Monday, 17 May 2021

WW2 Home Made Scatter and Battlefield Terrain


This is partly inspired by a Youtube video I watched some weeks ago where a guy made some post-apocalyptic terrain pieces using a similar method. I've made a few test models and tweaked it to suit my 28mm WW2 collection. I've seen gaming tables in the past where the gamers have spent hours placing rocks and rubble - and while this provides great detail, it's just not practical for club games that are only played over a shorter time span. These here are made as individual piles, so you can just place or lift them fairly quickly. Something else to add, is the extremely low cost of what I've outlined here. It literally costs pennies for dozens of these terrain pieces, and i hope you'll agree, they look great.

You will need:

A roll of kitchen foil.

A can of black spray paint.

A can of brown spray paint.

Some acrylic light brown paint for drybrushing.

Some ink wash (either GW Agrax Earthshade, Nuln oil, Vallejo Sepia Immersion Dip or similar).

A bag of grit/rocks.

Some small mdf off-cuts, and/or some MDF 'bags of bricks' from Charlie Foxtrot models.

PVA.

First rip off a length of tin foil and crush it into shape on a flat work surface. Make sure you do it really tight and compact.


If you're making rubble piles that lay against walls, then push the tinfoil into a right angle. Here I'm using the angle between the kitchen work surface and wall.

Next 'tuck in' all the thin edges of the tin foil. You don't want them sticking out and folding over etc on your gaming board.


Once you've made a few, spray paint them in matt black. Don't worry too much about little bits of silver still shining through - we'll deal with these later. Tin foil is notoriously light and can blow away while spraying...so pin each one with a bit of blu-tack underneath (small amount).

After the black undercoat has dried, then spray with your choice of brown.

Next, get your wash and an old brush and ink wash each rubble pile. Make sure the paint seeps into all the gaps, as this will hide any more silver not caught by the undercoat or basecoat.

Once this is dry, do a drybrush of your acrylic light brown all over the piles.

Then, get your pva glue and start blobbing it all over the piles. Use as much as you want, but make sure it's enough to hold the scatter you're going to apply next.

Take your mdf off-cuts and start pushing them into the pva glue. I don't bother painting these off-cuts, as they are meant to look like scrap wood anyway.


Then take your mdf bag of bricks and scatter a few of these across the piles too. You can add all sorts of extras if you like - sandbags, barbed wire etc. I've also got a bag of Charlie Foxtrot broken wagon wheels, so I've added one or two of those.


Before the pva dries, take some grit and sprinkle it over the rubble piles. This will fall over anywhere the pva is still exposed.

Leave to dry, and you're done!





Friday, 14 May 2021

Peveril Castle Derbyshire

 


Last week we paid a visit to Peveril Castle in Derbyshire. My girlfriend bought us membership of English Heritage for my birthday and it was the first time we'd used it. The drive from Nottingham took just over an hour, and the last ten miles or so was just breathtaking as we followed the smaller B roads through the hills to the small village of Castleton where Peveril is situated.

Castleton is worth the journey itself and boasts some lovely small shops, Cafes and restaurants alongside some great walks. The trek through a side street and up to the Castle itself is very steep, so if you're a bit shaky physically it can be a challenge. Though there are a few seated stopping points along the way. Due to lockdown a part of the exhibition was closed but the Castle keep and grounds were all open to wander around.


The first thing that strikes you is the incredible view. We were lucky enough to have a fairly clear day and you could look out across the valley to see Mam Tor on the other side, with some other significant land marks.


Much of the main structures, such as the main hall etc are now in ruins but what is left is nonetheless very impressive. The large Keep and some of the walls may be weather worn but they're testament to almost 1,000 years of medieval architecture. Built just after 1066 by William Peverel it's an easily identifiable Norman construction. Later it was received by Henry II in 1155 and strengthened (with the building of the Keep) and served mainly as an administrative center for the Peaks. In 1372 it was given to John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster.

In the 16th Century it fell into ruin but it was still used by the local courts. During the Victorian period it attracted renewed interest due to a boost in tourism and amateur and semi-professional archaeology.


It doesn't take long to do a walk around Castleton and Peveril Castle, but it's an excellent day out if you live within driving distance. If you're a bit more adventurous you could combine it with a tour of other sights in the area, such as the various caverns nearby, and extend it into a thoroughly enjoyable holiday.








Wednesday, 28 April 2021

28mm British Airborne and Late War Germans

I decided to get a couple of my recent projects out on the table and take some photos. I had a big spend at the Warlord HQ store when it reopened and found some great Bolt Action bargains in the sale bin. I also purchased the new British and Canadian starter army and D-Day books.

As I'm between jobs I've been getting lots of painting done and enjoying the good weather in the back garden. My mate Rob gave me half a dozen British Airborne figures and that's where it literally took off. Last time I checked I was closing in on around 80 infantry, along with a recce jeep squadron and both the 6lb and 17lb AT guns.

The hedges and trees in the pics are all by Last Valley, and the buildings are a mix of Sarissa and an Etsy purchase (the latter are not quite as good as Sarissa but they were very cheap at £20 for three buildings, and a quick way to fill up your table with terrain).

I'm looking forward to having some games with these when the club opens again.














Friday, 9 April 2021

28mm French Cavalry Regiment of Louis XIV

 

Late 17th Century French cavalry regiment La Reine. All figures by Warfare Miniatures. I've decided on doing something our local club has so far never covered, with the hope that when this lockdown carry-on ends we'll be able to run some big Sunday games again.

I really loved painting these. They were done very quickly with contrast paints in probably half the time it'd usually take to do a cavalry regiment. I've bought two complete (metal) armies (the other is from Dixon Miniatures - I've always had a soft spot for their figures ever since I played with their ECW range years ago). The only slight quibble with both Dixon and Warfare is the weapon arms sometimes need to be attached, but the bonus is the slight difference in poses you can create.

There are several things that draw me to this period. First is the historical intrigue between the Anglo-Dutch, the French and a cast of others - which gives great scope for campaigns. The other is the sheer colour and array of styles and uniforms. Ever since I watched the TV series 'Versaille' I've been waiting for the fashionable return of the powdered wig!



Tuesday, 2 February 2021

28mm Visigoth Army

The 28mm Visigoth army I started at the beginning of lockdown is almost complete. The infantry are a kit-bashed mix of Gripping Beast, Warlord and Victrix (Viking) plastic figures. Also some extra Roman shields and heads I took from the GB Roman Light Cavalry box. The Command is from Footsore and all the Goth Cavalry are Gripping Beast.

I really enjoyed putting these together and painting them. So much variation. From what I read in the background, many of the Visigoths had seen service in the late Roman army so I wanted the collection to reflect that. I know there may be some quibbles over historical accuracy (regarding moustaches over beards) but I had such a large amount of plastics spare and unpainted it presented an opportunity to put them to good use in a single army. I suppose I'll have to do the Romans next!!




 

Friday, 15 January 2021

28mm Late Roman Cataphracts


These are some plastic Gripping Beast Late Roman Heavy Cavalry figures I was given by Dan at Wargames Illustrated. I'd finished a painting project for the magazine and they were in a bag along with some other random sprues and stuff. I'm now using them to form the basis of my Late Roman army, and I've already ordered some GB plastic infantry to go with them. The idea is to use them as either allies or foes of my Goths.

I painted the lances because I really wanted them to be as colourful and striking on the battlefield as possible. It reminded me of being about 12 years old and buying some 15mm minifig mounted medieval knights and using a similar colour scheme. I had no idea if it was historically accurate, but just decided that they looked nice.

As most hobbyists, I've used the continued lockdown to get as much painted as possible. Both for customers and myself. The only issue now is one of storage, because obviously a fully painted and based army takes up more room than if it's unpainted and chucked in a carrier bag somewhere. 
 


Tuesday, 22 December 2020

Update 28mm Goth Warband


 I managed a fair bit of painting last weekend and completed a few more figures for my Goth and Late Roman Army. The Goth warband has been loads of fun. If you saw the previous update it's comprised of parts from the following plastic sets: Gripping Beast Dark Age warriors, Late Roman Light Cavalry (the heads and shields), Victrix Germanic warriors, Vikings and GB Goth Noble Cavalry (heads and shields again)...oh and a couple of Warlord Celt warriors! I followed Simon MacDowall's advice in a Wargames Illustrated article about Goths having loads of looted Roman equipment etc.

Despite trying to restrain myself with my holiday bonus payment from work, I did have a splurge and bought some Osprey books along with a Warlord Greek Starter Army and some Spartans. Expect some photos in the New Year!