by John "Scarab" Salmond
Captain Arstead had lead his splinter group of 3rd Army veterans to weed out dissidents as he was ordered. His troops had located and stealthily surrounded a small village that his scouts had determined was part of an agitator cell. The captain gave the signal and his charges rushed from their hiding places only to find the huts, still smoking fires but no villagers...
Superglue (Bondini Gel)
Step 1: The Base
Take your masonite and cut out the desired shape making sure that you can fit all of your huts on it with room between for large minis. File down the edges of the wood to give a gentle slope.
Part 2: The Huts
Cut the foam balls in half with your sand saw and then cut out the door and the hole in the roof with your craft knife (2A). Test the huts to see if the wood chips will fit in the roof and the door (2B). Place the huts on your board to see what it looks like before you glue them down. After you decide where the huts should sit on the base, use white glue to affix them in place. After your huts have dried paint them black inside and out and allow to dry.
Before gluing the moss on try and see if you have any large sections that are intact. Wrap them around the huts before gluing and trim off some of the excess, but not too much (2C & 2D). Once you feel comfortable use a healthy amount of glue on the dome and apply your moss. Fill any gaps that you might see and allow to dry.
Take the wood chips and glue them in the doorways and the rooftop. Let dry.
Part 3: The Fire Pit
Determine where you want your fire pit to go and, if possible, dig a small divot out of the masonite base. Glue rocks around the pit and let dry.
Part 4: The Paint
To paint the first coat on the grass I made a 1-1-1 mixture of dark brown acrylic paint with water and white glue. Paint the grassy domes with a generous application of paint and allow to dry. This will also stiffen up the moss a bit (4A).
Paint the wood chips with a 1-1 wash of dark brown and water and allow to dry.
Dry brush two or three shades of light brown and tan on the moss and allow to dry.
Dry brush the wood chips with a medium gray then with a little light gray Wood turns gray when it has been in the sun for a period of time.
On the inside of the hole in the roof, dry brush the wood with black. You are giving the look of a fire and smoke effect. Allow to dry (4B).
Part 5: Finishing The Base
Determine where you want the trails to be. Mark them out so you can see them and apply glue to the unmarked areas.
Affix various sized rocks in a random fashion and cover the glue with sifted sand. Be sure to glue some of the sand in the bottom of the fire pit and shake off the excess (5A).
Cut the 1/4" dowels into 1/2" or so lengths for every tree trunk you wish to have. Shave down one end to make it look like it was chopped down. Glue the dowels to the base in random areas and allow to dry. Apply greenstuff around the base of the dowels to make roots with a texture like bark on them.
Use white glue on the trails apply sifted dirt. Let dry and shake off excess. Rub your thumb or finger on the dirt to give it a smooth walked on look.
Apply a dark brown wash (2 parts paint to 1 part water) to the sand and stumps only and allow to dry. Dry brush a medium brown and then a light tan to the rocks and painted sand area. Dry brush a light gray, very lightly on the rocks only. Paint the inside of your fire pit black and dry brush the inner part of the ring of rocks.
Dry brush a medium brown on the trunks. Paint the op a lighter brown. Dry brush a medium gray lightly on the stumps.
Apply static grass in random fashion everywhere but your paths. If possible try multiple shades of grass. Leave some earth showing.
Take your sheet styrene and cut a small piece up the size of your woodpile. Glue all your wood chips and roots to the styrene. Let dry. The woodpile will pop free of your plastic once dry. Paint dark brown and dry brush in the same manor as the wood for the huts. Have random sticks as well and place around (5B &5C).
Glue pieces of root and such in the fire pit. Paint black and dry brush light gray
Here is what my 15-year old daughter did. This is her first piece. You may be saying "I bet her dad helped quite a bit." Actually, she did it all but cutting the trunks because the knife made her nervous. She would ask me how to do stuff but I did not watch over her or tell her what to do. Most of what she asked was how I painted something, what color paint I used or how I put the moss on. She thought of all the accessories. She wanted her's to have a trap door for the entrance and made that out of playground wood chips. She even sculpted the stump roots. She is now excited to do more and I'm excited to see what she does next (5D & 5E).
I am more than happy field any questions. Just email me or you can respond on Privateer Press' forums under this post.