Ah, the perils of research!
I can’t find my original source for the sky blue coats for French infantry in 1914.
But now it seems clear that they were not available until 1915 at the earliest. So do I try to repaint the coats (probably sleeves and skirts only at this scale) or ignore it on the basis that these soldiers spend most of their little tin lives in an alternative history setting?
I have decided. To get the next game out of the way I will use them as they are, and then try to get them in their correct coats before the next battle. They are, after all, currently still in 1902. If they make it to 1915 they can have their old coats back. I am trying to resist buying more lead and starting afresh. I have already used half of next month’s wargaming budget.
Following my recent post about constructing railway hexagon terrain items, I thought it was worth digging out a couple of my earlier attempts.
These are designed to be placed atop regular empty hexagons and are based on vinyl floor tiles.
World War Two factory – before and after the shelling- bombing raid.
For the next engagement in my early 20th century alternative history the map calls for a railway track to cut across one corner of the table.
I am fighting the battles using 6mm Irregular Miniatures figures on Kallistra Hexon terrain. I have tried in the past to adapt the Irregular Miniatures railway track to fit the 10cm
hexagons but was not really happy with the result.
Also I have of late been trying to create set-piece hexagons including the relevant terrain rather than plonking features on the top of the grass. This of course does not assist with the storage!
Rummaging in the toy cupboard I found more track sections and some old unflocked hexagons that had been irregularly plastered and painted a hideous “grass green”. Time for some recycling.
To be awkward the rail line had to cross most of the hexagons across one edge, rather than directly from side to side. It still had to enter and leave each tile At the mid-point of the tile edge. I took seven of the old hexagons, drew the course of the track in pencil and filed off the plaster along that track.
Next I carefully placed the track sections and cut the ends to align with the hexagon edges, aligning each hexagon tile with a couple of others to ensure continuity. The track sections were glued to the tiles and allowed to dry.
The next step was to smother the tiles with a thick coat of Basetex textured paint, right up to and over the edges of the track pieces, and to scatter flock onto the wet paint through a decommissioned kitchen sieve.
After leaving this lot to dry overnight the surplus flock was shaken from the tiles and the track painted. I started with slate grey and blue grey for the ballast followed by black for the sleepers (ties) and magic metal ( dark brown metallic paint) carefully applied along the edges of the rails. Finally I ran a craft knife along the top of the rails to remove the paint and leave the bare metal.
Et voila! A small branch railway line.
Now I just need to paint the train set… Luckily not actually needed for this engagement.
Happy 2014 everyone.
For me this is a turning point. It is the last year of my working life and my employer has agreed that I may work from home, saving me around 3-4 hours each day in wasted driving time. This means that in addition to my plan to take more exercise and reverse the increasing size and weight of my body, I will (memsahib permitting) have the time to return to several abandoned wargaming projects.
I am a wargaming butterfly, flitting from project to project as the fancy takes me.
The first resurrected project is my 1700 campaign, for which I have already fought one battle and started a new page on the blog.
This week the focus is on my 1901 game. Again it is a simple solo campaign, based on the board game of Diplomacy, but all the battles are fought with model soldiers or ships. I am struggling a bit with fleet vs army actions, but usually work on the basis that a fleet attacked by an army has landed a shore party equivalent to half an army force, with additional support from naval guns (either off table support or landed as in the Boer War that is recreated each year at the British Military Tournament ( formerly the Royal Tournament)).
The next battle is the French attack on the British fleet occupying Brest.
Watch this space…