IntroductionA couple of weeks ago, at Salute 2014, I bought a couple of bits of terrain from a company called Amera Plastic Mouldings. They make vacuum-formed pieces and while this technique limits the sharpness of detail that can be achieved, their terrain is incredibly cheap. I've had my eye on them for some while - the long-defunct Bellona range of vac-formed terrain is a very fond memory of my childhood - but until now I'd not bought any of Amera's product.
Of the 2 pieces I purchased at Salute, I've now finished one. I have special plans for the other (F218 Temple Ruins); it won't be finished as a temple if my ideas work out - but that's for the future. For now, here is a description of the model that I have completed.
So, my amphitheatre is going to be a small, provincial affair rather than one associated with a busy city. However, it has a wealthy patron, so the orchestra will be paved with marble rather than just packed dirt. This is really just an excuse for me to try out a circle-cutter that I got for Christmas (from a pound shop or similar "bargain" store, so not a very expensive tool at all!).
I also cut out a slightly larger ring from plain plasticard, to be used as a border. I used a triangular file to mark out the stones on it by cutting a slight groove every 1cm or thereabouts.
I also took the opportunity to shape the rim around the bottom, thus removing any straight lines. It's my opinion (not backed up by any science of which I'm aware!) that straight lines draw the eye more than gently-curved ones. My intention is for the base to blend in with the table a bit better. I really don't know if this works or not, but there we are. Hmm.
Actually, I did consider removing the base rim completely, but I decided that it probably added some structural strength. I also thought of packing the reverse side to enable the model to take heavy figures. However, it's made from quite thick plastic as it is and barely flexes when I press down in the centre of the orchestra. In the end, I decided that such reinforcement wasn't needed.
The End ResultJason and the Argonauts" project; I don't think that the skeleton warriors summoned by the evil King Aeëtes are part of the show at all!
The cost of the amphitheatre is a mere £3.50 (plus a little for the materials I've used on the model). I'm very happy with the way it has turned out and I can certainly see myself buying more products from Amera in the future. Now I've just got to work out how to store this piece...
That is certainly a great find and what a bargain. Although Vacuum formed scenery has it's limitations, there's absolutely nothing wrong with this, especially for the price. I shudder to think what it would cost if done in resin. You've done an excellent paint-job on it too.ReplyDelete
(And just in case you hadn't seen my rebuttal of two blogs ago her's a link for you to look at:
Resin would also have been extremely heavy, I think!Delete
Thanks for the "tournament-joust" link. It's on my backlog of "to do" items :-( , but from an initial glance it does seem quite promising.
Top job on that. I've often looked at the Amera site but yet to take the plunge for fear I won't make a good job of it and it'll just end up looking like a poorly painted lump of plastic. :(ReplyDelete
At the risk of sounding flippant, it wouldn't be a huge cost even if the model was poor. However, I see no reason why you shouldn't make a perfectly good job of it :-) .Delete
Very true. I do like the cost! I was looking at their Middle East buildings when I was thinking of doing a 15mm modern project. Never got that one off the ground unfortunately!Delete
Great work! The lack of detail really shows after washes, but at that price, it's a fantastic bargain. At 3.50, you should be happy if it'd end up looking roughly circular! :PReplyDelete
Just out of curiosity, do you think it would be worth painting every stone separately to make them stand out more? It looks like a lot of work :P.
And I am pretty sure there have been researches done that prove your point about straight lines being easier to spot. They are "unnatural" and should be avoiding at camouflaging :P.
I think you're right that picking out each individual stone would be a lot of work. Not sure that would be justified for a cheap, simple model :-) .Delete
There's not much I can add to the other comments. I think you've done a cracking good job on it, Hugh.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Vampifan. I do need to concentrate a bit more on scenery and less on figures; this seems like a good start.Delete
Very nice job C6.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Bob. I didn't put a whole lot of effort into this, mind.Delete
I too remember the Bellona Vacc Forming from my childhood. (very Fondly). And while I did see this at Salute I was not over struck by it at the time (I have no use for it at present). That said you have done a cracking job with it. I look forward to seeing it as some tabletop. Nice work Hugh.ReplyDelete
There's surprisingly little detail on the Internet about Bellona, considering how big a deal I thought it was at the time. Ah, well - perhaps it wasn't such an important wargaming company after all...Delete
That looks excellent and really simply done. Certainly as you say would fit in with a lot of different scales. Pound shops are a bounty treasures!ReplyDelete
Well, the circle cutter struggled a bit with the plasticard! I think it would work well enough on paper or thin cardboard though.Delete
What a result, a cracking bit of building and on a budget too - brilliant!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Michael. I am quite pleased with how it turned out :-) .Delete
Excellent visual effect. Your painting really turnds the piece from a vac-form to believable scenery.ReplyDelete
I owe you an apology, as I'd promised some pictures form the Odeon at Kos.
Will try to send something through by mail.
Thanks Steve! I think that "believable" is an excellent compliment :-) . Also thanks for the photographs - I wouldn't have realised that stone benches came in 1st class and 2nd class versions if I hadn't seen the pictures for myself!Delete
nice transformation from what it was to what it became. I am looking forward seeing it in one of your scenario.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Cedric. It will probably be used for "Jason and the Argonauts", though I don't know when I'll get round to playing such games...Delete
Thanks for the link and comments . Great article and finish hope OK to share with our followers and look forward to next one. Thanks for buying at Salute Jane www.amera.co.ukReplyDelete
I'm delighted that you like what I've done with the amphitheatre, Jane. You're more than welcome to share a link to this article with anyone you choose.Delete