Wednesday 30 January 2019

On the Workbench: Railways, buildings and German paras

I had intended winding up this terrain session with a few buildings. However, I got slightly distracted by several railway tracks I began painting for the next ACW battle and Gettysburg. I had previously painted up 3 sections as a trial but was not happy with the result. Not only that, I felt I was wasting time in painting such things as the rail sides a rusty brown leading to a rather long-winded method of getting them painted. 

I therefore trialled giving them a brushed white enamel primer followed by a thin wash of enamel black. A light drybrush of Valejo Medium Grey (a slightly muddy grey colour) pretty much completed them. I finished by carefully painting Coat d' Arms silver along the top of the rails. This was the result:

They have yet to be varnished but otherwise complete. Still not 100% happy but they will do and were quick to paint. Which is just as well given the fact that I have this lot to complete:

With a quick method of painting them sorted, I decided I may as well get them all painted up.

Continued -

Sunday 27 January 2019

On the Workbench: 6mm Trees, Fences and dugouts.

This week I completed all the terrain planned for the next WW2 battle in N. Africa together with a bunch of fences and trees.

First up - Dugouts:
I decided to use the metal sandbags from Perfect Six in several desert dugouts. From the left, each base will hold 2, 3, 3 and 1 base of infantry respectively. Filler was used on a card base and before dry the sandbags were added. I had given the card a coat of gloss varnish on each side to reduce the risk of warping. Once dry they were sprayed Army Painter Skeleton Bone.

Further filler was added to build up the banks between the sandbags. A mix of sand and small stones was added to the banks.

Sand alone was added to the dugout base. The sandbags were given a black wash and the bases painted with Coat d' Arms Desert Sand, Valejo Iraqi Sand and Artiste Chocolate Brown blended together to produce an irregular look.

The completed bases having been drybrushed a variety of very light, almost white, sand yellow and Valejo Silver Grey.

Continued -

Monday 21 January 2019

On the Workbench: Wadis completed and more terrain started.

Work on the wadis continues:

Filler has been added to build up the banks. A note on warping - normally I would seal the wood with either a gloss varnish spray or paint. I took a chance on this occasion. I used a filler called 'One Strike'. It is lighter and contains less moisture than standard filler. It claims to dry in 30 minutes which may well be the case normally, but with thicker covering, such as here, it took a little longer. I weighed the ends down keeping them flat during the drying process. Of the 5 longer pieces, I detected a slight warping with 4 of them. This filler is reasonably flexible, so I placed them on small files under their centre and then weighed down the ends bending them slightly in the opposite direction. After several hours I released them and it appears to have done the job. If I was to do this again though I would seal the wood first.

Continued -

Saturday 19 January 2019

ACW 6mm: The Battle of Big Bethel

This game is taken from the Regimental Fire & Fury Scenarios Volume 1 book. This is a relatively minor early war engagement involving green troops.

Translating the RF&F orders of battle to Guns at Gettysburg rules is relatively simple. Each RF&F stand = 1 stand of 6 x 6mm figures for infantry. 1 artillery cannon =1 for GaG. Cavalry is slightly different in that mine are based 2 to a stand. Therefore 1 RF&F stand = 2 x GaG stands. 

Background to the battle:

In response to the growing Federal threat to the east of Richmond, Col. John Magruder was sent to Yorktown to organise southern defences. Cavalry commanded by Lt Hood and Col Hill's 1st North Carolina volunteers reinforced Magruder. They fortified a strong position at Big Bethel Church. From these positions the Rebels could observe and harass the growing Union forces.

Concerned by the threat to new Union camps, Maj Gen Butler decided to destroy the rebel positions. He sent converging columns on a night march for a dawn attack against the southern outposts. As they closed on the rebels, green Union troops fired into a friendly regiment. Alerted by the fire. the Rebels abandoned Little Bethel and fell back on their fortified positions at Big Bethel.

An overview of the battlefield:
The Union troops approach from the right (south). 

Confederate entry and exit point is 'A' with 'B' for the Union.

The area inside the breastworks south of points X - Y is a key position.

Continued -

Thursday 17 January 2019

On the Workbench: Desert Terrain

Work is not fully underway on producing terrain for future battles. First up is desert terrain for the 'Nibeiwa' WW2 action. 

A number of barbed wire sections have been completed:

I began work on wadis. I will cover more on the construction of these in subsequent 'On the Workbench' posts. I began by cutting out softwood bases:
The edges have been surformed and the plan is to have the floor of the wadi roughly 20mm wide to allow for an infantry base width. This is bordered by approximately 20mm wide banks.

Various cork 'rocks' have been added. 

A start has been made on adding filler to create the wadi banks. 

Monday 14 January 2019

On the Workbench: 10mm AWI Leib Bn and barbed wire!

The final unit for the AWI 'White Plains' scenario has been completed. The Hessian Leib battalion:

Continued -

Monday 7 January 2019

Plans for 2019

It is time to ponder on my plans for the coming year. As per last year I will break it down to 3 sections: Battles, Campaigns and Painting/modelling.

But before I launch into my plans for this year, I would mention another period I have paid scant attention to over the past year, 6mm Ancients. During my festive holiday I read the last two books in the 'Legionary' series by Gordon Doherty, 'Empire of Shades' and 'The Blood Road'. I also read book 12 from Simon Scarrow's 'Eagles of Empire' series, 'The Blood Crows' and part way through book 13 'Brothers in Blood'.

For those unfamiliar with Doherty and Scarrow, their books are very much in the Bernard Cornwell style of historical fiction. In my opinion they are actually better than Cornwell and provide a rich source of wargaming material. Warlord Games have actually produced 28mm models of Makro and Cato as they would have appeared in the first book 'Under the Eagle'.

Reading these books in quick succession has fired my imagination. Over the years, particularly in the 1970's, I dabbled in recreating battles from novels on the tabletop. Both Doherty and Scarrow have the ability of immersing you in their action-packed stories. The 'Legionary' series revolves around the character 'Pavo'. He moves from being a slave to joining the Legions working his way up to commanding his own legion in the most recent novel. It is set in the 4th century A.D. when Rome is on the decline desperately holding back the Goths and Huns in the east. Of the two series, this is probably my preferred choice for gaming. However, it would mean starting a new collection! Maybe one day but not just yet.

Which brings me on to the adventures of Makro and Cato. This is set in the mid 1st Century A.D. with several books set in Britannia. I already have a reasonable collection of Early Imperial Romans and Ancient Britons/Celts in 6mm so would require little effort to get the ball rolling. I do not intend committing to starting what will be a new project just yet, but it is one that I will explore further when time permits.

After that little interlude, on with my plans for 2019:

Continued -