Saturday, 19 December 2020

The sap rises again...perhaps

 "As the gardener, by severe pruning, forces the sap of the tree into one or two vigorous limbs, so should you stop off your miscellaneous activity and concentrate your force on one or two points." 

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Emerson could have been speaking directly to wargamers with that sentiment really, except maybe for the bit about vigorous limbs. So, back to saps. The thing about playing a siege game is that one would need lots of saps, lots and lots. I'm not saying that I intend to satisfy that need, but I would quite like to know how I would do so should I ever feel like it. Those of you who followed my previous link to Rod's Wargaming Website may have seen this post in which he uses a rather ingenious trompe-l'œil approach to the problem. It's very creative, but not the way which I wanted to go. Incidentally, whilst he claims to be modelling from Duffy's illustrations he has made his sap two-sided, which I'm not convinced by. I also can't decide if it would make the zig to zag transition easier or harder.

I have a couple of ideas, the first of which is resin casting. I've never done it, but quite fancied having a go and so I sent off for a starter kit. When we left the somewhat underwhelming model that I had made it was tacked to part of a bathroom tile. The next step is to make a box around it - I used foamboard - into which silicone will be poured to form the mould. The join between the foamboard and tile is sealed with copious amounts of hot glue.

After that one calculates the weight of silicone required to fill the dimensions of the box, discovers that the starter kit doesn't contain enough to allow one to, as it were, start, and sends off for some more. I have been using a supplier in Norn Iron, which added a day or so to the delivery schedule, although presumably a lot less time than it will in the new year. It arrived yesterday and was mixed (note to self: get a bigger mixing vessel) and poured.

The paper towels represent the places at which the quantities of hot glue were insufficiently copious; another learning point. It has to be left for twenty four hours to cure, which will finish this afternoon. However, I am booked in for some heavy duty social bubbling, so it may well be Monday before I get to demould. Am I confident? No, not at all, but it passes the time.


  1. Making my own molds is something I've never tried myself , so I watch your efforts with great interest .

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