Monday, October 28, 2013

Southeast Asian Temple, Part 7 - Exteriors complete!

Von Jaeger and the German archeological party discover the first of my small Southeast Asian temples. I think the printouts of the bas relief carvings on the corner columns turned out fine.
I got a little busy at school, so the temples had to sit for a few days before I got around to finishing their exteriors. I added the light gray and white dry brush coats, as I mentioned in the previous post. These also went quick and really made them stand out more and look less like monotone stone. Once all the coloring of the stone surface was done, it was time to start flocking them.

Wide angle shot of the first small temple...definitely captures the "lost in the jungle" look -- at least in my humble opinion!
 I mixed up a batch of white glue and the earth red color of paint I use for my bases (Ceramcoat Burnt Siena). I added a bit of water to get it to flow and liberally coated the styrene base, slopping some up on the lower portions of the structure on purpose. I then poured Woodland Scenics Medium Ballast onto the paint/glue mix. Once dry, I took the leftover paint/glue and watered it down even more, to close to a 50/50 mix or so. I painted the ballast with this and then poured sand over the top. In addition to doing this one the styrene bases of the two small temples, I did it to the lowest level of the stupa base. The paint mix seeps up and wets the sand from the bottom, coloring it. I then sprinkle it with Woodland Scenics brown turf to cut down on the reddish tone a bit.

Harris McLeod and Maj. Speke-Eastman pose in front of the second of my Southeast temples they've discovered in the jungles of Southeast Asia. This one differs in having the columns set out from the temple building a bit, as well as the decorative trim beneath the roof.
 Now, it was time to see if my idea for the corner columns on the small temples worked out. I had found a website earlier call CG Textures (recommended by Amlaric on the Lead Adventure Forum). They have various high resolution photographs of walls and other images. One of them, I'd noticed while checking out the site, was of Angkor Wat in Cambodia. I downloaded a bunch of the images and then resized them in Photoshop. I took strips and duplicated them, sometimes flipping them horizontally so they looked slightly different. I ended up with two rows of images meant to resemble bas relief carvings of dancers, gods, etc. Since my temples were staying with a gray tone, I made sure to change them to black and white images.

I know...not a lot of difference in this angle...but you can see the staining I did on the columns and temple surface fairly well. The British archeological party benefits from having McLeod's niece as a correspondent for the London Times!

Printing them out and then gluing them on the temples took less time than I'd figured it would. There is no mistaking it was a relatively tedious process. Nevertheless, it went much faster than I'd anticipated. The paper had no problem sticking to the wooden dowel columns. I simply painted each column with a thin layer of white glue, then wrapped the paper around the column. The hardest part was trimming it here and there to make it fit perfect and minimize any crinkling.

Close up of the Stupa and the American archeological party. You can see the sand on the surface pretty much erased the embossing (oh, well!). Not nearly as "sexy" as the temples, but stupas are an integral part of any SE Asian religious complex.
 I gave the columns awhile to dry. Then, I took straight white glue and painted it on the areas tht I wanted grass. I sprinkled Woodland Scenics Blended Green Turf onto it. I always leave areas of brown earth showing so that the grass is patchy. More waiting for it all to dry followed. This is always a "work for 20 minutes and wait" part of the process. I then broke out the three different colors of Woodland Scenics clump foliage that I own. I tore the bits into tiny pieces because it would need to stick to vertical surfaces. I then simply painted areas I wanted vegetation clingng to it with white glue. I looked for flaws in the gluing job of the column images and made sure to cover those up first. I then recreated vines and other creeping vegetation by gluing lines of tiny pieces of clump foliage all over the temple face. I ended up putting on enough that it wouldn't look pristine and out of place on a jungle board. I also wanted it to be fine in an overgrown, "weedy" sort of way if the temple was located in the plains.

As Eric Bylan gazes up in wonder at the stupa, Dakota Smith hears a noise in the jungle off to his right...
The final step for the exterior was to create stains from the moisture and vegetation. I mixed up some black paint and water (less than 50/50). I then created water tracks from high points to lower points. Once the watery black streak was in place, I watered it down even more along its edges. I'm not sure if it will actually show, but the goal was to make it look like stains from dark areas of the stone, vegetation, or something else that was streaking the flue velvet.

A final spray of dullcoate and the exteriors are done! Note that I specify this because I have plans for the interiors, as well. I will print it out more resized images from CG Textures and glue them on the inside of the boxes. Hopefully, the sides are straight enough to look nice when I glue the images in. So, until I get that part of the project done, the temples and stupas are complete. I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial, so far. These have turned out every bit as nice as I'd have hoped for. I look forward to using them on the tabletop...!

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