Saturday, 17 August 2013

Making Mud: The fun begins

Take a quarter ton of red sand, finely sifted, and add water. Mix thoroughly and add black pepper to taste...
Spit it out you nut case! Take a map of the proposed area to be recreated for toy soldiers to play on.
 Roughly mark out the main features. Start with the topography and bed in any man made features such as towns, cuttings, trenches, etc..
 Compact the sand with the palms of the hands. You have to put in anything that needs to be moulded or cut out before the red sand hardens. This is the main draw back with red sand. The advantage, of course, is that once it has dried out you have such a hard surface you can lean on it quite comfortably and not leave an imprint.
 This is the stage at which you can be easily caught out because the features like ridges and hills don't seem very dramatic until you colour them in with flock.
 Take a pointy thing (cocktail stick, nail, matchstick) and draw in the borders of your roads.
 Once this is done, leave to dry and serve with peanuts, no don't! It makes the peanuts gritty.
Looks rough, and it is, but flock and lichen with transform this replica beach play pen into quite a realistic looking country estate.

Photo-graphical Reproduction by Colin - Artworks of Fantasy and Holidays International PLC Inc.

Extra hands by Billy (Plastic Surgeon to the Stars)

Next time: Sepia becomes full colour before your very screens (without the aid of a safety net)


  1. Fun for the whole family!

    How much life do you get out of a sand-table? Are you able to re-use it, or is it a one use prospect?

    1. As you might be able to see from some of the photo's the sand gets broken up every time you want to remake the scenery. I've never had to replace the sand completely but only when I've found a more versatile type, like this red sand I keep going on about. The sand table itself has to have a lip around it and be watertight. The sand will last ad nauseum. Any flock you put down mixes in and vanishes without colouring the sand so that you can start colouring again from scratch.

  2. I really love the terrain you guys make. Hope you will be showing more WIP shots of this one.

    Cheers, Dave

    1. Certainly. We never know how much attention to give to the process of erecting the scenery. However any questions or queries about anything you see on this blog we'll gladly try to answer

  3. So that's why you're always on about red sand - it isn't just from Mars!

    Looks great, Simon.

  4. Not even deep fried Mars, Paul. When you came over for the 15mm Austerlitz game we used the quarried sand and then sprayed a solution of 10% PVA to 90% water on the wet moulded sand. When that dried, in about a week, we flocked and scattered lichen. You got the same effect as red sand but breaking it up after meant sieving out the glued chunks....really time consuming.

  5. I remember you doing that! Anything like the red sand must be a definite improvement then...