Finally after months of building and painting, and getting distracted by any number of other things, I have managed to get some terrain onto my table ready for a game. I am going to give the Rapid Fire rule set a run and see how it stacks up with all the other rules I have tried. Ultimately I am going to write my own rules with all the good bits from all the rules plus some bits from Squad Leader too. Still a work in progress but one day I will get there!
I picked the first sample battle Lingevres from the Rapid Fire Rule book. I finally finished my big church a couple of months back so that was the main bit of terrain I was missing to fight this little engagement. I expanded the map a little bit to include a ruined side of town. I wanted to try out some of the big piles of rubble I had recently made. I had bought some pre made red bricks from Green Stuff on line, which although were listed as 28mm, work fine. I also read a very simple rubble making tip of hitting a red brick with a hammer until you have the correct size scale bits. Plus i had made some grey and black and white rubbly bits out of modelling clay. Mix all these sources together and i ended up with a big bag of rubble. I was very happy how it came out spread around all my ruins and over my ruined car pieces. Certainly adds some atmosphere to the ruined side of town.
Check it out! I have to finish thirty British infantry and some PIATS this week and then we can get the party started!
I am on a bit of a terrain kick. I had some very cheap doormats from IKEA, which set me back a whopping $10 per mat. I had just cut them up and spread them around, but the colour still annoyed me. They were still too doormat coloured. So they looked like cut up doormats. I bought some different spray cans from Bunnings, one Golden Yellow and one Sandbark, plus I had some Almond left over. Then experimenting with all three got a wheaty shade that I liked. You really have no excuse to create your own inexpensive wheat fields using cheap doormats. Personally I would rather stick a fork in my eye than go to IKEA, but they do have some good sources of modelling materials.
I also made some new rough rural stone walls to line my country lanes. Super cheap source of small stones from Bunnings at around $4-5 per bag. One bag and its enough rocks for hundreds of metres of wall. I just PVA glued rocks in line on top of each other onto MDF bases. It requires a bit of patience as you need to go away and leave the layers of rocks to dry before adding a new layer. A black spray and then increasingly lighter dry brushing with grey and brown is all you need. I flocked the edges with some grassy green and hey presto. Another very cheap addition to your table. Quick and easy and no need to go spending dollars on rough stones walls. They should be rough and rural!
I made some new cobbled streets for my Normandy village. Using MDF as the base cut into 8cm x approx. 30cm pieces, I coated each one with a layer of modelling clay. Getting this as flat as possible was a mission, I think a regular rolling pin is the best idea. Then I used an excellent new purchase from Green Stuff World
This is a heavy plastic rolling pin with a cobbled texture on the outside. So all you do is roll it firmly along the modelling clay surface and it leaves a cool imprint of a cobbled street. It was so quick and easy compared to my previous method of individually carving cobblestones with my engraving tool. The pattern comes out very nicely as you can see from the detail in my photos. These rolling pins are not expensive, and I also picked up one for brickwork, which I will use on my next houses.
I wanted to add some bomb damage craters too, mainly to cover up areas where the cobbles were not so great. Circles of modelling clay glued on did the job here. Then I would dig out the hole in the road and cover it all with some fine sand and dirt. Undercoat and plenty of grey paint, plus some drybrush highlights and lots of dirty weathering powders finished it all off!
Check out the Puma armoured car cautiously picking his way through the destruction.
A very quick update on the other walls I bought from Tiger Terrain
You can buy this set to complete a walled paddock, including an open gate. I just glued them onto some MDF and added fine sand. Then just flocked and static grassed everything. I used the excellent rubbing a balloon trick to get the static grass to stand up once I had sprinkled it onto diluted PVA glue. I have all the eBay bits to make my own static grass applicator but have not got around to it quite yet.
The walls are great, very finely cast with great detail. I will be getting more of these for sure from Stephan at Tiger Terrain. I am hoping he expands his 20mm range to do some more stuff. I still have a small ruined cottage to paint from him, but it would be good to see some more buildings in this scale.
To complete my Normandy Church I needed to make a base with some nice stone walls. Looking around I wanted to try a new source for my church yard rather than making them myself. Tiger Terrain make some great looking buildings and scenery in 15mm/20mm scale and I decided to grab some of their rustic stone walls plus some tidier brick walls with stone capping and some entrance pillars.
Their buildings look great, and they have a nice looking range in 15mm plus a few in 20mm. I grabbed a small cottage in 20mm just to try them out. I think if i had my time over I would have made all my buildings with a smaller footprint so I could have used some of these excellent 15mm houses too. They look great.
My church base was cut from MDF and the stone walls glued straight on with PVA according to my plan of two gateways and just an open section. The walls are beautifully cast with no bubbles or defects and they fit together nicely. The detail is great. I threw a whole load of fine sand over PVA to give the base some texture. I then built up the pathways with more sand. Green flock followed by two shades of static grass finished things off. I used the balloon rubbing trick to get the static grass to wake up a bit. I am planning a home made static grass applicator but that will be another story sometime….
I was happy with the end result. My church can be a country church or you can take it off the base and just have in the middle of town instead. I wanted it to be an angle just to add some interest and make it a bit less asymmetrical…… in case you are wondering. My wife did.
I have been busy working on my final building for my Normandy village. After hunting around everywhere looking at purchasing a church for my village it was decided that the only way to go was to build my own. So here is L’Eglise de Moutarde Forte in all its glory. I made the structure out of 3mm foam board glued together with PVA. If you use dressmaking pins to keep it all together while the glue dries that will help.
Once you have built the shell with all the window and door apertures cut out, I gave it good thick coating of plaster. I use the ready made stuff from Bunnings and just slap it on with my hands. A good sanding down with sandpaper and then I laboriously carve the brickwork using my Chinese etching tool ($10 on ebay and a few batteries later…) It helps to leave the structure apart for this stage otherwise its hard to carve your stonework into the corners. This part was very time consuming and probably took me a week or more doing some scribing every day. Tedious. But worth it. I added some buttresses for extra detail. These were foam board coated and carved as before.
Now my one problem area was the windows. Making nice arches with delicate window settings was close to impossible. After a lot of research I found a company in the USA that does exactly the right thing in exactly the right size for my project. Rusty Stumps make all sorts of modelling goodies, I think aimed at model railway people more than wargamers, but still will give you many great options for building your own stuff! Walt, who runs the place was super helpful and even posted my chosen windows to an address in the states, as we happened to be there on holiday. I bought two sheets of windows, some thicker, some thinner, and used all of them in my church. They are super thin MDF and very delicate. So I was very careful in gluing them and their accompanying frames behind the apertures I had cut, after I had scribed all my bricks. Once they were glued in securely I went around and filled any small gaps with extra plaster. The Rusty Stump windows also come with thin plastic windows to glue behind the frames if you like. I didn’t bother as I was happy enough with the effect.
The spire roof, main roof and smaller front roof are all removable. Made out of thick card on foam board supports. Then its old Christmas cards recycled to make slates glued in strips. Again, another time consuming process, but worth the effort.
The whole thing was base coated in grey primer. Just make sure you have given any foam board edges a coat of PVA glue otherwise you may find spray paint dissolving stuff. I used various light brown, light grey, yellows and ochres for the stone work, and paynes grey in various shades for the roof. The roof was also given small stippled patches of yellow ochre and pale green for mossy bits, plus some weathering powders streaked in brown and earth.
Now he is finished and I can actually get on and set up my whole village ready for battle.
I wanted to create some extra foliage branches to cover up my German armour. It was a common practice where tank crews would cut branches and drape them and tie them onto their armoured vehicles. Using small bits of lichen I just dipped them into some PVA and then flocked using various different greens. A spray with some varnish kept the whole thing together. Rather than glue these onto my vehicle (in this case my latest Jagdpanzer) I just rested them on there so I can choose to camo up or not! I think they came out quite well and will definitely keep the assault gun under cover behind some tasty bocage. I made plenty of these extra foliage branches so I can use them on whole units. My troop of Panzer IVs were just completed and will be blogged next up with and without extra camo.