Killing two birds with one stone

Recently I asked for suggestions for how to make my 6mm ruined towns look more rubble-strewn. Thank you for the ideas.

Today I mixed up a roll of Milliput modelling material for another domestic purpose before realising that it would not work. I now had a block of hardening putty with no apparent purpose.

My first idea was to make some entrenchments scaled to my 10cm hexagon edges. Then I remembered my previous problem. So I rolled the putty into small balls, crushed them flat, squashed the edges to 2cm (my gaming road width) and attacked them at random with a small cross-head screwdriver.

And here are the results, awaiting curing and painting:

A neat, pristine road amongst ruins
Several bases of rubble, awaiting painting
One new base in a street

Progress reports will follow.

A modelling dilemma

For my next “Market Garden” battle I have a large rail bridge for which I already have one straight rail hexagon tile embanked to the correct height.

My problem is that I also have two road/rail crossing points to create. I already have these crossings at normal ground level.

Option 1.  I make sloping railway hexagons to drop a height of 12mm over 10cm, which is a far steeper gradient than would look realistic.

Option 2. I keep the railway embanked at 12mm height and create bridges (real or indicated by painting) beneath for the roads. To do this I might need to carve beneath the normal terrain level to make a useable bridge.

The photo shows a Sherman tank (based) with the current embankment and a normal ground level railway, and an indication of the slope required for option 1.

Nominal ground scale is 1:2500, but vertical scale is 1:285.

I think that by setting up a mock-up and having seen the result I use the exaggerated slope method. So now all I need to do is to make two convincing sloped embankments and fit (and paint) the rail tracks..

The number of bespoke Kallistra hexagons in my collection is getting a little worrying, but it is keeping two companies in business – Kallistra and Really Useful Boxes!

Always something else to prepare…

I want to know why it is that, with a former “walk-in” wardrobe and half a loft full of wargaming impedimenta, every time I want to play a game I have to prepare some new models?

For my next game I have already painted up some GHQ A13 and Mark VIb tanks for the British, not to mention several Adler Vickers MG teams marching and firing and about a dozen new trucks and lorries.  The Germans needed cyclists and new MG34 teams, as well as more infantry and a captured truck with hastily applied white crosses.

As for the terrain (I use Kallistra hexagons, pre-flocked and then customised) I have to make some more embanked railway lines and three level crossings which must involve ramped roadways.  Alternatively I may make road bridges across the railway, but that will be even more work!

To help this game along I have just received the first consignment of double curved railway track from Leven Miniatures, designed to my specifications so that four pieces  – two inner curve and two outer curve – will exactly fit a 10cm hexagon with a 60 degree curve.  I urge all gamers of late C19th onwards to buy some of these if only to repay Mick for his development time!

In addition, and very oddly, I needed to model an ancient British hill fort that would meet the requirements of the ground scale (10cm hexagon = 250 metres side-to-side) and also accommodate bases of at least 15mm x 20mm.   Pictures will no doubt be forthcoming in the battle report when I finally get around to playing the game.

1/600 Forests

As part of my Operation Sealion campaign, the latest battle calls for 39 hexagons of fir tree forest.

Because of the number of units involved in this engagement I decided to play it in 3mm or 1/600 scale.

And so I began my forest construction.  My first priority is playability and my second is that it should look reasonably realistic.  In my terrain design I had to allow for the insertion of WW2 bases of 15 x 10 mm and earlier (2mm) periods of 60 x 5 mm.

The first step was to use my hexagon tiles bought from Warbases, and then to add trees purchased from Busch.  Many of the Busch trees were far too large for my game, so I adapted them.  The first step was to cut the top half from the tree and use it as a separate tree.  The remainder was trimmed with scissors to form a second tree. Then the trunk  was cut to the minimum level to facilitate glue adhesion.   Occasionally a brush of dark green paint to the exposed wire on the top of the cut down tree was needed, after the trees were attached using a large dollop of “very sticky glue”, available from “The Works” or “Hobbycraft” in the UK.

3mm-forest-models-01

This photo shows: a Warbases hexagon base, two bases after painting with Basetex, a small tree and a large tree, the large tree separated into two, and finally the two trees made from one large tree ready to affix.

And here is a view of the 39 hexagons drying out on my bookshelf (most of them appallingly out of focus, because the picture is taken with a smartphone).  The out of focus technique prevents fellow gamers from reviewing my book collection and comparing it with their own.

forests-on-bookshelf

I will post a view of the finished battlefield soon.

NB “soon” is a wargamer’s term approximating to the Devon/Cornish term “Directly” or the Spanish “Mañana”.  i.e. “When I get around to it”