Monday, 4 November 2013

"A glass of red a day keeps the doctor away"

STOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOP! (And yes!: I know that that is not how the saying goes...)
I am in no way advocating alcohol consumption! Although... Anyway it is quite simple: the reason you should add wine to your list of hobby equipment is not for the liquid itself but for the little strip of metallic paper around the neck of the bottle. This is your free supply of "lead paper" (I don't think it's really lead but it behaves in much the same way).

And this is what it looks like once you've collected it off the bottle:

Now I recommend you try to store this stuff as flat as possible because it will take creases VERY easily and you will NEVER get them all out once this has happened.

Right! Now that you have successfully drunk some paper and recuperated the wine - uhm no other way round actually - well what can you do with this stuff?

A few examples then! Quickly here are the tools you will always use when working with this stuff:

1) : paintbrush devoted to your scultping gear ; 2) : toothpicks ; 3) : superglue ; 4) : craft/hobby knife with a new blade

As well as the tools shown above a steel ruler is a useful bonus as can be PVA glue and a pair of scissors.

So what can you do with this "lead paper"?
I will show you how to turn it into:
- parchment strips
- armour plates (mainly useful on vehicles and structures)
- maps, plans or other simple slips of paper
- scrunched up paper

Parchment strips

These are really useful to create purity seals or similar things.
First of all decide what width and length your strip has to be (I can't do that for you I'm afraid). Then using the steel ruler as a guide cut this strip out of you freshly acquired "lead paper" (LP for the rest of the article).

Next glue one end of this strip to whatever you want your strip to be fixed. For this tutorial I simply stuck it to a piece of metal wire. To avoid getting superglue everywhere: pour some super glue onto a disposable plastic surface (like the back of a blister pack) and use a toothpick to apply just a tiny dot of glue.

Now all you need to do is wind it around as many times as you want, bearing in mind that each time it passes acrosse the support element you want to put a spot of superglue down.

You can even give the end of your strip a little twist as if it were wafting in the wind:

And there you have it! Simple right? To perfect this simply camouflage the unsightly origin with a choice piece of putty such as a purity seal or similar.
You should be warned: this is visually a very effective trick BUT for gaming pieces it is not the best choice at all as the elements remain fragile. Keep this for your showcase pieces!

Here's what it looks like on a WIP 

You can see where I have hidden the origin of one of the strips with a purity seal.

Next: Armour plates!

Now these however CAN be used for tabletop miniatures as well as giving an amazingly efficient effect on even the best showcase pieces. It has one great advantage that you will see at the end of this section...

As previously cut out a piece of LP to the size you want for your armour plate:

Next a small homemade tool that will be useful:

This is simply the end of a criterium pencil stuck to a deceased paintbrush handle.
Using this tool create simple circular depressions at chosen points to simulate rivets. The good thing about the tool shown above is that it not only creates the outer depression but preserves the centre, thus giving you the rivet and the outer relief in one simple step:

You could stop here if you want and fix your armour plate to your project.
Here are a few other effects you can add if you want:

By simply cutting into the sheet and bending it you can create torn or sheared metal surfaces.
By placing your armour plate on a piece of foamboard you can punch through it with anything pointy to create penetrating bullet impacts.

When you finally fix it to your project you will discover that because it is a very thin piece you can bend it to shape anything! This is particularly useful to add elements to curved surfaces. To prove my point here is the tutorial piece glued to the curved side of my pencil shrapener:

And here is a finished painted piece on an old project ( the Nurgle Space Marine )

This technique was perfect to add this armour plate to the curved surface of the marines' backback.

Okay! After armour let us look at paper / parchment. 

Very useful for plans, maps etc. on your bases and dioramas.
As in the previous two examples cut a piece of your LP to the size you want for your piece of paper.

Now I find that lightly turning up one or two corners of your piece of LP will give a more papery look:

Once this is done simply glue to your project!
One good thing in using LP for this is that you can have your paper draping over varying levels of surfaces:

Here the LP has been used to make a huge unfolded map laid over several piles of books.
Here you can see how those little upturned edges add to the realism of your piece.

Finally, for fun, Scrunched up rubbish/paper

Now this is so simple I hope you have thought of it by now...
Cut out a piece of LP, the biger the piece: the bigger your scrunched ball will be ( no really??).
Now here is the really complicated bit: scrunch that piece up between your fingers. That was hard right? Well it should look like this:

Now you just superglue these to your project. They actually look very good on post-apocalyptic bases and slum street dioramas!

WIP of a post apocalyptic base. I have started to paint the paper brownish whites.

There we go: I hope this will inspire you to try some of these out!
Happy converting!