Mediterranean Island Pirate Mega-Map ReaperCon 2012
18 DAYS...

Thanks for the paint source ideas everyone. In the end, I decided to mix up a really large batch of my own custom paint color using what I had available for this next step.

Here are some pics.

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I plan to use my leftover paint from this pass to cover the flat sides so that they look a little nicer.

Next step after this is a third (and hopefully final) dry brushing with an almost white.   Big Grin
Quote:Shakandara said:
The table looks great. I'll have at least one of the pirate ships water-lined by the end of the day today, so I should be able to give you a good footprint for the hull so you can move forward with the water in the cove. If I can get far enough, maybe I can even get the ship itself over to Todd this week to hand off to you?


Quote:SBRPearce said:
It's always a pleasure to watch one of your builds - the scope of each project, and then the attention to detail and playability make your work a wonder ot behold!

Quote:N810 said:
Wow I loooks even more amazing that I had hoped after even this much painting.   Big Grin

Thanks everyone.  Smile


@ Shakandara - My current plan is to make the water in the cove effectively flat so that ship models can be placed anywhere they are desired (maximum future playability). With that in mind, there is no need to rush the ship to me. So long as the bottom is flat, it will fit in wherever you want it to go.


On a side note, I have made arrangements to borrow a van to transport the map to the convention, so no more scattering the pieces into whoever's vehicle I can find that is going up there.   Big Grin
I am just back from a family gathering. I have painted the sides with the leftover custom medium tone paint. The sides are now drying.

(The maps are up on milk crates so that I could paint all the way to the bottom edges without getting paint all over the tables and so they can dry without any paint gluing them down in place.)

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I will give the sides a couple of hours to dry and then see about a final very light color dry brushing pass. As things stand now, I am liking the color the board is already, but it does not yet have that Mediterranean look I am going for. It is still a little too dark, and a little too pink.  Smile

I am toying with the idea of leaving the manufactured surfaces this color and only adding the lighter color dry brushing to the natural surfaces. I want the manufactured stone to stand out a little from the rest of the map. As my plan is to make the later pirate elements very dark to contrast with the island, I am considering making the ancient ruins a little bit darker from the natural rock so they stand out.

Rather than leave the ruins this color, it is more likely I will give them the same lighter color dry brushing and see about trying to give them a selective darker wash later (using real ink or the like instead of super cheap craft paint Smile).

Thanks again everyone for all the kind words. They really help keep my spirits up, especially when I think of the rapidly approaching deadline.   Big Grin
Quote:pendrake said:
As everyone else is saying. This looks awesome   Big Grin  and it isn't even done yet  Cry

Quote:ableman 33 said:
18 DAYS...
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I plan to use my leftover paint from this pass to cover the flat sides...

Problem statement(s):

● Not much time left.
● What happened to the roof material from all these temples?
● No Piratey details yet.

I like to think about problems in groups just in case one solution might work for two or more. What you have built so far tells a story:

...A bunch of pagans built some temples, then they abandoned the place, then there was an earthquake, the temples collapsed, a few columns and statues remained standing in about 2 feet of rubble which was once the roof(s). (This does explain why the heads of the statues are gone.) But very little of that rubble layer remains.

How did that [?] happen: Pirates!

Pirate ship attacks a treasure ship, damages it severely, the prize is in a parlous state, the order is given to offload the prized ship's cargo, its treasure, its water, and its guns and all this loot leaves the pirate ship riding a bit too low in the water. (Waves lapping over the lower gun ports and such...) So the Pirates dump their own ship's ballast stone into the sea to make up the weight.

They return to this island, offload everything and now their ship is riding too high (and might capsize under full sail) but no worries!  Smile

"Aaarrrh, there be stone aplenty up at them thaar temples ... get us some new ballast stone and be quick about it ye scurvy dogs!!"

If Pirates have been repeating that process for decades that would explain where some of the loose stone went.

More of it could have been used as locally available material to build small structures for the pirates use. All kinds of things could be made out of low stone rubble walls in assorted heights and lengths. Here is an example:
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Pirate Gun Battery

Consists of two loose walls of rubblestone, arranged in a Vee, with some planks in between as a loose piece.

A collection of rubble walls in two or four inch lengths and in two heights , let's say 20 or 40mm tall (full cover and half cover to a human figure) ought to be something that is fast to build, flexible if separately based, and could be used to construct gun batteries, rude forts, shanties (with a roof piece or two set on top) barricades, animal pens, stuff I am not thinking of...

...and a set of little walls like that would nicely explain where the rubble from the temple roofs went.

One simple [?] thing to build, three problems solved?

Just tryin' to help.

Quote:Elderac said:
That ballast thing is a great idea. There is a place off of Hampton Virginia where ships would dump their ballast. One can find all kinds of interesting rocks there.
Thanks for all the ideas everyone. I actually have my own backstory for why there is not more rubble around (short answer, the natives have hauled away most of the pre-cut blocks over the last 1,000 years), but in truth, I have left most of the rubble off the board for playability.

I will be thinking about your ideas when it comes time for my "piratey" embellishments.


Right now, I have a different problem. I started applying what I hoped would be my final layer of dry brushing, a pale cream color to start getting everything back more to the original Mediterranean limestone inspiration.

The problem is, while my test patch looked OK, as a started putting the paint down on a larger area, it started looking really bright yellow to me...

(My camera tones down almost all the yellowness of the picks. To me, the actual color reminds me of yellow sidewalk chalk scribbled all over the maps.)

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So do I:

Paint the rest of the map to look like this and hope a true ink wash will help tone things down.
Paint over this with my leftover mid-tone color, hoping I can get this part of the map to look like the rest again.
The second option and leave the map as it now stands and abandon the attempt to get to the lighter color scheme.
The second option and try brushing over everything in a different way to get to the inspirational color scheme.
The first option and try brushing over everything a fourth time in a different way to get to the inspirational color scheme.

Any suggestions?   Sad
Quote:Thumper said:
Well ....   Big Grin  Big Grin  Big Grin

Now that I have that out of my system ...

I'd do a test on a small section to see what it takes. In about the 4th photo from the bottom I think your camera let the yellow through and if it's not really any brighter than that I think just toning it down with a light drybrush of the mid color would suffice. When I look at the inspiration, I do see some yellow in there.

Quote:stubbdog said:
From the pics I don't think it looks bad at all so I guess the pictures dont fully give the right color tone you are seeing in person.

I think a combination of more than one of your answers could work. The first question is, does the entire thing have to be the exact same sets of color? Or would it look better to sway in and out of some colors here and there throughout the landscape?

So, you could use some of this yellow-ish one that you talk about in some various spots so that this one board does not stick out. And then use some other colors as the primary color in other places. And have some overlapping areas so again one color doesnt stick out from the others too much.

Also, bear in mind that you said you were going to have some ground cover. So, that could help draw attention as well.

Quote:toaster said:
Have you tried drybrushing over the yellow with white, I realise it will mean drybrushing everything twice but multiple layers of drybrushing do help give depth to a piece.

16 DAYS...


Thanks for all the ideas everyone.   Big Grin

I decided to go ahead and paint everything with the cream to make things match. (And, as my spouse put it, "Anything is better than leaving it pink.") After a while it started being less of a problem for me, though I am still strongly considering tweaking it some more.

One change I came to early that helped me make peace with this color was how I was going to contrast my manufactured stone from my natural surfaces. Originally I was going to have my manufactured stone be darker and my natural stone lighter. However, because my manufactured stone areas are flatter and take the paint better, they were automatically coming out lighter than the more roughly textured natural surfaces.

I decided to go with the natural inclination of the surfaces rather than fight it, making my smoother manufactured areas a lighter brighter color than the rest of the island, at least for now.

I may adjust things a bit later, say using a brown wash for the manufactured areas and a gray wash for the natural. I will just have to see.


A word about color in the pictures. To give you an idea of what I am struggling with, the yellow I am seeing in reality is close to this sample color square.

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My maps have ended up covered in a fairly bright cream color with strong yellow tones.

Hopefully I can shade this to my satisfaction. I am also hopeful that the addition of greenery and other terrain elements will help break up all the yellow.

Keeping the color distortion in mind, here are the results of my last painting pass.

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While this dries I am starting on some of my other elements. I have the stuff to make my bridges and some of my pirate stuff. I also made some more really nice finds at the $1 store for some sea monsters.  Smile

As far as my ship wreck goes, I purchased a sailing ship model thinking I could use it for parts, but the scale is all wrong and it is far too fragile for my taste.

I will likely build a wreck out of foam and clad it with card or sticks. Hopefully I will be able to get the degree of realism I have established with the rest of the project.

Back to work.  Big Grin
Quote:snafu964 said:
Now that it appears that you have dry brushed everything has the intensity of the yellow toned down at all?
I know that colors tend to look very different when in close proximity to other much darker colors in the same color range. My recommendation if it is still too yellow would be to go over it again with a lighter Ivory color. The cream colors tend to have a lot of yellow in them and depending on the type/brand of paint you use the opacity can really bring that out.

Another possibility would be to use actual chalk/chalk pastel crush it up into a fine powder and brush it on like a powdered pigment. Just be sure to seal it really well.

Quote:Zaboobadidoo Sr. said:
To help us see the extent of the yellow, if you haven't already, you might try messing with your camera settings. Looking at your shop, I get the impression that everything is lit with fluorescent bulbs? That tend to wash all the colors a little blue, which is probably why we can't see the yellow in all it's horror. I don't know what you use to take pictues, but my simple Cannon Powershot Elph has a program setting that has preset white balance options. One of the presets is "fluorescent" (I think the icon looks like a CFL bulb? I don't have the camera handy as I write this). That preset pulls some of the blue out and makes things look much more like they do in real life.

That might helps us see what we are up against and maybe give more concrete advice. I will say this kind of thing sucks. I've been up against very a very similar problem. One of the reasons we all tend to paint rocks gray is that that color, even when wrong, still looks like a "rock." Buff/cream/browns, etc. are really hard to get "right." I ended up scrapping the color and painting it gray, though that wouldn't look right at all here.  Angry

Quote:wdlanghans said:
Still not sure about the statues. I think the paint helped but I still think they look to 'new'. Maybe some smaller random chunks taken out would do the trick? I'd probably take a router bit on the end of a Dremmel and attack them with it, and see if that worked. If you can still detach them from the island, maybe roll them across a concrete driveway to chip them up? I don't know I'm just typing out loud here, lol.

Quote:pendrake said:
@Wd: The statuary is hollow, very thin walls, iiuc.

@Ab: Hit the yellow with washes of not yellow? That is what I do when a drybrushing goes a bit wrong or is too heavy.

Thanks all.

Regarding the surface of the statues, pendrake was correct:

Quote:ableman33 said:
Regarding the smoothness of the statues, my options are fairly limited. These are not solid, but rather very thin and somewhat fragile plastic. When I broke pieces off, it was necessary for me to pack the exposed gap with paper, cover it with hot glue, then texture the smooth hot glue with concrete patch.
All that means that I cannot simply chip away casually at the statues to get a more weathered look. The best I can do is add stuff to the surface.

Right now these statues have some sand-like texture provided by some textured spray paint. Up close this helps break up the smoothness.

I could possibly add some more texture here and there, perhaps by brushing on some more concrete patch to exposed surfaces. I do plan to hit these with some plants and vines, dirt, rain stains, and obligatory pigeon poop. Perhaps that will be enough.
After Zaboobadidoo Sr.'s comments, I ran through some of the settings on my camera and was able to get some pics that are much closer color-wise. (While I do have fluorescent lights in my workshop, they have full spectrum bulbs to give the closest semblance to natural light as possible.)

You can better see the yellow I am dealing with now.

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At this point I feel I am probably looking at another coat of dry brushing with possibly an attempt at a decent wash as well.

Any and all advice is welcomed.   Smile
Quote:ForestZ said:
I think the color looks fine. I think it's a little overwhelming right now because *everything* is that same yellowish color. I think once you start adding your accents of other colors it will start to mesh much better. If you have any other random terrain pieces laying around try scattering them around a few of the boards and see how that changes your impression of the color.

Before I post about my progress on the bridges, I thought I would share a pic of the brush I had been using to dry brush my maps. I had to retire this one just before doing the "yellow" layer.

The roughness of the map surface, and the sheer acreage involved, actually wore away the bristles on my brush until they were less than half their original length. I had to switch to a new brush because these shorter bristles were becoming too stiff for controlled damp/dry brushing.

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On to bridge making!   Smile

To make my wooden suspension bridges, I used some bamboo placemats I found.

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When I saw them in the store I realized they had a look and pattern that would lend itself well to this kind of bridge. That, and using these pre-made mats would save me ages in cutting and placing individual strips of wood. Thumbs Up

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Using some heavy kitchen sheers, I cut a placemat into 3 inch strips. The placemats have threads holding them together at just the right distances to work as lashings. Extra score.   Big Grin

The second pic shows the silhouettes of the three sizes of units that will be using these bridges.

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While I want these bridges to bend down like they are hanging in catenary curves, I want them to actually be solid for playability purposes and to make it easier for the magnets to hold them in place.

To accomplish this, I made some frames out of clothes hanger wire sized to correspond with the lashings. These will be hot glued to the underside of the bridges after the wood is stained. With any luck they will give the impression of heavy suspension cables under the wooden slats.

The bridges will then be bent into the desired shape before installation.

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The idea is that the wood for these bridges was salvaged from the shipwreck (as yet to be built). To rough up the regular ends of the wood strips, I snapped off some of the bamboo with some small pliers.

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I then brushed both sides of the bamboo bridges with some brown India ink.

I want these to look like they are made out of creosote soaked planking. I will have to decide if I want to weather them with some gray later or leave them like this for greater contrast.

I want these pirate elements to have a fairly stark contrast with the stone of the island. To that end I plan for the wood parts of the pirate pieces to be dark brown so they stand out.

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I may not get to work much more on this today.

I look forward to any other "yellow" suggestions you all have.   Smile

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