Sunday, 11 November 2018

Normandy buildings.1.

Another issue from our Normandy Test game was a lack of buildings. This is an old Hovels building I'd had for ages but not got round to painting, put off by the combination of so many windows and the fact that the chimneys hadn't cast properly and needed replacing.

The solution to the first was to just grit my teeth and do it and for the second, thin strips of paper wrapped with lots of PVA around a cocktail stick then daubed with a PVA and gritty wood-filler mix to create some texture and hide the overlap of the end of the paper role.

The model came with interchangeable roofs for the two larger houses - intact, as shown, or war-damaged.

One thing I don't like about this building group is that it just sits there on the table with no surroundings to create context - I'll return to this later.

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Wood for the trees

Among the irritations of my old scenery in our WW2 test games was that the individually-based trees were quite prone to falling over. I'd been thinking about rebasing them anyway because the ground colours didn't quite match my recent basing and table scheme so this was the final push needed to actually do something.

I have a load of old, rather small,  twisted wire and string trees - back in the day this was state of the art but things have moved on and people are making some amazingly realistic trees now. I was especially impressed with the Dagger and Brush blog's attention to detail.

I did think of binning my old, far inferior trees and starting again but in the end my parsimony/aversion to waste and laziness won out so I decided to make the most of what I had. The first priority was to rebase them on larger multi-tree bases so they wouldn't fall over so easily and would match the rest of my scenery. A secondary issue was that these and my bocage hedges were shedding flock all over the place so the first step was to spray everything with a load of Woodland Scenics' Scenic Cement. The actual basing was done with my usual sequence of flexible filler /caulk, PVA and sand/rocks then static grass and tufts.

I wanted to add a bit of extra interest so added a few rocks and fallen tree trunks, either sculpted from Milliput or actual twigs. I also added in a few bushes and trees made from rubberised horse hair. Having run out of old Amtico sample pieces, the base material was cut from a leftover 'plank' from re-doing the bathroom a few years ago - nothing wrong with being a hoarder!

I have a few poplar /cypress trees that I tend to use as scatter and within villages, especially for the Italian Wars and I rebased these too on larger washers for better stability. I need to get a few more cypress trees and larger than these rather garden-sized examples.

Inspired by the Dagger and Brush blog, I thought I'd have a go at making a tree from scratch by the bent wire method. It is actually quite easy and satisfying to get a decent, albeit far short of the excellence achieved on that blog, result but the time taken convinced me that I have far too much in the lead pile to think of starting over with my trees.

Overall, I'm quite pleased with the results - not as good as the best modern examples but a big step up from what I had and matching well with the rest of my scenery.