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Dan S

Dan's Build Journal #2 - Ruined Keep (COMPLETE)

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Nice work its coming together nicely! I love how the stone and mortar has come out!
 

17 hours ago, Dan S said:

older masonry the stone rarely all comes from the same source, so it is not uncommon to see stark variation from brick to brick

I remember watching a documentary on a castle recreation using traditional method (somewhere in France). The thing I remember about stone colour is that different stone colours have different strengths. Therefore darker stones were used closer to the bottom of the walls. Making a quick search for this doesn't help, but images of old castles do have something like that. 

 

Now you just need to cover all that nice stone painting with a coat of peeling plaster and whitewash which may have a grid of dark lines painted on it to look as stone (I think I remember that from a Shadiversity video). 
 

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Secondary Paintwork - Over Painting

 

With the undercoats dry, it was time to move on to the shading and highlights.  I started off with a home-brewed Sepia Ink wash (a 50/50 mix of water and matt medium, a few drops of dish soap, and then I added ink drop by drop until I had the desired colour I don't follow an exact recipe), this tinted all the brickwork, toning down and blending together all the under colours, however it was still a bit light for my tastes so I added some black ink and went over the stonework with a second wash which worked much better.

 

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With the washes dry, the next job was to further tone down and blend together the under colours whilst bringing out the fine detail of the stone.  I started off with an all over light drybrush, using a stonewall grey but the detail work of the brick was not quite 'popping' enough, and so I added a second drybrush of pure white, which once finished gave a nice natural old stone look with some subtle hints of colour from the previous steps still showing through.  

 

P.S - I realise now looking at these pictures that i have completely missed the undersides of some of the arches.

 

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Edited by Dan S
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Weathering the Stone.

What I didn't want for this project was a ruin that is just bricks and rubble, I wanted something wild and overgrown, a building slowly being reclaimed by mother nature.  To this end I decided to add some mossy green colour to the walls.  I applied a very light dusting of green using an airbrush, keeping it focused to the base of the walls and pillars. Conscious of the fact I was a bit overzealous with my dry brushing yesterday, I resisted the temptation to go wild and kept it subtle.  With the airbrushing done, I took a lighter green and gently stippled over the top of the first green with a sea sponge to give the effect of some texture and colour variation.

 

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Initial Groundwork

I had forgot to mention previously, but to give the edge of the foam base a rocky/stone texture,  I had cut away vertical wedges from the edge of the foam all the way around the base.  I then cut a multitude of lines and gashes coming in at various angles before using a scraper to scuff up the edge and tare out chunks of foam where it had been sliced, this created rock like texture.  Moving back to the present I painted this rock edge black, before painting the rest of the base in brown.

 

Typically when I plan to flock a surface, painting the base brown is all I do before I start laying down the grass.  However because certain areas wouldn't get the sunlight needed for grass (under the staircase, ground floor of the tower etc), and because I wanted to leave some patchy earthy areas in the grass, I decided to go a step further with the earth.

 

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Using powdered weathering pigments, I dusted ground in various earth tones, building up several layers and blending the colours together to give the floor a nice dirty, dusty earthy texture.  To fix the pigment I used a misting bottle to spray it with a very watered down PVA glue (Being careful to cover and protect the brickwork), before spraying again with a misting of isopropyl alcohol to help the glue fully soak in.

 

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Small Setback and Repairs

Unfortunately I had a little absent minded moment this morning which very almost ended in complete disaster.  With the pigment now set I flipped the model upside down to tap away any lose pigment that remained in preparation of laying down the grass.  I don't know what I was thinking, but I'd completely forgotten the entire upper level was not yet glued down and still loose.   The upperfloor of the tower, the walkway and staircase all fell from height onto the hard floor.

 

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All in all, both the supports for the upper floor walkway snapped off, and one of the pillars from the upper floor tower broke away, the tower and stairs also suffered a few minor chips.  Fortunately all the breaks were clean and should glue back together easy enough, whilst the chips are quite small and I should be able to touch them up with a little paint.  Words cannot describe the horror I felt as the pieces were plummeting to the ground! :lol: 

 

I was extremely fortunate that the damage was so minimal, I think if I'd cast the blocks in plaster rather than dental stone then the damage could have been much more severe.

 

4 hours ago, WhiteWulfe said:

Love what you did with those pigments, doubly so just how much extra they add into it all! 

 

Thank you, used properly weathering pigments can really take things up a level and they are fairly easy to use.  They just make an almighty mess!

 

 

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Grass, assembly and initial detail/decoration work.

Fortunately it didn't take very long to mend the breakages.  Continuing on I masked off all the stonework, and painted the ground in a layer of PVA glue, trying to leave it patchy in some areas so that the earth still showed through in places.  I applied some short 2mm static grass and then sprayed the entire area with a grass layering spray.  Even trying to mask them, it proved quite difficult avoiding the earthy patches with an aerosol in such a confined space, and so I gave up on the idea, instead coating the entire ground, and just leaving the space underneath the staircase and inner tower bare.  Over the layering spray I applied a lighter coloured, longer grass (4mm).  I'll add patches and tufts of long grasses at a later stage once I start adding all the plantlife.

 

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With the initial groundwork and internal paintwork all finished, I could finally glue down the upper floor tower, walkway and staircase (Hopefully no more accidents now!), and with that my canvas was pretty prepared and ready for the fun stuff!

 

The next step is preparing my decor, the little details that will hopefully start to bring the project to life.  I have a bunch of Reaper crates and barrels which I started painting today with the aim of making them look old and time worn.  I also put together a couple of skeletons, the previous inhabitants of this long forgotten keep.  These are old GW skeleton warriors, I picked up a cheap sprue on ebay.  I chose these because they are all multi-part and completely poseable allowing for some convincing corpse builds, I just don't like their hands (which balled into a fist are almost the size of their heads) and so I am not sure if I will keep them, I'll decide once they are painted.

 

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There are some better skeletons out there.  Warlords plastic Erehworn skeletons are better than GW. 

Spoiler

IMG_1443.jpg

There are also metal ones out there too. 

Reaper has one here

50052_w_1.jpg

Secret weapon has some metal skeletons too. 

For feet and hands I would not worry too much as they would disappear pretty quick. 

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Fixing the ground

I wasn't 100% satisfied with the grass work I'd laid down, as previously mentioned my aim was for the grass to be quite patchy and bare, especially in the court yard.  Once glue had fully dried I went back in with a scraper, completely scraping away bare patches in some areas, and just thinning the grass in other places.  I also had to come back in with some more dried pigment to touch up the ground work I'd scraped away.  I was a little anxious I'd end up messing it up, but I think it turned out pretty well and I am glad I took the risk to try and achieve the look I'd originally envisioned.

 

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First stage of wall cover.

From the start I wanted the ruins overgrown and to look like they were slowly being reclaimed by nature.  I started by applying climbing ivy to the walls in a few select spots, I was a little disappointed as I wrongly thought I still had a full pack of the stuff but it turns out I had less than half a pack left, and so I had to apply it quite sparingly.  I normally get my ivy from Diorama Presepe in Italy, but at this late stage I dont want to be waiting a week or two for international delivery, also when ordering from overseas I like to wait until I need a bulk order to justify the shipping costs.  As such I'll have a think and see what I can improvise with in order to finish off the wall cover.

 

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Initial Decoration

Having finished painting a few accessory pieces last night, I also added those to the build.  This included a bunch of Reaper Bones crates, barrels and pouches as well as the two skeletons I'd pictured yesterday.  Nothing special here, they were all quick and dirty paintjobs (drybrushing and washes), it probably took less than and hour to paint everything.  I am fairly pleased with how the project is starting to look now, adding a few small elements have made a big difference.  Tomorrow I will move on to adding all the plantlife to the ruins.

 

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23 hours ago, snitchythedog said:

There are some better skeletons out there.  Warlords plastic Erehworn skeletons are better than GW. 

  Reveal hidden contents

IMG_1443.jpg

There are also metal ones out there too. 

Reaper has one here

50052_w_1.jpg

Secret weapon has some metal skeletons too. 

For feet and hands I would not worry too much as they would disappear pretty quick. 

 

I'm not familiar with warlords, I'll have to look into them for future reference.  As for metal I purposely avoided those as I wanted something multi part that I could more easily shape and pose.  I also only paid £2 for the entire sprue of skeletons (Complete with weapons and graves), at that price I snapped them up figuring they would be ideal for dioramas projects or decorating mini bases. 

Edited by Dan S
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Finishing Touches

Adding the final details is always my favourite part of a project as everything finally starts to come together.  To finish up I pulled out my Diorama Presepe box and started adding the plantlife.  I managed to 'fake' some additional ivy by gluing the individual branches from another plant to the wall and trying to then blend it all together to look like one big plant mass.  Its far from perfect but it works well at a glace.  I also removed one of the skeletons, he just didnt look right, and I just left the one at the base of the tower.  Apologies for the lack of WIP shots this for this last stage, I just wanted to get it finished at this point and I knew it was going to pic heavy post anyway.

 

Now I just need to paint up a few miniatures to photograph against it.  Overall pretty pleased with the final result.

 

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IMG_2534.JPG

Edited by Dan S
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That's beautiful!

Another piece for cool photo opportunities when new minis are painted.

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