2016 kick-off!

January 7, 2016

Without further ado, six days into the new year and I’ve finished my first painted things. Granted, they’re simple ones but you have to start somewhere!

Palm trees

I bought two varieties of plastic palm tree from vendor “everestmodel” on eBay. They were cheap and definitely look nice enough. I based them on 40 and 50 mm bases, gave the trunks a few drybrush layers and painted the bases to match my pirate board. While they were very quick jobs, I’m really happy with them and they are very effective in creating that Caribbean pirate vibe. Sorry for the harsh lighting in the photos – because of the height of the taller variety, it wasn’t easy squeezing them into frame. I’m still pondering if I should give the leaves some paint as well, but at the moment they look nice enough. That one brown peg at the top of the tallest tree needs to be tidied up, though! As you can see from the photo, they really are quite tall and the thicker palm trees really have some heft to them.

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

Market stall and goods

This is one of the two market stalls that I scratchbuilt earlier, painted using really cheap euro store acrylics. I applied a dark brown undercoat, then used a dabbing sponge to apply a patchy coat of lighter brown. After that it was three layers of drybrushed highlights in grey and white, and I think I managed to pull off the sun- and salt-bleached look quite well! The market goods are from Ainsty Castings, and I painted in an East India Company logo on the bags to suggest they might not be the most honestly acquired goods (and also because I’d just watched Pirates of the Caribbean 2 and the EIC was fresh in my mind). The cloth worked quite nicely too, so all in all I’m very happy with this piece. I didn’t attach the goods to the stall as this allows me to use them elsewhere if needed. Funnily enough I didn’t do any measuring when building the piece, and the trade goods fit the stall only by happy accident. I’m not complaining.

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

With these done and some other pieces half finished but well on their way, 2016 is looking very good for my pirate town so far. Comments welcome as always!


  1. My NY resolution is to thank you for your very awesome blog. Thank you.
    welp… I’m done for the year.

  2. Really like how the stall came out. Nice proof of concept for an idea I will now pirate.

    • Thanks! Definitely pirate the idea (appreciate the pun, too), sharing is caring.

  3. Its the small bits of detail that really make an excellent wargaming table, well done.

    • Cheers! I agree, it’s often the so-called unimportant things that turn out to be super important when you’re trying to capture the feel of a genre or just make a cool table or model.

  4. I really like how the stall came out. The light modifications of the palm trees also looks good. Maybe give the leaves a matt varnish to take some of the gloss away?

    • Thanks! Might try the matt varnish. The glossy effect isn’t luckily quite as pronounced as in the photo, I had to place a bright lamp quite close so it accentuates the glare quite a bit.

      • In that case it might not be necessary. I think palm leaves do have a bit of lustre to them. A related qiestion: How does paint stick to the plastic they use? Is it soft plastic or the harder variety?

        • It’s fairly hard but somewhat pliable, think plastic toy soldiers. Paint sticks surprisingly well, at least when drybrushing with no primer. It doesn’t instantly rub off either, if you don’t make a conscious effort.

  5. I join in the chorus: really nice stall!

    • Thanks Carlo! Dead easy to make, too.

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