Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Brécourt Manor - Part 6 - Flocking, vegetable patches and a truck

It’s been a while since my last update on Brécourt Manor but there has been a lot going on worldwide. Hopefully this will pass shortly. I have managed to make some progress on the board so here goes.

I decided to switch flocks for this model. Previously I have used the sawdust type flocks by Jarvis and others. This time I switched to the foam type using Woodland Scenics fine turf. The fine turf is, well finer, than the sawdust flocks and gives a better representation of grass at the ground scale I’m working at. Whilst I’d use the fine turf before I had only ever used it for highlights so this was a bit of an experiment for me.
Taking advantage of the rest of the family heading off for a few days I was able to secure the dining room table giving me plenty of space to work in.
The whole board was covered in a layer of earth and tile grout mix to act as a base layer and given 24 hours to dry.

I used grease proof paper to cover the vegetable patch and trenches and coins to cover the machine gun pits
The whole flocking was a frustrating learning experience but having completed it I am very pleased with how things turned out. I just needed to try things out and find out what worked and what didn’t.
I purchased the woodland scenics glue and their spray bottle specifically for this project but unfortunately the spray failed fairly quickly. Maybe I hadn't shaken it enough but the nozzle got blocked and no matter how much it soaked, it wouldn't unblock. I switched to a back up spray bottle and sprinkled my flock, darker layers first, gradually lightening up. I failed to spray glue after each switch of flock - my bad - and so my flock wasn’t properly glued down.
I tried spraying more woodlands scenics glue and then a diluted PVA mix and whilst I got the turf in place it just wasn’t war games secure coming off easily when rubbed. After an internet search Luke APS offered a way forward. I had some 100% isopropanol alcohol cleaning solution. I mixed this about 50/50 with water and sprayed this onto the board. It quickly soaked into the flock and acts as a flow aid. I followed this up with the War World Scenics glue. I sprayed lots and lots of the glue which hit the flow aid and dispersed quickly. I sprayed until the board was a pale white. Then I just had to wait - about 36 hours - for the glue to dry and clear which was quite unnerving.
Finally the last of the white bits dried and the foam turf was solidly glued to the board.
So next time I do this I will
 start with a PVA/ water mix
 spray after each flock layer
 follow it with the alcohol mix flow aid
 liberally spray  WWS glue as a final glue layer
 leave it for 48 hours to dry

Vegetable Patch

I have created a large vegetable garden. A vegetable patch is clearly indicated on the various maps of the battle. It also briefly features in the Band of Brothers episode as Winters and the Easy co advance towards the guns. I am not sure how big this was historically but I have made it quite large - covering most of a field. The board is otherwise all grass and so this helps break up the terrain and is a nice feature.
I kept this area bare when flocking and then added a number of grassed paths around the various beds.
I laid additional lines of glue down and added more of my earth and tile grout base mix to create furrows.
Additional furrows created by adding additional lines of base mix.
I couldn’t find much in the way of 6mm products designed specifically for vegetables so it was a case of adapting other things. I have only a vague knowledge of crops and vegetables so my adaptations are very much representational.

I cut the tops off bushes to give me individual stands. I cut static grass and trimmed it down. I repurposed bushes and strips and I glued down some light foam.
I also used some cut down and snipped apart staples to create wooden frames for growing beans.

The Rusting Truck

The end of the vegetable patch seems to have been used as a bit of a dump. There is a rusting truck marked on the maps and again visible in the TV episode. I selected a GHQ Russian truck. I painted it white and then added a variety of rust colours. I also half buried it in the board and surrounded it with longer grass.

Nearby was a garbage dump made from my earth/ tile mix. I painted it white and then added a watered down fur brown in patches before giving it a dark tone wash. It looks like building rubble and I was quite pleased with the result. I used a remaining bit of the corrugated iron from the trenches and cost a wheel off another model to add more variety to the rubbish pile. 

Finally I figured the small holder would also use this area to dump grass and other excess plant cuttings so placed some dead grass static grass in piles. I also put in the remains of a bonfire and various other bushes to  complete the scene.

With that all done it’s onto the hedgerows and trees!

Everybody stay safe.

Charles the Modeller

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