Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Earthworks and redoubts.... part 2

..starting off with some thanks for all the comments following part one, here's the second/final part of the build for the Redoubts and Trenches...

With the pieces all well and truly dry following the black primer under coating, I checked out the paint box to see what options I had.... in my mind I saw the pieces as predominantly brown (ie. soil), but I wanted a slight differentiation for the planking, and certainly for the redoubts the bases were big enough that there would also be undisturbed grassy area's...

For the brown's then I used these:
The little one is "Earth brown" and is by a company called Miniature Paints - I think I may have picked it up at the Redoubt show a couple of years ago - not brilliant coverage/opacity, but it is the right colour for the job!

The three bigger bottles I picked up at Hobbycraft a few months ago on the grounds that "they might be useful"...again, not brilliant opacity as they're quite cheap, but they do the job.

Painting was pretty simple - because the pieces were black undercoated, and the opacity for the "earth brown" is not the best, I started off with a fairly medium dry brush of the "Sandstone" over the entire model to give it a light key to put later layers of colour on.

Once that was done I then used the "Soft Suede" (is 'hard suede' a different colour do you think?!) on all the wood sections of the model. I did the wooden bits first as any over brush from later stages would then just look like the planks were muddy, rather than providing evidence that my painting skills are not the best!

Next step was the heavy dry brush of the "earth brown" over all the earth parts, followed by Games Workshop "Dark Angels Green" for all the grass area's (I painted this rather than dry brushed)..

For all the dry brushing by the way, I use a half inch flat head brush that I picked up at Hobbycraft at the same time I picked the paints up. It's a nice brush for dry brushing - not too soft, or too stiff...

To all intents and purposes, by this stage I was almost done - looking at the models though, I decided to give a very light dry brush of the 'tan' over everything (just to highlight basically), and because the planking still looked a bit too clean I gave all the woodwork a wash of "Windsor and Newton" Peat ink.....

Once that was all done they looked as follows:

The last job was to apply PVA and flock to the grass area's, plus the usual small stones and Woodland Scenic shrub material. For the flock stage I also spotted some PVA on to the trench front for a little extra colour... and this is them done - just in time for the game tonight!

Overall I'm very pleased with them - reasonably quick and easy to make, and I especially liked the effect you get with the sand on glue. Gives a very nice rough texture which is ideal for dry brushing...

All I need to do now is finish the rest of the trench sections (with the game to get ready for, I didn't have time to do all of them), and then I also have a smaller dowel to do the same for my War of the Spanish Succession troops....


  1. Hello Steve
    Too slow to comment on part 1 but think these are great pieces. I made some similar many years ago but with sandpaper on the outward edge and split garden canes on the inner face (that was a job). Now I'll have to bring them up to your standard. Job no.????. Strangely I had collected a number of those coffee stirrers 'in case they came in handy' - now I know how to use them.
    Thanks again for an interesting blog.

  2. Steve,

    Very nice. It looks great. Thanks again for the tutorial.

    -- Jeff

  3. A great painting for the models!

  4. Nice job! I like the lightness of the earthworks, a black undercoat can often dull a paintjob.

  5. They're really good and look terrific.
    I've been hankering to prepare some defences for my WSS project once the figures were complete and if they look half as good as those I'll be pleased.

  6. Steve, these are fantastic - well done indeed and I'm going to be looking out for the materials so I can have a go myself. Excellent tutorial.

    Best wishes


  7. ..thanks guys, much appreciated - I was pretty chuffed with them when I finished. Suffice to say I put it down to the quality of some of the "how to" articles out there in blog land... :o)

    You should check out Geektactica's blog ( for very good looking, but simply built, models...

    ..have to say that I also picked up a few hints from the Grimsby guys, as General Grant ( had some pictures of their WW1 terrain boards being made...

    ...and last but not least - I did get enthused by that terrain series that has just started in Battlegames...

  8. Hi Steve,

    Another excellent and informative post - you make it look so simple!