Friday, 19 June 2015

EXT: Thomas and Friends

So this is at least one of the reasons why hobby updates have been light on the ground recently.

Junior Stylus has a birthday coming up, and he's a big fan of some TV series featuring anthropomorphised machines fuelled by an obsolete form of locomotion, under the benevolent dictatorship of a morbidly obese plutocrat (although that's not how the theme tune goes).

The die-cast engines are, I'll admit, pretty damn good toys. Although the playset tracks they run on seem uninspiring - their main design feature is they can be easily packed away (although I'm not complaining...). So I thought I'd throw together a little scenery from the Isle of Sodor.

My intention was not to pour too much effort into its construction, so I wouldn't be heartbroken when it gets torn apart by inquisitive fingers. Even so, a couple of hours work yielded some nice results.

The base is a few layers of cardboard (and so light enough to carry), based with brown paint and then stuck down on a final layer of cardboard to get rid of the warp that occurred when the paint dried (it was PVA glue the first time, and No-More Nails the second - I wanted it solid).

I mixed some sand to the remaining brown paint to get enough texture to level out the hills (which were just more layers of card), give a mudbank to the pond and some plough-lines to the muddy field.

The pond itself was a base of blue, several layers of varnish and a white drybrush over the top. The hedges around the field were some bits of green sponge I had lying about.

For the flock: static grass on the hills and fields, dried herbs (several years past their sell-by) for the leaf litter and pebbles for the gravel. A dash of hairspray seems to be doing the trick in keeping everything stuck down.

The shed itself is probably the most basic construction of all: four variety pack cereal boxes and a triangular piece of cardboard (that looks too big for the roof, but was a pleasing shape, so I kept it).

Hopefully I'll get some more hobby done next month - although you never know, I may be reclaiming this in a few years as a skirmish board!


  1. And there I was, wondering if I could get away with ordering three hundred quids' worth of Pedion tiles on the grounds that my daughters could sometimes get to play with them. I'm going to go and hang my head now.

    1. The track was unveiled this morning. To get an idea of the euphoric reaction, imagine rolling an improbable Killing Blow pistol shot by a Witch Hunter against a Sorcerer Lord.

    2. So immense, almost cringing, humility, leavened with a respectful acknowledgement of a superior foe brought low by chance?