Step 2: Flocks & Grasses & Earths (In progress)
If your an amateur like me then the words "Flock" and "Static Grass" basically mean one and the same to you.
However as I quickly found out - this can be a rage trigger in the more experienced Terrain builders as the two materials serve a similar purpose but in a significantly different manner.
So if there's anything you take away:
1. Flocks come in all degrees of colours and coarseness - giving effects from 'smooth carpet' to 'furry bobbly' effect. They are typically used to mimic the 'Earth' that your static grass will sit upon.
2. For my Base coat I used Woodland Scenics blended earth. This gave a nice smooth carpet effect that blended well with the static grasses I planned to use.
3. Application was pretty simple: Get the PVA and mix it about 80:20 PVA-Water. Then take your Paint Brush and do a new coat on the areas that you want to be flocked. As you can see from the images the areas I skipped were the roads and the Town Square as I'd use an Earth Texture on each of these.
4. This did take some time to dry, about two hours in total and even then areas were still a bit 'soft' to the touch - Ideally I think I should have left it a good hour or so longer, as a lesson I learnt here was that it's best to do both boards one after the other, that way you aren't wasting more hours for each board. In my next build I'm definitely going to make this consideration, but as a first timer it wanted to test methods and application techniques first on a single board.
5. Once the PVA was dry I then lifted up the board by the edges and let the unattached flock collect on my Plastic Dust Sheet. I then recovered that into a jar for use later. Another lesson here is that Slight Breezes are your enemy, and I probably lost a good amount of flock to the wind. However as my Rental agreement is strict as Kharn is angry, so I decided the minor financial loss was probably better than my deposit. I managed to recover most of it though.
Here is the First Board
Here is the Second Board
1. Static Grasses are those little coloured fibers that, unsurprisingly, mimic the effects of grass.
2. You can really get any colour you want in this thing. Also it comes in different lengths, and you can apply it by hand, by special shakers (why you'd buy this I don't know) or using a special device called a Static Grass applicator that shoots an electrical charge into the fibers, making it stand up on end. These devices range from Home-Made battery and wire devices, to rather expensive branded devices. In the end I opted against this and used the good old "throw it on by hand" method.
3. I used a variety of Static Grasses. These were - Spring Mix, Summer Mix and Autumn Mix. All of these were of 2mm in length and bought off a seller on Ebay. I used this combination as using just one hue (colour) of static grass gives a rather flat effect when applied - in the case of just using green Static Grass, this will give the effect of being a perfectly mowed lawn. Which as my Battleboard is to host a range of games from Warmachine to 40k, I wasn't really wanting that effect.
4. I then started applying a 60:40 mix of PVA-Water using the squirt bottle. What I found here was that the thicker the mixture, the more it tended to come out the bottle as a direct 'line' rather than a spray. In areas where the PVA hadn't fully dried, this would "blast" off some of the flock requiring some delicate reapplication.
5. It took some experimenting until I got the sort of consistency I wanted that wasn't jet washing the flock off. When I did sort it though I began spraying random patterns across areas of the flock and I started with the Autumn Mix of grasses. This was to create areas of "patchy" looking grass.
6. It was then a matter of just adding dirts and grasses till I got the effect I was looking for. An interesting thing I learnt was that blending is very important and use of darker and lighter grasses is key to give a more believable look. Personally for a first time I'm quite happy with the Results. This is the product about 70% of the way through for each board.
And Board 2: