Sunday 3 March 2013

Caitlín's Trench Warfare

It's not just my stepson, Mikey, who's building and painting. His sister, Caitlín, has made me proud this week.

Usually frowning on the nerdy side of our hobby, she enlisted Mikey's and my help in a school project. The brief: to build a WWI trench in a shoebox (and not just fill it with soil!)

Adamant that this was all her own work, she only wanted help in the techniques involved, and occasionally, some elbow grease.

We started with a shoebox. It had to start somewhere, so we started there. She sketched the layout in the box and set out cutting chunks of polystyrene and glueing them in place, filling in the gaps with random bits of paper, foil and leftover polystyrene.

When the glue was dry, Caitlín cut strips of modrock, a very handy plaster-impregnated bandage, which, once soaked in water, dries very hard.

After 48hrs the Modrock was solid, and the model was ready for the woodwork. Duckboards and battens were glued down, along with gravel and grass scatter.

Airbrush time! Some nicely thinned browns to cover the whole model. Several passes to darken, and some purposeful flooding across the woodwork to stain.

We'd chosen a rough scale of 1:72, and bought some British Infantry to add to the scene. After painting them (tabletop standard at best), the men were positioned and stuck down. Pooled water was created with Realistic Water Effects by Woodland Scenics, and the barbed wire was made from twisted wine bottle wire. About 5 bottles-worth.

Some blood, gore and missing limbs, and the diorama was done. A tidy up of the box exterior, and a title and that was all she wrote.

Great job, Caitlín!

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