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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Making Spain: Church Square & Graveyard

As I was working on the church and belltower, specifically as I was getting bogged down in painting the base coat, I decided I wanted a couple of additional flavor pieces to go along with them. They're also to be used without the church or in other related settings. Both were intended to be "quick and dirty" pieces, but ended up becoming more elaborate as I went. Not surprised really.

First, a church courtyard/town square/plaza del pueblo:  mdf base (cut with a circular saw this time - so much easier), and foam core strips for walls.  Seeing that the tile was coming out well in the church, I decided to tile this piece as well. The little squares are from a Plastic Soldier Company box of Late War British (my next project).

If I had it to do over, I would have spaced the tiles closer.

I was initially going to use a HO scale statue of an angel I'd picked up a while back, but I eventually found something that seemed more right for the piece.

Primed black, then base coated. Exact same colors as the church (and pretty much everything else).

Then, a heavy wash of Vallejo sepia, left to dry overnight.  Then, the same exact drybrush pattern as the church.

So, I picked up a cheap-o miniature nativity scene at the craft store.  I wish I'd taken a picture of this "Joseph" figure before I basecoated it, because it looked terrible.

Here are the other pieces. Ugly as hell.

Again, the statue is painted in roughly the same way as the walls, perhaps with a gentler dry brush. Using a hair dryer, even with the wash, this guy was done in about 5 minutes, if that.

 I wanted to add some foliage (flowers and bushes) to the square to give it some color, but I like to do that sort of thing in big batches. Time to get the graveyard up to the same place and do them both in one go!

Same start, mdf and foam core. 

I used some of the leftover one-sided cardboard, cutting it in a single "bump" strip to cap the walls. In hindsight, I should have done the same for the courtyard as the top was a bit rough (my x-acto knife was dull).

Then spackle to fill in the gaps and smooth the joints, something the courtyard didn't really need much of.

Still need some graves though. I decided to be super lazy and just cut them from foam board scraps.

Then, primed black and base coated. What colors? You guessed it, the same I've used for everything else.

I decided I wanted more brick than terracotta for the wall caps, so I used some Craftsmart "red brick" for the base coat.

Brown for the doors, and then a variety of greys for the graves.  The darkest grey appears black below, but it's just a very dark grey. 

After this, everything but the ground gets a heavy sepia wash, followed (after drying overnight) by the same layers of drybrushing as everything else. The graves were drybrushed in Americana brand "slate grey", my go-to stone highlight color. Everything, including the graves got a final highlight of wicker white. Sadly, I forgot to take a final shot before starting the foliage.

I started with the square... It was my first time using a glue gun for bushes and the like, and it really worked well. Much quicker, and a very secure hold. Much better than PVA.

The graveyard, with some lichen as "creepers" climbing the wall a bit.

I liked the effect  of the bushes and creepers so much I went a bit nuts and pulled out all of my previous Spanish pieces and applied some of the same all around.  All the plant matter is given a bit of Scenic Cement (watered down white glue), applied with a dropper.

 The whole things will be sealed with a matte spray, but the foliage will get a heavy coat of cheap hair spray as well to keep it firm.

Once it was all done, I couldn't resist the urge to my recent work up on the table to see how it all came together. I finished some palm trees at the same time, so I threw them on there as well.

With this, I should have plenty of Spanish terrain. The only thing I might want, time and holidays allowing, is a tavern, cafe or restaurant. It's not really crucial, but it could happen. Similarly, some modular high walls could be useful in a number of settings.  We're going to do some WWII soon, and while I can use this stuff for Italy, I may need to start working on stuff for Northern France.  Stay tuned!