Sunday, 26 June 2016

The Great DIY Land Grab Concludes

Hello again.

When we left our plot to expand the empire by acquiring extra terrain, we had four tiles painted brown...

Dodging the weather has been a bit troublesome this week, but the four brown tiles are now complete. If you recall, I very much follow the method outlined by Paul Darnell in his various terrain books in the "Touching History" series, specifically his ECW volume, but it is at this brown stage that I diverge a little from Paul's original. He recommends a heavy drybrush of a mid-brown over his chocolate brown, but I can see no real reason for this as most of the brown is then covered in green. So, my method follows the following course once the chocolate brown is dry.

  1. Paint dark green over as much of the chocolate brown as you want to cover. I use Woodland Fern 1, as specified by Paul Darnell in the aforementioned work, which is mixed specially at the local DIY store. I like to leave odd patches of the brown showing through to provide some added texture to the terrain.
  2. Once this is dry, I use a colour called "Warm Yellow" from Homebase in the UK and drybrush that over the green.
  3. Once that is dry, a final drybrush of Homebases' "Yellow Submarine" (with or without suitable musical accompaniment) concludes the painting part of the greenery.
  4. For the roads and brown bits, a drybrush of Homebase "Mid Stone" masonry paint comes first.
  5. This is then followed, especially for the roads, by a light dusting of "Ivory", to really bring out the texture and give the impression of a bone-dry track after a hot summer. You can leave this one out for something darker. A lot of people, Mr Darnell included, like their roads darker and he uses a totally different set of colours for his. I like the lighter colour, but, as always, you decide because it's your terrain!
  6. My final job is detailing. Having the touch of a bull elephant (you should see me play golf...) means my drybrushing can be rather heavy, so I knock back any streaky bits with some flock or other texture applied with PVA glue. I also plan my boards up front to a fair degree (I should probably have mentioned this first!) and one of my boards shows a distinct curve in a road you would expect to be straight, so there had to be a reason for it not to be. I toyed with the idea of a patch of boggy ground, but have done this on an earlier board, so settled on a patch of rough, rocky, scrubland instead, around which the road curves. It all adds to the impression, gives different tactical options and allows for better variety in the terrain whilst still keeping utility to a high level.
The photos should explain all of this.

Apart from the Bitter Chocolate masonry paint and the Woodland Fern 1 dark green, which are litre pots, if not bigger, I use matchpots for the other colours. Their only disadvantage is that you can only get a small brush into the pot, which makes getting streaks more common. They are very cheap, however and easily stored.


The green painted on. It does not have to give maximum coverage even on the entirely green areas. It is texture we are after, so having some of the brown show through very faintly helps with this. The more obvious brown areas are the reason the road curves - I settled on a patch of rocky scrubland (see below)

The drybrushing of both yellows and the mid stone is done. The area top left is deliberately left blank - I can add a piece of cultivated land, plant trees on it, have a small industrial area, etc. Even just adding some hedges around it to make it a ploughed area changes the dynamic of a game. Variety and maximum utility are key to getting the most of your terrain, methinks.

Detailing underway, with the aforementioned scrubland.

I used a mix of Javis Cork Bark rocks and Penduke Models Hedgerow Grass fro my scrubland, together with some flock. The area is defined by the brown area I left and the rocks etc are dotted in purely for effect but, I think, look the part.

A close up of the crossroads showing the added oomph a touch of Ivory as a final highlight gives. Note also the numerous ruts - absolutely essential for any pre-metalled road.

Mid Stone and Ivory highlight to the parched area.

And another shot of the crossroads...

My heavy drybrushing leaves some areas too yellow for my tastes, so I simply add further texture with a mix of flock, static grass, etc.


  1. Nice boards. I like the mucky crossroads.

  2. Nice boards. I like the mucky crossroads.