Tutorial Rivers & Streams Part 4 November 22, 2022 08:08

This last quirky piece has a back story: I was staying with good chum LLoyd Lewis for "Attack," the Devizes show in July 2022. (Thanks again mate). 

Lloyd, being a Sharp Practice fan, was showing me his miniatures collection when I noticed his French Indian Wars deployment point. Beavers! The idea was brazenly pinched as the next day I bought a blister pack from Bad Squidoo. 

I offered up the beavers to a 60mm base and thought it looked too crowded. I had 2 left over and a though occured to me.......

I dried a pile of dead twigs picked from the garden and "baked" them on top of the log burner.  

The "Estuary Section" from the Rivers collection was the obvious choice (I had this project in mind when drawing it). I took the section up to brown basecoat stage and then started work on the dam. Firstly I took one of the larger twigs and split it lengthways and then sanded the base to fit flat to the estury bed. 

I wanted to be able to use the estury "as is" in a variety of games; the beaver dam needed to be removable. I came up with an idea: cling film.  

I built up the dam using progressively thinner twigs and bonded each in place with cheap, runny superglue.

As the structure developed and grew, it began to feel sturdy enough to lift off. Only one part had adhered to the cling film which I gently trimmed off. The result was a robust, removable dam. 

Next, I painted the beavers and positioned them onto the base painted structure. I sat the painted minis on a blob of greenstuff and left them to dry.  

The metal bases of the beavers were then disguised by adding small, thinner twigs until  I was happy with the effect. The twigs were then painted to match the rest of the dam. I then picked out the cut ends or areas where bark had been removed. Blotches of pale, watery grey were added to some twigs and dabs of GW Agrax Earthshade to others. The bleached bone ends and a few selected twigs were fiven a Flory "Grime" wash. 

The next stage was adding some green foliage to represent floating debris getting filtered out by the dam. Moss pads were also added to break up the expanse of wood. 

And when stored away for another day, the estuary can be "opened" for different theatres. I can just see canoes coming upriver on this piece. 

Tactically sound? Of strategic importance? I will let you decide. It was a fun build and will certainly add "flavour" to my forthcoming French Indian War table. I have since noticed that Annie also offers a Bad Squidoo Moose....that is on my shopping list! 

This project still has a little way to go and I will be adding to the thread in a few weeks.