Thursday, November 13, 2014

Digging in: Trench Warfare

One of the new Wild West Exodus posses that I am working on is the Union faction.

While a few of the figures include sandbag defenses on the bases, I wanted to create something that was a little closer to the style of trenches that were constructed during the war.  

This was typically a set of stacked logs back filled with earth.

So, let's set about making those trenches! 

We begin with some sticks, some tin foil, and oxide paste.

The sticks are cut into shape, attempting to leave the knots showing, as I thought it would add a sense of scale.

Instead of wasting a lot of sculpting material, I wadded up the tin foil into the rough shape of the dirt pile, and glued it in place.

Doing this also makes the base a good deal lighter!  

Out comes the Oxide Paste!!!

I applied it to the vertical surface as well, for added holding power, and to allow it to flow through the gaps, just as dirt might.

The outer 'skin' is covered, building up towards the logs.

You can see that I have added the vertical supports, and the Oxide Paste is sneaking through the log/sticks.

After all this dried, I added a few select sections of rock and gravel.  I tried to concentrate them in areas where perhaps the dirst 'fell down the slope'. of were tossed over the top of the parapet by the occupants.

As always, the heavier rocks are put down first, followed by finer and finer gravel and sand afterwards.

I decided to add a few sculpey planks to the inside floor of the trench.

Sculpey pieces in place.

What we have so far.  I added a Secret Weapon skull and a few shells.

Stay tuned for the painted version!


  1. A very useful tutorial, James. Especially the idea with the foil is excellent. Thanks for sharing this.
    I'm looking forward to see the completely painted version!

    1. I'm looking forward to that as well! And... having the finished Locust on there!!!!!!!!! :-)

  2. That foil idea is a good one to remember. I also think I need to invest in some of the oxide paste - I've seen you use it before - I imagine you can also use it to help suggest dirt build up around the lower edges of vehicles?

    1. The oxide paste is amazing! Do a search on it using the search bar on the left, and you will see an unbelievable rain of uses for it. I am still finding new uses all the time :-)

  3. Great work James. You are basically giving tips away like free candy. So great stopping by here all the time :).

    1. Everyone loves candy!!!

      I guess that makes me the Easter bunny of hobbying ;-)