Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Don't forget your Old Shipmate (Navy basing part 1)

Having completed painting the uniforms of my Royal Navy Landing Party, it is time to give some attention to their bases.

In no way at all influenced by the Hornblower series, the look I am attempting is that of a rocky Mediterranean beach, with the men just coming ashore. While visiting the beaches in Southern California, I took reference photos of just the kind of shore I want to recreate:

My first attempt consits of using really fine sand from a local beach, with rocks made of cork. I used what would normally be way too much glue for the beach sand, to give the surface a lighter texture.

Using colors recommended by Flames of War for North African desert bases, I painted the sand in layers, starting with British uniform and ending up with Buff as the final highlight. The wet sand was left the base color, since it should be both darker and smoother than the dryer sand farther up the beach.
On top of this is a layer of Secret Weapon Miniatures water effects, with an attempt at a foamy froth in white paint. Seaweed is made of planter moss soaked in white glue and draped around the rocks to trail off into the water.

In my opinion, the rocks and dried seaweed came out about how I wanted, but I'm unhappy with the water. Actually, i have no complaints on the Secret Weapon water; it is my own attempt at frothing waves that bothers me.

The results of my discreet public polling (I asked my wife) came out that it looks a bit more like ice than moving water. I think part of the issue is I may have gone about this in the wrong order. The white paint is applied on top of the water effects after it dried, with a gloss coat. This may be reducing the depth of the effect and making it look like more of a solid surface than turbulent water.

Options at this point are to revise the shape of the white paint to better reflect the motion of the surf, or to abandon the surf idea and just apply water effects over the darker sand color for a wet sand look.

What do you think?

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