Setting The Scene(ry)!

Dave over at Wargamesculptors blog is running the Season of Scenery community challenge again this year and I’m looking forward to participating, mainly so I can try and get some of the scenery finished that I started as part of last year’s challenge!

Last year I made the decision to concentrate on scenery for my Paraguayan War project, since I hadn’t really done anything specific for it before then. First bits done were two Paraguayan chatas, shallow draught gun barges, along with their crews.

Next bits done were two large gun positions, some straight fortified parapet lengths, a watchtower and a powder magazine (made from part of an egg carton)! I also made a start on some buildings (shown in the picture below), but only got the basic shells finished (using 1.5mm art board).

Having spent two months doing scenery, I was happy to get back on to painting figures and vehicles, knowing that I’d stashed these buildings safely away to finish “at a later date”. That later date is now (hopefully)! These buildings are going to use roofs from other buildings I’ve got – the four smaller buildings use thatched roofs for Vietnam buildings that also need painting, while the larger building uses a scratchbuilt tiled roof for one of my Balkan Wars buildings. So, after working on these buildings for this year’s challenge, how far have I got?

At a casual glance, the buildings don’t appear much different from how they looked last year (see above – I’ve only shown two of the buildings, but they are now all in a similar state). I’ve now completely covered the walls in a Vallejo textured stone medium to give them a rustic rendered/mud-daubed finish, shutters and doors have been added and the bases have been covered in a Vallejo pumice/paint texture to represent earth. These finishes and the shutters and doors are white so it’s not obvious that they’ve been added, with the exception of the woven grass shutters added to the two smallest buildings (one of them on the left in the picture). I’d painted parts of the walls inside the buildings black last year before some of the strengtheners were added, so the next stage this year is to paint all of the interiors black. After that I can prime the outside walls and make a start on putting paint on proper!

While I’ve been doing these, my wife’s kept going with her decoupage projects and she asked me if I could help out.

Her latest project is a fairy door (shown above next to a jar I quite like that she’s decorated with a map of Africa and a leopard). The door’s not finished yet but leaning against it you can see a miniature traditional broom and that’s my contribution! A piece of 3mm wood dowel and some bristles from a yard broom (that I’ve had stashed for years and use for thatched roofs), held together with superglue (the black thread is more for show). I said it might look a little large when compared to the door but I have it on good authority that if a broom’s going to be used for flying, bigger is better and who am I to argue!


  1. Nice progress on the buildings John, and great SOS has given you a reason to dig them back out.
    Your wife’s decoupage looks great, and nice you were able to lend a hand, as the broom looks very authentic.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Dave! 🙂 I’ve actually stopped my other stuff to work on the scenery, apart from maybe taking some figures to the caravan to paint (buildings are too big to travel)! I’m quite proud of the broom and my wife thinks I should just retire and start an Etsy shop!

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    • Thanks Nicolas! 🙂 I use the handle of a fine scalpel to put the texture on the walls and smooth it out (remembering to take the blade off to avoid any nasty accidents), although in the past I’ve cut narrow lengths of plasticard to do the job – I should probably have done that around the windows to be honest as they look a bit rough! I then give the walls a rub down with fine sandpaper to take off any bits that are maybe standing out too much. And, sadly, I’ve already worked out how I could improve the method of making brooms!

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    • Thanks Dave! 🙂 Given that I tend to jump around projects it’s not really too much of a problem picking this scenery up again. I like the stuff my wife does and it gives me a different perspective on colour and style that I’d normally venture nowhere near!

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  2. Well, your Wife wins this one, haha! Seriously though, the decoupage looks pretty cool and I finished a little decoupage project back in early Spring. Though I didn’t have to deal with a rounded vase, not sure how she even managed that one! I like those scenery projects and it will be fun to watch them come to life. Those boats look really pretty cool too!

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    • Haha, thank Faust, have to agree with you there (and I say that even though she’s not looking over my shoulder as I type this)! 🙂 Good for you doing some decoupage, I’m not sure I could manage it – my wife seems to be able to get a pretty damn good finish even on compound curves. I think I’d like to get more boats/ships done so will have to see how I get on!

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  3. Its great to see you gearing up for the scenery challenge and I think it should be fun to get back to work on this specific project as well. I agree with Faust that the decoupage stole those show this update! You and your wife are making some very impressive pieces! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Good to see you returning to those excellent buildings for last, and good progess so far, hopefully they wont have to be stashed again till next year! 😉

    Lovely work too by you wife, the door and jar are delightful, and as for the broom, don’t worry about it being large, as they say in the book, you need “Room on the broom!”.

    Cheers Roger.

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  5. Excellent stuff John, but I agree that the wife’s work wins here (you don’t like winning anyways unless it involves H35’s!). The broom looks great and as long as you don’t get tasked to using it to clean up or that your wife unbeknownst to you rides it at night all is good! 😜 Seriously love seeing the chatas again, they helped inspire me to build my conquistador fleet as you know! Lastly, please tell your wife her decoupage is absolutely lovely, and no beauty like that could ever be made by one without beauty.

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