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Paddy Fields


Cut the base to shape
Paddy fields are fairly rectangular, although they generally not perfect rectangles as the sides are slightly wavy and tapered. For convenience I tend to make them actually rectangular, because it is difficult to make wavy foamcard edges.

Cut the dykes
Paddy fields are separated by dykes, often with a path along the top of them. Cut foamcard into strips about 15mm (5/8") wide. Then holding a scalpel with the blade facing away from you, slice the corner of the foamcard off at 45°. Doing this freehand gives a slightly irregular chamfer, but this just adds to the natural look.

Stick the dykes to the field
Use PVA to stick the foamcard strips to the card. This takes a few minutes to dry, so it helps to pin the pieces of foamcard to each other and to the card base as you go along.

The glue can make the card warp a bit, so get something like this handy guide to PC upgrading and put it on top while the glue dries.

Cover the banks with filler
Texture the paths using filler or better still, tile adhesive, which sticks better and is less prone to chip. I just rub this on with my finger, as it easier to get an even layer this way than by using a tool.

Paint the grassy banks
When the filler has dried paint the grassy area of the banks with a coat of dark green.

Paint the 'water'
To give the field a watery effect, paint it with a greeny/brown. To give more of an impression of depth, mix a darker shade into the centre and lighten it and make it more brown at the edges. To get this fade it is best to keep the paint wet until you have blended the fade. Retarder might be useful for this, but you can do it without, just use dilute paint.

Add the water effect
To get a glossy deep effect on the water, I used acrylic medium. This is a colourless binding agent for bulking up acrylic paint.

Before it dries it is opaque white, so don't panic - it dries very clear, better than PVA. The only problem is that it is difficult to get smooth because the texture is very thick. The best way I found was to spread it roughly all over with my finger, making sure it went right to the edges. Then when it was all covered, I smoothed it off in straight strokes along the length of the field, as can be seen in the top field on the left. I tried adding water to make it runnier, but you have to add so much that it won't dry properly. The field is even more likely to warp at this stage, so get your heavy book out again to keep it flat until dry.

Alternative water effect
An alternative material for the water is
'Meltable scenic water', which can be bought from good model shops. It comes as a pot full of a sort of clear rubber. You stand it in boiling water for about 15-20 minutes and it goes runny and can be poured over the fields. You will need to spread it into the corners with your finger or a tool. It is easy to use, and looks good, but the downside is that it is fairly expensive and prone to damage. At room temperature it could be easily gouged with a finger nail or figure base. To reduce this problem, I scattered it with a light covering of static grass when almost set, so that blemishes in the surface would be disguised. This actually looked very effective, like rice just starting to grow through the water.

Paint the paths
The paths should have been covered with filler, so you when you drybrush them the rough texture will enhance the effect.

  • First base coat with a chestnut brown
  • Drybrush the paths with a cream

    Flock the banks and field
    Paint the banks with PVA and sprinkle static grass flock on them This will give a lush, thick grass look.

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    2001. All rights reserved.