Saga Scenics

Saga boards have from one to five scenery items on them in normal scenarios, the use of terrain can be very important to some of the warbands. This article should give you some inspiration for making some pieces of your own. The pieces been made are: A pond, a small cultivated field and a larger cultivated field. The techniques are easily transferred on to other terrain.

To start with sketch a rough plan onto the hardboard base and glue cork sheet on to build up raised areas. The holes in the cork are for trees.

The first stage of the tree construction involved searching for twigs in a nearby copse of trees then glue rubberised horse hair to the twigs.

Next, affix foliage flock to the horse hair by repeatedly spraying it with cheap supermarket extra firm hold hairspray, sprinkling the flock and then drying with a hairdryer. This process will need to be repeated until the tree is covered.

Fix the trees to the base by drilling a hole in the base and then attach the tree with a thin woodscrew from the bottom of the base. Fill in the gap around the base with filler. Build up the base with polyfiller and then cover it with PVA and sharp sand.

The next stage is to paint the base to look like a muddy field. Normally we would use model paints, however due to the size of the models this would be quite pricey. Instead buy a range of DIY Store emulsion tester pots, they are far more cost effective than any model paint.

The first step is to paint the whole base in ‘Double Espresso’. You may find due to scale that you want to paint the tree trunks too, to make them look more realistic, the twigs may also split when the screws go on, the paint will help to disguise this.

Next, drybrush the model with ‘chocolate’.

A note on drybrushing – Less is more when drybrushing – it is much better to reload your brush several times and gradually build up the coats. Use kitchen towels to brush off the excess paint and then brush off more on a separate piece of towel. Only when you are happy that they isn’t too much paint on the brush introduce the brush to the model. This process is repeated until the require shade is achieved.

A close up of the field

and again of the rocks.

After only minimal drying time (enough time to remove the seal and lid from the next paint pot) drybrush the whole model again using ‘pebbles’. Don’t clean the brush from the last stage, it will help the shades of brown graduate more.

Drybrush the rocks with a slightly more moist brush to give a greater contrast between the rocks and the soil.

The final (well almost) stage of the construction is the addition of clump foliage for bushes and scenic scatter (of flock) for grass. Use a dark green clump foliage for bushes, glued on using PVA. After that had been allowed to dry add a light green flock using watered down PVA.

Close up of the trees and rocks.

The tree in the opposite corner.

Bondi laying claim to the field.

Next trim and touch up the trees and varnish the whole model.

The next model, a small pond with a small ‘duck island’ in the middle, started in a similar way to the field. The banks of the pond were made with pieces of cork sheet and then covered in polyfiller. Cork rocks were then glued into the water area.

To give variety in the trees these are made from Woodlands Scenics ‘Poly Fiber’. It’s a cross between cotton wool and wire wool that simple is stretched and pulled into the desired shape. As this was my first attempt at using it I think I may have used too much -it could have been stretched further. Once the desired shape was reached glue it onto twigs.

Next spray the fiber with ultra strong hold hairspray and sprinkle on green flock. Repeated this process until the tree was covered. The fact that the fiber is green means you will use less flock than on the horsehair. The effect can be seen below.

Drill the trees and attach them to the board by wood screws. Next cover the bank and island in PVA glue and sharp sand. Once dry paint the ‘soil’ in DIY store emulsion – Double espresso undercoat followed by dry brush highlights of chocolate and then pebble.

Glue lumps of foam tree foliage to the bank to make bushes and then clumps of reeds in the water. The water area is then painted using Vallejo Reflective Green. Once dry the water is painted in Citadel Gloss Varnish. To finish off the model glue on static grass flock with watered down PVA.

The completed model (a long Saga terrain piece)

Below, a close up showing bank and island detail.

The DIY paints used here are from the UK chain Homebase, PVA is white woodglue and polyfiller is known in the USA as ‘spackle’.