Category Archives: Terrain

Trees in 30 minutes!

I had an email a couple of weeks back about the trees in my games.

I know I posted a blog a few years back but thought I would do a quick one, again.

Step One – Find Trunks

I do not spend hours making wire armatures, i don’t have the time or the patience.

I am lucky enough to have a  Rhododendron (I think), my wife is the gardener. When pruned, I keep the cuttings to make tree trunks. The stem/branch has just the right look of a fully grown tree.                  

Stage Two – Help Them Stand

In my last article I glued the trunk to a large washer. Now I tend to drill the base of the trunk and glue in a nail or spear wire. They are small enough not to leave too visible a mark on the terrain tile. I just fill the drilled hole with cheap superglue and push in the wire/nail. It also helps during the construction. I normally have a piece of polystyrene sheet handy to stick them in like a production line.

Stage Three – Foliage

Get your “Rubberised Horse Hair” and cut circles out of it. Mine are normally about 3″ or 75mm in diameter but do not worry if they are not a perfect circle or 3″.  Then pull the layers that make up the Horse hair apart.

Take these de-laminated layers and glue them to the trunk. Keep adding the layers until you have a foliage you like. This is why size and shape do not matter too much.

I bought recently a brilliant rechargeable glue gun for a few pounds at a “budget” supermarket. Not having the wire really helps. It takes five minutes to charge before you can use it.

Stage Four – Leaves

What ever show I go to I look around for cheap scatter material. At the last show there was someone selling bags of home made scatter (coloured sawdust) 4 for a £1. I never worry too much about colour matching I just throw it all together for this type of use. I put all the scatter in a carrier bag inside a bin. the picture is not great but the scatter fills a Christmas sweet tin in size.

Next get some spray glue and wearing a glove on my left hand, I hold the trunk while screening the trunk from over-spray apply the glue until it foams white. I tend to only spray the tops. This leaves the underside bare and I think it looks more like branches.

I then transfer the tree to my right gloved hand to immerse in the scatter material. The fresh gloved hand stops scatter sticking to the over-sprayed glove. Shake off the excess back into the bin and you have a tree.

There you have it.

In 30 minutes I made 8 trees. I worked out the cost to be about £6 for all 8. This size of tree is usually on sale for about £10-12 pounds each at shows, so give it a go and save a fortune.

The dearest part is the Rubberised hair but I have had a 6×4 sheet from a local upholsterers, for a while now and it is still going strong. I make my trees large but  if you like smaller, then smaller trunks mean smaller diameter circles. Here are some 28mm ECW for scale with the rest of the trees.

Leave a comment

Filed under Terrain, trees

January’s Game – The Bridge

Have had a bit of down time with war-gaming with Christmas etc.

Now I am back in the flow as we all got together for our first game of the new year.

We decided to put on an AWI game.

Background. 

Both sides had identified the need to secure a river crossing. The British had sent a small force to take and hold the objective. This included what can best be described as a Light Brigade consisting of Light infantry , Hessian Jagers and Indians!

Thankfully for the British they out marched their line infantry companions and made it to the bridge before anyone else.

Arrival for both sides was random, see OOB

Rules

We used our old favourites, Fields of Honor with house rules for the Indians.

Commanders

Americans – Laurie and Steve

British – Nathan

Umpire – Me

 

The Battle

The British lights had decided to strategically place themselves behind the fence line and await the on coming Americans. This was also described by the American command as hiding!

The Americans were the first to get their 2nd Brigade on the table followed the next turn with a quick 6 bring on their last brigade. The British were a little slower and at one point it looked like the Americans would be engaging in melee with the lights before any British support arrived. The Americans sent two brigades up the road and another towards the river beside the fields as they believed the river to be fordable.

The American lead brigade of militia got held up in a fire fight with the British lights, this in turn blocked the road and never really managed to allow the 3rd Brigade to pass them and get into the fight. The 3rd brigade got so frustrated that they resorted to deploying their artillery on the bridge to provide supporting fire. While this did help, it also blocked the bridge forcing the infantry to wade across the river. On their left flank they had crossed the river just in time to engage the British 3rd Brigade that had finally advanced up the road.

Both sides traded shots and attempted to engage in melee but the willingness and determination of the militia was never quite enough.

Attrition managed to whittle the Americans down in to a too weakened a force to carry the day. They withdrew in good order to fight another day allowing the British to sneak out from the fences and hold the bridge( American commander not me).

Here are a few shots of the game. Figures are Perry and Foundry and from both Nathan and my own collections.

American OOB British OOB

SAM_3507SAM_3509 SAM_3499SAM_3500SAM_3508 SAM_3506 SAM_3505 SAM_3504 SAM_3503 SAM_3502 SAM_3501SAM_3510

This was the first game of AWI that Steve and Laurie had played and both confessed it was an interesting era and may possibly pick some figures up at their local show PAW2016 which is on in a couple of weeks.

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under American war Independence, Fields of Honor, Scenarios, Terrain

No Fire Without Smoke

A couple of people have emailed asking how I made the explosions in the last blog.

Well it is so simple and relatively quick.

Stage 1. Materials. well I have a large amount of stuffing from an old cushion, spray glue, Fluorescent Yellow spray, Fluorescent Orange spray and some red spray. The two fluorescent spray were from Halfords at £7 each and instead of the army painter red I also have a spray from Wilkinsons which I think was £3. Either are good. The spray glue I have had for a few years

The materials

The materials

Stage 2.  Shape the stuffing into the shapes you want. Take as little or as long as you need to get the correct shape. I held these down to the board with a little Blu-Tac.SAM_3411Stage 3. Spray with the glue. This when dry will set the stuffing in to the shape you have chosen. Do not wait, move straight on to stage 4.

SAM_3412

Stage 4. Without waiting for the glue to dry, spray most of the explosion in Yellow.  Ensure the base of the fire is well coated as that will be the hottest part of the explosion. Do not wait, move straight on to stage 5.

SAM_3413

Stage 5. Without waiting, spraying from above and slightly off to the sides spray the Orange. This is a quick spray not too intense as you don’t want it to swamp the yellow. It should start to blend in with the yellow a little way up the explosion. Do not wait, move straight on to stage 6.

SAM_3414Stage 6. From directly above now spray the red .

SAM_3415

Stage 7. The process so far has taken less than 5 minutes. Now leave till they are touch dry.

If you want to vary them and have a fuel/oil fire, prime the stuffing with a light dusting of black and/or grey before stage 4.

Please have a go, I am sure you will be surprised at how easy yet effective it is.

2 Comments

Filed under Terrain

October’s Game – 12mm WW2

For our October game we decided to play an era I have not played for about 4 years and in a scale we have never played. I have had a few items in my collection but they have sat at the back of the garage unpainted.

That meant that the last month has been full of painting and basing. Luckily on the way I managed to find a few items on Ebay that fitted my requirements perfectly.

The rules we used were a slightly modified version of a free set from Panzer 8. While these are aimed at 1/300 they were easily modified for 1/144 or 12mm. Here is the link http://panzer8.weebly.com/ Their rule sets are great fun and picked up in just a few turns. We had done a bit more research on the attack and defensive values of our tanks, infantry  etc to get a better variety in the game. A great site we found to help was the GHQ WW2 Micro Armour rules site. http://www.ghqmodels.com/pages/military/freestuff.asp This site has rules and vehicle, infantry specifications that saved so much time in research. They also have scenarios for this and their other rule sets. ( Really like their ACW Scenarios).

The Scenario was the introduction one contained in the Rapid Fire Wargame rules set – The battle of Lingeves 14th June 1944.

This had a British battalion with support advancing to take and hold a strategic village. Unfortunately this was held by the 902nd Panzer Grenadier regiment with support from the 2nd Company 130th Panzer Regiment in the shape of a couple of Panthers!

Game Overview – The British no sooner had advanced on to the table and cleared the cornfields when one of their carriers blew up in flames, This was closely followed by one of the supporting Shermans.

SAM_3390

Turn one and a Carrier and Sherman already a blaze! Panther can be seen on the edge of the woods.

British bought their infantry forward and attempted to enter the woods and clear the Panther. Here they ran into a Panzer Grenadier Company. After a brief firefight they drove out the Germans and took out the panther with a PIAT.

SAM_3401

British clear the woods and advance on to the farm. Burning wreck on Panther in the background.

SAM_3388

Panzer Grenadiers holed up around the farm.

British pushed on and after a bitter firefight saw them clear the farm. They had also established contact with their artillery support which was starting to lay down some fire on the cross roads, Their next target.

German reinforcements started to arrive in the shape of another Panther and a company of Panzer Grenadiers in 251s

SAM_3387

German BHQ

SAM_3396

German reinforcements nearly hit by British artillery.

The German player decided that he had held up the advance enough and caused enough damage to satisfy his senior commander and so could start the withdraw ( It could have been the need to get home to watch the world cup rugby but I would like to think it was the first reason). All in all a good few of hours gaming and chatting. The rules will need a little work on for spotting etc but nothing too altering.

Here are a few other pics including a flyby by a reconnaissance plane!

SAM_3405

The recon picture. The explosions really stand out.

SAM_3391

British advance past their burning wrecks.

SAM_3399

British starting to outflank the farm

SAM_3389

Panther reinforcements. thankfully he moved just before the artillery barrage landed.

SAM_3409SAM_3400SAM_3398SAM_3397SAM_3395SAM_3394SAM_3393SAM_3392

The figures are mainly Minifgs with a couple plastic vehicles from Dragon/CanDo

The buildings are Hornby N gauge Lyddle End range and the farm is a card kit from Metcalfe. the cardboard kit is really good and great value for money.

The roads (15mm)are from Fat Frank via eBay

The hedges are Javis OO/HO flexible hedges, great value.

The trees are some old K&M ones, I have had for years.

The explosions are home made – These only took 10 minutes to make. Will show you how in my next blog.

Leave a comment

Filed under Scenarios, Terrain, Wargame Rules, World War 2

Worst Model Building Ever?

Having probably bored you with my recent building purchases and reviews you may not want to even read this one. Please do as I feel so strong about this kit.

For my recent birthday I was asked what I would like and I mentioned  Café Gondree. To cut a long story short a model representing this was purchased from an Auction site for me.

I am sad to say that in my opinion this is the worst model I have ever seen. It is usually advertised for £20 but can start at a £10. Maybe if you got it at that price including postage it maybe worth investing the time to make something out of this pig of a kit.

It appears to me that very little  time has been invested in this kit to get it right. No realistic chimney, the tiles are appalling (looks like a copy and paste on the CAD program, has the designer even seen a roof?), no building detail, no doors, ridge tiles  and the roof joints are a joke.

Like the designer I won’t spend too much time on this kit to finish it, if at all. In my opinion SAVE YOUR MONEY.

SAM_3304 SAM_3305 SAM_3306 SAM_3307

Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews, Terrain

More Buildings – Sarissa Models

SAM_3293 SAM_3294

Here are a few pictures of some models I bought to supplement my growing collection of 28mm buildings with a particular slant towards a WW2 Dad’s Army game.

having purchase a large number of buildings from Charlie Foxtrot I saw these and thought what if.

I bought 2 terraced houses, a shop and a set of dormer windows from their Gas Lamp Alley range. These are big models, in all aspects. I would probably say they are designed for the very large 28s on the market. They do look a little large when placed next to other makers kits even Sarissa’s own other ranges. They will have to form their own area in the game.

They are priced at £14.99 for the house, £19.99 for the shop and £4.99 for 2 dormer window kits. I think really good value for money.

I really like these models although there are a few little niggles. Nothing to lose sleep over but the roof I think is too shallow and on a few courses of brickwork the vertical pointing is missing. That said the detail of the sash windows and doors is great. Care must be taken as these are 1mm cardboard so I sealed them with varnish before painting as I was worried what any damp may do.

I also purchased a French Chateau for £25, an excellent kit and the value for money is great. The detail of the shutters is the best I have seen on any kits but beware that they are so thin because they are cut into cardboard! These are of a slightly smaller scale than the Gas Lamp range and will fit perfectly in with my Charlie Foxtrot kits with no problem. This will probably represent a town hall or something similar.

SAM_3308 SAM_3309 SAM_3310 SAM_3311

Finally I also purchased what is call a Large farm House for £20. This is another good kit and I particularly like the archway.  I think this will end up being a pub or something similar. The only weak point for me with the kit is the chimneys. The pots are square! I guess for easy of production but it does let the kit down. I will probably replace with piping

SAM_3300 SAM_3301 SAM_3302 SAM_3303

Here is their web address http://www.sarissa-precision.com/28mm_Ranges/cat1603369_2110069.aspx

Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews, Sarissa Models, Terrain, Traders

More Buildings from Charlie Foxtrot

It has been a while since my last blog about buildings but like buses a few should come along pretty quickly.

The first is a couple of building from CF. As always these are a good set of buildings.

First I have done the “La Boulangerie”. Cost is current £19 and is a nice size  W170xD130xH220.

I have painted this to represent the village post office. I left the window frames unpainted as I think if gives it that natural wood look.

SAM_3295 SAM_3296 SAM_3297 SAM_3298 SAM_3299

The second model was “L’Epicerie” or Grocers. This is a stunning model and although it looks complicated, it is very easy to put together and I have to admit it is my favourite so far and I have 3 of them to do!

Being a grocers it could only have been “Hodges’ Greengrocers.

It is currently £25 and is a sizable building coming in at W173xD173xH215.

I wanted to do something to break up the growing avenue of rendered buildings. I decided to print off some brick patterns and externally wallpaper the building. Do you like it?

It will allow to do rendered lower half  with brick upper floors. Corner buildings can really add to the visual impact on a street.

SAM_3287 SAM_3288 SAM_3289 SAM_3290 SAM_3291

 

Here is the link to Charlie Foxtrot Models http://www.charliefoxtrotmodels.com/

Leave a comment

Filed under Charlie Foxtrot Models, Dad's Army, Terrain, Traders, World War 2