A victory over mediocrity

The competition is over, and Martin is defeated. While he leapt ahead initially, he once again struggled to even limp towards the finishing line. For shame, Martin – for shame. As you might have guessed, my cursed pirate is complete:

I was especially pleased with the feather for some reason. I suspect it’s one of those things where the sculpt really helps you out. I also opted for NMM on the belt buckle. This was partially because I hadn’t done any in quite a long time, and partially because the undercoat looked almost like that even before I’d put any proper paint on it, and it worked alongside the rest of the model.

So, he’ll be travelling to Euro in a few weeks and then off to SMC in October. Following that, however, there will only be ducks. To that end, I’ve started making a base for the mandarin:


The stones are just balls of milliput and the plant is from Green Line – they make a fairly large range of laser-etched paper plants with some metal parts (the bulrushes, in this case), and while they looked dubiously simplistic in the packaging, they really do some out very nicely. I have a bunch of other plants that I’ll be cracking out for the other ducks.

I’ve also been playing around with water effects for the obvious reason that ducks love water, and I have plans for a few of them to be on or in the water. So, I looked up advice online and was reminded that almost every article explains the process in some detail before stating “but it all went wrong so I ripped it off and tried again”. I’m not good with that sort of trauma, so I’ve sensibly been experimenting on things that don’t really matter.

Anyway, there are basically two types of water effect: one-part water, which is usually good for creeks and other very shallow types of water, and two-part water, which is much better for the sort of things I’m planning. I thought I’d give the one-part water a try, however, if only because there was some available at the local hobby shop. For reference, this is the Vallejo “Water Texture”.

There is an additional critical factor when using water effects: how you dam off the edges of the base. I’ve seen a couple of methods of this, one of which was beautifully lazy, so I thought I’d give that a go first – using tape. Full disclosure: tape isn’t very good for this, as you’ll see:


It should be quite obvious that the edge is neither sharp on the corners nor straight along the sides. For really shallow water, I suppose, it might be a reasonably effective method. I don’t recommend it for anything with much depth. The next experiment will use acetate and glue to aim for super-sharp, perfectly straight edges.

Some observations of the one-part water that might also be useful:

  1. It dries to a rubbery consistency, which I assume makes it fairly durable – it also makes it basically impossible to sand, so those uneven sides will be with you forever.
  2. The instructions say not to pour more than 3mm deep, but also that you can use layers for greater depth. The example uses two layers and they’re basically invisible. That’s a good thing from my perspective, so it’s nice to know that this is possible.
  3. The water didn’t lift paint off the model. I’ve heard that this can be a problem, but it didn’t happen here. That could be because of the water effect or it could be the paints I previously used, so don’t take this as gospel.

Next week, I’ll give the two-part water a go – I’m just waiting on a delivery of oral syringes to measure the components… and possibly a visit from the authorities because of some of the Google searches I had to do to figure out what they’re called.

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