Previously, I reported how I had completed the amphitheatre from Amera. In that article, I mentioned that I was also working on another terrain piece from the same company. Well. here it is...
|Apologies for the out-of-focus photo; I don't know what happened here...|
This model appears in the Amera catalogue as F218 Temple Ruins. I could have just painted it up as it was, perhaps adding some cabalistic symbol in the middle of the floor or a suitably ruined altar somewhere. But that's been done by others; I wanted to do something a bit different.
I chose instead to turn this into part of a ruined palace. My version will become the long-lost bathhouse of the semi-legendary Queen Semiramis, where she was reputed to relax after ordering the execution of one of her many enemies. 20 young maidens would apply scented oils, play soothing music and recite poetry for her pleasure, or dive for the golden coins which the queen would scatter across the bottom of the pool. Or so the stories say...
Firstly, I built up the front wall of the baths with a couple of layers of very thick plasticard. I used a combination of sharp knife and a triangular needle file to mark the slabs on the upper surface, measuring carefully to ensure that the sizes matched that of the rest of the model. A few of the slabs were made to look broken, again with knife and file. Once this was all glued in place, I added Milliput quite liberally to fill gaps and to blend in with the somewhat rounded edges of the vacuum-formed main piece.
I've also softened the base of the model by shaping the edge into gentle curves. As I explained in my previous Amera article, my hope is that the lack of straight lines will make the rim less obvious once the model is deployed on a gaming table.
Now on to the painting. To start with, the bathhouse ruins were undercoated in grey. I use a spray primer that is sold for car bodywork, bought from Halfords, but any grey undercoat should work.
The stonework was easy to paint. I gave it a black wash and then a heavy drybrush with light grey. Job done!
The dirt around the rim was slightly different, but not particularly difficult either. For this I did the basecoat with a medium brown paint to which I had added a bit of sand, for texture. Once this was dry, it was drybrushed twice with successively paler brown colours.
Once all the paint was dry, I stuck some vegetation on the model. This is an area where a serious model-maker could really go to town and I did consider buying some brass-etched ivy and other such material. However, in the end I decided to keep it simple. My vegetation is fairly weak, but at least it was quick and easy.
Now for the water. I painted the pool with a murky colour made from a mixture of leafy green and a touch of dark brown. Once the initial coat was dry, I added a number of coats of gloss varnish. These were diluted somewhat in the hope that the varnish would settle into a very smooth, even level. However it didn't quite work out that way and so the surface is slightly rippled.
For a finishing touch, I printed out some pictures of water-lilies, each about 6mm across. I used a hole punch to cut these out of the paper and then added a notch with a sharp knife, thus forming a green, "pac-man" shape. I added one last coat of varnish to the bath, undiluted this time, and used this to stick on my lilies.
I've enjoyed making this ruined bathhouse. It's a bit different from most of the models I build, but it was very easy to do (though it took quite a long time for all those coats of varnish to dry). I'll be able to use it for pretty much any games that are set in the eastern Mediterranean, I think. Perhaps Jason and the Argonauts will encounter some horror that's made its home in the murky depths? Or maybe archaeologists will face off against Nazis in a race to save the supposed treasures hidden beneath the waters? Maybe it's the only source of water in a wide, arid desert and both/all sides must capture it to survive? Who can tell?