Thursday 24 January 2019

Terra-Formers Skirmish Board - Update 2

It's been over a week since I posted the initial photos of my Terra-formers based skirmish boards so I thought it about time I posted an update.

Things have progressed well, with one board just about complete. This definitely needs the sides painting black, but maybe also I'll add some static grass, though I'm not sure about that yet. I certainly will be adding static grass to the edges of the roads and the rivers.

Of the other boards, most now have their ground covering on them. I've been watching the videos on the Lukes APS YouTube channel which is full of helpful hints and the ground covering I've used is one straight from there: "Cheap And Easy Realistic Ground Covers That Dont Need Painting" It is very cheap and in fact cost me nothing at all since the grout was a gift.  I'm very happy with it and it lives up to Luke's recommendations.

I've been using techniques I already knew for some parts, but the flocking is very much again taken from Luke. Though rather than using his range of flocks I've had to resort to using Woodland Scenics flock since he appeared to be out-of-stock on his website whenever I looked.

The one white tile is where I have a bridge crossing the river. This will be the most complex tile so I've left it until last. I may get around to working on it next week, maybe...

My recipe for flocking has been:

  1. Base covering of slightly thinned PVA. Concentrating on the edges as Luke recommends.
  2. Add some clumpy bits of Medium Green Coarse Turf.
  3. Shake on Green Blended Turf, making sure to cover the edges well in particular.
  4. Spray 50/50 isopropyl alcohol/water all over
  5. Spray watered-down PVA all over
  6. Add some clumpy bits of Dark Green Coarse Turf, lower areas
  7. Spray watered-down PVA all over
  8. Shake a fine coating of Burnt Grass Fine Turf, high areas
  9. Scatter a bit of my earth mixture on top.
  10. Spray watered-down PVA all over
A couple of notes:
  1. I think I may have overdone it with the watered-down PVA a bit. It's taken 2 days to dry out properly. I might perhaps drop step 7.
  2. I talk about lower and higher areas above, but really on this board it's pretty flat. It'll be more important on the other boards.
Edit: After posting this blog entry I went on and did some more. A bit more work on the ground covering on the two river boards and the flocking on the other three plain boards including the hill pieces. 

The PVA is still rather wet and white! I'm sure after I come back from my weekend away it'll have dried.

Sunday 20 January 2019

Songs of Drums and Shakos. First Try

Today saw us playing our first Napoleonic skirmish using the Songs of Drums and Shakos ruleset. I was using my new French force and Ed brought along his "Chosen Men" of the 95th Rifles.

The game was set in my medieval city, suitably modified to remove the too medieval or fantastical elements. It's the only 3'x3' table I have at the moment so was the obvious choice. The scenario was a simple meeting engagement with victory to the side that managed to break the opposition.

The game started with the British advancing carefully in cover. The French were disadvantaged by having started in the dockyard and were quite broken up and unable to really organise themselves for the first few turns.

The initial rifle shots were deadly accurate and took out my poor drummer boy and standard bearer. After that though the British struggled to get any rifles loaded. In the end I managed to get my guys together and dispatch several of the rifles. However we took quite a few casualties.

As the numbers of soldiers on each side dropped rapidly morale suffered and in the end all we had left was a few men each. Those last few ended the game in a small brawl with one rifleman on the floor valiantly fending off two French infantrymen for several turns whilst the British officer (Sharpe) cut down a conscript Frenchman to finish the game in a British victory.

We both thoroughly enjoyed the game and will be painting up some more troops for a re-fight. Hopefully that will be on the new skirmish boards I'm making.

French troops arrive by boat in the dockyard.

They advance slowly out of the dockyard into the city.

Someone keeps shooting our soldiers from somewhere in those buildings...

Aha! There's a British officer!!

The French form a ragtag line formation to try to deal with the last few British...

We have them now!!

Saturday 19 January 2019

Blücher - Getting Ready...

I've still not got any French... but luckily my opponent for my first upcoming game of Blücher has.

In preparation for that game I thought I'd try out the terrain components I've made since I've not managed that before. All trees for the woods have been completed and enough hills.

I do have a lot more terrain than is shown in these photos but since we plan to play an altered version of the starter Across the Danube scenario I've laid out the board ready for that.

Of course the game isn't for another week yet...

Sunday 13 January 2019

Terra-Formers Skirmish Board - In Progress

When Kings of War Vanguard came along I realised a problem, it a requires 3ft x 3ft square board. All my terrain tiles (apart from my medieval city boards are in 2ft x 2ft pieces. If I was going to make a non-city board for the game I'd have to do something new.

I considered making a single 3ft x 3ft board, but decided it would be a bit big for the car. I wanted something with some three-dimensional aspects anyway. I had noticed the Sally 4th Terra-formers system a while ago and had been impressed. The laser-cut accuracy and use of real earth magnets was something I'd noticed in a US based product years ago, but this UK based product would be even better for what I needed.

I decided to order the "Contested Crossing" starter set for Christmas with the intention of having it ready for the Vanguard participation games we'll be running at Hammerhead and Chilcon this year. Then comes along my sudden interest in Napoleonic Skirmish games in the form of Songs of Drums and Shakos and I have yet another reason to have this board.

Well with the 6mm Napoleonics stalled for the moment awaiting an order and needing to get these boards done soon, I thought I better get on with them!

I've built them up and cut and glued the polystyrene. Next step will be to hit the polystyrene with a heat gun to apply some interesting undulations and then it's on to filler...

Sunday 6 January 2019

Wednesday 2 January 2019

28mm French Napoleonic Line Infantry

My current obsession with Napoleonic wargaming lead me to not just 6mm large scale battles, but also 28mm skirmishes. I decided I could do both as the skirmish style game could use my existing 28mm scale terrain maybe with a couple of C19th pieces thrown in.

I looked around for rules and found Songs of Drums and Shakos for the skirmish size. These suited me just fine as they only require about a dozen models, will fit in on a 3ft x 3ft board and seem quick but clever.

With that in mind, even before starting on my 6mm adventure, I'd bought a box of Perry plastic French Line Infantry. With the 6mm stuff stalled requiring extra supplies and having an SDS game booked for a few weeks time I thought it would be a good plan to start painting up my French.

I've just completed the first 5 models. I've greatly enjoyed painting these. As usual the Perry miniatures are top-notch, with superb detail. I'm really happy with them and will move on to paint the remaining 7 models I need as soon as I've finished writing this blog article!