Using latex caulk for roads and rivers

After reading some posts on The Miniatures Page I decided to try my hand at making 3″ wide roads using latex caulk.  A quick trip to Lowes found DAP white paintable caulk for a little less than $1.50 a tube.
DAP latex

My first step was to draw the road shape onto parchment paper.  If you are not familiar with parchment paper it is similar to wax paper but more non-stick.
Latex terrain 01

Using a caulking gun I piped a mess of caulk onto the design and used plastic paint spatula to smooth it out.  Finally I used the edge of the spatula and a chopstick to texture the latex to give it the semblance of ruts.
Latex terrain 02

One tube allowed me to create three items.  My first piece, the crossroads is unnecessarily thick, closer to 1/4″ thick.  Had I made it the thickness of the latter two pieces, around 1/8″ thick,  I probably could have made a fourth piece.  The crossroad is 9″ end to end and the other two are 7″ and 18″ long.
Latex terrain 03

I used a piece of newspaper under the parchment paper to help wick away some of the moisture from the underside.  Once the tops were fairly dry, about 4 hours, I used the spatula to lift the pieces off the parchment paper and turned them over to help the underside dry. The two thin pieces were dried after 12 hours, the crossroads, being thicker took 24 hours.  I used an exacto to slice off the extras outside the lines and the square up the ends.

Painting was done with a brown craft paint, washed with a Future black wash, then finally drybrushed with a lighter brown.  I painted the edges green and then laid down a line of glue.  I pressed some flocking on top of the glue to create roadside vegetation.  When dry, I will hit the whole thing with a spray of clear matte to help seal it and take off the shine.
Latex terrain 04

As a first trial I think the experiment was a success.  When I get my garage renovated I will set up longer runs and more varied pieces on my work table.  A case of 12 tubes runs $17.00 so I will probably pick up one or two of those to finish the roads and then move on to rivers.  I have armies in 54, 28, 15, 10, and 6mm so I will probably wind up making roads in 3, 2, and 1 inch widths.

Again, quick, easy, and much less expensive than buying them.

Making flags for my 54mm AWI troops

I am starting to build a collection of 54mm American War for Independence figures, mostly in plastic
.  AWI troops

So it is time to start making up some flags.  I start by printing the flags out on my laser printer.
Making flags 01

Then I use a glue stick to attach it to a sheet of heavy duty foil.
Making flags 02

After that I use the glue stick on half the flag and wrap the flag around the pole, in this case made from 16 gauge floral wire, topped with an earring back, both picked up at Michael’s.
Making flags 03

A drop of superglue at the top helps to hold it in place.
Making flags 04

Once dry, the flag can then be furled in various manners to achieve the rippling in the wind effect.
Making flags 05

Overall a quick, easy and inexpensive method to add the flags to the units.

2016 here I come!

I am going to try to use this blog to stay focused on the activities I hope to accomplish this year.  These include my hobbies, my profession and my side business.  My goal is for daily updates in all three areas.

First a little about me:
I am a director of a small community college library system.  I have worked there for almost 24 years and take a great bit of joy in helping students.  Among my duties beyond managing the library is coordinating our distance learning (online) program and providing faculty and staff development.  As a side business I operate a small glass painting business called Light Impressions, LLC.  Finally my hobbies center around history and wargaming.

Goals for 2916
If the stars align correctly and the funding comes through, we are going to renovate our main library.  We will be expanding the space yet ironically reducing our print collections.  The focus will be on the “learning commons” concept.  Lots of collaboration areas, technology, and hopefully, a makerspace with 3d printer, laser cutter, robotics and other gigaws.
Side business:
2015 was practically a hiatus for me in this.  After a year of travelling to different craft shows in Central Texas to show my wares I became a bit burned out.  This year I intend to focus on fewer shows and work on my web presence.
During the past 16 months I have been blessed with the births of two granddaughters.  One of the side affects of this is turning the bedroom that had served as my “mancave” back into a bedroom for visitors.  2016 is going to see me relocate to the garage, converting it into a hobby room/workshop for both my hobby and side business.  I also intend to get back to painting miniatures and playing more games.

So off I go.  See y’all later.