Fancy Flock Work

17 March, 2010

Well, I’ve finally got something to show for the weeks of experimentation on flocking (not that it’s been too intensive, just protracted!), and as Caesar is delayed by meetings, again, I can’t, somewhat ironically, get my Gallic rebellion under way, so I’ve produced this post instead.

I’ve figured out how to use static grass, after looking on a number of blogs and forums; I experimented last weekend with Woodland Scenics ‘medium green’, which was a bit plain, so I got some Gale Force Nine ‘green’, ‘straw’ and ‘winter’ from Vagabond Games. They offer a quick and cheap service and I found their grass mixed in with the Woodland Scenics stuff gets a nice result. My first experimentations were not terribly good. Straight PVA was too blobby for my taste, while the Matte Medium I’d used previously was too thin (I tried droppering it over the flock and got some fairly dispirited looking grass when I was finished). I found slightly watered PVA with a drop of detergent worked well. I painted it on and then squashed the flock on. I then inverted the base and tapped it to get the loose grass off and try to make it stand on end.

My trials were partially conducted on some long overdue scenery. I used circles of card (spare blank counters from Settlers of Catan) for the bases of some trees (Woodland Scenics bought from Stoker Models, applied my ‘Acrylic Sand Mortar’ (see previous post) and added some kitty litter stones. After this dried I used a wash. I’m still deciding whether to use the darker Burnt Umber (as I did for these) or the Raw Umber. The tube of Raw Umber doesn’t seem to thin as well, being more gritty, so I don’t trust it as much. Anyway, then I added the static grass as described above and a few clumps of shrub and reeds (‘Field Grass’ from Woodlands Scenics). The reeds would be better if I dipped the base in straight PVA as the dilute one went up the stems and made them clump too much (you can see a better clump below on the small base on the hill , which has a nicer spread).

Numidian psiloi posing in a marsh with a wood behind them.

I’ve now got some trees to make my woods look better and some little patches of rough to indicate that a hill is steep or a patch of brown is marsh. I’ve also finally finished a Numidian psiloi that has waited patiently to be made over. I’m quite pleased with the results. The motivation for all this was to make the effort put into basing produce better results. My old flock was designed to hide the base and applying it was actually quite fiddly. The results weren’t bad, but were actually quite a pain. I figure that the sand mortar will hide the base easily and be quicker to apply. The static grass then doesn’t have to be applied so fussily, as it’s not trying to hide the base, which with the sand mortar is now more of a feature. Also, now that I’ve broken with the tyranny of a single colour flock I can get more adventurous and add rocks, shrubs and reeds if I want. The trick, I imagine, will be not to overdo it!

The same psiloi with a 'steep' hill behind them.

6 Responses to “Fancy Flock Work”

  1. TWR Says:

    Sorry to hear that Ceasar has been delayed by the senate. However the basing and terrain is looking good.

    I’ve found the Woodland scenic cement very useful with flock. You apply it in two coats. One is to glue the bulk of the flock onto the base. Once dry a gentle coat second dries to a matt finish and locks the flock in place.

    • Mark Davies Says:

      Yes, damn Caesar and his concern for educating the youth! Surely it’s enough for them to know how many parts Gaul was divided into and leave it at that!

      Thanks for the tip on the Woodland Scenics cement; I’ll have to check it out.

  2. TWR Says:

    I think he is also attempting to train the youth in the art of wargaming now. I just convince him to try them on DBA. In between Chemistry of course.

    The scenic cement, which looks like watered down PVA is great. I dabb the second coat on slowly with a paint brush and it flows off slowly and dries to a matt finish. Something PVA doesn’t do.

    • Mark Davies Says:

      What with taking them on a school trip and meetings, I’ve not heard how the wargaming with the students is going.

      as for the scenic cement, thanks, the Matte Medium Transparent Scenery Cement from Scenic Express is probably similar then. I’ll give it a try as a sealant.

  3. Stephen Says:

    Very nice. And you’ve reminded me that one of my projects for this year is to repair my terrain and that what I had in mind to jazz up my marsh and rough was along the lines of what you’ve done. So if they end up like yours they should look very good! For some reason dry terrain types seem to need impressive bases more than, say, Europeans. Do you think the technique would be very fiddly when you are basing cavalry?

    • Mark Davies Says:

      Thanks. Terrain and camps often seem to end up down the list of priorities. I’ve yet to vary the colours and flock mix for the dry terrain armies, but I’ve got less excuse not to now.

      I don’t think the technique will be more fiddly for cavalry; it’s close-order foot that’s likely to be fiddlier. I paint the figures’ bases the same colour as the grit, so I don’t need to get the grit over the whole base, just enough to hide their edges.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: