Tutorial "Paddy Fields" January 31, 2019 10:39

During the development of the 28mm 1/56 "Paddy Fields" I took some pictures to share my modelling experiences.

Here is the final image, the steps are listed below.

The "Paddy Fields" come as a 2 part simple kit with optional acrylic inserts (more on this later). Please see the tutorial on "Ponds" for a very simple and quick still water effect. On this occasion I though I would experiment. I have a blank canvas of three sections and wanted to portray three different crop stages: Newly planted, cleared for planting and ready to harvest.

Prior to applying water effects, I built up the top frame with a firm mix of tile grout (as this was to hand, polyfilla would have equally been suitable). I used an old table knife to "butter" the top making a raised curved area.

I was concerned that the filler may warp the 2mm top frame so did an incomplete job, purposly leaving gaps allowing me to weight the frame down as it dried.

I completed the top frame once the first application of filler was dry and glued this to the base. As a precaution I applied weight to each of the corners to keep everyting flat as the glue dried.

Once the paddy fileds were dry, I set to work painting with earth brown colours. In this case Homebase tester pot "Chocolat". I added a bit of Vallejo "Charred Brown" and, using a large brush, stippled a bit at the base of the large field. The mud banks were lightly drybrushed with Vallejo "Earth".

I used a tip from Luke Fellows (fromLukes APS) and mixed clear two part epoxy resin directly in one of the small fields. Working quickly, I used the spreader that came with the glue to get a reasonably flat surface. Gravity did the rest. I then, before the glue set, used a static grass applicator to give a light dusting of 6mm grass. This field has recently been harvested and the stubble is left prior to clearing. The two part epoxy on this small field worked really well. The effect is good, clear and held the static grass well. The glue does have a smell however it goes rapidly as it sets. £1.00 spent and a bit of spatic grass. All is going well so far.

For the second field, I went for a fully grown look with a crop about to be harvested. I liberally coated the recess with carpet glue (PVA woud have worked just the same) and applied static grass to completely fill the area.

When this first layer had dried, I used the glue nozzle and carefully ran a series of parallel lines across the field. I then reapplied static grass to cover the glue giving the appearance of repeated rows of rice plants.

For the large field, I encountered some problems. My initial thought was to use acrylic (like in my pond tutorial) however this was to be an experimental piece. I started with clear epoxy resin having enjoyed the success of the first field. This field, being that much bigger, provided a greater challenge. One tube of pound shop glue was not enough, it had only covered approximately half of the field. I quickly opened another tube and emptied the contents into the recess. Disaster! As I was mixing the fresh glue in situ, the previously poured glue was going off....I worked as quickly as I could and tried to belnd the seam between the two glue packs. I put the paddy field aside and allowed it to dry overnight. Unfortunately, in my haste to get the second epoxy resin spread, I must have failed to mix it fully and had a few small sticky areas where the glue had not set.

Undeterred, I bought some MIG Ammo "Water Effects" on the tub it states it is self levelling and dries clear. Not in my experience. Using the product straight out of the tub, I had to use a spoon as the effect was too viscous to pour. I used the back of the spoon to try to smooth the surface also without much success.

The water effects went on like double cream and was set aside to dry.

Fearing that the water effects may shrink, I weighted down each corner whilst setting. As you can see from the picture, the water effects does shrink as cracks appeared in the surface. After 4 days the approximately 1.5mm thickness had failed to clear and I was left with milky white areas. This coud not have been a reaction with the unmixed epoxy as the cloudiness was uniformover the whole field.

When dry, I had to paint over the water effects with a stippling action using mud brown colours and brace myself for "round three".

This time, I spooned a very small amount of water effects into the field and mixed it in situ with equal parts water. I spread this watery mix evenly over the re-painted field. Success! after 3-4 hours, the glue had dried and a second layer was applied. I repeated this until 4 layers had dried.

The final stage was to apply static grass tufts of different lengths and colours to represent weeds growing on the mud field banks.

In summary, the static from Lukes APS worked well for both flocking direct onto the fields and making the tufts which I applied later. The MIG water effects I will use again however, remember, it does not pour, self level or dry clear. Unless it is mixed with a lot of water. Another disadvantage apart from the price (£9.95 for 250ml) is the prolonged drying time.

I would use this product for small bases, but avoid larger water expanses.

In hindsight, I would have had a lot less trouble using sheet acrylic placed in dry and used caulk or more filler to cover any minor gaps. I would have ended up with this effect with very little effort or prolonged drying time.