Recently I have been working on how to use Bob Cordery’s gridded wargame systems with my 6mm toys.
I have spray-painted and gridded a small cork board (already painted and gridded on the other side for another game). I have been trying to find a way to satisfactorily reduce (or bathtub) large battles such as Blenheim into a grid of 18 x 12 squares. Previous efforts at this sort of thing can be seen here.
From my viewpoint there is one major problem. A battle like this has three or four villages that must be occupied. If you put houses (a house?) in the square at this scale there is insufficient room for troops.
Yesterday I remembered the pictures I had seen in Chris Kemp’s ‘Not Quite Mechanised’ blog, where he uses something looking like cinema flats across the sides of the squares to represent towns.
I decided to create some outline towns in a similar method, using the 3d printer. I also had the same idea for woods that could be occupied by troop blocks.
I use the free online site Tinkercad to create my models. I created a trial town with terraced gables on a 40mm x 40mm base with a 2mm “wall” depth, and a similar woodland with greater depth to the trees.
After a few hours printing the town I was quite pleased with the result until I tried it on the board – and realised my squares are 30mm x 30mm! Doh!
I immediately cancelled the woodland print half-way through, but realised that I can use the resulting half-model, inverted and cut into pieces, to make 6mm gabions on a parapet.
So I reduced the size to 75% and tried again. This time I was not impressed with the result and the wood was too small to accept a troop base.
And thus I started all over again. This time I think it will work. The woods need to be filed on the inside to insert the troops on a 2cm 2cm base.
Below are the undercoated pieces (and some fresh from the printer) awaiting detail painting. I think that once the houses are painted in a variety of brick, stone or render shades, maybe with some half-timbering detail, they will do the job.
Front row, left to right: original 40mm print, reduced 30mm print with command unit, typical “Blenheim” infantry unit, redesigned 30mm print.
Second row, left to right: inverted half-printed piece (now destined as gabions), 30mm outline wood (too small), redesigned outline wood.
Third row, left to right: hexagonal outline town, Heroscape tile for this town.
I may decide to make models of only two sides (3 sides for hexagonal towns) so that larger built-up areas can be constructed.
We shall see. Far more pressing projects await. Little lead men keep screaming at me in incredibly high-pitched voices things like: “I love the hat boss, but can you PLEASE get round to the breeches?!”
3 thoughts on “Measure twice – cut once!”
The attempted print of a “Heroscape” sized woodland perimeter came out looking like the worst Harry Potter spider nightmare, and far too big!
It just goes to show that although the pictures look good, I have no idea what the software is actually planning…
I love the idea of using £D printing to make terrain items like BUAs, and seeing yours has encouraged me to give serious thought to following your example.
The ones that I have made using basswood and plywood were all triangular so that they could be put together to form larger BUAs. This also meant that it was easier to fit based units in the BUAs because there was more space.
I look forward to seeing these in use in due course.
All the best,
Those look excellent, General. I particularly like the BUAs. You should finish your troops though, to avoid falling foul of the Trouser Police!