Alladale Wildlife Reserve



a topographical model designed to show the boundary-extent of a property requisitioned for use as a wildlife reserve - the plan being to eventually re-introduce the likes of wolves and bears to the Scottish Highlands, along with several other less 'controversial' species, in an attempt to create a relatively natural habitat wherein predator animals will effect a natural population-control of various other prey-species. The first stage here shows how a contour-survey of the area is mapped out in key-colours, to assist in establishing the build-up of layers of foamboard relative to the increasing elevation of the land; the second picture here shows the effectiveness of this build-up process


the foamboard is carved down with surform tools to create a more natural effect; the whole model is then skinned over with a layer or two of fibreglass to give strength to the overall form - meanwhile, a friendly robin appears at regular intervals to nibble my biscuits, which should not be taken as a euphemism for anything else.


the model is sanded down and primed, and then marked out in certain areas where the terrain is rockier - a little gouging-about with chisel and dremel, and a bit of sculpting with milliput and filler, afford a nice chunky look to it all. The model is primed again, and a test-piece is made to see what paint-effects can be achieved with the spraygun


the first bit of spraying takes care of the model's edges; the grey bar below shows the 'speckle' effect typically used. These edges are masked out, and then a suitable blue is applied to represent the various lakes and water-courses in the area. These are also masked out, and then the first tones of the earth-colours can begin to be added.


further colours are added until the desired overall effect is achieved. The lakes and rivers are de-masked, and then further detail is worked into the colour-scheme by hand-painting, using various methods to bring out highlighting in the rocky areas and to enhance the existing water-courses


foam-flocking is added to represent the tree-cover of the bounded area: the dinosaurs that appear to have taken up residence should not be assumed to be of the same scale, by the way. The red line just visible in the second-to-last picture represents the boundary that will be taken up by the owner's proposed fencing plan; meanwhile, the last little segment shows the actual Lodge of the Alladale Estate, at scale with the rest of the model, compared in size to a standard 10A scalpel blade


the finished model is mounted onto a board for ease of display, with a posh little laser-etched plaque. Various labels are added for the lakes and such, with the obligatory 'you are here' sort of thing just in case anybody needs to know. It currently resides at the Lodge itself, so if you wanna see it for real, you'll have to go for a wolfy weekend...

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