Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Helsreach - a futuristic scenic backdrop

Before I can start a project there's always another, related project that has to come first; a disorderly queue of ideas fighting to be the first to be completed. If I had painted my new 40k gang first, I realised I  wouldn't have a nice scenic, futuristic and narrative backdrop with which to photograph them in front of. I really enjoyed doing my fantasy one, so I set about doing the same sort of thing for my new adventures into sci-fi.

I wanted a sandy terrain scattered with lots of rusted junk from the past - some sort of oil refinery, some barrels and an old cargo container were the images I started researching. I then gathered some junk from the recycling bin, picked up some plumbing pipes from B&Q and rummaged through my desk drawers and started putting it all together with the liberal help of a glue gun:

Pringles cannisters, plumbing pipes, plastic washers, tip-ex lid, and paint tube lids were scavenged

Some corrugated card was glued over a foamboard rectangular box, some plasticard edges added, some dowels and metal rods for the doors and a bit of sand for texture. The barrels are simply card temporarily wrapped around a battery, superglued in place with a card lid and then a bead stuck on top. Two thin pieces of wire are wrapped around the circumference and the whole thing covered in pva and a layer of tissue.

Here you can see all the wip and the backdrop printed out onto thick cartridge paper.
Next up are the painting stages, I kept this pretty simple.

Everything was primed grey and then some orangey brown aerosol was applied over the top in patches
A selection of yellows, reds and brown acrylic paints were used for the weathering. These were all generously watered down. Some of these paints had dried out, so you can see I made use of their lids on the modelling of the refinery.
After lots of rusty colours had been washed on, I used some old chrome paint and a coarse sponge to apply some metallic areas, literally dragging the chrome across the surface to create a scratched appearance. Once dry I then washed over this again with the rust colours to dull the metallic shine down.


Lots more rusty washes were applied and then I added some green washes for a mossy effect and some black/brown washes for oil spillages and leaks

The final, more textured layers of rust were created using some pigment bound in some matte varnish. This was stippled on with an old brush

The final stage saw me add some crackle paint to the container in the hope it would crack and separate and leave an appearance of peeling paint. It didn't quite go to plan (in fact this is the second time this experiment has fallen short of expectations), but I needed a different colour to break up all of the orange rust colours.

At the very end of the project, I decided to add some small posters and warning signs. Quite simply some relevant images (including Fallout, Walking Dead, Mad Max images) were gathered from the internet, resized in word to tiny, cut out, crumpled up and pva'd on with a bit of final weathering.

The base is a sheet of mdf with a sand, pva and paint mixture painted on for the texture. I used a couple of testers that I had laying around for the sand colour. Egyptian Hessian or some such. I drybrushed a white over when dry for highlights.
You can see I've also added some clump foliage and bits of lichen for flora and I finally added some sand coloured weathering pigments from MIG to add a dusty feel to the whole thing.  I'll match this effect on the bases of my gang when I get there...
I'm tempted to come back and add a wire mesh fence and maybe even a railway track to add more detail to the scene, but for now this is done. I've almost finished my two first gang members and having this completed will give me extra incentive to try and finish them tonight just so I can take some photos using my new scenic backdrop.

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