After Partizan and my birthday and a week in Cornwall I’ve not really had time to post much or even complete stuff. But now, being back home, I’ve finished a couple of things off and can post re some recent acquisitions!
First up was the purchase of a Tiny Wargames grass mat. I’d seen similar to these at Partizan and at Ayton and having seen some vids of them in action on Facebook I decided a 6×4 would be ideal for the play area I have in the attic. I went for the basic cloth option. I wanted to be able to drape it over hills.
The creases need a little while to drop out but overall I’m pleased with it.
And on the table you can see some 15mm AWI I’ve just rebased. These were bought a few years ago from LOSH (over on the GdeB forum) and made up 27 stands of militia (mostly Polly Oliver but some Essex) and a few Hessian command figures. As I’m planning an AWI game next year these needed basing so I can see what I have.
Soon, I’ll dig the rest of the collection out and have a proper parade!
What next? Some scenery… courtesy of a post on a Facebook boardgame group I grabbed a pile of old GW trees, hedges and a hill (and some other bits). A good addition to the starting 28mm scenery.
Having made a pile of hedges for my 6mm games a few weeks ago I used up the last of the Javis clumps mixed with some Woodland Scenics stuff to do another 12 stands (11 and 2 short lengths).
And finally some painting… After last year’s Lion Rampant Ayton game I decided I needed some javelin armed bidower types. So, using the last few bits from the Conquest Normans and Archers I cobbled six together and primed them. And they have sat there for a year! Until this week when I finally painted the buggers!
Kept the colours quite ‘muddy’ and dull but quite pleased with them. I now have some Gripping Beast Saxons to glue together. I kind of need Anglo-Danes to face the Normans I have but want Anglo-Saxons to give me an excuse to get Vikings! We shall see…
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I haven’t made any small scale scenery for a while. Far longer than I remembered. I made a load of hedges for mt 6mm games way way back in 2011! http://blog.belisarius.org.uk/2011/06/boosting-hedge-fund.html. These used kitchen scouring pads and although they worked well they looked a little ‘formal’ – more like tidy well maintained hedges rather than ‘wild’ country ones!So I wanted something a little rougher looking. I’ve seen various techniques online so adopted a variation on those for these. I’ve always used Woodland Scenics clump foliage on my bases but found the colours (especially the dark green) to be a little too uniform. So a trip last week to Midlam Miniatures in Felling saw me leave with two packs of Javis clump foliage. This seemed to have a better colour with a bit of variation and highlight to it. So I started off with a sample length of hedge using a large ‘lollipop’ stick. In the past I’ve just used PVA to fix clumps down, putting PVA in a tub and dipping the clumps in and then sticking them down. However the Javis clumps were a nightmare! Very crumbly and bits sticking to the PVA and disintegrating as I picked them up! And the ‘foam’ material seemed to compress and stay compressed as you squeezed it to get a good ‘stick’. Total nightmare! I was not impressed. And the PVA seemed reluctant to stick it to the stick so I ended up using a hot glue gun. Once it was all dry I lathered the lot in watered down PVA and the end result looked OK even if a little squished in places.
I was almost going to give up on the stuff as far too faffy to use but having paid £2 a bag I didn’t want to waste it. So… deciding that 12 strips was a good number to have I lined up another 11 of the sticks. I coated one side with PVA to seal it then when dry coated the other side and dipped it in my usual ballast/sand type mix. Rather than waste time painting by hand I stuck the stick to a board and retired to the back yard with a can of Army Painter Leather Brown spray.Although this is a little lighter than the Burnt Umber I use for my bases once I dry brush with my usual two highlight colours it is close enough.I wasn’t keen on using the hot glue gun for all of this (and visible residue is shiny) so I just ran a line if UHU glue along the stick and having spent a little time preparing clumps in the two colours I started filling up each stick.
Once stuck I then carefully socked all the clumps in watered PVA. I gave them a proper soaking and left to dry overnight. This stiffened and sealed the clumps.And then to blend them in a little with all my basing a dabbed a few bits of PVA along each side of the hedge and added some of my usual static grass mix.And that was them done! I left gaps in a couple of hedges to allow access through.
Quite pleased with the result and the final method made the use of the Javis clumps more tolerable. Given that you can never have too many hedges (and assuming I have enough sticks!) I will make up another dozen lengths and do a few half length ones to allow a bit more flexibility in laying them out. I’ll need to buy more foliage first though! I’d hoped to set up a small table for a game this weekend but time didn’t allow. The hedges look like they will work fine for 6mm and 10mm and even for for 15mm at a push so well worth the effort!
While making up the sample hedge I also made up a couple of 6mm pylons I have had sat gathering dust since I primed the inner surfaces more than several years ago! Can’ remember who made them but they look fine and although a little fiddly to stick together (UHU worked again!) are worth the effort. I have another 8 to do…So a productive few sessions. Not quite as exciting as going to Salute but a damn sight cheaper!
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Willz, over on the A Military Gentleman forum and also on TWW, posted a link to the current offer at Lidl for 2mx1m artificial grass mats.
Although a little darker than I would like they are quite a good deal. I have a 6’x4′ Mat-o-War which is lighter but if I use this on the small 4’x4′ the extra length is hanging off the end, doesn’t lie flat and then adds a crease along the edge… So this mat seemed a possible alternative. As I only needed to cover the 4×4 one mat was enough and by trimming the extra there was enough to cover the lot.
The end result is OK. The joins aren’t too obvious and I think will bed in. The mats are just held in place by double sided tape.And the remaining off cut will be used for fields and the like on the other mat as it will provide a nice contrast.So all in all it will do the job for smaller games. I may use a bit of the offcut to try some light dry brushing just to lighten it a bit.
Now, I really must do some painting for Ayton!
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As mentioned a couple of times I have a long standing 10mm Sudan project that never really seems to get going. However, I was sent some spare Brits that Slugbalancer painted and no longer needed. They had a neat paintjob but I wanted apply a wash to bring out the detail a bit more. And I was missing some command figures, and when I finally decided on basing, I needed two extra figures. I thought I had managed to match the colours quite well but on closer inspection, even with the was, they are a little out. And having mixed the figures up to base and picked them at random I inevitably put the extra figures next to each other!
Anyway, here is the unit. I may paint a few more in the same style as they are quite quick to do.
The 4Ground fences from the last post…Far too fiddly to use on the table although admittedly OK for making curves etc. but I’ve bevelled the bases and joined them up to make longer lengths. I’ve joined the very short pieces to make corner sections. However my DecoArt Burnt Umber I use for all my bases ran out so I had to use what I thought was the same stuff but just a different make. It was different colour! More reddy. And it took ages to dry. And was shiny!! So the need to wait until I get some of the proper stuff and re-do them. I have 2 packs of the 4Ground Snake Rail fencing to do but that seems quite fiddly and time consuming. I also have two more packs of the above so I may just rattle through that!
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