Saturday 13 October 2012

Gamecraft Afghan buildings in progress

I have finally completed my full set of Gamecraft buildings for my Afghanistan table. I had to do a lot of experimenting with techniques and materials before I found a solution I liked. I think the result looks good, but each building required a fair bit of messy work, so I'm glad I'm done. The stucco gel is not much fun to work with - it's really tacky, and the sand gets everywhere.

My process was as follows:

1. First coat of Liquitex Stucco textured acrylic gel - this doesn't have to be clean or even or nice, it's just there to provide a gritty surface for the following coat.

2. Clean out the corners, windows and doors of excess globs of paint.

3. Let it dry thoroughly.

4. Second coat of Liquitex, with a focus on applying enough to get all the corners a bit rounded. The walls themselves look better if the gel is applied a bit unevenly.

5. With a very wet brush, I smoothed out the walls and roofs. I don't try to get them perfectly flat, just smoothing down the parts that stick up, so it looks like a mud wall.

6. Clean out the corners and apertures again.

7. Let it dry thoroughly again.

8. Paint - I used cheap craft acrylics, watered down and with a bit of Pledge floor polish added. The stucco gel I used is white, and I only did one coat of paint, so the buildings came out very light.

9. Wash - I used a thin black / brown wash over the whole building, which I then blotted with crumpled up paper towel, which gave a slightly mottled look to the walls, while leaving the corners and recesses fairly dark.

With several different stages to do, I had a bit of an assembly line going with 3-5 buildings at each stage of the process.

The mosque was a special case, because it came with a dome. The dome was a coarse foam half-sphere, so I gave it several coats of plaster, smoothed with a wet finger, to give it an even enough surface for painting.

In-progress photos:

First coat applied.

First coat applied.

Second coat applied.

Second coat after smoothing.

For photos of the completed, painted buildings, see my next post!

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