Friday, October 22, 2010

Near the village...

...the peaceful village, the lion may be sleeping tonight, but the inhabitants are awake.

A view over the African village I made this week, complete with kraal. It's empty at the moment, but the chief is plotting a means of filling it with prime cattle, the physical embodiment of wealth in the neighborhood. Quite what the plot entails nobody knows, but the signal drummer will soon be busy on his talking drum. Meanwhile his favorite wife prepares the evening meal in the traditional earthen oven. She's looking daggers at her husband's chief bodyguard, a nubile wench who may well replace her in his affections one day. The wench herself is content. She has her percussion-cap musket (on which she's a deadly shot) and her boss recently gave her a rather nice plaid skirt.

The huts were made using my usual method of cutting segments from a heavy-duty card tube of the kind carpets come on. A flat cone made of thin card on which some tissue paper was applied over diluted PVA adhesive made the roofs. The walls are spackled using general-purpose spackling paste, and everything painted using Craft Smart acrylics.

The kraal involved a different approach. An old CD glued to thin card discs cut to a larger diameter forms the center, Thin dry twigs were cut into sections between 1" and 1 1/2" length and glued using a hot glue gun around the edge of the CD. Thin cord made the lashing between the stakes. This is easily done by glueing one end of the cord to a stake and weaving it in and out in an over-under pattern, first the lower lashing then the upper.

The ground effect was built up using more spackle with a drop of PVA mixed in. After painting, more slightly diluted PVA was applied, and flocking scattered onto it in a dense layer. It's vital to allowed the glue to dry before the excess flocking is shaken off. To ensure the stuff stays in place and doesn't rub off easily, diluted PVA was sprayed over all. This has the added benefit of soaking into the twigs and preventing any splitting, etc.

All figures are Wargames Foundry from their Darkest Africa collection. The foilage in the background is Spanish moss, available by the bagful from most dollar stores.

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