To the topic!
I've been inspired by my club's monthly painting challenge put together by my good friend and fellow blogger Mars (Mars' Project Blog). The comp has us painting something up some in autumn-themed colors. You see a lot of armies out there of various games that are seasonally based, usually in winter or the much more common summer themes. I've always wanted to try autumn for its vibrant color selection. The trouble is that its tough to simulate fallen leaves.
There are some companies out there that produce brass-etched packs of leaves, and these are pretty much awesome. I've seen a few examples including the brass leaves, and they look absolutely stunning. However, for my needs its just economically prohibitive to cover a bijillion Flames Of War bases with them. So I did the next best thing and begged for ideas from amongst the guys in the studio. I was not disappointed as the smartest Wookiee I know, James Brown (painter & modeller extraordinaire) pointed me in the direction of ground tea leaves.
Armed with some fresh ideas I headed home to start my trial attempts. After a few failed starts (one of which resulted in the entire contents of a tea bag being blown everywhere when I stupidly attempted to spray paint it) I finally settled on a pretty easy solution. So without delay, here's a quick run down on cheap and easy autumn leaves:
Step 1: Loot Tea Bags
I looted 10 tea bags from my fiance's stash. I then emptied their contents into a mixing bowl.
Step 3: Spread
Then take the paste and spread it out in plastic container. I spread it out in a layer about 1/8" (3-4mm) thick.
Any thinner and you risk having it get blown away in the next step.
Too thick and you'll lose your color when the tea dries and you mix it together.
Once I painted the trays I placed them outside in direct sunlight for a few hours. I'm sure that you can do the same under a heat lamp or something similar.
The stones were added to make sure the tray didn't blow away. That's all.
Then I mixed up both trays together into one glorious pile.
I think there was a bit too much brown, indicating that I should have probably paid more attention to the thickness of my trays, but I'm still happy with the result.
I am happy enough with the result that I'll be employing it forthwith... however I've totally missed the painting comp's deadline which inspired this in the first place. No worries, I've got something for leaves now!
As the final lyric of Yes' "Leave It" would have it: "One down one to go, another town and one more show!"