Hi, I’m Paul, and welcome to the 2019 season of Sculpting, Painting and Gaming.
This year we’re building on the foundations laid in 2018 as we continue to field the very best writers and the very best articles. We kick off with this volley from George Asling. A superb painter and hobbyist, George’s Gangs of Rome terrain not only drew many an envious glance at the Governance of Derventio (October’s Gangs of Rome tournament) but it also continues to impress on Facebook and at various shows and events on the Gangs of Rome Roadshow.
Not content with bringing ancient Rome to life, however, George has now turned his attention to Ancient Greece, building as he is terrain for War Banner’s forthcoming wargame, Mortal Gods. In this article he details not only how he built and painted Sarissa Precision’s excellent Mediterranean Farm kit, but also how he made his version both unique and utterly gorgeous.
Now, before I start, I would like to clarify the title of this article. Sarissa’s Mediterranean Farm kit was not at all difficult to construct; quite the opposite, in fact. It was an absolute dream to build. Engineered to Sarissa Precision’s usual degree of perfection, the kit practically built itself. The difficulty came from my own (some would say foolish!) decision to add further detail to this constructed farm…
To clarify. once the kit had been built, I made a series of the somewhat foolish decisions. The first of these was asking the Illuminati that is the Sculpting, Painting and Gaming Facebook group whether or not to tile the roof. Duly encouraged to do so, I set about the task in hand … in the most difficult way possible. Most people would nip out and acquire some corrugated card and make a quick but awesome looking roof, but not me. That wouldn’t be difficult enough. Instead, I decided the only way to create my new roof was by cutting a cereal box rectangles of approximately 4 x 8mm. In my naivety I judged the overflowing bowl of these tiles to be more than sufficient for the task at hand, and eagerly began my miniature roof tiling adventure.
A line of PVA was applied and the first tiles where put in place. Now, as I am sure you are aware, PVA tends to take quite a while to dry. This is not ideal for a man with my lack of patience. I quickly scrapped this method and decided to use super glue. This also proved to be too slow. One trip to the supermarket later and I returned to the task armed with my new secret weapon: double-sided sticky tape.
Thusly equipped I applied a strip of tape to the roof and ran a row of tiles along it. The next row was applied overlapping the previous row slightly and so on. Many, many hours—and lots of swearing—later I had tiled the kit’s roof sections … and my breathed a sigh of relief.
I then proceeded to the fun part: paint! I selected an off-white from my library of tester pots and set to work on the walls with a sponge. I like the look and texture that sponge gives; it looks very rustic and rural, which was perfect for this project. Next, a dark grey and a black wash was applied to the stonework and a darker grey applied to the roof. As I have been made aware this is not strictly historically accurate. My reasoning for this colour on the roof is simple: it looks cool. The dark grey gives a nice contrast to the white without making the building stand out on the table like a sore thumb.
I then added some definition to the roof tiles. I wasn’t going to leave all that work hidden under a coat of dark grey paint! This was achieved with a quick drybrush of light grey. It looked good (if I say so myself!) but it looked too clean for a rural farm. That being the case I used Kromlech weathering powders to add different shades to the tiles and used a green pigment to give the impression of moss in amongst the tiles.
At this stage I was a happy bunny; the roof looked awesome and the black wash did a good job of giving definition to the flooring. This is all starting to sound rather easy after the roof ordeal, don’t you think? Well lets rectify that…
You know what this building needs? I asked myself. A nice decorative pattern around the walls.
A raid on the hobby drawer secured a pencil, a ruler and a blue felt tip pen. Using the ruler and pencil I marked two lines around the outer wall of the building, 10mm apart. A double thickness line of blue felt tip was drawn on the inside of each of these lines. This looked good, but it was all feeling a bit too easy. Out came the ruler and a vertical line was drawn at 5mm intervals. This line touched the bottom line but stopped just short of the top line. Using these vertical lines as a guide I made each one into a spiral motif that not only looked suitably Greek, but also looked supremely awesome.
At this point I was very happy with my work, but, after a brief discussion with War banner co-owner Mark Farr, I realised that the stone work around the base of the building and the courtyard floor needed more pop. With this in mind I painted a fine line between each stone to add some much-needed definition. With the aid of my trusty pigments I then coloured a few select stones with different tones to break up the uniform look and then added touches of green to continue the mossy theme from the roof and tie the two elements together.
I then had another discussion—this time with Dicky Boyd—and we reached the conclusion that some doors and shutters would really set this piece off. Said doors and shutters were duly constructed using strips of card glued together, and painted brown. A quick run over with some black pigment and they were then glued in place.
The structure was now complete, but it lacked a little something. It looked good … but it didn’t feel lived in. With this in mind I painted some amphora, bricks and a pile of timber and dotted these around the courtyard so they wouldn’t hamper the movement of any models in game, but added a little life to the building.
And so ended the ordeal of the farm. I had a Lot of fun seeing this piece come together, and I am more than pleased with the result. The next step is to soak it in the blood of my enemies on the battlefield. Or maybe just use it in a game or two of Mortal Gods…
George’s Mediterranean Farm is taken from Sarissa Precision’s Streets of Rome range of MDF kits. Perfect for War banner’s forthcoming wargame, Mortal Gods, it is just one of hundreds of Sarissa kits and accessories from almost every conceivable time period and setting. This exhaustive catalogue offers you buildings and accessories for games as diverse as Test of Honour, Star Wars: Legion, Gangs of Rome and many more.
Better yet, postage is only £2.50 worldwide, whatever you order, wherever you live.
About George Asling
A keen hobbyist and wargames enthusiast, George loves anything involving dice, swords or spaceships. He juggles learning as much as he can about scale modelling whilst wrestling with his young son, Peter.
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