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.
I built my Sarissa Chateau a few weeks ago and have been working on finishing off my garden and grounds to base it in. The Sarissa kit is excellent. It comes flat packed at a very reasonable price, and I am still so happy with their flat rate postage of two pounds fifty. When you live in Australia the cost of postage always becomes far more of a factor in purchasing decision making than anywhere else. Its a great kit, everything fitted well together, and the detail is good. Most of it is thin MDF with the window detail and shutters being card.
I made some improvements. The roof I added cardboard roof tiles to create more depth and detail. Worth doing as the MDF roof looked very flat. I also gave the walls a layer of plaster, before I added the window detail, and carved some brickwork on the ground floor. The texture certainly is an improvement over the plain MDF. After painting I added a window box, some plant pots out of modelling clay and some ivy crawling up the side of the building. I think little details such as these add to the realism of the whole thing. You can remove the top of the roof, the actual roof and the first floor in order to put squads inside the building which is also a bonus. Not essential but nice all the same.
Inspired by Pat Smith at Silver Whistle and his magnificent Chateau in 28mm, I wanted to create some fancy gardens in keeping with such a wealthy residence. MDF board and walls from Hovels in the UK created the base. Then i used fine sand for the roads and static grass and flock for the grass. The trees in the back were home made from twigs and horsehair. The box hedges are scouring pads cut into lengths and flocked. The mansion is not glued down so can be used independently of his base if required. The whole scene came out quite nicely and i am excited to get some fierce fighting happening around the place. A sneaky Puma armoured car can be seen guarding the chateau as well as some German officers going out for dinner in their Kubelwagen with backup.
I was lucky enough to order a copy of Pat Smith’s awesome book “Setting The Scene” before Christmas and it turned up on my doorstep recently. What a happy way to start the New Year!
Now I have always been a big fan of Pat’s amazing 28mm modelling on his Wargaming With A Silver Whistle blog and this new production just continues on Pat’s excellent work. I am not a 28mm modeller and was not planning to do any Winter games or scenes right now, but none of that matters. There are so many good ideas and tips and inspirational photos this book is not to be missed if you are a keen wargamer and modeller who likes to build stuff. This is relevant to whatever scale or period you are interested in, but I guess even more so if you are cemented in World War Two like me.
Pat covers many aspects of terrain building from creating a mat, making trees, rivers, bridges and also tips on painting vehicles and figures. So much eye candy and amazing photos of his stunning results I cannot help but keep flicking through the pages. If you are looking for some inspiration and a standard of terrain to aspire to then I suggest you sign up for the reprint which I am guessing will get a run. Drop Pat a note on his blog and get your copy!
After building my Loic Neveu terrain bits and pieces I found I still had some of his low country walls. So striking with my hot iron I quickly glued them all down to a piece of 3mm MDF to make a rough two field kind of configuration. Then a layer of PVA and fine sand, plus some rougher sand nearer the ends of the walls.
I wanted some random scrubland so used a few different types of grass, flock and tufts to cover the field areas. The walls were undercoated black and then highlighted. In retrospect I should have used more browns for the stonework as it came out a bit too black and white. I may change it. These are quite small walls and I realise I should have put a 20mm soldier in here to give you an idea of scale. But these will definitely get some usage in my next games.
More terrain bits from Loic Neveu that i have finally painted up. I mounted them on MDF first as they are quite delicate around the edges. They are nicely detailed and paint up well with out too much trouble. I used plenty of weathering powder to create a dirty, rusty look. Not much else to add. They fit well into my 1/72 scale stuff and will provide extra cover in my war torn urban situations. You could also use them as objective markers too. Loic has a bucket of interesting stuff on his web site https://neveu.blog4ever.com/articles
Just a quick blog as the photos are self explanatory!