Earlier this month I took my first trip to Salute, having seen and heard many a great thing about the event in London. I could only visit for the afternoon, so time was short but I managed to see lots of amazing set-ups, boards, games and stalls, even if I did not have time to actually game.
I have plenty of models to paint, so even though I was very tempted to buy some Mierce monsters or some Hasslefree adventurers or some of the other amazing (and unknown to me) company's models, I decided that I wanted to try out some of the lasercut scenery. I eventually settled upon the below, both at about £15 each from different stands; unfortunately I have forgotten the names of the brands now. Below is a three storied Tudor manor house; each layer comes apart:
As you can see, I have made a few moderations. Even though the kits are wonderful in terms of how easy they are to construct and how good they look as scale buildings, they do understandably, lack any texture. This is most obvious in the roof and and the brickwork. So I reverted to the tried and tested cereal packet cardboard shingles for the roof and decided to carve into the mortar between stones as seen below. This technique did not take as long as expected because the laser cutter had created an outline that had enough depth that meant that I could dig out a layer with my scalpel for the stone work to remain raised.
Below is a watermill model, where I just did not add the watermill to the side. I've made the same moderations as above to improve the texture of the building. I'll probably add some sand/pva for some mossy areas too.
On reflection, these mdf lasercut models are very easy to work with and relatively cheap too. They are certainly quicker to put together than any of the scratchbuilt/foamcard models that I have previously made. I think they will sit well alongside each other and I intend to continue investing time and money into both. Scratchbuilding will lend itself well to some of the more unique ideas for buildings that I have.
I also had time to enter the 'Eavier Metal speed painting competition. We were given a Mantic model, some paint (in bottles and already out on a palette, some brushes, water and 20minutes to paint. It was intense! Being out of my comfort zone (not having my own equipment) an audience (I had one woman leaning over my shoulder as I painted!) and a time limit was sweat inducing and I had to make some very quick decisions about colour schemes based upon the colours that were available. I jumped into the skin tones first, going for multiple washes and tried to paint other areas as they dried. My hand was not as steady as I was used too and I really struggled when it came to doing some quick highlights and details. The time flew by and I just about managed to finish and was lucky enough to be chosen by the judges as a winner for my group! I won a lovely Eavier Metal mug for my efforts!
Salute was great, next time I will make sure I have time to get some games of new games in and maybe meet up with a few people I know.
Painting of the buildings is underway and I will post updates on those next.