Friday 22 February 2019

New cloth for 6mm Napoleonics

I've been using (or at least planning on using) my tried and trusted, and rather old, Games Workshop static grass cloth for the base for my Blücher games. Thing is though the bright green uniform colour contrasted a little too much at the scale. Also it's too big for the base-width I'm using of 6cm, ideally I should have a table 16x24 (in base-widths), so 96cm x 144cm. Around 5ft x 3ft instead of 6ft x 4ft.

Looking around I've seen many different solutions to the tabletop. I wanted for the moment to try something quite inexpensive. After a while I found somewhere where I could get some felt the right size and at a reasonable price, just under £10.

It arrived today and since it's been a lovely day and I've been off work I thought I'd get on with colouring it. It's had various paints rollered onto it and sprayed on. I wasn't really sure whether I'd got the colour right. I'm still not 100% sure, but I don't think it's terrible.

What does everyone else think? Has this been a success?

Edit: I used this page as a guide Steven's Balagan - Making a Wargaming Terrain Mat / Base Cloth and I bought the felt from here: Craft Fabrics UK. The colour was "Teddy".

Terra-Formers Skirmish Board - Complete

Phew... done! And I love it!

The first game on this will be a game of Vanguard on Monday night at COGS.

Right now I have to get ready for the Four Foot Snake Kings of War Grand Tournament, tomorrow!

Thursday 21 February 2019

Terra-Formers Skirmish Board - Update 4

So... the boards themselves are complete!

The flocking is all down, the river has water and ripples and the bridge is sorted. So, now it's on to scatter terrain... buildings, trees, hedges, etc.

I looked through my terrain collection and found that since this board is much darker than the ones I usually have I'm going to have to re-base or make a lot of new terrain. I found a couple of buildings that I liked and have started making some new trees and hedges using rubberised horse hair, which was a lot easier than I thought it would be!

I'm using some of the Mantic Terrain Crate stuff I got with the Vanguard Kickstarter, which seems appropriate since the first thing this new board will be used with is Vanguard. I also found some old Gale Force Nine Rocky Outcroppings that have the advantage that they don't look silly on the hillside. Finally there's a prison cart from Irongate Scenery. And of course there are the Renedra Tents that I showed previously.

I have a couple of days off work now to get this, and the 6mm Napoleonics well under way... wish me luck!

Edit: I just noticed this is my 200th blog post!

Tuesday 19 February 2019

6mm French Line Infantry - First Bases Complete

I just finished the first 4 brigades of line infantry for my French force for Blücher.

I've based these up to each represent a battalion in three lines with 6 models to represent each of the 6 companies in the battalion, voltigeurs skirmishing at the front. The flags are decals made from images from warflags.

I'm so pleased to finally get these done. I have a lot more to do yet! Behind them you can see the models primed for the next 4 brigades.

Friday 15 February 2019

Resin Water Test Piece

Previously when doing water features I've been using Woodland Scenics Realistic Water. Despite being a nice air-drying acrylic medium this is a pain to use. There is always a lot of shrinkage and it takes an age to dry. It would be better to use an epoxy resin, but it's always scared me a bit.

As you know, I've been watching the Lukes Aps Youtube channel and Luke recommends a Multi-Purpose Water Clear Epoxy resin from CFS. In his videos made it look very, easy to use with amazing results so I thought it was worth a try. Luke also has a 10% discount code on his videos...

Anyway, before using it straight on my new skirmish boards I thought I better do a test piece. This is a small pond using the same techniques as the skirmish boards and trying a few things out.

The water itself has come out brilliantly. I added a few drops of Woodland Scenics Murky Water Tint to the resin and poured in the same way Luke does in his videos. Initially it went in with a fair amount of bubbles. This I had expected as Luke had the same issue. He solved it with a blowtorch, but I didn't fancy that so just used my heat gun. Well that was a wonderful move the bubbles vanished almost immediately and the resin settled brilliantly. Within a few hours it had solidified quite a bit and in the morning it's now nice and solid, with a smooth glassy finish. Far more resilient than the old Realistic Water.

Being a test piece I also tried a few other things out with varying results.

  • Static grass on top of the foam - it didn't work as well I liked. I won't be doing this on my boards, but probably will add static grass on any terrain pieces that will sit on the boards, like walls, hedges, etc. It also didn't blend well with the water...
  • Tall grass in the water - again I won't be doing this, it made a mess, which it did with the realistic water as well. 
  • Twigs in the water - a definite success, I'll be doing this for sure
  • Leaves on the water - another success, but it's something I've done before. However doing this has left me unable to add water effects, which means I need to have a re-think there.
  • Bird grit as a base for the water - this already is in place on the terrain boards with a dark brown wash. It looks amazing on the test piece which is great!
So, I plan to do the first pour into one of the terrain boards tonight...

Finally my very small Frenchmen arrived from Heroics and Ros, so I can get on with my 6mm Grande Armée! 

Sunday 10 February 2019

Something completely different... Angry Hippo!

In a couple of weeks I'll be attending the "Another Four Foot Snake Thing" Kings of War Tournament.

One of the special things about the FFS tournaments is the special characters that you get to include in your army for free. There's a choice of 4 possible and you need to find a suitable model to suit. I decided to go for the "Juggernaut Jon - Taekwon-DOH! Master" character and that meant I needed a large monster on a 50mm square base that looked like it was punching.

I had a hunt through the Reaper Bones models available on ebay and found the "Avatar of Rage (Hippo)" model. This seemed to tick all the boxes so I went ahead and ordered it. It's a great model and just fits on the required base (after a bit of trimming).

This model was my first attempt at properly airbrushing a miniature beyond just priming. The skin tones of a hippo are a perfect subject as they flow smoothly between grey and more a pink flesh shade. I think I pulled this off well, though a final spray with white paint appears to have splattered a bit. Anyway it's got loads of character and I'm really happy with it.

Saturday 9 February 2019

French Napoleonic Cavalry

I decided to extend my 28mm French force for Songs of Drums and Shakos with a bit of cavalry. I've always had a soft spot for Hussars (I think it's the idea of slinging your coat over your shoulder all the time and hardly ever wearing it) so I decided that's what I wanted. I spotted the Perry plastics, but didn't want  a whole box. Luckily there are sellers on ebay just selling 3 models at a time for a reasonable price so I plumped for those.

I finished the first model earlier in the week just before starting on some 6mm French Cavalry... I decided to do the first unit of those as the same unit, 9th Hussars. It's quite helpful to have to do the investigation once for both scales.

I've also completed some Polish Lancers and Chasseurs-à-Cheval in 6mm. That's all the 6mm French I can get on to for the moment until my order arrives from Heroics and Ros, hopefully next week.

Terra-Formers Skirmish Board - Update 3

I've got loads going on at the moment. 6mm and 28mm Napoleonics, special model for the upcoming Four Foot Snake Kings of War Tournament and of course the Terra-Formers boards I'm making. The latter is what I'll concentrate on with this update.

All nine boards are now at the same stage, or they were when I took photos this morning. Basically all the scatter is now in place and dried. This has taken a lot longer than I hoped for basically because it's been January for most of the time I've been doing it. Drying times for PVA are so much, much longer during the winter. Thank goodness it's starting to warm up a bit now we're into February.

The stream bed is made from bird grit from Wilkos. It gives a nice texture, but is a bit starkly white. It's made from broken up sea shells and I've added a dark brown wash to it to tone it down. See further down

The bridge was not glued in place when I took this photo, it now is and I've removed some of the middle planks to help with when I'll pour the resin for the water later in the week.

The tents have been based in a similar manner to the rest of the boards. I've also tried out some static grass on them. I'll be using a similar effect on the boards, though not all over, just in some specific locations.

Since the photos above the river has had it's brown wash and the bridge is glued in place. I've used putty to blend it in with the road. I'll have to reapply scatter to that later.

Friday 1 February 2019

6mm Villages and roads for Blucher

I've been busy making more terrain for use with Blucher. This time my collection has been extended with the addition of roads, villages and river crossings.

The roads are creations of my own, from acrylic sealant and the crossings are a combination of Baggage Train resin river sections and Leven bridges.

The village bases are my own creation made from textured 2mm MDF and the buildings, from Leven and Heroics and Ros are just rested on top so they can be moved around allowing units to move across them and be garrisoned within them.