Our Salute Board: Part 4 - Finishing

Once all the boards had been sculpted and shaped, there was one task left – to paint and cover the boards. In this gargantuan task I had some help from my fellow Brixham Berserkers, namely Casey Vandenberg, Pete Bowles, Paul Burkin, Rossco Watkins and Martin Oaff. I am indebted to their sterling efforts.

First, the boards needed to be covered with a base layer of earth. This was provided by a cheap matt emulsion (we used “B&Q Clay” from their Silk Emulsion range). This was mixed with PVA glue, sand and a small amount of black to slightly darken the surface. After this had dried, a dry brush of the original colour on top of the surface was added. These were left to dry in the sun to speed up the drying process.

Next came the flocking. We used a mixture of grades of static grass (4mm and 6mm with some 10mm), and a static grass applicator (the Pro Grass 1.0 from War World Scenics). The aim was to create a natural looking board, so we liberally mixed the grades. We started with “Spring Mix” on the top of the hill, using “Summer Mix” going down the hill and then using a mixture of both mixes on the level ground.

To be honest, such a subtle delineation in colour with the grasses was completely missed by all who saw it. A more noticeable result was achieved by mixing in patches of different grass colour and adding them to the main board. Some of these were more yellow in colour while others more brown – these broke up the texture of the otherwise evenly green board nicely. I have used flock before on boards with mixed results but I was very pleased with the effect the static grass achieved. The boards looked very good.

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