Eggs & Nests

   

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Glue Gun Eggs (Click thumbnails for larger images)

Materials & Tools:

Hot glue gun & glue

Small dish of cold water

Craft Knife

Stage 1

Wait until the glue gun is up to temperature, then carefully squeeze the trigger until a single drop of glue forms. Drip the glue into the cold water.

Stage 2

Carefully trim the "string" from the end of the blob of glue, leaving a roughly egg-shaped blob.

More Eggs (Click thumbnails for larger images)

Materials & Tools:

Modelling Clay

Peppercorns

Silica Gel Beads

Type 1

Roll modelling clay into small balls.

Type 2

Roll modelling clay into tapered cylinders with rounded ends. These look like the eggs of some dinosaurs - e.g. oviraptor.

Type 3

Roll modelling clay into a larger ball, then gently squash one end to form a shape like a small chicken egg. This one is about the right size for a small dragon egg.

Type 4

I couldn't resist attempting an Alien egg.

Type 5

White peppercorns are smooth, and are a pretty good size for eggs.

Type 6

Dried black peppercorns make more unusual-looking eggs with their rough surface patterns.

Type 7

Silica gel beads are commonly found in small packets added to electrical items to absorb moisture. They make great translucent eggs, but don't get them wet!

   

 

Nests from old brushes (Click thumbnails for larger images)

Materials & Tools:

Old paintbrush, back brush or similar

Painted Base

PVA

Sharp scissors

Cocktail Stick

Eggs (optional)

Stage 1

Using the scissors, chop short lengths of fibres from the head of the brush. The length of the fibres will determine how small the finished nest can be - about half the width of the nest seems to work.

Stage 2

Add a liberal coating of PVA to a roughly circular patch of the base, and drop bunches of the brush fibres into the glue.

Stage 3

Use the cocktail stick to press the brush fibres into the glue, then move most of the fibres from the middle of the nest, leaving a hollow in the centre. Once you are happy with the shape of the nest, allow the glue to dry. Then tap off any loose fibres.

Stage 4

If you wish, you can now add eggs to the nest.

You can make opaque eggs from modelling clay or peppercorns, or translucent eggs from hot glue or silica gel beads.

(Instructions coming soon)

 

Here is a finished nest with translucent eggs made from hot glue.

Nests from scouring pads (Click thumbnails for larger images)

Materials & Tools:

Scouring pad

PVA

Sharp scissors

Needle-nose Pliers or Forceps

Eggs (optional)

Stage 1

Using the scissors, cut a rough circle from the scouring pad to the size you want your nest.

Stage 2

Using the pliers or forceps, pluck bits from the centre of the circle, and also around the outside edge to leave a rough finish.

Stage 3

Spray the piece black.

Stage 4

Drybrush a mid brown colour to bring out the texture of the pad.

Stage 5

Here is the finished nest with white peppercorns added for eggs. You can glue the nest to the model, or leave it as a separate feature.

 

Here is a much smaller nest made using the same techniques, but the central hole doesn't go so deep.

 

A rough drybrush on the scourer brings out the texture. The eggs are tiny silica gel beads painted in a light blue colour.

 

   

Swallow Nests (Click thumbnails for larger images)

Materials & Tools:

Modelling Clay

Craft Knife

Flock

PVA

Paint & Brushes

Stage 1

Roll out a cylinder of modelling clay about 6mm or 1/4" in diameter. Round off one end of the cylinder, and flatten one side of it against a base-board.

Stage 2

Cut the end from the clay with a knife.

You should end up with a shape that is slightly larger than a quarter sphere. You can indent the top of the nest slightly if it will be seen. Allow the clay to harden and dry.

Stage 3

Paint PVA over the outside of the nests and sprinkle fine flock all over. This is to add a fine texture to the surface, so the colour is unimportant. Leave to dry thoroughly.

Stage 4

Paint all the exposed surfaces of the nest in an earth-brown colour, and highlight if you like.

Stage 5

Fix the nests to your model with PVA. Swallows usually nest beneath the eaves, or high in the rafters of a building with an open doorway or broken window.

 

As an alternative, mould a small ball of clay around the end of a fine paintbrush to form a bowl shape. Once dry, paint with PVA and add flock as above.

 

 

The new nest painted and highlighted.

 

The nest with eggs added.

 

Scrape Nests (Click thumbnails for larger images)

Materials & Tools:

Hot Glue Gun & Glue

Base material

PVA

Paint Brush

Sand

Eggs (optional)

Stage 1

Apply hot glue to the base in a rough circle. Build up a couple of layers to create a doughnut shape.

Stage 2

Paint the whole base with PVA glue, and then cover it in sand. Weigh down the edges of the base and leave to dry.

 

Stage 3

If you wish, you can prime and paint the sand to match other terrain pieces - I left mine unpainted.

Stage 4

Carefully glue eggs into position in the nest using PVA. These ones are modelling clay rolled into tapered cylinders to resemble some type of dinosaur eggs.

 

Is this the mother returning to tend the nest, or an egg thief looking for an easy meal?

Wolf Spider Nests (Click thumbnails for larger images)

Materials & Tools:

Wet Wipe

PVA

Paint Brush

Pencil

Drill & Drill Bits (optional)

Stage 1

Wash the wet wipe in soapy water and rinse, then leave to dry.

Stage 2

Pull a section of material from the sheet, a little larger than you want to make the nest.

Stage 3

Turn the piece of material in your hand and pull a small amount off the edges all the way around, especially on any straight sections. You should end up with a fairly random shape with trailing strands all around the edges.

Stage 4

If you are modelling on foam, make a hole with the point of the pencil, otherwise drill a suitable hole in your base. Paint a dark colour inside the hole and allow this to dry.

Stage 5 

Place the wet wipe material in place, and push the pencil into the hole through the material. You will probably have to remove the piece in order to push the pencil right through.

Stage 6 

Replace the material over the hole, and apply PVA to each of the trailing strands, attaching them to the base. Work your way all around the piece.

 

Stage 7

Press the pencil gently into the hole once more, forcing the material down, then twist and carefully remove it.

 

 

The finished result.

 

Spider Nests / Cocoons (Click thumbnails for larger images)

Materials & Tools:

Cotton Bud

PVA

Paint Brush

Scissors

Stage 1

Pull the ball of cotton wool from the plastic shaft of the cotton bud. A cotton bud is a good size and has a nice rounded end, so it is much simpler than starting with a cotton ball.

Stage 2

Cut the cotton ball to the length you require.

Stage 3

Twist the end of the cotton ball which was attached to the plastic, and pull out a strand of cotton.

Stage 4

Apply some PVA glue to the trailing strand of cotton.

Stage 5 

Apply a blob of PVA to the model where you want the nest to hang and secure the end of the strand of cotton in place.

Spider Nests #2 (Click thumbnails for larger images)

Materials & Tools:

Wet Wipe

PVA

Paint Brush

Scissors

Stage 1

Wash the wet wipe in soapy water and rinse, then leave to dry.

Stage 2

Pull a section of material from the sheet, a little larger than you want to make the nest.

Stage 3

Turn the piece of material in your hand and pull a small amount off the edges all the way around, especially on any straight sections. You should end up with a fairly random shape with trailing strands all around the edges.

Stage 4

Apply some PVA glue to the trailing strands of cotton.

Stage 5 

Hold the nest roughly in place where you want to attach it, and brush more PVA onto the ends of the strands to attach them. Work around the nest and try to keep a little tension in each of the strands.

Beehives (Click thumbnails for larger images)

Materials & Tools:

String

Plastic Rawl-Plug / Wall Anchor Plug

Scissors

Clothes Peg

Razor Saw / Hacksaw

Tacky Glue / PVA

Superglue

Paint & brushes

Stage 1

Cut a length of string from the ball or reel. For this model I cut a length about 30cm / 1 inch. Using a small drop of superglue, attach the end of the string between the two "leaves" at the rounded end of the rawl-plug. Allow to dry.

Stage 2

Place a small blob of tacky glue next to the emerging string. (Ignore the position of the glue in the picture and put the glue in the centre of one of the "leaves".)

Stage 3

Pull the string over the glue, hold it taut and attach a clothes peg to clamp it in place until it dries.

Stage 4

Once dry, run a small line of tacky glue all  around the top of the plug. Gently pull the string around to form a spiral ensuring it makes good contact with the glue, and secure the loose end with the clothes peg again.

Stage 5

Once the glue is dry, repeat the last step making a second, larger ring around the top. Depending of the sizes of the rawl-plug and string, continue adding one ring at a time until you have covered the end of the rawl-plug.  

Stage 6

Now apply glue down the sides of the rawl-plug, then wrap the string around until you reach the size you want. Push the coils of string together filling any gaps.

Stage 7

Insert the point of a cocktail stick between the coils near the base of the string - a couple of layers up is about right. If you line up the cocktail stick with the split in the plug, you can push it further in.

Stage 8

Allow the glue to set for a few minutes, then twist the cocktail stick out of the hole. Trim the end of the string to length and glue it in place.

Stage 9

Once the glue has set, trim the excess part of the rawl-plug with a razor saw. If you end up catching  some of the string, glue it back into place.

Stage 10

After drying, the beehive should look something like this.

Stage 11

Push the point of the cocktail stick into the base of the rawl-plug to hold the model whilst you apply a base-coat of mid-brown paint. You may need to re-open the entrance hole after this step.

Stage 12

Drybrush a slightly lighter colour to highlight the model.

 

A finished beehive beside a miniature for scale. You can make different sizes of hive using different sizes of rawl-plugs and string.

   

Wasps Nests (Click thumbnails for larger images)

Materials & Tools:

Modelling Clay

Cocktail Stick or similar

PVA

Paint & Brushes

Stage 1

Roll a piece of modelling clay into an egg shape. Real wasps nests can get about as big as a basketball, but fantasy ones could be much larger.

Stage 2

Roll out a thin sausage from a second piece of clay.

Stage 3

Press the sausage flat with your finger, leaving a rough edge at one side. Use the cocktail stick to further roughen this edge if necessary.

Stage 4

Roll the strip around the original ball of clay with the rough edge about 1/3 of the way up from the bottom. You may need to use a knife blade to help prise the strip from the underlying board.

Stage 5

Add a second strip of clay above the first and smooth off the top. Push the tip of a cocktail stick to make a hole in the clay near the more pointed end of the egg. Allow the clay to harden and dry.

Stage 6

Once dry, paint and highlight the nest in shades of mid- to light brown.

Stage 7

Attach the nest to your model using PVA glue. In nature, wasps nests are usually found hanging beneath some kind of shelter - a tree branch, the roof of a building or overhanging rocks, for example.

   

Molehills (Click thumbnails for larger images)

Materials & Tools:

Plaster of Paris or similar

Custom Scenics Applicator

Atomiser or pipette

Paints & brushes

Stage 1

Molehills occur on many types of terrain, but are most obvious on short grass like lawns or grazed pasture. Finish an area of terrain with flock & static grass where you wish to add the molehills.

Stage 2

Add some small piles of plaster where you want the molehills using a precision applicator, or a folded piece of card.

Stage 3

Mist over the plaster with water from the atomiser, or drip a couple of drops carefully onto each pile of plaster from the pipette. Leave to set and dry, then gently brush away any excess.

Stage 4

Paint the plaster in earth tones - I used thin washes of black and dark brown on mine, but the colour should match any other bare earth patches on your model.

Stage 5

Paint highlights on the molehills if you wish. Add more flock or static grass to any areas that may need it, before sealing everything with watered down PVA.

 


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