Building an Aztec Cityscape – Part 5: Tenochtitlan – THE FINAL REVEAL

Yes! It’s finally time for the FINAL REVEAL of my Aztec cityscape. It’s been a labor of love – to recreate this tabletop for gaming. What game you ask? Why of course – Buck Surdu’s Feudal Patrol! I wrote the gaming supplement for Feudal Patrol™ games during the period of the Spanish Conquest. The supplement involves the Conquistadores, the Aztecs, the Tlaxcalans (and more Mesoamericans who fought the Aztecs), the Maya, and the Inca (in South America). I called it Civilizations Collide, and it’s a free download from Buck’s website or from Sally4th in the UK. If you have not checked this excellent game out – do it!

This is Part 5 of my series on “Building an Aztec Cityscape”. There are a lot of background history and WIP details in these posts that for brevity I won’t repeat here. However, if you have missed the other parts, they are listed below with their links:

As for wargaming the period of the Spanish Conquest 500 years ago, I want to be clear. It was brutal to be sure, and as I have stated often, there were no good guys on any side. I did not aim to glorify any aspect of the time, but to raise awareness and knowledge of it through wargaming.

From the start of this project, I wanted to create a unique and hopefully stunning tabletop for these games. I had a vision of creating a nice cityscape – an encompassing panorama that I had not seen anyone else do at any convention. Also, the cityscape needed to facilitate a fun gaming experience, so visually, I felt that had to go big. I had already painted 230 figures for the period. I had built many buildings too. Therefore, I wanted something that had the “flavor” of Tenochtitlan. However, with the tabletop designed for 28mm skirmish figures, (about 1″ tall), building a true-to-life and historically accurate Tenochtitlan would have required a gymnasium-sized playing area. I have seen stunning photos from SALUTE in the UK that were for 15mm gaming, but that scale went far beyond what I envisioned – or what was feasible for me. For travel to gaming conventions, the cityscape needed to be able to be broken down and transported easily. It needed to be useful for multiple games. This post will reveal my solution, for better or for worse.

I started out with historical research into several sources, and thinking about what I wanted and what I could do. After I had my initial concept, I then refined it into the two plans that I put on paper below.

First rough draft of the plan.
Then, I refined the plan.

The previous posts describe in more detail how I got here. So, let’s show some eye candy – and I will be posting on the Combat Patrol Facebook page and sharing a link to my IGTV page where you can view a video of the cityscape.

Here I set up some figures on the cityscape – many of these images were shown in previous posts – but here you get to see the whole thing!

Ta daa! Click on the images for a bigger view.
End view – the mat is from FLG.
Opposite lengthwise view
Angled view from the end.

As before, this is DEFINITELY (I think anyways) my last entry into Dave’s Season of Scenery Challenge! Thanks Dave for running the challenge and letting me be part of it. At least it’s the last part of the cityscape posts.

I also want to especially thank my wife for tolerating this bit of my madness. And of course I thank my old West Point comrades Buck Surdu and Dave Wood, Greg Priebe, Chris Palmer and the HAWKS, Chris Abbey at Sally4th, Dave at The Imperfect Modeler (especially for the chinchilla dust tip), GED at Gringo 40’s, IRO (for inspiration), Joerg Bender at Things From The Basement, the Uxbridge Historical Gaming Club and the Mass Pikemen Gaming Club.

A SPECIAL THANKS TO ALL the bloggers listed below who have taken the time to encourage me over this project. I am indebted to you all – you kept me focused, and motivated.

BLOGS I FOLLOW

Check out their blogs! As for the video link, here it is:

On IGTV: https://www.instagram.com/tv/CSxxc6hAL5-/

I’m not an award-winning videographer – but I hope that you enjoy the video.

What’s next? I will be going to my first HISTORICON and bringing both my cityscape and my rural tabletop. I will also be adding the two naval types (brigantines and war canoes) to the next version of my Civilizations Collide supplement – along with new scenarios and scenario-specific rules. I hope that you will like these. Yes, I have more work to do!

Please let me know your thoughts in the comments section – and thanks for looking!

For all of my previous posts on games, units, and other projects for my 16th Century Spanish Conquest supplement for Feudal Patrol™ – “Civilizations Collide” – please see this page.

Building an Aztec Cityscape – Part 4: Cortes’ War Wagons

War wagons!

War wagons were wooden carts for deploying missile troops. They had slits in them for crossbowmen and arquebusiers to be able to fire from while having some protection against enemy missile weapons. I think of them as wooden APC’s (WPC’s maybe?). Hernan Cortes used them as he was besieged in Tenochtitlan in 1520 – yes – over 500 years ago now.

This is Part 4 of my series on “Building an Aztec Cityscape”. The war wagons were so integral to the events in 1520 that I needed to have some as part of my cityscape. If you have missed the other parts, they are:

The first use of a war wagon in medieval Europe is ascribed to the Hussites during the Hussite Wars (1420-1434) in Bohemia. They were horse-drawn and would be linked together like a mobile fort.

A modern replica of a Hussite war wagon (from Wikipedia here).
Hussite war wagons deployed (image from New World Encyclopedia)

Nearly 100 years later, Cortes would build some similar ones. These would be constructed as a measure of desperation to escape the Aztec capital. Cortes’ war wagons were thrown together during the time when they were besieged by the Aztecs in Tenochtitlan.

I need to give you a condensed chronological synopsis – the history of this time is quite full of twist, turns, and intrigue. The timeline is confusing but important for context. Therefore, listed here below is a condensed chronology with respect to the use of war wagons and a couple of possible wargame scenarios that I am working to build:

  • November 18, 1518 – Cortes departs the Spanish colony of Santiago de Cuba with his expedition – before he could be detained by Lieutenant Governor Velazquez (who had originally commissioned his expedition). Cortes leaves abruptly so that the Governor (who had justifiable suspicions about Cortes and his motives) could not relieve and replace him prior to his departure.
  • February 1o, 1519 – After fitting out in Trinidad and San Cristobal de la Habana, Cortes sails for Mexico.
  • March 22, 1519- Cortes arrives in Mesoamerica. He will fight and win several battles with both the Maya and the Tlaxcalans up until later in 1519. By that time, his victories will have given him a few key assets. One of these, from the Maya, was a slave girl named Malintzin aka La Malinche who was to serve Cortes as a key translator, and later, his mistress. The second was a post-conflict alliance secured with the Tlaxcalans, whose warriors would provide the bulk of Cortes’ forces.
  • November 1, 1519 – Cortes begins his march to Tenochtitlan to try to meet Montezuma II.
  • November 8, 1519 – Cortes arrives at Tenochtitlan and meets Montezuma II. He and his contingent are welcomed to the city and stay in it.
  • November 14, 1519 – through a ruse, Cortes successfully seizes Montezuma II and makes of him a puppet/hostage.
  • March 5, 1520 – Meanwhile, back in Cuba, Lieutenant Governor Velazquez sends an expedition led by Panfilo de Narvaez to intercept Cortes
  • April 19, 1520 – Narvaez and his troops arrive in Mexico. Cortes, with some of his Conquistadores, leaves Tenochtitlan to deal with this internecine threat. He leaves behind a trusted lieutenant, Pedro de Alvarado, in charge of the remaining Spanish/Tlaxcalan forces in Tenochtitlan.
  • May 16, 1520 – The Aztec nobility and elite troops in Tenochtitlan celebrate the Festival of Toxcatl. It is a large assembly of all the elite and elite military of the city, who are unarmed and dancing in a city square or plaza. Alvarado, afraid that the celebration is a prelude to an attempted massacre on them, seals off the plaza where the dancing/celebration is taking place. His Conquistadores methodically move through the throng and murder or capture every possible Aztec. One of the captured elites is Cuitlahuac, Montezuma II’s brother.
  • May 29, 1520 – Back on the coast, Cortes defeats Narvaez (despite being outnumbered by Narvaez by 2:1). He incorporates Narvaez’ surrendered troops into his forces and returns with them to Tenochtitlan on June 24th . (This Conquistador-on-Conquistador fight would be a good possible scenario for a wargame (using my Civilizations Collide supplement to Buck Surdu’s Feudal Patrol rules).
  • June 2, 1520 – The Aztecs have been fully enraged since the festival massacre – and the situation is dire for the Conquistadores.
  • June 25, 1520 – In an attempt to mollify the Aztecs, Cortes releases Cuitlahuac. This was a rare strategic error. Immediately, Cuitlahuac, who rightly viewed his brother to be no more than a Spanish puppet, assumes Montezuma II’s powers and takes command of the siege of the Spanish as the new Aztec Emperor. The Spanish are besieged and are holed up in the Palace of Axayacatl. The Aztecs attempt to burn the Spanish out of the palace, but are repulsed by cannon and arquebus fire.
  • June 27, 1520 – Cortes forces Montezuma II to go to the roof of Palace of Axayacatl to plead with the Aztecs to stop the fighting. He is struck in the head by a rock from a sling and is gravely injured. At the same time, Cortes instructs his troops to scavenge wood from the Palace of Axayacatl and build several war wagons. His hope was that by using war wagons he could protect his own missile troops from the slings and arrows of the Aztecs – and make it easier for the Conquistadores to escape Tenochtitlan and survive.
  • June 28, 1520 – Cortes makes his first attempt with his war wagons to reach the causeways. He loads them with crossbowmen and arquebusiers, and supports them on the ground with sword and buckler men, and cannon (probably falconets and maybe lombards). Their movements are not powered by horses, but by the Spanish themselves. The Conquistadores fight bravely, but are pushed back. (This would be a possible scenario for a wargame on the cityscape with the war wagons).
  • June 29, 1520 – Cortes decides that the Temple of Yopico, a tall structure, was enabling the Aztecs to be able to hit his troops with enfilading missile fire from above. This is his second use of his war wagons, and he literally used them in a half-circle (yes, “circling the wagons”). He uses them similarly as before to help the Conquistadores to reach the Temple. This time they were tactically successful. However, the war wagons were to take so much damage that they are destroyed in the process. Cortes, beneath his personal banner, successfully leads his troops to ascend the 100 steps of the temple, killing many war priests and setting fire to the structure. But, the Conquistadores cannot hold the position against the Aztec numbers and are pushed back. (This – the assault on the Temple of Yopico – would be a second possible scenario for a wargame on the cityscape with the war wagons).
  • June 30, 1520 – Montezuma II either dies of his head wound, or is killed by the Conquistadores – accounts differ.
  • July 1, 2020 – La Noche Triste (the Night of Sorrows or the Sad Night) – the Spanish break out of Tenochtitlan at a high cost in lives, materiel, and looted treasure. (This – La Noche Triste – would be a possible scenario for a wargame on the cityscape and/or just the causeways with or without the war wagons).

Of course, then followed the Battle of Otumba, where Cortes used his cavalry to save his entire force against overwhelming odds. Eventually, he was able to regroup and with the help of brigantines, make a successful assault and conquer the city of Tenochtitlan. And yes, I have brigantines in the queue, along with war canoes. Plus I will be adding the two naval types (brigantines and war canoes) to the next version of my Civilizations Collide supplement – along with these two scenarios.

The only good image I can find of war wagon use comes from the cover of Sheppard, Si. (2018). Tenochtitlan: 1519-21. Oxford: Osprey Publishing, shown below. It is an excellent resource, and I do recommend it. There is a larger blow up of the same picture in the book – and you can see the war wagons in the lower right hand side at the base of the temple.

Enough background information (at least I hope). In looking for war wagons, I was challenged. I did consider scratch building some until I discovered these at Gringo 40’s in the UK in their 28mm Conquistador section.

From Gringo 40’s website.

Yes! I had found my solution! I ordered four from them, and the company was great. They even gave me a free Cortes figure (which I will paint soon I hope). Even better, these were solid METAL. Assembly was just adding the undercarriage axle supports, the wheels, and a wheel spacer. There are two benches inside and I can get two figures into the wagon. One challenge faced me that was new – no brush or angled brush would reach under the benches for painting. They do look nice though.

On the left is my 28mm Cortes figure, and the war wagons as received. The one with the figures in it is dry-fitted with the other pieces. While I have three figures in there, after painting them I’m now limiting that to two.
A close angle of the same shot as above. The only brush access to the bench undersides was restrictive through this end.
I gave the war wagons a spray prime – and then after a curing period, a brush prime – swirling a few cheap brushes like mops on the insides – getting as much primed as I could. This destroyed those brushes, but that was fine. Then I glued on the undercarriages and pressed them down.
After the previous step, I attached the wheels and spacers/holders for the wheels, and reapplied primer which as you see here was needed.

I then used various browns (I list all my paints and more at the end of this post). to approximate a used wood tone. After all, these war wagons were made from old recycled lumber. At this point in the project, I still wondered how I was going to get paint etc. under the benches, as well as how I was going to varnish them. As you may imagine, these are heavy! I decided that they needed a “dip” – in some Army Painter dip. To retrieve them without a huge mess, I used a pot I bought from a Salvation Army Thrift store, some twine from the hardware store, and an old piece of balsa.

The war wagons in brown, and the pot, dip, and twine.
How I was able to suspend the war wagons into the dip in the pot. I just had to restring each one after the dipping process.
After the dip.

I needed to do more shading and some dry brushing after the dip, and then I spray varnished them outside (as I could for once).

Nice enough to varnish outside! Not common weather in New England year-round, but it’s summer.
War wagons finished!

As this is the penultimate (love that word) post in the series, I will share some action shots below of the war wagons on the cityscape.

Battle in the Cityscape! Cortes tries to break out!
Trying to escape Tenochtitlan with their lives – and their gold – the Conquistadores fight towards the causeways.
Close up shot of a war wagon with an arquebusier and a crossbowman at the ready. The poor sword and buckler men get to push.

I think these will be very fun in a game. I just need to write rules specifically for their use.

The next post will be….(insert drumroll)…the FINAL REVEAL.

I hope to have a video link as well as pictures of the cityscape for you. These, because they are “vehicles” and were completed in July and August, all count as more of my entries into Dave’s Season of Scenery Challenge! Thanks so much for looking. I hope that you enjoyed the brief history and the war wagons themselves.

Please let me know your thoughts and ideas in the comments section! And the FINAL REVEAL is coming!!!

For all of my previous posts on games, units, and other projects for my 16th Century Spanish Conquest supplement for Feudal Patrol™ – “Civilizations Collide” – please see this page.

PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS, FLOCKING, GLUES AND MORE THAT I USED ON THESE TERRAIN PIECES/MODELS:

  1. Vallejo Surface Primer “German Green Brown”
  2. Gorilla Glue
  3. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  4. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  5. Vallejo Model Air “Dark Yellow”
  6. Rustoleum Painters Touch “2x Ultra Cover Satin Ivory Silk” (spray)
  7. Vallejo Model Air “Sand (Ivory)”
  8. Vallejo Model Air “Wood”
  9. Vallejo Model Color “Wood Grain”
  10. Citadel “XV-88”
  11. Citadel “Skrag Brown”
  12. Army Painter “Soft Tone” (dip)
  13. Cotton Twine
  14. Army Painter “Strong Tone” (wash)
  15. Krylon “Clear Matte” (spray varnish)

Building an Aztec Cityscape – Part 3: Revetments, Lily Pads, and Cattails

The city of Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec Empire, rose out of Lake Texcoco on an island. This island was connected to the mainland by a series of causeways. Reclaiming land from a water body usually involves building up a surface of large stones on its bottom. These would build up into a dry surface, and would usually be supported and protected by revetments. In the case of my Aztec cityscape, the pavements’ sides that I made of MDF had nothing on the edges (except paint) next to the waterline – and I thought that needed a bit of work.

Speaking of work and the pavements, if you are new to this 5-part series on my Aztec cityscape build, you can view the previous two parts by clicking on these links:

This post will cover the revetments that I made for the cityscape, as well as some HO scale lily pad and cattail bases that I added as eye candy (and possible obscuration of gaps and even MDF warpage). As before, I will similarly share my WIP photos as well as my lessons learned.

Readers of this blog know that I like a plan before building anything. I needed to figure out how many revetments to build – as I may or may not use all of my causeways or even my pavement tiles. Also, I had to figure out the sizes of inner corners versus outer corners (since they are differently sized up against the pavement tiles – so you just need to measure the side against the tiles).

My updated plan for building the cityscape.

I ended up following the same type of build and painting scheme as I did for the causeways – after all they had to match too aesthetically. As far as quantity, I ended up deciding to build 48 on 1/2″ strips of balsa. The breakout from the plan above came out to be:

  • 6″ sections (10)
  • 5″ sections (10)
  • 4″ sections (10)
  • 2″ sections (4)
  • 1″ sections (2)
  • External 1″ x 1″ corners (8)
  • Internal 1″ x 1″ corners (4)

I made templates from 3′ x 5″ cards and used them to size and cut up some basswood (balsa like but stronger and denser) into the strips for gluing the rocks.

The basswood.
Here you can see my templates, and the WIP. My inventory is building up in the top left.
After I cut a few, I dry-fitted them around a couple of pavement tiles and compared them to the causeways as well for width. It looked good at this juncture to continue.

Once the bass wood pieces were all cut, the gluing began, similar to the process I used on the causeways. Each pebble had to be glued one at a time in 2-3 courses of different sizes – while letting each course dry before moving on to the next one. In terms of pebbles, I estimate that for the 184 linear inches that I put about 10-15 pebbles per inch. That means for the revetments alone I glued an estimated 1,840 – 2,760 pebbles/rocks!! Add in the six two-sided foot-long causeways, and that makes an estimated 4,720 – 7,080 pebbles that I glued down. Ok, now I know why these took so long!

Mid-project showing different levels of rock-laying completion. Here are 48 – including two more 6″ prototypes.
Close up shot of progress later on in the project.

After all had dried, it was on to painting the two-tone colors, and adding slime and shade to the rocks.

After the two-tone priming.
Completed revetments.

Next, I made some lily pads and cattails on some acrylic bases. These were HO scale from JTT Scenics that I got on Amazon. The link for the lily pads is here and the link for the cattails is here. I wanted to be able to further differentiate the lake and to have some verticality of structure along the waterline – such as you see in the picture below.

A painting of Cortes at the Battle of Tenochtitlan (from Britannica). Note the cattails.

I bought some 2″ clear acrylic bases years ago (2017), and had some in storage. I thought they would work well for the lily pads. They come with removable protective paper over them so that they had no scratches.

Acrylic base – there are many suppliers on Amazon. Here is where I got mine.
The lily pads here are upside-down. The lily pads and their flowers are made on thin wire wound together – so if you cut the wire they all just fall apart. Initially, I used Gorilla Glue on the prototype, but decided to change course and fill the bottom of the wires and the holes with Vallejo “Transparent Water” Environmental Effect. Being careful not to overfill, this worked well and allowed me to cut the wires afterwards with no problems. I then used the water effect on the surface of the lily pads’ discs.
The lily pads after the surfaces got the water treatment. They are still pretty clear, and will be good on either a water or a swamp mat.

The cattails bases were basically half-moons I cut away (removing the center hole) with my scroll saw. Then I drilled holes to put 4 in each base. I used the Vallejo “Transparent Water” Environmental Effect in a similar way as the lily pads, and after I cut the cattail wires I placed the excess on the base as cattails that had fallen over.

The product – I had 24 cattails that I put on 6 discs.
Finished cattail bases.

Now, let’s see how they look on the gaming mat!

Pavement with revetments.
Revetments, lily pads and the cattails on the mat.
Extreme close up shot of the intersection of pavements, causeways, revetments, and cattails.

My goal with these was to create a visual distraction form the MDF edges. I think that they work fine – and of course you can let me know in the comments section if I am off-base (really, you can) or how you might have proceeded differently. Again, I tried meet the Aztec criteria of symmetry.

Once again, these all more of my entries into Dave’s Season of Scenery Challenge!

Thanks so much for looking – I hope it was helpful or at least interesting!

My next post will cover Cortes’ War Wagons that he employed with his troops in their breakout/ escape from Tenochtitlan during La Noche Triste.

For all of my previous posts on games, units, and other projects for my 16th Century Spanish Conquest supplement for Feudal Patrol™ – “Civilizations Collide” – please see this page.

PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS, FLOCKING, GLUES AND MORE THAT I USED ON THESE TERRAIN PIECES/MODELS:

  1. Basswood (1/16″ x 3″ x 24″ pieces) (on revetments)
  2. Ashland Decorative Filler (rocks) (on revetments)
  3. Elmer’s PVA Glue (on revetments)
  4. Vallejo “Surface Primer Grey” (on revetments)
  5. Reaper MSP “Black Primer” (on revetments)
  6. Citadel “Nuln Oil” (shade) (on revetments)
  7. Vallejo Environment “Slime Green Dark” (on revetments)
  8. JTT Scenery Products HO Scale Lily pads
  9. Gorilla Glue
  10. Clear 2″ Acrylic Bases with center holes
  11. Vallejo Weathering Effects “Transparent Water” (on acrylic bases)
  12. JTT Scenery Products HO Scale Lily pads

Building an Aztec Cityscape – Part 2: Pavements

An Aztec cityscape gaming table would be incomplete without the use of proper pavements. Tenochtitlan was not built to look hardscrabble. These pavements would need to go under the massive buildings I had to represent the city of Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec Empire.  This post will cover the pavements I made for the cityscape. As I shared in my previous post, Building an Aztec Cityscape – Part 1: Causeways, Lifting Piers, and Removable Bridge Sections, I will similarly share my WIP photos as well as my lessons learned.

Many contemporary images of Tenochtitlan show a brilliantly white city. I am not convinced that this was its actual appearance. Much of the rock used would have been basaltic or limestone-like in quality. Both are subject to oxidation, and turn brownish-grey over time. That would be particularly true for pavements that were exposed daily to the intense rays of the sun. The painting below reinforced my decision not to go with a white/bleached appearance of stone structures for this project. I went more brownish/grayish.

A painting of Cortes at the Battle of Tenochtitlan (from Britannica). Note the brownish appearance of the masonry.

As with the causeways that I built, I used the MDF sheets I bought from Home Depot. They were 1/4″ thick sheets of 2′ by 4′ that Jeff Smith helped me to cut into ten 1’x 1′ and ten 6″ x 6″ sections. Then I laid them out to see if my initial layout concept would work. It did. But, unlike the causeways, I had an idea that the pavements should look weathered, and have some patterns sculpted onto them – Aztec patterns.

A few months prior I had learned from a friend in Maryland (Greg Priebe) that he had a surplus Aztec Roller from Green Stuff World (see it here). I was deep into painting the figures that I had at that point – but I traded some Ral Partha Vikings to him for it – with some idea that I would use it when I got to the point of building a cityscape – somehow. (THANKS GREG!!)

I was not going to like just having the MDF just be painted, I wanted a more tactile, almost 3D effect on them.

However, we are talking about 15 square feet of surface! I considered using green stuff and Apoxie Sculpt (both too expensive and potentially difficult for a huge build like this). I considered using modeling clay and then baking it and passed as that would end up potentially with either MDF on fire or a cause for my wife to terminate my existence for using her stove or both. After perusing YouTube for some ideas on sculpting on the MDF, I found this video from a guy named Luke in the UK where he used DAS clay mixed with PVA glue to use with Green Stuff Rollers. I decided that I would give that approach a go. I bought this DAS in white at Michaels.

Before I started, I needed to test and practice with the roller itself. It has a rectangular pattern, but it is a roller. Therefore, I would need to know where to start and where to stop. The solution came in borrowing some of my granddaughter Tabitha’s Play-Doh and marking a start and stop point on the roller with a Sharpie (and then returning the Play-Doh of course). This also let me figure out how large the imprint would be.

The roller pattern on Play-Doh as a test pattern.

The next step was to figure out the marking/sculpting plan for each pavement. I decided that having 3″ x 3″ squares would work well with both the larger and smaller MDF tiles. I needed to have a properly-sized template for the Aztec roller such that I could center it on the sculpted tiles. I planned to do 6 large tiles with the roller imprint, 4 without, and 9 small tiles without the roller imprint, and one with it. The roller imprint would be approximately 3″ x 5.5″.

Designing the larger (1′ x 1′) tile with the roller imprint centered.

It was now time to, well, get all messy and sticky with DAS and PVA. I used a smooth pastry roller (my own thank you not my wife’s), and a carpenter’s square (also mine!) to smooth out the DAS/PVA as well as to score lines in the mix at 3″ intervals. I used separate plastic tubs to mix the DAS/PVA and to clean my tools.

A tile without an imprint.
This shows how I sculpted the tile surfaces for the roller. The DAS/PVA mix is on top – and I used a roller and wet fingers to smooth the top. Then I marked off 3″ squares and drew the edge of the carpenter’s square across as a tool. If there was to be an imprint, I placed and traced the template as you see here. Then, I would use the Aztec roller to make the imprint.
An example of the rolled imprint. It was not always perfect, but I was able to smooth out the edges as best as I could. I expected to be able to make them work – and in the end they did. This was the worst example – I got better over time. In any case, when I was dry brushing I was able to make all look pretty good (though you can be the final judge).

The roller worked fairly well, though there was a learning curve to be sure. I definitely needed to have a tub of water, a brush, and microfiber towels to clean it (and my tools) constantly. The DAS/PVA on the MDF was left to dry over 24 hours. On a few of the larger tiles, I was surprised to see some of the MDF had a bit of warp from the drying clay/glue combo. The smaller pieces had none. Lesson learned. Certainly, finding enough flat surface for all 15 square feet to dry was not easy. I ended up using multiple card tables in the cellar. Yes, the wife was annoyed again. This whole process used up three packs of DAS – that’s 3 kilograms/6.6 pounds – of the stuff.

Drying tiles.

Once they had dried, the next question was how to paint them? I decided to use up my cans of Army Painter Strong Tone and Soft Tone (the dip), as they would be otherwise gathering dust in my paint shed. They theoretically would provide a bit of protection as well. Again, I also needed 24 hours of drying after application – yet again.

The Army Painter “dip” drying.
After the dip dried. I was happy with the way the pavements looked, except for the glossy effect.

Normally, I do not use spray varnishes, but these large pieces were good candidates for a spray of Krylon matte varnish. It was warm outside, so I gave them a coat. All went well – until some of the pieces – mainly one – started bubbling up like a cheese pizza. AHHHHH!

From what I could figure out, that was caused by the aerosolized solvent in the can vaporizing in the DAS and trying to release through the varnish and the dip surface. Luckily it was only on one large tile, but that tile took a rework and made this last at least a week or two longer as I tried to find the right combination to recreate a similar color. This took me into mid-July.

More drying time needed! Hell, drying SPACE. 15 square feet to go on a 24 square foot mat is a lot!

I then brush varnished and shaded all of the tiles. At this time I moved on to dry brushing the imprints with Citadel “Astorath Red”. I also darkened the edges with DecoArt “Raw Umber”. The tiles line up together on the lines nicely. Though some warp is visible, it is not horrible. I also went over all of the tiles and shaded them as needed so that the colors were similar and no untouched DAS/PVA was visible.

A comparison of the imprints before and after on the pavement tiles.
All six tiles with imprints.
Close up shot of a completed tile.
An imprinted tile with some Aztec warriors for comparison.

Of course, when you see the completed cityscape, you will be able to better judge how all of these came out. As they are modular, I should be able to use them in many ways. They certainly meet the Aztec criteria of symmetry. Also, these all can be part of Dave’s Season of Scenery Challenge!

At this point in the project, I noticed how the edges of the tiles were a distraction and needed some attention. I thought that seeing bare 90 degree edges and MDF sides coming out of a lake (or swamp) was a less than aesthetically correct situation for my cityscape. People would have built the city up from the lake – and that would have involved reclaiming the lake as dry ground. How? Well, I am sure that the Aztecs would have used slave labor to haul and deposit tons upon tons of rocks on the water’s edge.

My fix was to build some revetments around the cityscape’s edge plus some lily pads, and cattails – which will be the next installment in this series!

I hope that you enjoyed this part 2 and that you stay tuned for the rest – let me know your thoughts in the comments section and I appreciate your giving this a read!

For all of my previous posts on games, units, and other projects for my 16th Century Spanish Conquest supplement for Feudal Patrol™ – “Civilizations Collide” – please see this page.

PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS, FLOCKING, GLUES AND MORE THAT I USED ON THESE TERRAIN PIECES/MODELS:

  1. 2′ x 4′ MDF sheets – 1/4″ thick
  2. White DAS Air Dry Modeling Clay
  3. Elmer’s PVA Glue
  4. Army Painter “Strong Tone” (the “dip”)
  5. Army Painter “Soft Tone” (the “dip”)
  6. Krylon “Clear Matte” (spray varnish)
  7. Army Painter “Mid Brown” (wash)
  8. Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” (shade)
  9. Americana “Bleached Sand”
  10. Army Painter “Strong Tone” (wash)
  11. DecoArt “Raw Umber”
  12. Citadel “Astorath Red”
  13. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  14. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”
  15. Citadel “Nuln Oil” (shade)

Building an Aztec Cityscape – Part 1: Causeways, Lifting Piers, and Removable Bridge Sections

I have been working through July to build a representative 6′ x 4′ cityscape gaming table that would evoke the flavor of the city of Tenochtitlan, which was the capital of the Aztec Empire. On the arrival of Hernan Cortes in 1519, Tenochtitlan was populated by an estimated 200,000 to 400,000 people – making it even larger than contemporary London. It was built on an island in Lake Texcoco, and was linked to the mainland by multiple causeways. These causeways also had removable or liftable bridge sections. In effect, Lake Texcoco formed a “moat” around the city, making it impregnable to enemies for hundreds of years (until the Spanish Conquest occurred anyways). The causeways would be of major importance during all phases of the Spanish Conquest. Cortes met Montezuma II on a causeway for the first time. The Spanish and their Tlaxcalan allies would fight desperately at different times to both escape Tenochtitlan (La Noche Triste) and to return to conquer it afterwards. The nature and importance of the causeways were major aspects of these battles, so any representation of the city of Tenochtitlan needed to have causeways.

A 1524 map of Tenochtitlan showing the causeways (from History Today).
Detail of a Tenochtitlan causeway (from Learnodo Newtonic).
Cortes meets Montezuma on a causeway for the first time (from Pinterest).
A painting of Cortes at the Battle of Tenochtitlan (from Britannica).

To build a city of such size would be massive – and certainly beyond the scope of a reasonably-sized gaming table. My goals were to make something special – while ensuring that it was something that could be used in games of Buck Surdu’s Feudal Patrol in Mesoamerica (using my Civilizations Collide supplement). I wanted a diorama that could be played on. To that end, I have built many buildings and figures that have been previously shared in this blog. What I needed to add was the underlying structure of the city – “the cityscape”.

The work that I did to build and paint this cityscape was extensive and would overwhelm a single blog post. Hell, it almost overwhelmed me just building it! Therefore, I have decided to break my work on it into 5 posts that I will share over the next few days. There will be a lot of WIP shots on each category, leading up to a final reveal. I am also continuing with my weekly garage+ build posts (like here and here), and I have some golf stuff to add as well. This is “Life, Golf, Miniatures, & Other Distractions” after all! My blogging drought is coming to an end! As for the cityscape posts, here is the listing of what is on deck:

  • Building an Aztec Cityscape – Part 1: Causeways, Lifting Piers, and Removable Bridge Sections (this post)
  • Building an Aztec Cityscape – Part 2: Pavements
  • Building an Aztec Cityscape – Part 3: Revetments, Lily Pads, and Cattails
  • Building an Aztec Cityscape – Part 4: Cortes’ War Wagons
  • Building an Aztec Cityscape – Part 5: Tenochtitlan – THE FINAL REVEAL

To build the cityscape, I started off with building the causeways, but work on all of these components overlapped. Please enjoy them and hopefully this is useful for my fellow gamers, modelers, and hobbyists. Luckily, these all can be part of Dave’s Season of Scenery Challenge – which is fun as well.

Initially, I wanted to plan the cityscape layout for a 6′ x4′ mat. I drew a rough sketch, and decided that I would get two 2′ x 4′ sheets of 1/4″ MDF from Home Depot. My friend Jeff Smith (a fantastic woodworker) has a lot of tools – to include a nice table saw, which I do not have. As I needed more precise cuts than I could achieve with my Black and Decker skilsaw, I enlisted his help. He was able to cut all the pieces in no time at all (and again, thanks Jeff!!!).

My initial rough concept of how to use the MDF sheets. They would be the basis of all of the cityscape construction. The pavements and causeways are both planned here, as well as where I wanted it all to go.
Jeff cutting some causeways.

After the MDF was all cut, I laid out the pieces that I had on my FLG swamp mat, and arranged my buildings. Later, I would get a water mat from them, as I thought the swamp would not work as well. After the MDF concept layout, I was on to the building of the six causeways. I usually went through the process of doing one phase of work on one piece (like a prototype), and if that worked, moving on to the rest in similar phases.

My initial concept laid out on a swamp mat.

My causeway section prototype would be 5″ wide and a foot long. I spaced out some 6″ craft sticks evenly across the bottom and used wood glue to affix them. These would be to support the wooden piers and stones around them on the sides of the top surface. This worked ok, so I did all six with the cross-glued craft sticks.

Lining up the craft sticks on the bottom of the first causeway. At the top you can see some wood I was planning to use as piers – more on those shortly.
After I glued all the craft sticks across the bottoms, I weighted them down and let the glue set overnight.

While the glue was setting on phase I of the causeway undersides, I built the two removable bridge sections. These are 6″ long and the same width as the causeways. These would be analogous to a medieval drawbridge. I broke up craft sticks irregularly and dry-fitted them to the top of the bridge sections. Then, I weathered the wood by beating a small chain on and into them with a ball peen hammer. After this, I glued them on with wood glue and let dry overnight. I did not press these with weight as I wanted a less uniform surface of the bridge to represent wear and aging.

My chain and ball peen hammer weathering of the craft stick wood surface.
The weathered wood ready for gluing.

Then, I went back to the causeways. The cross-sections were ok, but I needed to have a way to add the revetments along the sides – so I added more craft sticks longitudinally on each side. They would jut out about 1/2″ on the side of the causeways.

Here you see four of the six causeways after the first gluing – and before adding more on the sides for the rocky revetments.
Here are the longitudinally-added craft sticks set with binder clips for overnight drying.

Once dry, I covered the surfaces with glue and then chinchilla dust.

After adding the chinchilla dust and allowing for drying. Next up would be the painting and shading of the causeways’ surfaces, then onto adding the piers and rocks.

I finished painting the removable bridge sections and build and painted 4 lifting piers out of square dowels and 1/8″ plywood.

The masked causeways ready for painting, along with the 4 lifting piers and the 2 removable bridge sections. I masked the sides as I wanted to have a clean gluing surface for the piers and rocks. Having an airbrush sped this process – especially relative to all of the gluing!
I base coated the causeways, lifting piers, and removable bridge sections (ignore the WIP pavements behind – that’s a sneak peek at the next post!)
All painted and shaded – except I wanted to add a bit more to the bridge sections…
…which you see here – I added some contrast to the planks.

Next, I moved on to the side piers and causeway revetments. The following day I grabbed a dry oak branch from the woods behind the house and cut it up. As each causeway section would need 14 wooden piers (seven per side), I figured I’d need 84 piers. So, I initially planned on using some birch wood discs I had plus the oak sections. I cut up the wood in sizes I thought would work well. However, as I laid it out (dry fit), I was not happy with the appearance. At all. Clearly, compared to a 28mm figure, the wood size was far in excess of what would have been used as piers along the causeways.

It was time to regroup. For piers, I then decided to use 1/8″ wooden dowels instead. I cut them up roughly to represent timber and glued them together in threes – and if you are doing the math, yes, that is cutting up and gluing together 252 pieces for the 84 piers. This project had a LOT of gluing and drying stages! I also found a nice source of rocks at Michaels – those little filler stones that some people use in glass vases. These were much cheaper than any hobby talus would have been. The time downside was that for effective placement I needed to glue one course of rocks at at a time – one rock at a time – with PVA – more gluing and waiting for drying…

Detail of the pier and rocks gluing. I cut the pier wood pieces irregularly as possible to add realism.
The first side of a causeway glued up with piers and rocks and a 28mm Conquistador for comparison. The PVA would dry and “suck” up nicely into the crevices.

I then painted the piers and added some shade to them.

Painted piers

For the rocks, I painted them with Vallejo “Grey Surface Primer, followed by a layer of Reaper “MSP Black Primer” on the bottom (where the rocks would have been by the lake), and added some slime to them there as well. After that, I added an aggressive layer of shading with Citadel “Nuln Oil”. The effect on the rocks was excellent. You can see a list of all the paints and other materials that I used at the end of this post.

Adding black primer to the bottom of the rocks over the grey primer in an irregular pattern to represent the water line.
After adding grey and black primers to the rocks.
Finished causeway with the Conquistador. Note the effect of the shading on the rocks.
Top view
A finished causeway, lifting piers, and removable bridge section on my new FLG water mat.
Tlaxcalans assault the city from the causeway (another sneak peek!)

With the causeways, removable bridge sections, and lifting piers, I now have terrain components that I can use for the cityscape. I also could use them for a causeway battle, and add war canoes in the lake with Aztecs shooting bows, slings, and atlatl at the Conquistadors and Tlaxcalans from the water.

I think you can see why I am breaking up this into multiple posts! This started in June and ended in July. My next post will focus on the design and building of the cityscape pavements. I hope you found this useful and will keep following this series – and please let me know your thoughts in the comments section.

Thanks so much for looking!

For all of my previous posts on games, units, and other projects for my 16th Century Spanish Conquest supplement for Feudal Patrol™ – “Civilizations Collide” – please see this page.

PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS, FLOCKING, GLUES AND MORE THAT I USED ON THESE TERRAIN PIECES/MODELS:

  1. 2′ x 4′ MDF sheets – 1/4″ thick
  2. Wood Glue
  3. Binder clips
  4. GOCREATE Jumbo Craft Sticks
  5. All Living Things Dry Dust Bath (chinchilla dust)
  6. Painters Masking Tape
  7. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  8. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  9. Vallejo Mecha Color “Sand Yellow”
  10. Vallejo Game Air “Desert Yellow”
  11. Vallejo Model Air “Sand (Ivory)”
  12. Citadel “Seraphim Sepia” (shade)
  13. Vallejo Model Color “Dark Sand”
  14. Citadel “Ushabti Bone”
  15. FolkArt “Yellow Ochre”
  16. Vallejo Game Color “Red”
  17. Army Painter “Light Tone” (wash)
  18. Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” (shade)
  19. Elmer’s PVA Glue
  20. Gorilla Glue
  21. Ashland “Decorative Filler” (rocks)
  22. 1/8″ wooden dowels
  23. Vallejo Model Color “Wood Grain”
  24. Vallejo “Surface Primer Grey”
  25. Reaper MSP “Black Primer”
  26. Citadel “Nuln Oil” (shade)
  27. Vallejo Environment “Slime Green Dark”

Aztec Raid – Mass Pikemen Gaming Session June 5, 2021

The Mass Pikemen returned to tabletop wargaming with live face-to-face interactions on June 5th! We played a game of Feudal Patrol in Mesoamerica (using my Civilizations Collide supplement. The game scenario was as follows:

Surprise Raid on Outpost

A Tlaxcalan village is being raided by the Aztecs, seeking to take wealth, food, and prisoners.  The Aztecs know the majority of the Tlaxcalan troops are with the Conquistadores elsewhere, and expect an easy task.  Unbeknownst to the Aztecs, there are some Spanish troops at this town who will help to defend it.

The battlefield.

Objectives:

  • A: a maize storage structure – 10 points to either side for control
  • B: Cuezcomatl Granary Structure – 10 points to either side for control
  • C: Tlaxcalan Noble’s House – 10 points to either side for control, 5 more for securing the gold inside and having possession of it.
  • Additionally, the attacking Aztecs gain 5 points for each prisoner taken, 2 points for each enemy otherwise incapacitated, and 1 point for any enemy that runs off the tabletop.  The defenders gain 8 points for each prisoner taken by Tlaxcalans, and 3 points for each enemy otherwise incapacitated, and 2 points for any enemy that run off the tabletop.

Deployment and special rules:

Aztecs: 

  • All Aztecs troops deploy anywhere on the south side of the tabletop 6” from the long end of the mat.
  • The Aztec Warband Leader controls two Warrior Priests

Conquistadores and Tlaxcalans: 

  • The Conquistador leader (a Warband Leader) deploys from C.
  • Each of the three Spanish/Tlaxcalan elements deploy in 1,2, and 3 and are hidden from the Aztecs but predetermined before the game start.  This means that some will be out of command and cannot swap dice at the beginning of the game (24” command radius). At start, they can be outside of their huts.
  • Tlaxcalan element cannot swap dice, and cannot be considered out of command radius.

The map:

  • The fields are muddy and movement rate through them is at half-speed.

In this game, an element is 4-11 figures depending on type, and warbands are made up of 2-5 elements.

The Aztecs had an overall commander with his conch blower as a signaler. Under him was one warband leader commanding two “twinned” 11-figure veteran/novice elements, an elite 6 figure cuahchic (“Shorn Ones”) element, an elite 5-figure Eagle Warrior element, and two warrior priests.

The Spanish had an overall warband leader commanding an elite element of 5 figures and an elite element of 5 figures plus a war dog. The Tlaxcalans – who were separate but allied – had an elite warrior leader with 4 veteran bowmen.

The overall troop points were 54.75 for the Aztecs and 36.5 for the defending Spanish/Tlaxcalans. The fields were slightly moved for the actual game. Of note, the command radius for a warband leader is 24″ – so the Conquistadores have two command and control challenges. First, they start with one of their elements starting the game over 24″ away from the leader making them “pinned” – meaning they only get to activate half as much as normal until they can be made “unpinned” (not an easy task). Second, the Tlaxcalans are independent actors – meaning that the Spanish have limited command and control of them – but they are not limited by command radius restrictions either.

The Tlaxcalans ended up starting at 1, with the other two Conquistador elements at 2 and 3. The Conquistador leader was at C. The Aztecs deployed their elements (from the Aztec left to right) as follows: veteran/novice twinned element, cuahchic elite element, elite Eagle Warrior Element, and the other veteran/novice twinned element.

Scott looks over the tabletop. He would command the Tlaxcalans.
Glenn moves up his twinned veteran/novice element while his ally Chris watches…
…and promptly takes fire from a Spanish arquebus and a crossbow! The blue glass beads indicate morale checks that the Aztecs had to take and did pass here.

On the Aztec left, Chris moved up his veteran/novice twinned element to take on Scott’s Tlaxcalan bowmen. Historically, the Tlaxcalans were superior bowmen. Chris had to cross a lot of open ground, and the Tlaxcalans dispatched two novices from long range (novices typically are without armor). He then tried on a subsequent activation to charge into melee with the Tlaxcalans – a good move – but the Tlaxcalans were able to react and loose even more deadly arrows into the Aztecs.

Scott grins after sending an initial hail of lucky arrows into Chris’ approaching Aztecs. The incapacitated Aztecs are lying off their bases. The blue beads each indicate a morale check that the Aztec element would need to pass – and more would come…
Only 4 out of 11 figures made it to the Tlaxcalan bowmen, and they had little effect as the Tlaxcalans repelled their assault.

In the middle of the tabletop, the two elite Aztec elements were making good progress forward. The Conquistadores were lucky enough to unpin their handicapped element, making their defense much stronger. That element had a wardog, and they challenged the advance of the cuahchic and the Eagle Warrior elements. That scrum left the Conquistadores with several dead – including the war dog. The cuahchicqueh (plural of cuahchic) advanced, but the Eagle Warriors lost heart and failed morale – running away from the fight.

Then Chris had even more morale checks to make. Luckily for him he endured them, but his unit was pretty decimated. Chris’ Aztecs had 14 morale checks to make. They passed, but were a spent force.

The Shorn Ones (cuahchicqueh) do a number on the Spanish and their war dog.
The Shorn Ones advance to the cuezcomatl granary storage structure (objective B), while their Eagle Warrior comrades run away.
Here you see Chris’ Aztecs – or what’s left of them – and their pile of morale check pips.

Glenn’s advance on the right of the elite elements was making good progress. They had a bowman, an atlatl user, and several slingers in their veteran/novice element. His non-missile weapon-armed Aztecs charged into Leif’s Conquistador element, hoping to take them down (especially as they had the arquebus and the crossbow). Glenn and Leif both did damage to each other in the ensuing melee.

Leif defends against Glenn’s Aztec assault. At this point, the Aztecs were threatening also to take out the Conquistador officer.
Scott and Leif appear confident in their defense.
Leif – commanding the Conquistador officer – takes out an Aztec – but quickly three more of Glenn’s Aztecs gang up on the leader, who kills another, and wounds one more but…
…the Conquistador officer is overwhelmed by the Aztecs, and is incapacitated and dragged off for sacrifice. This left both of the remaining Conquistador elements in a “pinned” status – meaning that they would only activate half as much as an unpinned element – a significant disadvantage.
And finally, an Aztec Warrior Priest showed up to make sure the granary remained in Aztec hands.

The Conquistadores were able to sprint one remaining unwounded trooper over to objective C (Noble’s House), gaining control of it, and its gold, for important end of the game points. The Tlaxcalans were also able to secure the maize storage structure (A). Meanwhile, the Aztecs gained control of the granary (B). The overall scoring led to a Spanish/Tlaxcalan victory with a score of 63-38. If the Spanish had not secured the Noble’s House and it’s gold, it would have been 48-38.

The players all had a good time and really enjoyed the game. Some are already on the way to buying their own copy of Feudal Patrol !

I do like the scenario -and I thank Buck Surdu and David Wood for an earlier week Zoom playtest. When I update my supplement (which is coming by year’s end or sooner), it will be one of the scenarios I add. I do need to finish off my cityscape and THAT is in progress.

I do thank Saturday’s players as well. It was soooo nice to finally have a face-to-face game for the Mass Pikemen’s Gaming Club. On the next go-around, I will adjust the forces slightly – probably giving another element to the Aztecs and maybe a falconet or another element to the Spanish – depending on the number of players. I will also add points for incapacitating or even capturing warband or higher leaders.

So, when will that be? June 26th at 1 PM at the Great Stories Comics and Gaming Store in Uxbridge, MA! The Mass Pikemen are taking this (and other future games) to a great hobby store, Great Stories in Uxbridge, MA. We will be gaming there and at our home in East Brookfield going forward – hopefully alternating between sites for gaming.

I hope that you enjoyed this battler report – let me know your thoughts in the comments section!

For all of my previous posts on games, units, and other projects for my 16th Century Spanish Conquest supplement for Feudal Patrol™ – “Civilizations Collide” – please see this page.

Aztec Temple Rehab

Sounds like a good concept for a reality show doesn’t it? Circa 1520 or so…

Actually, it’s my latest attempt at adding another structure to my Aztec terrain/buildings for games of Feudal Patrol in Mesoamerica (using my Civilizations Collide supplement). There have been a good number of buildings from me lately (which is why I did my contest). There is also a link at the end of this post on all of my project terrain and miniature builds for it.

And this particular post is dedicated to Ryan MacRae and Chris Rett. Why?

Well, this temple piece has a somewhat unclear past. It was given to me by Ryan MacRae and Christopher Rett. It was left over from their back room cleanout at the Great Stories store in Uxbridge, MA. Ryan said it was maybe originally found in his dad’s garage? Was it a souvenir? A kit project? A piece for a terrarium or even an aquarium? Who knows. All I saw in it was potential as a reasonable secondary temple-type building for Tenochtitlan. It was in two unconnected pieces, had a few cracks, and seemed to be somewhat ceramic. Obviously, I needed to have it match my other pieces. I was not thrilled with the stairs and their alignment, and it was mostly (but not totally) symmetrical. Though I believe something is either symmetrical or its not right? The top would not stay on the top if bumped. Anyways, I thought I could try to make something more useful out of it gaming-wise.

The piece as it was when I got it.

I thought it needed a base, and I did have an spare piece of Revell plywood that I cut to size up to the piece – as symmetrically as possible.

I then sanded the edges of the plywood and the bottom of the piece, and attached the two with wood glue. As you can see, I found a way to compress the two while the glue set!

I then decided to use black Milliput to construct the stairs. Why black? It was what was available! I don’t have a lot of experience with it, and I chose it due to being cheaper than green stuff. I did not expect to get great sculpted details on the stairs – I just wanted something that would be aesthetically ok on the tabletop. I did consider using square wood dowels, but the work involved in sizing them seemed disproportionate to the needs of this project. I also would make the steps wider and more visible – but still they would not useable by a figure on a base.

As for the sculpting – it was a bit more difficult than I had imagined beforehand. I tried to use the existing lines on the piece as guidelines, and was successful for the most part. It’s not Michelangelo, that’s for sure. I actually was a little disappointed at this point, but I pressed on thinking the rest of the rehab may go better, and let the Milliput cure.

The dusting process was similar to my previous efforts with MDF – that being painting the model with a PVA/water slurry and dusting with a salt shaker containing the dust. I did add (temporarily) extra neodymium magnets so as to prevent the dust from blocking the installed ones.

All dusted up – note the extra magnets as masking.

I then moved on to painting it. I dry brushed it and then painted it in the same color schemes as my MDF.

The piece after first dry brushing and base coating.

I then used Army Painter “Light Tone” on it and let it dry. Once dry, I added more highlights.

After adding the tone but before the final highlighting.
Completed!

To get a feel for the model, here are some eye candy shots.

One side
Opposite side
Top side view
Some Eagle and Jaguar Warriors and a Warrior Priest by the piece.

I learned a bit during the processes of this project. I’m on the fence on Milliput as an architectural sculpting agent – it was not easy to sculpt into the stairs and I did face a challenge with regards to the Milliput’s “slump” (a term used to describe how wet concrete settles and does not hold a shape). Though, the extreme slope of the stairs (as is found with the actual ones) made gravity NOT my friend in this aspect. Maybe green stuff or Apoxie Sculpt would have been easier but more expensive. I am unsure. I think my approach in the end worked out ok, and the painting helped I think – and you, dear reader, can let me know your assessments.

My biggest goal was for this piece to be a good add to my little mini Tenochtitlan tabletop. The next two pics are good comparisons. I think it succeeded. Not my finest work, but it is acceptable.

Next to the Temple High Throne
The piece seen next to all of my Aztec terrain (with some WIP Conquistador War Wagons in the back – more on them in a future post).

I think now my terrain just needs pavement and some causeways – I already have a working concept (below) and I will be making the surrounding lake swampy with some neat floating flora. More on this when I’m done with that!

My tabletop urban Aztec battlefield concept. There will be textured pavement and causeways on this MDF – and this will also be a future post! For rural areas, I have the other buildings.

The pavement is in WIP. I used MDF with sculpted DAS clay (including a Green stuff Aztec roller in judicious spots). It needs to set and get matte varnished, but I’m excited on the potential. I also need to build the causeways.

Pavement WIP

So that’s it for now – hope you enjoyed this post – let me know your thoughts – good, bad, or otherwise – in the comments section. Thanks for looking!

For all of my previous posts on games, units, and other projects for my 16th Century Spanish Conquest supplement for Feudal Patrol™ – “Civilizations Collide” – please see this page.

PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS, FLOCKING, GLUES AND MORE THAT I USED ON THIS MODEL

  1. Wood Glue
  2. Plastic Plates
  3. 1/8″ neodymium magnets
  4. Gorilla Glue
  5. Revell Birch plywood (1/4″ x 6″ x 12″)
  6. Paper clip wire
  7. Black Milliput
  8. All Living Things Dry Dust Bath (chinchilla dust)
  9. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  10. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  11. Vallejo Model Air “Sand (Ivory)”
  12. Vallejo Model Color “Dark Sand”
  13. FolkArt “Yellow Ochre”
  14. Vallejo Model Color “Black”
  15. Vallejo Model Color “Red”
  16. Army Painter “Light Tone” (wash)

Aztec Temple Sentinel Tower & a Challenge Update

In this post I will share my latest MDF kit build for Feudal Patrol games in Mesoamerica (using my Civilizations Collide supplement). I was able to finish off another Aztec-inspired MDF kit. This one also came from from Things From the Basement via 4Ground via Badger Games (see it here). It is called Temple Sentinel Tower and is scaled for 28mm figures – and is just what it is described as being – a Temple Sentinel Tower which would be a nice piece of high ground for some missile troops.

This is part of “Mark’s Aztec Building Challenge Contest” (which you will read more about shortly in this blog post), as well as the April painting challenge from Ann’s Immaterium called Ann’s “Paint the Crap You Already Own” challenge.

The kit as received.

It was an enjoyable kit to build. This one had a few challenges for the build as I needed to make sure that I could paint the inside of the tower as well as dust it up with chinchilla dust as I have been doing. I want all these cityscape Temple structures to match in character – and in color and texture. Basically, as you will see, I broke the kit into two parts until final assembly.

The kit after wiping down with a moist microfiber cloth. The instructions were good.
First day of assembly and setting up with PVA, rubber bands, and clamps.
The lower tower section is on the left – and the top here has been left to work on separately with paint and chinchilla dust as I have previously described (see this page). Having steel washers around held as weights with PVA gluing.
The tower sections awaiting base coating after dusting up with the chinchilla dust and watered down PVA slurry.
The sections after the base coat was applied and the dry brushing of the textures. The red, black, and yellow colors were painted after the dry brushing.

The finished Temple Sentinel Tower next to my previous MDF builds. I put a few missile troops up in the tower as examples.
Different angle view.
An Aztec veteran with an atlatl peers out while a macuahuitl-armed comrade guards the ladder access. A sling-armed novice is at the top of the ladder.
A close up of a bowman (front) and another slinger (left) in the tower.

I think this came out well – what do you think?

For the other pieces in the building contest, I was also able to airbrush a decent base coat on my remaining resin structures, as well as to start on the ground cover on their styrene bases.

The remaining resin structures – I have a good start on them.

This now leaves me with two more MDF builds – the Temple High Throne and the Sacrificial Altar – in addition to the resin. These are going to take a back seat to finishing the resin pieces. This is because as I have more paint on order to properly finish them similarly to my previous MDF kits. I have found that I’m going though a good amount of paints and washes (chinchilla dust and MDF can be thirsty).

I have also tried to show you, dear readers, the progress in my challenge in a non-award-winning video on IGTV and Instagram (well it hasn’t won yet, so there’s hope…).

My main communications channel is THIS BLOG! But, I’m just trying to keep up with the young ‘uns like IRO. It’s a bit of an unscripted thing – so enjoy! Without any further ado – here is the video link live from my cellar (that I cannot put on WordPress without paying more $$).

So as for the contest – I have a shot below that shows the range of guesses:

The contest IS ON! Who will win?

We’ve got American, Aussie, and Brit entries (what’s up with the rest of the world?). Thanks to all for entering and best of luck – and follow my progress (and your chances) here! The average is May 19th, with Azazel the earliest on 4/24/2021 and Ann the latest on 6/30/2021. Hell, your guesses are as good as mine at this point for sure.

A couple of small side notes. I was quite surprised and happy to see that 4Ground featured my work on their Facebook page – here is that Facebook link – and much thanks to our pal Kuribo who let me know on the blog that he saw it. Also, this marks my 30th post on this subject – and while I’m happy about the progress I’ve made – the listing of all the posts is getting to be a bit much (never mind approving all the WordPress pingbacks that this generates).

So, I’ve added a new selection on my main menu (“Gaming & Hobby Areas of Interest”), and under that will be individual genre selections. I’ve started with a page with a list of and links to all of my Mesoamerican posts called “Aztec, Conquistador, and Mesoamerican Hobby Projects Posts” – and I will (over time) be augmenting it with other stuff, such as retro sci-fi, France 1940, Normandy, etc. But I won’t get to that for a while – I’ll be focusing here on the Aztec stuff! I’ll still add the paints and materials section as before, mostly for my own references.

Thanks for looking and I hope that you can check out the video link and no matter what – let me know what you think of the tower – or my accent – or my graying hair – or whatever.

For all of my previous posts on games, units, and other projects for my 16th Century Spanish Conquest supplement for Feudal Patrol™ – “Civilizations Collide” – please see this page.

PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS, FLOCKING, GLUES AND MORE THAT I USED ON THESE PIECES:

  1. Elmer’s PVA Glue
  2. Poster tack
  3. Plastic Plates
  4. All Living Things Dry Dust Bath (chinchilla dust)
  5. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  6. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  7. Vallejo Model Air “Sand (Ivory)”
  8. Vallejo Game Air “Desert Yellow”
  9. Vallejo Model Color “Dark Sand”
  10. Citadel “Ushabti Bone”
  11. DecoArt “Light Buttermilk”
  12. Vallejo Model Air “Wood”
  13. Vallejo Model Color “Red”
  14. Craftsmart “Black”
  15. Citadel “Yriel Yellow”
  16. Army Painter “Light Tone” (wash)
  17. Vallejo Game Air “Ivory”

Aztec Temple Corner Walls (Plus Some Life & Other Distractions Stuff Added In)

This blog is titled “Life, Golf, Miniatures, and Other Distractions” – and it’s not often that it’s about anything but miniatures. This post will definitely concern miniatures – but as the title suggests, a few other things are going to get added in after the miniature stuff.

Why you ask? Well, the long and short of my current predicament is that a member of my household is near the end, and I need to deal with the ramifications of that. It’s sad, but it’s time.

Oh, sorry, not a person, it’s my PC that is on its last legs – and it is already quite legless.

My PC has had multiple thermal shutdowns over the last few weeks – while in sleep mode! Argh! I decided that I would need to get a new desktop before I lose all my hobby work (plus everything else that is on the thing). I prefer a PC over a laptop, though I still look at WordPress on my iPhone and my iPad. I just compose on a PC. Anyways, I will be without a computer shortly – so I needed to get a post in. Therefore this post will cover some miniature stuff first and some fun (I think) extras – I hope that they will be somewhat interesting for you.

Plus, this is my largest list of hashtags ever (I think so anyways).

In my last post, as part of “Mark’s Aztec Building Challenge Contest” (which you should enter soon by the way!) I discussed how I assembled and painted 8 Temple Columns for my Aztec games of Feudal Patrol using my Civilizations Collide supplement.  I had moved onto the MDF kits over my resin stuff as temperatures had been too cold here in Massachusetts to use rattlecans to prime outside. I truly enjoyed building and painting the MDF of my last post, and I certainly still have a love for using chinchilla dust.

My next MDF effort would be two kits of the “Temple Corner Walls” – from Things From the Basement via 4Ground via Badger Games (see it here). Each kit had one square pillar-like structure and two walls – six in total. The kits are very nice and pretty easy to work with in my opinion. I basically used the second approach from last time – assemble first, then dust up with the chinchilla dust and paint them.

An example of one kit out of the bag after cleaning it off with a moist microfiber cloth.
I have found with these MDF kits that it helps to dry fit first and organize the parts. Here you also see that I put an “up” arrow on the inside of the walls to help make sure that I did not assemble anything upside down.
I assembled the wall sections first and let the PVA dry overnight.
The next day, I added steel washers as weight to get the wall tops to glue flush to the previous step’s work. Then I glued to the bases (with the weights again).
All of the “Temple Corner Walls” assembled and ready to get dusted up and painted.
Here you see my early dry brushing after dusting – I use three colors to dry brush. I decided to paint the triangles in a red, black, and yellow pattern. You can see the paints that I used at the very end of this post.
After I dry brushed the structures, I toned down the dry brushing with Army Painter “Light Tone”. Between the “thirst” of both the MDF and the chinchilla dust, I ended up using the better part of two bottles of the AP tone. Here, these are all complete.

I tried to use my spray booth again for some shots here but I did get some weird shadows and alternatively unwanted shine that I did not like. So I went with what you see below. I’ll need to investigate a light box (maybe).

Here you see a fight among the “Temple Column Walls” (this post) and the “Temple Columns” (from my last post) between a squad of Conquistadores (and a wardog) against an Aztec squad and a supporting warrior priest. I think that I was successful at getting all to blend in well.

So, the Temple Corner Wall structures of this post are part of two “challenges”. The first is mine as mentioned earlier – “Mark’s Aztec Building Challenge Contest” – in which I will give away free prizes to blog followers for being the closest to guess how long it will take me to finish all these buildings. The second is from Ann’s Immaterium, and is called Ann’s “Paint the Crap You Already Own” challenge. These definitely count there – and I hope there will be more for this April challenge.

I have ordered some more “Light Tone” – and with my remaining MDF I’ll need it. In the meantime, as an update – it warmed up here this week so I was also able to get my outside priming done – see below!

I was able to prime this week! I can now vary what I decide to complete.

I also am planning an update to my Civilizations Collide supplement, which will have rules for the falconet and some new scenarios (in addition to an overall update). So that might slow up my progress, as also golf might (haven’t played yet this year though). I also have been – wait for it – GAMING!

Well, remotely anyways. I was lucky enough to play in a Combat PatrolTM game last Saturday via Zoom with Sally4th’s Chris Abbey. Chris (in the UK) set up a James Bond game based on the 1977 film The Spy Who Loved Me that he called “Nobody Does it Better” (Carly Simon song of the movie). It featured the scene in the bad guy’s (Stromberg) supertanker interior hold (that held a captured US sub). The action focused on the scene where escaping British, Russian, and American crews fight the Stromberg goons to stop a nuclear launch. We had US and UK players – and I had James Bond. Our objective was to advance up the gantry and throw a satchel charge at the control room doors and blow it open. We had a lot of twists and turns in the game – James Bond’s satchel charge misfired, and so did a Stromberg flamethrower that would have fried him. A last second satchel charge throw from the Americans missed, but the explosive charge slid up to the door and blew it! Success! Notably, I had invited our blogger buddy TIM who got to watch the game – and it was fun to share the experience with him.

Take a look at the tabletop below – amazing!

The tabletop before the game.
Chris Abbey GM’s the game exceptionally well. We were moving up the gantry on the left – the control room was in the center of the far end.

I also had two other nice surprises. The first was in the mail from Buck Surdu – who sent me a couple of Wars of Ozz shirts. I did get in the Kickstarter for it (and the figures are available from Sally 4th and Old Glory in the US) -and the next project I plan to do is paint these figures.

The second surprise came in our local weekly newspaper (see below). I’ll let Andy Newton’s words speak for themselves, but given the last few months, this was a heartwarming bonus for us.

From The Spencer New Leader

And though my computer is a problem, I did get the email from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that has allowed me and my wife to get our first “jabs” this weekend! Take that COVID-19!

So, until my computer situation is better – I’ll be painting and following up on my iPad. Maybe I’ll be back this weekend – in any case, let’s discuss this post! So feel free to let me know your thoughts and comment – and to enter the contest. Take care all and thanks for looking!

Miscellaneous details and references for those interested in that sort of thing:

Previous posts on games, units, and other projects for my 16th Century Spanish Conquest supplement for Feudal Patrol™ – “Civilizations Collide”

  1. Aztec Temple Corner Walls (Plus Some Life & Other Distractions Stuff Added In) (this post)
  2. Aztec Temple Columns and My New Love for Chinchilla Dust
  3. Mark’s Aztec Building Challenge Contest
  4. Game Aids and Tools for Feudal Patrol games using the Civilizations Collide Supplement
  5. And the Winners of “Mark’s Conquistador Contest” are…
  6. Conquistador Cavalry. 24 figures total: Outpost Wargame Services #CON5 “Conquistador Cavalry in light armour 1” (4 horses & 4 riders); Outpost Wargame Services #CON6 “Conquistador Cavalry in full armour” (4 horses & 4 riders); Eureka Miniatures “Moving Horses” #100ANM05 (8 horses used as casualty markers).
  7. Conquistador Falconet and Crew (Artillery). 3 figures total: Outpost Wargame Services #CONA1 “Falconet and Crew”.
  8. More Conquistador Sword and Buckler Men. 8 figures total Outpost Wargame Services #CON001 “Sword and Buckler Men”.
  9. Conquistador Sword and Buckler Men (Wargames Foundry). 18 figures total in three blister packs: Wargames Foundry #SB015 “Swaggering Swordsmen”, #SB016 “Brutal Sword and Buckler Men”, and #SB017 “Bold Bladesmen”.
  10. Perro de Guerra (Conquistador War Dogs). 13 figures total: Outpost Wargames Services #CONS6 “War Dogs” (8 war dogs); Eureka #100CON13 “Dog Handler and Dogs” (1 dog handler/pikeman and 4 war dogs)
  11. Conquistador Foot Command, Crossbowmen, and a Couple of Officers. 11 figures total: Outpost Wargames Services #CONC1 “Conquistador Foot Command” (a leader, a banner bearer, a drummer, and a bugler); Eureka #100CON04 “Crossbowmen” (5 crossbowmen); and Eureka CONC1 “Conquistador Officer” and an unknown SKU officer (2 officers)
  12. Merciless Adventurers (this post) – Wargames Foundry #SB014 (6 Conquistadores with arquebuses)
  13. Audacious Arquebusiers! – Wargames Foundry #SB012 (6 Conquistadores with arquebuses)
  14. Mark’s Conquistador Contest – for my loyal blog followers!
  15. Montezuma and Chieftains – Wargames Foundry #AZ011 for Feudal Patrol – 6 Aztec figures (Montezuma, 4 Chieftains, 1 Warrior Priest)
  16. Aztec Shock Troops – Cuachic Warriors aka The Shorn Ones – 8 Aztec cuachicqueh warriors
  17. Tloxtoxl and the Priests of the Great Temple, Wargames Foundry AZ021 – 2 warrior priests, 1 priestess, 1 priest, 1 leader, and 1 signaler
  18. Civilizations Collide – The Wars of the Aztecs, the Inca, the Maya, and the Conquistadores is now available as a FREE Download for Feudal Patrol™ – plus a Feudal Patrol™ review!
  19. 18 Aztec Novice Warriors for Feudal Patrol Walk into a Bar – 18 Novice Warriors
  20. Aztec Warrior Priests (painted as Tlaxcalans), Ral Partha 42-302, circa 1988 (this post) – 6 figures – 6 Tlaxcalan Warrior Priests
  21. Tlaxcalan Novices, Elite Warriors, and Command Group – 18 figures – 8 Novice Tlaxcalan Warriors, 8 Elite Tlaxcalan Warriors, 1 Tlaxcalan Captain, 1 Tlaxcalan Conch Blower
  22. Tlaxcalan Archers – 8 Veteran Tlaxcalan Archers
  23. Aztec Game for Feudal Patrol across thousands of miles – via Zoom!
  24. Aztec Snake Woman and Drummer – 1 Aztec General, 1 Aztec Drummer
  25. A June and July Jaguar Warrior Frenzy (plus some Aztec Veterans and a Warrior Priest to Boot) – 3 Aztec Veteran Warriors, 17 Jaguar Warriors, 1 Aztec Warrior Priest
  26. Doubling Down – Aztec Veteran Warriors – 24 Aztec Veteran Warriors
  27. Aztec Arrow Knights, Ral Partha circa 1988 – 6 Aztec Arrow Knights
  28. Aztec Eagle Warriors from Tin Soldier UK – 6 Aztec Eagle Knights
  29. Aztec Novice Warriors and a few Frinx – 12 Novice Warriors

PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS, FLOCKING, GLUES AND MORE THAT I USED ON THESE PIECES:

  1. Elmer’s PVA Glue
  2. Poster tack
  3. Plastic Plates
  4. All Living Things Dry Dust Bath (chinchilla dust)
  5. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  6. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  7. Vallejo Model Air “Sand (Ivory)”
  8. Vallejo Model Color “Dark Sand”
  9. Citadel “Ushabti Bone”
  10. DecoArt “Buttermilk”
  11. Vallejo Model Color “Red”
  12. Americana “Kelley Green”
  13. Craftsmart “Black”
  14. Citadel “Yriel Yellow”
  15. Army Painter “Light Tone” (wash)
  16. Vallejo Game Air “Desert Yellow”

Aztec Temple Columns and My New Love for Chinchilla Dust

When one considers the Aztecs and their empire, what does the historical record say about which visual images struck the Conquistadores in 1519 with awe? Colorfully costumed and tremendously fierce warriors? Eagle Warriors? Jaguar Warriors? Montezuma II and his palace? Untold amounts of gold and silver? Perhaps their quite bloody reputation for human sacrifice, slavery, and occasional cannibalism? The magnificence of the city of Tenochtitlan and its amazing architecture? Probably all that and more, at least in what I have read.

As I shared in my last post – I am working on terrain/buildings for the period as part of “Mark’s Aztec Building Challenge Contest”. These buildings are either resin or MDF. I originally thought that I would start with the resin buildings and then move onto the MDF ones. To do that, I wanted a good primer on the resin – and the manufacturer (Acheson Creations) recommended a Rustoleum primer. This meant spray painting with the rattlecan outside safely – or doing it unsafely inside the house and provoking my lovely bride to commit several felonies upon my person due to the fumes. Well, I can’t visit her in jail during a pandemic – or from the grave – so I decided on the outside option.

However, despite one beautiful Massachusetts day in March where we saw the 70’s (that’s the low 20’s for you metric folks), it has been in the 40’s (4-9 for you metric folks) and rainy. Neither are good for outside. So, flip the order, and onto the MDF.

My experience with MDF is very limited – all I have done before is some MDF barriers that I did back in 2017. And they were not my best work IMO. All of my MDF in the challenge is supposed to be made of stone. MDF does not look like stone of course. It’s manufactured from wood dust and glue. So, what to do? First, I watched a smattering of YouTube videos on MDF kits. The best one said to wipe down MDF with a damp microfiber to clean prior to painting which was very important for paint to adhere!

I also reached out to a couple of friends – Buck Surdu (of Buck’s Blog) and The Imperfect Modeler (TIM) to seek their unbridled wisdom. Both were great – and TIM opened my eyes to a new (to me) and amazing hobby tool that I wanted to share with you all as I am in love with it.

Chinchilla dust.

Yes, I had never heard of it before either. I have a 26 year old cockatiel, no gerbils or similar. You find it in the pet store – apparently gerbils and chinchillas and similar beasties bathe in dust, not water. This stuff is very, very finely ground pumice. A bag cost me $22 , and I think its a lifetime supply! Based on TIM’s recommendations and advice, I planned to try to use it to create a stone-like look. I hoped to accomplish this by using it over a watery PVA application.

As I had two kits of the ones called “4 Temple Columns“, I thought I’d start there as it would enable me to experiment and learn for the rest of the MDF. I broke the kits into two attempts – with the first being painting and dusting the MDF on its sheet and then assembling the kit. The second attempt would be to assemble the kit first, and then dust up and paint.

The two unopened MDF kits. I decided that I would not need the columns stacked up as the single columns were sufficiently tall enough for my needs.
After wiping the kit off with a wet microfiber cloth, I had this.

As stated, my first kit attempt was to paint and flock in situ as it were. I applied a watery PVA coat to the MDF, and then lightly spooned on or pinch-applied the chinchilla dust. I tried removing excess with a reusable Testors plastic cheap brush. I did this in a plastic tub so as to minimize the mess (and avoid unnecessarily ticking off the wife with the unannounced arrival of a new beach in the cellar). This was a bit time-consuming and not very efficient I found.

Here you see the MDF sheet with the chinchilla dust bag in the back. The watery PVA glue was applied with a cheap brush, and the chinchilla dust was applied with a tiny sculpting spoon or my pinched fingers. I tapped off or brushed off any excess.

After the glue had dried, I used my cheapest airbrush (my Iwata Neo) to paint the sheet with Vallejo Model Air “Sand (Ivory)”. When that was dry and basically cured, I dry brushed the sheet serially with three colors: Vallejo Model Color “Dark Sand’, then Citadel “Ushabti Bone”, then DecoArt “Buttermilk”. I wanted to get some depth of color this way. Then I painted the idols’ faces (all paints are listed at the end of this post as references too). The main challenge I had was not to let my paints be too thin, as they could easily run via capillary action to unwanted parts of the models. Happily, the chinchilla dust is so porous that it grabs paint easily.

The MDF sheet after dry brushing the three colors over the base coat.
Here you see the idols’ images painted. I wanted them to look well-carved but painted with primitive paints.

After painting all of it, I used Army Painter “Light Tone” over the whole of both sheets.

After the wash application.

Now, it was time to assemble. the directions were easy enough – but I discovered three issues. One was that I wasted a lot of paint and effort on parts I would not need. Second, that assembly would be complicated (just slightly) by the added thickness of the painted/dusted MDF. That was easily dealt with by an Exacto blade. Thirdly, the brown (laser-burned) surfaces of the MDF would not be the same texture and color of the rest – hardly a way to look like stone. These were the surfaces I did not get to paint by leaving the pieces of MDF on the sheets. I needed to touch all of those areas up after assembly and leaving to let the glue to dry overnight.

Assembled and left to let the PVA used in assembly dry overnight.
All the brown areas needed touch up to match the rest of the pieces!
I added more chinchilla dust and repeated the previous process with paint and wash. I needed an easier way!
First group completed.
Close up of example from the first group. I would later tone them down a bit more.

Going forward, I saw opportunities to address the shortcomings from the first go -around.

First, I would assemble first, and then apply the chinchilla dust, paint and wash. This would limit the need for so much touch up. Second, I got a small spray bottle and a cheap salt shaker from Wal-Mart to respectively apply the watery PVA glue and the chinchilla dust more easily. Both were huge improvements for round two.

Round two – let’s assemble FIRST.
An example after the chinchilla dust application put on a plastic plate with poster tack in my spray booth.

I used the exact same order of paints and washes as before – and then went back afterwards with “Light Tone” to get better blending on all of them. A few bonuses here around chinchilla dust – it is so porous that it traps a lot of the paint and the wash – and it dry brushes great. You will use more paint too. Varnishing was unnecessary – a big plus!

So here are the final results:

This is a shot of the first four Temple Columns that I completed.
Here are all of the 8 Temple Columns. I used a different design top for the second set. The lighting here is making the tops look too shiny – see next shot – they are fine.
Here is a top view. The first set tops ironically looked less “seamless” than the second set.
Here you see the columns with a couple of 28mm Conquistador arquebusiers for scale comparison out of the booth.

I did use a new setup for photos here – got some black fabric to put in my spray booth, binder-clipped it, and add a flashlight – et viola. My previous Sonoran Desert background would not have worked well. I probably need to put a filter over the spray booth light next time as the light was too bright – even with editing.

It ain’t pretty, but it works.

So that’s my March 31st completion. I am hoping to add any next April-completed pieces to Ann’s “Paint the Crap You Already Own” challenge.

BIG THANKS TO BUCK AND TO TIM!

Remember to follow my blog and enter my contest! The entry window closes on midnight EDT (US East Coast time) on April 10th, 2021.

And always, I invite your feedback on this post! Thanks for taking a look!

Miscellaneous details and references for those interested in that sort of thing:

Previous posts on games, units, and other projects for my 16th Century Spanish Conquest supplement for Feudal Patrol™ – “Civilizations Collide”

  1. Aztec Temple Columns and My New Love for Chinchilla Dust (this post)
  2. Mark’s Aztec Building Challenge Contest
  3. Game Aids and Tools for Feudal Patrol games using the Civilizations Collide Supplement
  4. And the Winners of “Mark’s Conquistador Contest” are…
  5. Conquistador Cavalry. 24 figures total: Outpost Wargame Services #CON5 “Conquistador Cavalry in light armour 1” (4 horses & 4 riders); Outpost Wargame Services #CON6 “Conquistador Cavalry in full armour” (4 horses & 4 riders); Eureka Miniatures “Moving Horses” #100ANM05 (8 horses used as casualty markers).
  6. Conquistador Falconet and Crew (Artillery). 3 figures total: Outpost Wargame Services #CONA1 “Falconet and Crew”.
  7. More Conquistador Sword and Buckler Men. 8 figures total Outpost Wargame Services #CON001 “Sword and Buckler Men”.
  8. Conquistador Sword and Buckler Men (Wargames Foundry). 18 figures total in three blister packs: Wargames Foundry #SB015 “Swaggering Swordsmen”, #SB016 “Brutal Sword and Buckler Men”, and #SB017 “Bold Bladesmen”.
  9. Perro de Guerra (Conquistador War Dogs). 13 figures total: Outpost Wargames Services #CONS6 “War Dogs” (8 war dogs); Eureka #100CON13 “Dog Handler and Dogs” (1 dog handler/pikeman and 4 war dogs)
  10. Conquistador Foot Command, Crossbowmen, and a Couple of Officers. 11 figures total: Outpost Wargames Services #CONC1 “Conquistador Foot Command” (a leader, a banner bearer, a drummer, and a bugler); Eureka #100CON04 “Crossbowmen” (5 crossbowmen); and Eureka CONC1 “Conquistador Officer” and an unknown SKU officer (2 officers)
  11. Merciless Adventurers (this post) – Wargames Foundry #SB014 (6 Conquistadores with arquebuses)
  12. Audacious Arquebusiers! – Wargames Foundry #SB012 (6 Conquistadores with arquebuses)
  13. Mark’s Conquistador Contest – for my loyal blog followers!
  14. Montezuma and Chieftains – Wargames Foundry #AZ011 for Feudal Patrol – 6 Aztec figures (Montezuma, 4 Chieftains, 1 Warrior Priest)
  15. Aztec Shock Troops – Cuachic Warriors aka The Shorn Ones – 8 Aztec cuachicqueh warriors
  16. Tloxtoxl and the Priests of the Great Temple, Wargames Foundry AZ021 – 2 warrior priests, 1 priestess, 1 priest, 1 leader, and 1 signaler
  17. Civilizations Collide – The Wars of the Aztecs, the Inca, the Maya, and the Conquistadores is now available as a FREE Download for Feudal Patrol™ – plus a Feudal Patrol™ review!
  18. 18 Aztec Novice Warriors for Feudal Patrol Walk into a Bar – 18 Novice Warriors
  19. Aztec Warrior Priests (painted as Tlaxcalans), Ral Partha 42-302, circa 1988 (this post) – 6 figures – 6 Tlaxcalan Warrior Priests
  20. Tlaxcalan Novices, Elite Warriors, and Command Group – 18 figures – 8 Novice Tlaxcalan Warriors, 8 Elite Tlaxcalan Warriors, 1 Tlaxcalan Captain, 1 Tlaxcalan Conch Blower
  21. Tlaxcalan Archers – 8 Veteran Tlaxcalan Archers
  22. Aztec Game for Feudal Patrol across thousands of miles – via Zoom!
  23. Aztec Snake Woman and Drummer – 1 Aztec General, 1 Aztec Drummer
  24. A June and July Jaguar Warrior Frenzy (plus some Aztec Veterans and a Warrior Priest to Boot) – 3 Aztec Veteran Warriors, 17 Jaguar Warriors, 1 Aztec Warrior Priest
  25. Doubling Down – Aztec Veteran Warriors – 24 Aztec Veteran Warriors
  26. Aztec Arrow Knights, Ral Partha circa 1988 – 6 Aztec Arrow Knights
  27. Aztec Eagle Warriors from Tin Soldier UK – 6 Aztec Eagle Knights
  28. Aztec Novice Warriors and a few Frinx – 12 Novice Warriors

PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS, FLOCKING, GLUES AND MORE THAT I USED ON THESE PIECES:

  1. Elmer’s PVA Glue
  2. Poster tack
  3. Plastic Plates
  4. All Living Things Dry Dust Bath (chinchilla dust)
  5. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  6. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  7. Vallejo Model Air “Sand (Ivory)”
  8. Vallejo Model Color “Dark Sand”
  9. Citadel “Ushabti Bone”
  10. DecoArt “Buttermilk”
  11. Army Painter “Light Tone” (wash)
  12. Vallejo Mecha Color “Off-white”
  13. Vallejo Model Color “Red”
  14. Americana “Kelley Green”
  15. Craftsmart “Black”
  16. Citadel “Yriel Yellow”
  17. Americana “Vivid Violet”
  18. Vallejo Mecha Color “Turquoise”
  19. Vallejo Game Air “Red Terracotta”
  20. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Iyanden Yellow”
  21. Craftsmart “Bahama Blue”