Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Village pond

This piece of scenery proved easier to make than I thought. It's a piece of clear packaging plastic cut into a rough square. I glass-papered half an inch in from the edge to make a rough surface then spread Aileen's tacky glue over it followed by a good sprinkling of sand. This was followed up with a 3:2 mix of ordinary green and brown craft paints and spackle to get a thick mixture.

Sand added to the glue.
Paint and spackle.
I smeared a bit of this mix on the surface of the pond-to-be to represent weeds and algae bloom. The next step was a coat of Pledge polish with two drops yellow, one drop blue acrylic inks mixed in. It picked up some of the green paint from the first step and made the surface rather matte in appearance. A second and final coat of Pledge alone fixed this and turned the surface glossy. One more coat of craft paint to cover places where the polish had seeped out from the center and the piece is done. It took a couple of days, drying period included. It's fairly flexible and shouldn't chip or anything.

The final result looks pretty good, and it works for most scales.

ImagiNations: A contingent of Hetzenberg Horse ride by after watering their mounts.

ECW: Royalist cavalry out in search of rebellious Parliamentarians to thrash.

AVBCW: Womens' Socialist Militia accompany a T26 in search of bullying BUF men to thrash.

Colonial: "Er, mebbe this wasn't such a good place to camp, Corp?"

Monday, February 8, 2016

17th century street

Sunday was a productive day. I finished the trio of 17th century buildings for ECW gaming, and they'll work just fine for VBCW. 

Parliamentarian pikes form up in the street.

The old stone church has probably seen plenty of military shenanigans in its time.
I made two timbered houses and an inn, which work nicely alongside the medieval church and alms houses.The inn walls look nice and bright, which would be appropriate for a new building of the age. I settled for a neutral slate roof for all three, using a mix of silver and tan craft paints to get that slight sheen of slate (try saying that three times quickly!). The silver paint is quite thick, almost like a gesso, and I stroked the brush horizontally to get the effect of rows of tiles. It doesn't quite show up in the photos, but looks okay in real life.

My next projects will be a churchyard and that staple of British villages, the pond.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

ECW artillery and generals

The last ECW figures are safely based up, which is a relief after the warping shenanigans of yesterday. Here are two light guns with teams and limbers, with four generals to the left of the photo. I chose a generic orange-red shade for the gun carriages, as this seems to have been a popular color going by contemporary accounts. There's so little concrete information about this and other aspects of the ECW, it's as good a guess as any. One of the limbers lacks a driver, as he wasn't included in the order. Pendraken are good at rectifying such things so it'll be sorted in the fullness of time. I'll fix the limbers to the horse teams next, using the thin string shown bottom-right for the traces.

Behind them is a work in progress house, the first in a batch of 17th century buildings I plan to make. I used two layers of 1/2 inch foamcore, one wider at the top to get the jettied effect of the period, and clad them in thin card. The paintwork was done with basic craft acrylics, and the timberwork was done with a Sharpie marker pen. It's so much easier and less fiddly than using a brush. I've yet to add brickwork chimneys, doors, and crosshatch leading on the windows. First, I'll go make a cup of tea...

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Basing Blues

The last ECW figures came off the painting block and I'm now in the process of basing them up. I reverted to plastic card after experimenting with some thin wood which promptly warped all over the place, requiring a hasty removal of the figures.

Ho hum.

I'm going to try out Clarence 'Quindia Studios' Harrison's Victory Without Quarter rules for ECW. These require generals based up with a few other riders to represent staff, couriers and such. At the moment I only have the generals on horseback, so I'll put them on temporary bases until I can find some suitable figures.

Photos to follow tomorrow...

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Sir John Norwich's Regiment of Horse - and an update on Google changes

The first Parliamentarian cavalry rolled off the painting block today. Sir John Norwich's Regiment of Horse is based up and ready to take its place in the fight against the 'Divine Right of Kings.'

Next up will be the artillery for both sides in the shape of light guns and teams.

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Incidentally I've noticed a few losses among followers to this blog lately, and I admit I was puzzled by it. Have I become so boring people actively unfollow? Thanks to the estimable Stokes at the Grand Duchy of Stollen blog, all is explained.

It appears a few changes have taken place in the world of Google blogging. Since January 11th this year you must have a Google account in order to follow blogs through the Google Friend Connect service. If you follow blogs with Yahoo, Twitter, Orkut or other Open ID services you'll lose your subscriptions to blogs via Friend Connect.

If you'd like to continue receiving updates on this and other blogs, you could follow Google's suggestion and sign-up for a Google account and re-follow. Thanks!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Sir Allen Apsley's Regiment

A snowy day here in Ohio, and another regiment for the ECW forces - Sir Allen Apsley's (Royalist) Regiment of Foote. For some reason I keep thinking of them as Sir Arthur Askey's Regiment. Perhaps their battle cry would be "Hello, playmates!"

Lacking any information about turn-backs and so on, I've painted them with blue cuffs. The base work will come next. A regiment of Parliamentarian cavalry and the generals for both sides have taken their places on the painting block. All I have to do after that is paint up the artillery for both sides in the shape of a light gun apiece.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

River running

I was at a loose end today so I cracked on and finished the river sections.

The groundwork was done, so it only needed a coat of acrylic craft paint to blend everything in. It proved hard to keep the shade of 'water' consistent over the course of several pours of varnish, but I think once the sections are laid in place on the green base cloth it won't show.

I've also almost finished the bridge. It needs a bit more vegetation and flocking on the ground areas, but it came out okay. Thankfully the glue sticking it to the plastic had provided a good enough seal so the Envirotex didn't ooze underneath it.

The river sections may well see their first use soon. I'm hoping to get what might be the penultimate game of my Bury St. Edmunds VBCW mini-campaign in this coming week. The last game saw the nasty blighters of the BUF thrown back with severe losses of men and morale by those sterling chaps of the Anglican League. Now the League is on the offensive once more, and aiming to cut the BUF's main line of retreat back to Bury St. Edmunds...

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

50,000 hits!

It's been a while since I last posted here, and I see that sometime in the past few days the hits on my wargames table blog has passed the 50,000 mark! I seem to be doing something right.

Progress is being made on the ECW collection, and I have the pikemen of Sir Allen Apsley's Royalist regiment about finished.  All they need is a coat of matte varnish and they're ready for basing.

Work on the N-scale bridge is also progressing.

Like the river sections I made earlier this is based on a piece of clear acrylic plastic. The bridge is a combination of card and wood. The ground work either side is drying and I've put some paint down to act as an undercoat and to seal the sand to the spackle. The next steps will be to ensure there are no gaps under the bridge and to pour the Envirotex Lite.
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A discussion about Chris Peers' Death in the Dark Continent rules on the Lead Adventure Forum has reignited my not-too-dormant interest in Colonial African gaming. I'm well aware Captain Fred Pike and the men of the Barsetshire company have been in limbo for too long. I have a few scenarios in mind, but the most interesting one needs a few bits of new terrain. Once my current project is off the table I'll see about making them.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

A Mass of Malignant Cavalry and the Beginnings of a Bridge

A quiet beginning to the New Year here in NW Ohio. I completed Sir Charles Gerard's Regiment of Horse for the Royalist army, the first cavalry unit of my ECW collection. They only need the base work to be done to be finished. Normally I find cavalry a chore to paint regardless of scale, but these painted up nicely.

Sir Allen Apsley's Regiment of Foot is on the painting block. They're a red coat regiment from the King's Oxford army to go with Bolle's blue coat regiment.  

I also made a beginning on an N-scale bridge to complete my river sections.

Apologies for the quality of the photos. Our camera batteries died so I had to use the new tablet we got for Xmas. Its imaging quality isn't as good as a camera. The brickwork looks a lot pinker than in real life.

I photoshopped a section of real-life brickwork, scaled it to my needs then printed it off on regular paper. This I cut out and stuck to sections of corrugated card. I'll use more card to form the road bed and arches which will also stiffen the sides, and apply more brickwork to the road side of the parapet. Once these steps are done I'll attach it to a section of clear plastic and build up the terrain either side to match my other river sections.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year!

Another year, and a leap year too. Here's to one filled with good health, peace and prosperity.

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