Thursday 24 March 2016

Hougoumont at 1:3 scale: How I made the terrain - Part Two

Thank you for the supportive comments on Part One, please check out that post if you have just landed here.  In this one I will deal with making the pond(s).

After I'd mixed the gunge to base the buildings I made a much smoother version consisting of just acrylic paint, PVA and powder filler mixed to a consistency of thick, pourable yoghurt. I had designed the bases of the ponds (there were two within my map boundary) to have a slight dip and items to create a border.
Main pond just outside the North gate freshly filled with chocolate coloured
"yoghurt mix"
A different view shows it had not settled to a level surface but reflects the light
like mud - not yet what I wanted
While still wet I glued miniature "reeds" round the border and a couple within.
these were made from a  combination of small pieces of rubber back doormat
and some marsh pieces I made ages ago with sisal string.
This view shows the main pond and also another at the roadside nearest the camera.
I treated them both the same way.
While that was drying, and it takes some time,  you can see below I was completing the "gunge" for surrounding grassy banks and the muddy road
When completely dry I used some of the "swirls' as inspiration for painting different
effects of water in the muddy pond - being lighter near the edges and the reeds
where it would be shallower. I'm now cutting a sheet of thin clear plastic to fit the shape,
including a cut-out for the single reed clump, this is glued in place with clear-drying adhesive
Above and below: Applying Winsor and Newton acrylic Structure Gel with an
old brush I filled up the edges and blended in the base of the free-standing reeds.
Then I applied small dabs of the gel in rough lines as if a breeze was whipping up
the water slightly. I think this is far more interesting than just the plain plastic card
surface, or even gloss varnish.
A closer view reflecting the light to see the ripples better. There are other acrylic gels
 and pastes besides this but I've not tried any of them yet.
Later any sort of scatter and shredded clump foliage can be glued on with PVA to create the effect of water plants and algae 
The other pond can be seen near bottom left in this photo of the layout with trees being applied
I'll finish this Pond section with a a photo by Kevin East of the hot action during the game. French troops are surging round the North side of Hougoumont and about the reach the pond area.

I hope this part has been of use to somebody. More on the terrain making to follow shortly.


  1. Well done, beautiful and realistic ponds!

  2. Very nice work with the water. Thanks for the tips.

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