Picking up those brushes again.

Hi and welcome to the occasional mutterings of Dave Doc, a military modeller and some time gamer. Gaming and model making has given me a real education, History & Geography(obvious really), Artistry, Politics, Economics, Logistics, Project Management -you try building miniature armies without the last 3.

I will use the blog to record my creations & the odd occasion I actually do some gaming.

I have always been inspired by the aesthetic side of gaming. Playing on well constructed terrain using excellently painted units is always a joy.

Friday, 24 August 2012

A prickly challenge.

I saw a post over on the Lead Adventure Forum about a lack of companies making large cacti, which reminded me I wanted some as scenery for my Old West Collection. Now I can't see the point on buying something like that when it is so very easy to make! Anyone with a modicome of skill should be able to do these.

First - Raid the pound shop for some green plasticene. Next take some stiff wire and make an armature into the shape of the plant you want to do.

Form the plasticene around the wire armature and smooth it with your fingers - sometimes a bit of water helps. 

Take a sharp implement - in these a sculpting tool and score marks into the surface to give some texture

Next apply low viscosity (really runny stuff) super glue -  all over the surface. Do this in well ventilated area as it does whiff! Once dry this hardens up the surface of the plasticene. The branches will still be a bit bendy , but they are still strong and wont flake apart etc.

Once glue is dry run a wash over to bring out depths

Add bases texture and colour 

give it a little drybrush and repeat - really takes very little time


  1. Absolutely wonderful, they remind me of my Timpo ones I have buried at the bottom of the toy cupboard!

  2. They look very effective Dave and a great idea. Thanks for another great WIP shots.
    With your know how and that green plasticene you could get yourself a job on 'Vision On'.

    1. ha ha ... i may have to make a cowboy Morph..

    2. and a "train robber Chas"?

    3. ha - yep! Mind i don't think my sculpting skills will come up with much more!

  3. Good idea, I will try and remember if I ever go west again


    1. cheers - some priciple works for making other things from plasticene as well

  4. Wow, great find! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Excellent!!! What a great idea!

  6. Would neat PVA work for the glue? I ask because is superglue not brittle if "bent"? and if the cactus gets bent (almost a certainty with wargamers) the PVA should give more elasticity.
    I'm curious because I've shyed away from superglue unless I'm desperate for immediate rigidity (and then I apply a non brittle glue after to gain the elasticity).

    1. Ged - I think PVA would work , but would take longer , and i think may cover up some surface detail. The supeglue does not become brittle with this, it seems to actually be some kind of reaction with the plasticne and it actually hardens it , but not completely rock hard, so it seems an ideal solution. - i have done this before for other items , and they are still durable.


Work in hand


No more than 3 things on the PAINTING table at once. Nothing new added until something is finished.

PREPARATION work is done when I don't fancy detail painting. Cleaning up, converting, undercoating etc.

PLANNING is expressions of interest or things that have inspired me to be created with no definite timescale as yet.

28mm Sudan
28mm Necromunda

On the PREPATION table.
28mm Sudan
15mm WW2 Landing craft
1/200 ME262

WW2 D Day game