Sunday, December 5, 2010

Bob's stuff part II

I mentioned in my previous post that Bob has a lead army in 15mm painted up for wargaming. We decided about 10 years ago to build up our armies for wargaming the War of 1812. The scale we chose was 1 to 10 in 15mm. A group of us were in on this plan and decided to paint 1 US and one British regiment. By doing this we'd have enough painted to do the Battle of Lundy's Lane which was one of the largest in the war. We figured that if we had enough painted for that battle you had enough for all the others.
Well Bob being the painting machine he is he went into hyper mode and painted every British regiment that served in North America. Don't believe me? Check this out.
He's also started on the US forces too.

Have we wargamed with these yet? Sadly no....

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Bob's gone crazy!

My good friend Bob Fraser who's been battling cancer has been shacked up in his house for the past 3 months while recovering from his treatments. While fighting this disease and boredom he decided to put out a large chunk of his painted up Airfix plastic British Napoleonic figures.No he didn't paint these in those months stuck at home. This is the work of maybe 15 to 20 years of constant painting.
One of Bob's dreams was to see what a British regiment looked like on the field. This quickly morphed into what a brigade and then a division looked like. Eventually he worked his way up to a corps!He also have a division of cavalry painted up too but aren't displayed on the table. These figures haven't been used in a wargame.

For wargaming he has painted up every British regiment that served in North America during the war of 1812 in 15mm lead. Those are in a 1 to 10 scale. He's working on the US forces there too and has about 14 regiments painted up.
For a video on this 'army' click here.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Making a shelled out village

I'm constantly looking for things to add to no man's land. While examining photos of the battlefields I took note that the front lines on the Western Front moved back and forth no matter what was in the way. Sometimes the trenches actually cut through shelled out villages and towns. So I decided to create a few gaming tiles that contained this type of terrain.I cut out wall segments out of foam board and with the aid of a hot glue gun fastened them down on the tiles.
For cobble stone roads I used some brick textured plastic sheeting and glued it down. With a base coat of grey and dry brushing black over it to bring out the brick texture.The shell holes were carved out of the Styrofoam and then I used a water base wood filler to build up the berms. Some glue and flocking plus an airbrush to colour the shell holes and add scorch marks on the ruins added to the total effect.Finally I managed to make all the roads match so I can configure the tiles in numerous ways.
I made sure the rubble should be flat so gaming figures can be positioned with ease. The finished results below used in a game.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Why oh why?

Ah.... the age old question I get asked all the time, why do you war game? This is a multiple answer question. The first answer is I love military history. The second answer is I love strategy games so why not combine the two passions I have into a hobby that I can excel in.
I have been since my teenage years involved in gaming but I'd say I've gotten more serious into the wargaming hobby in the past 20 years. My interests are mainly in the age of gunpowder so I concentrate on military history from the 18th century on.
Right now my main passion is the great war or as we know it today as World War I. I got my interest in this era from being a World War I reenactor. As a member of the Great War Association twice a year I don the uniform of a Canadian soldier and run around in a mock Western front landscape located in southern Pennsylvania. The small-scale tactics that we use gave me the idea of trying to create a wargame of the Western front. I didn't want to game a scale of game greater than company level. Most wargames at the time were regimental or divisional in size. There was nothing at the squad level scale. So I decided to create my own game. The scale I picked was one figure equals one man, one tank equals one tank, and one artillery piece equals one artillery piece. The terrain had to reflect small-scale action. It also had to be dynamic in construction so that I can reconfigure the set up to change the composition of the landscape. So here's how I made it.

1/ I used 1" thick styrofoam board cut into 1 ft. tiles.

2/ Next I drew on them where I wanted the trenches. I made sure that the trenches exited each tile at the same place on each side. Why? So I can move the tiles around and still maintain continuity. This means I can change the terrain to get a different look.

3/ Used a 3/4" square router bit on a drill press set at it's highest speed. It was just fast enough to allow the router bit to carve out the trenches. I also used the same bit to put in the shell hole depressions in no man's land.

4/ Painted the whole lot using a medium brown latex paint. This seals it so afterwords I can use any type of paint.

5/ For sand bags I went to a craft store and bought a package of self hardening clay. I rolled it out on a cutting board to the desired thickness and length and then with a dull edged tool I pinched the sand bag shape. I then placed the strips of sand bags onto the desired location on the tile and let dry over night. The next day I took the hard sandbag strips and glued them down with a hot glue gun.

6/ For trench walls I bought some textured plastic sheets from the hobby store. I painted them and cut them to the desired height and length and again hot glue gunned them in place.
7/ The shell holes walls were built up using latex wood filler (I actually did this before step 4).
8/ For the dirt look of the terrain I used model train powdered earth or burnt grass. It's a very fine coloured powder. I mixed in some dried tea. Yes I said dried tea! Instead of throwing out your tea bags put them somewhere to dry out. When dry simply open up the bags and dump into a storage container. I mixed in some of this tea terrain with the powdered stuff. I found the powdered stuff a bit too fine and the tea (being a rougher and a lighter colour) balanced it off to the effect I wanted to achieve.
9/ Now use an spray bomb glue found in any building center or craft store. Spray the tile surface. Then sprinkle on the terrain powder. Shake of excess. Reapply glue and powder if all areas are not covered. You can also sprinkle the terrain powder on wet paint. I found this works better but remember the paint tends to dry fast so take that into consideration.
That's how I created my terrain. It took about a couple of months to figure out but once I completed a few tiles the rest came quite quickly.