignite the spark when they are moulded next month. If not, Im calling it quits on Alcovia in 20mm, cutting my losses and moving to 28's.


Friday, September 23, 2011

S&S Models Ural 375

Shaun at S&S Models has just released the magnificent Ural 375 6x6 GS truck. If you are a fan of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare like Maff and myself, you'll know that you need one or two of these beasts for turning up at inopportune moments and disgourging heaps of bad guys. A seriously 'must have' model as a transporter, a terrain piece and an objective.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Latest Figure News

Some good news to share on the 20mm figure front. First, Elheim are now stocking Wartime Miniatures ranges. I'm pleased for Matt that these will be available in the UK at a reasonable price. Matt did what he could to offset the strong Aus $ vs the pound and set shipping charges; and I take my hat off to him for that, but they still proved too rich for me in the end.

 Wartime Miniatures

Two of the packs in the photo above will now allow me to furnish a platoon in true Call of Duty: Modern Warfare style. Which if you play the game, you'll know that the Ruskies have more RPDs, RPGs, SVDs than AKs.

Next up, Rolf of Liberation Miniatures has announced a new set of 70's-80's Russians in body armour (with covered helmets). I really like the look of them.  These may well become the bulk of my Alcovian regular army forces. No details on availability yet, (I'll keep pushing Rolf) but worth waiting for.

 Liberation Minis (RH Models)

Finally, a little late in announcing due to my health issues, but still well worth highlighting that Shaun at S&S Models has completely remoulded and repackaged his classic Modern Russian Motor Rifles and VDV figures.

 S&S Models

The sculpts are characterful with a wide range of poses and get this, for the Motor Rifles at least, Shaun wants to ensure that you can build an entire company with command, support and heavy weapons. Something I can only applaud.


Friday, September 9, 2011

Soldatskaya Smekalka

Before I pack away Krozny Kravac I think one more game based on the Seize & Secure scenario from BATTLEFIELD EVOLUTION: MODERN COMBAT might just be fun and a natural follow up to the action fought this week.

SEIZE & SECURE: A tactically important landmark is being fought over by two armies. Whoever gains the upper hand for just a
few hours will gain an advantage over the entire region
that will be difficult to challenge.....

With that on the cards, I feel inspired to finish some conversions this weekend. Maff gave me his unpainted Under Fire Miniatures'  MVD/OMON troops. I had started taking the heads off and replacing them with the standard helmeted heads from some Platoon 20 Modern Russians. Enthusiasm had petered out previously as these Platoon 20 heads have proved to be the toughest to remove to date.

All this effort is to round out a couple of squads of National Alcovian Army (NAA) regular style forces with the Under Fire MVD/OMON troops. Mostly 'cause I just like the poses.


Monday, September 5, 2011

The Prisoner of Krozny Kravac

Inspired by the original Ghost Recon and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare - ultra-nationalist militia have captured Captain Price (22 SAS) and are holding him at the symbolic Alcovian monastry of Krozny Kravac.

Krozny Kravac

Starshina Kamarov and Corporal Udjenski lead the assault

Tango no.2 down. Udjenski providing overwatch

Behind you! Corporal Udjenski about to have a very close shave.....

Price rescued. Militia eliminated. Home in time bloskik and zhlotti, washed down by a glugg of Rakija!

Figures by RH Models, rules; Cold War: 1983.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Not Dead Yet

Hey folks,

Just a quick blurb to jump in and mention that Crisis in Alcovia is not dead. It has seen a pause due to various real life issues that myself and some of the other contributors are having. Along with these, there are other gaming projects that also require attention that I am in a much better position to move on right now.

There will be more crisis as soon as i can manage time and funds for expanding my forces and terrain.



Friday, June 24, 2011

German Engineering for The Battlefield
Hobby Den's New 1/72 Mercedes 260SL

Just a quick nod to Hobby Den for releasing yet more lovely 20mm(1/72) civilian goodness. Adding to their previous truck and SUV releases, they now have a Mercedes 260SL. This can add a bit of variety to any blasted battlefield or to a motor pool for a scenario.

They have also released an armored car which could be worked into militia scenario or even converted to an urban fighting technical.

Both are excellent vehicles and add greater variety to any street-level modern games.

Take care,


Monday, June 20, 2011

Alcovian Forces Muster

Thought you might like to see the growing forces of Alcovia.

 Easy Model BTR 80s
Liberation Miniatures Modern Russians

Mark Griffin painted the Liberation Minis for me. He's a good bloke and I like his style of painting which is perfect for the tabletop. In this instance I asked him to replicate the 'partizan' pattern BDUs but 'larger font' so to speak, so that it can be identifiable on the gaming table. In all,  Mark has painted two platoons and a bunch of militia/rebels for me. The end result is really good and I'm very happy with them.

This allows me to fuss over the two tones of 'flora' pattern I'm slapping on the opposing forces without having to worry about painting the OPFOR before I can get some Red on Red Alcovia gaming in. And of course choice of opposing forces has been made more difficult by Shaun at S&S Models recasting his Motor Rifle troops.

Easy Models Hip from Rolf Hedges

Heather bought the BTRs for me as a gift via an Ebay seller and I subsequently bought the Easy Models Mil 8 Hip helo from Rolf Hedges. Don't need it as such but it's a nice statement piece and pure Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

S&S Models 20mm Lada Riva

Sunday morning is a time we blokes traditionally spend looking after the prize possession on our driveway. So to do all true Alcovians.

S&S Models Lada Riva

Here is S&S Models new Lada Riva Saloon straight out of the packet. A perfect one-piece casting, approximately 24mm wide by 62mm long, with separate metal wheels.

Just turning it over in my hands I love this little fella. It offers so much versatility from piece of urban defilade, to a taxi, police car or getaway for our Bond games; set dressing at a checkpoint and/or a militia command vehicle and run about. Those of you who play Middle East conflict games will find it perfect for Ambush Alley or even AK47. Plus, that classic shape makes the Lada Riva Saloon ideal as a proxy British 'Wayland' in our Winter of 79 and Geezer games.

I'm impressed with thhis versatile little model and will be building up a stock of them to dress my Alcovian tabletop, populate the forecourt of Hav's Motorz and give my militia much needed transport.



Thursday, June 16, 2011

Terrain Lab - Overgrown Hedges

Another quick build here, these hedges were done using scraps or card and styro for the understructure. I painted the styro grey and washed it with a dark brown before dipping the whole affair in loose model foliage. I hot glued a tree into each one to enhance the overgrown look.

Have fun!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Terrain Lab - Garden Patches

My house looks like it belongs in Alcovia.
Lately, I've been working on some light weight terrain while I take the time to score some proper buildings or build them myself, whichever comes first. As I do not like to spend a ton of money and enjoy coming up with my own ways of doing stuff, I decided to dig into the junk drawers and see what was there. The answer? Old pizza box liners.

Oddly enough, you can keep this stuff around without attracting flies and the corrugated finish has a number of uses from cheap Spanish tile roofing, to corrugated iron, and now garden patches. The process is relatively simple, though you can layer it on as much as you like and to whatever final effect you want -

  1. Cut corrugated pizza box liner paper to desired size.
  2. Round off the corners of the pizza box liner.
  3. Glue liner to stiff card, leaving a modest rim between the edge of the liner and the edge of the card. Make sure to minimize air bubbles and rippling in and under the liner. I used hot glue as it gives and instant result. Any unsightly ripples or air pockets can be taken care of by slitting the liner and then gluing it down. This has an added benefit of causing some nice irregularities in the relatively uniform corrugation.
  4. Round off the corners of the card and cut little irregularities into the straight edges. You want the patch to be pretty much rectangular, but not mathematically perfect.
  5. Build up a raised rim in the space between the edge of the liner and the edge of the card. I used hot glue again as it produced an irregular finish and hardened/dried quickly.
  6. Coat the entire piece in white glue. Make sure to brush the glue along the furrows so as not to mute the detail too much but at the same time, don't be too uniform.
  7. Dip the whole thing in fine grit and let dry.
  8. Once the grit is dry, paint the whole thing with whatever color ground you feel is best. The paint will dry irregularly because of the sand and may require multiple coats. Let mostly dry.
  9. When the earth color is mostly dry, run a fresh coat around the raised rim of the garden patch and dip the whole thing in flocking or turf. The idea is to get an almost uniform covering on the rim, with just  few stray patches in the furrows.
  10. Apply two coats of spray sealer to affix the flocking.

The above steps will produce a very basic garden patch that is good for unplanted or fallow ground. the irregularities in the paint and the flocking make it almost unnecessary to dry brush or shade. I did try brushing some dark brown ink over some of the patches that wouldn't darken up enough, but it looked fine without.

If you wanted to make the garden more or less "alive" you can add plants and minimize the amount of flocking you allow in the furrows or you can do what I did on one and heavily flock the furrows and then brush them flock around, creating a clotted and disturbed earth effect. More foliage on the furrows could give it a truly overgrown effect. I think I'll try putting some poles and strings in one of them to suggest beans or peas. I have considered adding squash, pumpkins, or other resilient self-starting vegetables in some of them.