Thursday, February 23, 2017

Movement trays take 2 - 2

I've not done much in the hobby lately. Work has been busy, plus our house is now on the market and I'm going to have to start packing stuff away ready to move out. Deep joy - not. Even so, I've made a little more progress with the movement tray for my Dux B. figures.

I've glued a layer of the trusty pizza box corrugated card on the bottom to bring up the depth, and smoothed out the edges and the insides of the cups with liquid nails. The next step will be to glue it down to a base and enclose it with foam core to make a silicone master mold from. The weather has warmed up to a remarkable degree so I shouldn't have any problems with the silicone.

Although nearly everything is going to be packed away, I'm going to keep going on this and a couple of other molding projects as-and-when. Who knows, I might clear my worktable enough to get a game in now and then.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Back to the drawing board - Movement trays, take 2.

Yeah, well, that didn't work...

My first attempt at making movement trays for my Dux Britanniarum figures didn't set my modelling world alight. The things warped and split all over the shop, so - back to the drawing board.

I decided to make a master of the tray using Sculpey then take a mold from it so I can then cast as many as I need out of resin. Now the weather's warming up it's possible for me to use OOMOO 30 RTV silicone molding material to make molds again.

First up, I made a flattened lump of Sculpey about 1/8th on an inch thick. A eighth of an inch is about as thin as it's practical to get for working with resin. I scalloped and smoothed-down the edges of the Sculpey to make it look irregular, then marked out where the recesses for the figures will go using a 1 cent coin. The six-figure base is standard for Dux B. I made the circles slightly irregular to reflect the relaxed formation-keeping discipline found even in elite troops of this period.

The Romano-British militia wait impatiently for their bases to be ready.
Once that was done I cut out discs of Sculpey to make the recesses. The stuff is spread on card, which won't be affected by the heat when it goes in the oven.

A militiaman tries the base for size.

Once it's baked I'll be able to make a mold from it. They'll get card bases and be finished off with flock and such to make them a bit different from each other. I'll need three such bases for the Romano-British Militia, two for the Warriors, and one for the Elite. When I get the Saxons, I'll make the necessary bases for them too.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Movement trays - 1

Moving 15mm figures en-masse can be a bit of a chore, so I decided to make a few movement trays for my Dux Britanniarum figures. These will be for the levy.

The basics are simple enough - a sandwich of liquid nails adhesive between two layers of stiff card, followed by more liquid nails on the top to create the shallow pits in which the figure bases fit.

First up, I marked out the circular areas where the figures will go by using a one cent piece. The bases are slightly smaller than the penny so I'll have a little space to play with. These movement bases are for the levy, which I assume will lack the ordered discipline of regular troops, so I made the placement of the circles a bit irregular to reflect their more relaxed formation.

Next, I smeared liquid nails around the circular marks without being too fussy about overspill. The main idea is to create areas in which the figures will sit and not slide off easily. 

I followed this up with a good dose of fine sand. The adhesive is nice and sticky so it retains a grip on the sand, and it sets hard without undue warping. 

The adhesive takes a few hours to set, but since I'm not in any hurry this isn't a problem. Once it's all dry/set, I'll paint it and apply a bit of dried tea in patches to represent rough foliage.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Dux Britanniarum Romano-British levy almost there

Progress with the new figures has been slow and intermittent these past couple of weeks, but I've almost finished the Romano-British levy. It's been a while since I painted anything over 10mm in size and it took a bit of practice to get back into the swing of things. My eyesight isn't what it used to be and my brushes are looking their age too. Even so, I think I've achieved a reasonable result.

I didn't bother with fancy decoration since these are your workaday folks called forth from field and workshop to defend their land against the Saxon invaders. When I get to the more prosperous men of the Teulu and Combrogi then I'll attempt more decorative clothing - eyesight permitting.

The shields are next on the to-do list. At the moment I'm thinking of ordering the decals made for the purpose by Little Big Men Studios. They'll save a lot of eye-strain. The backs of the shields will be a basic brown. One trick I found is to stick the shields to a strip of masking tape, as it'll hold them in place whilst they're painted. After that, the Combrogi will take their turn on the painting block.


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