Friday, October 28, 2016

I like lichen

I'm sprucing up many of my scenics with shrubbery, and I like the effect.

Preserved lichen can be purchased at any hobby store (I boycott Hobby Lobby) and averages around six dollars per bag.  The lichen in the bag is pretty compressed so when you dump it out and leave it overnight it expands to its actual size.  As you can see above, there's a lot of product in the bag.  Craft lichen comes in a range of color mixes from spring to autumn foliage.

This is one of my stepped, upland scenics which looks pretty sterile.

Hot glue is the perfect adhesive for lichen which is very spongey and the hot glue gets a particularly good grip.

Lichen grows naturally in moist wooded areas.  The greatest cache of lichen I've ever found was at Detour State Park in upper Michigan.  Lichen in its natural state is quite stiff, and as it dries it becomes increasingly brittle and eventually breaks down.  Craft lichen, however, is pickled in glycerine and remains soft and pliable though perfectly preserved.

Even just randomly sprinkling the clumps of lichen over your battlefield will really enhance its appearance.  When the smoke clears, just pack it all up in a large Ziploc bag where it'll remain dust-free until the long-roll sounds again.

Soldier on!



The Good Soldier Svjek said...

You can never have enough Lichen ! , Tony

Springinsfeld said...

Added to which it has a very pleasing aroma..... evocative of Scandinavian forests and battles with Airfix soldiers.

gail from Long Island said...

Hello again, Mannie. I'm back...with another scenic-layout question. I am constructing a large battle diorama, and there is a stuborn Union defense. I want to show the firing line being re-supplied with ammo. How did the men get more mini-balls? I was thinking of having the walking BMC figure (after swapping 1arm into a carrying position to match the other) holding a box with lid open and having another figure reaching in for the bullets. I don't know what the ammo boxes look like, or what color, probably wood box? How big, how many men in re-supply? This is a depiction I don't really know the details of. You nailed my other question recently, color of Cavalry shirts under shell jacket. So, I have come to you again. After visiting G'burgh, and Manassas, seeing all the cannon, limbers and caissons, I have a pretty good idea of the colors for artillery, brown, green, black for metal straps, trail spike...metal & wood? Metal pail? How many pails average for single cannon? Ram rods always wood poles? Swab on end of ramrod filthy beige? I better stop now, before I give you a headache. Thanks so much for what you do. It is appreciated. Carl, LI, NY

Mannie Gentile said...

Carl, When resupplying regiments on the line with ammunition, each company would send details of men toward (note "toward" the rear where ammunition wagons were waiting.

How many men per company were detailed is open to your conjecture but considering the amount of ammunition being resupplied and the weight of the crates I'd imagine it was more than less men.

If you Google "Civil War ammunition crate" you'll se numerous images of ammunition crates as well as the variety of colors that they were painted. Were I doing such a diorama, say, of George Sears Green's 1,200-man division being resupplied on the line at Antietam (imagine that in 543mm!) I would paint the boxes olive green or raw wood.

Gun carriages, Union and Confederate, were painted olive green and all fittings were painted black. Iron gun tubes were painted black and bronze tubes were polished bright. The handles of all implements were painted the same olive green as the carriage.

The sponge end of the sponge rammer will become black almost immediately and will remain so until it becomes worn out. All buckets are black and there is one beneath the gun and one (or two) beneath the limber. a'' buckets have attached lids.

I hope this helps.


Cap'n Bob said...

When I use lichen to make bushes I paint a toothpick brown, glue it in a small hole in my ground surface, and slip the clump of lichen over it.

I enjoy your work a lot.

gail from Long Island said...

Hello again, Manny. I sent another question to you, but it must have been sent to wrong site. My question is - what do the artillery crews do with empty caissons/limbers? Send them back to the ammo station in the rear? Use them for barricades? Horses were removed from limbers and brought to the rear - to use on a different limber? On a defensive position, did cannon crews set up camp at the gun site and sleep/eat there? Thanks again Manny, Carl, NY

Unknown said...

Why do you boycott Hobby Lobby? Just curious.