viernes, 12 de octubre de 2012

Tutorial de un acantillado cubierto de nieve

Acabo de leer dos tutoriales sobre la construcción de acantilado cubierto de nieve. El resultado no me lo esperaría ni en mis mejores sueños. No es solo la nieve que parece nieve, ni los carámbanos de nieve, ni que la roca es distinta...¡Es todo! parece real. Juzgazlo vosotros.

(Translated by Krittadhi Boonvichitr (Independent Translator) 

Once again, I will make a tutorial on how to create a snow covered cliff by using the Lord of Gabrax’s display base as an example.  As the idea was to create a display base that would make the miniature stand out, the theme of mountain cliff was used. I made the cliff a bit high with the top end looking like overhanging rocks, so that there’s some space underneath to add in some icicles. This way I could make the display base more detailed. The base would then be covered in snow to make the base become more ‘in line’ with the overall image and feel of the miniature.
You can find images of the finished project by following the link [HERE].

1.The most important part in creating this scenic base is to recreate the look of the cliff and make it look as realistic as possible. I’ve found that DAS Modelling Clay is perfect for making this. After leaving the clay exposed to the air for a while, the clay will harden. This makes it easy to break the clay into chunks or sheets, creating uneven texture – much like natural rocks. The longer you left the clay exposed to air, the easier it takes to break the clay. However, should you leave the clay exposed for too long (over an hour) it will be hard as stone, making the clay nigh impossible to break. (Especially if it’s still in its original packing)

2. Break the clay into multiple small chunks, this will help create the uneven depth of the rocks. Attach the clay to the polystyrene core which was prepared. This process maybe time consuming as you will need to experiment with each piece of clay to find the right one that will fit naturally. When attaching the clay to the foam core, attach the clay so that the crackling pattern lay horizontally. This will make it easier to ‘merge’ each piece into one solid rock.

3. After gluing all the pieces together, the look of the cliff begins to form. Sections of the clay that protrude over the area outlined by the plinth are removed.

4. Using soft DAS Modelling Clay, the gaps between the pieces are filled. Water is used to soften the clay to make things easier. Use sharp end of the tweezer to create lines by scraping the clay horizontally. This will help create texture and blend each piece of clay into larger rock formation.

5. Once all the gaps are filled and satisfied with the look of the cliff, I start building a snow covered ground both at the bottom and on the top of the cliff. DAS Modelling Clay is attached and then shaped to merge it into the overall look of the cliff by using wet paintbrush. This will serve as the base layer for the snow covered area.

6. The base is then left alone overnight. The clay is now fully cured and will not break like paper clay (clay with a mixture of paper pulp). At this stage, the edges of the base are sanded and is now ready to be painted.

7. Using the airbrush, the cliff section was primed black, while the snow covered grounds are primed white.

8. Mr. Hobby (GSI Creos) colour no. 40 German Grey is mixed with no. 313 Yellow FS33531 and drybrushed over the rock area to imitate the first layer of shadow.

9. Mr. Hobby no. 42 Mahogany is added to the mix used earlier to help lighten the tone. It is then drybrushed over the area, leaving only the darkest recesses.

10. The third layer of drybrush is done by adding white into the mix. Focusing only the areas where light would fall, the edges and ridges of the rock formation are drybrushed. As I intend to imitate the light coming from the upper right direction (shown by blue arrow), the shadows would mostly fall towards the lower left direction (see red arrow). This technique of “light source” helps making the cliff look less flat.

11. I begin weathering the cliff using MIG pigment mixed with Pigment Fixer. The mix is applied and left to dry.

12. Using Windsor & Newton Raw Umber (no.35) mixed with turpentine, I create the oil wash. This is then applied to the whole area, with more emphasis in areas such as crevices where shadow falls.

13. The snowy ground was painted by using white colour from MAX.

14. For highlighting, diluted white paint is applied to add some details to the rock using fine brush. I focus only on some edges of the rock, not all of them. Using diluted paint make the results not too opaque, allowing a more natural colour dimension as the white don’t ‘pop out’ too much.

15. I begin making the snow by starting with icicles. I discovered this technique from reading David Soper’s Blog (Sproket's Small World - making icicles) and it is indeed very useful. You can read it below;

- Clear plastic sheet is cut into many small triangular shapes of various sizes. Attach them to left over runner sprue.

- Apply Vallejo Water Effect, concentrating more on the base than the tip.

- Leave the Water Effect to fully cure for 24 hours. After it completely dries, the water effect would be clear and have rough icicle-like texture. It may happen that the water effect might have flattened in some areas or the icicles are smaller than you want them to be, this can be fixed by adding more water effect to it and leave it to dry.

As you can see from the picture, the large icicles on the right side still looks murky as it hasn’t fully cured. The more you apply water effect, the longer it takes them to fully dry.


16. For the snow on the ground, I use Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate) mixed with PVA glue. I apply the mix over areas primed in white. It takes more than just one pass to create the depth of snow I’m going for.

17. The icicles are attached to the underside of the overhanging rock. Water effect is then applied to cover the seams between the snow and icicles.

18. This is the look of the finished cliff. You may notice that the snow seems to still be wet. That’s because it takes a few hours for the snow paste to dry. Once dried, the flakes of the snow can be observed more easily.

19. While the snow is half damp, I cut the wood into the shape of Lord of the Gabrax’s hoof, attach it to the needle, and press it onto the snow to create footprints.

20. Vallejo Gloss Varnish is added to the baking soda snow paste to prevent the snow looking too dried once finished.

21. The figure of Lord of Gabrax is attached to the scenic base. Baking Soda mix prepared in step 20 is applied around the hooves as well as some parts of the leg. Snow in other areas is also leveled by adding a little water. Water helps prevent baking soda from forming lumps and help creating a smooth finish.

22. Finally, use the pin to remove excess snow from the hooves, so that it looks like the miniature is pressing his hooves into the snow. The piece is now done.

Apart from this technique of using DAS Modelling Clay to create realistic rock formations, there are also other techniques you could use as well; such as using tree barks, rock molds available for railroad models, plaster carving/sculpting techniques, or even using realistic rocks in your piece. Each of these techniques yield different results, it is up to you which one you’ll choose to match your style/techniques or preference. I hope this article is useful and fun to read. I’ll see you again next time!

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