Total Pageviews

Saturday, May 14, 2022

The most foul, cruel, and bad tempered Testudinidae

  “Listen, those terrapin got a viscous streak a mile wide, they're killers.  Just look at the bones!"

I was testing out my 3d printer by printing the same file at different scales.  I had to decide what I was going to do with all those tortoise that I printed. 

I figured a tortoise swarm would be frightening.  

Sunday, April 17, 2022


 As I have not added a update for my woodland terrain this year I decided to build a bit of heather.  Simple base with some cast and natural rocks textured with kitty litter and sand.  

The heather is home made rubberized horsehair coated with home made sawdust flock.  

Hope you like. 

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Quick home made flock from Sawdust.


Quick sawdust flocking.


I tend to try to find ways to make my own materials when possible.  This technique is not new as the fist time I saw it was over twenty years ago.  My spin is that you can make small batches quickly to match any colour you want for everything from leaves to flowers. 



Sawdust (I get mine by asking the local DIY store that cuts lumber on site)


Acrylic Paint and inks


Zippered plastic bags


Aluminium foil

Paper towels

Paper plates


A wire meshed sieve



1.  Sieve enough of the sawdust into a bowl for your project.  This cleans out any foreign materials and larger bits of wood to give you a consistent grain size. 


2.  Pour small amounts of paint into the plastic bag and mix by squeezing the bag until it is mixed to the colour you want.  You can add a little bit of water at this point to make sure all the paint is mixed together.


3.  Pour your sieved sawdust into the bag and add a little bit more water to help it mix.  Squeeze the bag around to mix well.  Leave for about twenty minutes or microwave the bag on high for 30 seconds to help the paint set in the dust. The consistency should be like a thick paste.


4.  Pour more water in until all the particles are completely covered.  Mix some more.  All of the liquid should turn to your base colour. 


5.  Over a sink, pour the contents of the bag directly into the centre of the sieve.  This should make a pancaked shaped puddle of coloured sawdust. 


6.  Once that has drained most of the liquid out put a piece of paper towel over the top of the sieve and  flip it over so the sawdust pancake drops onto the paper towel.  Put the paper towel on a paper plate and microwave for 2 minutes.  Put a new piece of paper towel over the top of the sawdust and flip again.  Get rid of the old paper towel, and put the new one back on the plate.  Microwave for two minutes again.    

This will remove much of the water in the sawdust.  Do not microwave for four minutes straight as it can cause the material to burn onto the paper towel and ruins portions of the batch. 


7.   Pour the sawdust from the paper towel onto some aluminium foil and bake in the oven at 125f/65c for about forty minutes. 

8.  Once the flock has cooled, sieve it again into a container and it is ready to use. 


As it is sawdust you can use a variety of adhesives to glue it in place and you will never run out as long as you have sawdust and paint handy.  If you want some natural variation in colours within the batch just add another step.  After microwaving take half the batch put it in a new bag and add a bit either black or dark brown paint and repeat the process.  This will create a slightly darker tint.  It can be baked and sieved at the same time as the initial batch.   

Friday, April 15, 2022

Rubberized Horse Hair part deux.


Rubberized Horse Hair, A how to if you can’t find it.

I did a similar toot ages ago but this is more complete.  

I have been building terrain for wargames and painting models for about forty years starting with Airfix and Testors kits.  When I started doing diorama bases for my models I read as much as possible to make them realistic.  I noticed that rubberized horsehair was always mentioned in railroad and modeling magazines to represent brush and branches.  As I grew up in the states I was never able to get my hands on it as the only supplier I found was a vintage upholstery place in San Francisco and they were prohibitively expensive.    Now that I am in the UK it is readily available but I wanted to write a toot for folks that can’t find it. 



A pony (a horse will do but Pony’s are more fun because they are naughty)

Mane and tail comb

Dishwashing liquid

A wash bin.

Latex Gloves

Mold Making Latex

Paper towels, disposable sticks and a surface that either will not stick to Latex or newspaper to protect surfaces. 


Step one. 

Buy your daughter or wife a pony.  This will be the expensive part but you have to make sacrifices for terrain.  You can justify the purchase because they have always wanted one. 

Have your daughter or wife take care of both ends of the pony to keep it alive.  Make sure they brush the pony’s mane and tale regularly and collect the excess hairs in a bag for later use.

Once you have collected enough hair (I do a carrier bag full at a time) you are ready for stage 2. 

Note:  Stage 1 can take some months so try not to rely on this technique if you have a deadline. 


Step two.

Cleaning the hair.

Prepare your materials.  You will need to wash the pony hair as they are greasy creatures who live outside.

Collect your bag of hair and put it into a wash bin. 

Using dishwashing liquid, and water soak the hair in hot soapy water.  Once it has soaked for a couple of hours, swirl the hair around to clean it off and to mix up the individual fibers.

I usually do this twice because pony’s are greasy creatures who live outside. 

Strain the water from the bin. 

Pick out hay and straw from the hairs.

Put the hair back in the bin and soak in clean water for at least two hours to rinse swirling it around again to mix fibers.

Pick out hay and straw.

Soak it at least two more times picking out hay and straw in between each rinse. 


Step 3.


After straining the water the last time and picking out hay and straw the hair has to be compressed in some way.  I use two tatty old cookie sheets with layers of paper towel in between the metal and the hair. 

Let the hair dry while being compressed.  What you are looking for is about an inch thick matt of hair.


Step 4.

Adding the rubber.

Once you have a pretty gross looking lump of dried hair you will need your wash bin again. 

Push the hair matt into the bin and pour watered down mold making latex onto it.  The exact ratio will be up to the latex you are able to find but what I can tell you is to mix water into the latex until it is the consistency of milk.  Opaque and runny.  I also use a drop dish soap in the mix to break the surface tension of the solution so it will permeate the hair. 

Pour a modest amount of the diluted latex onto the mass of hair and using your hand squeeze the matt until the all the hairs are coated in the solution. 

I should have mentioned putting on a glove first.


Step 5.

Drying the finished product.

You will need a clean surface that you can either sacrifice (newspaper and the like) or that will not adhere to latex.  

My personal preference is a silicone cookie sheet that I use as a work surface for larger projects. 

Build a small raised scaffolding out of disposable materials such as branches, bamboo sewers or bamboo polls over the surface. 

Place the matt of rubberized hair onto the scaffolding in the sun.

The important bit: 

You must turn the mass of rubberized hair over several times while it is drying to ensure that latex does not build up in between the fibers on the bottom of the mass. 


Step 6.

Remove from the disposable scaffolding cut and use.  Note there will always be blobs of latex that have collected in parts and set.  Just cut and tease them out. 


I will do this about every two years as I tend to have the latex on hand and do not want all the money I spent on the pony to go to waste.  The product will be similar to rubberized coconut hush but much finer.  I suspect this toot will work for wife and daughter hair but the prospect creeps me out. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Apothicary shop almost done.

Close to finished.  Everything is glued in place, I have some weathering to do and to fix a couple of spots where my fat fingers glued to different surfaces.  

Exterior - 

Interior -