Friday, 30 August 2019

Desert Minefields

I thought I'd posted this a while back, but clearly not, lol! Anyway, minefields were a popular feature of the desert war so I've chopped up a piece of MDF, probably from an old chest of drawers!  I should point out that Charlie Foxtrot does a lovely minefield set too.

I began by chamfering the edges of the MDF squares (6" x 6") then glued on some posts to which I would later be attaching some barbed wire.

The posts are simply bits of matchstick.  For variety I've modelled some in a collapsed state.  Also, I've used a counter-sink to make the holes for a couple of craters.  The edges will be raised using some putty or filler.

However, I forgot to pre-stress the MDF to avoid 'curling' when the sand is applied... So I raided my bookcase!  Each piece has a matchstick under the middle to help bend the edges.  Leave for 48 hours.

I added some rocks along with a few items from my bits box.

The discs (to represent the actual mines) were made simply by hole punching some thick card.

Then liberally cover everything in sand and grit.

Next they were painted in the same scheme as the rest of my bases, that's a base of Americana Country Maple, then highlights of Americana Tan, VMC Dark Sand and Foundry Boneyard light.  The posts were painted in VMC Leather Brown then given a light dry-brush with Foundry Boneyard.  The bits of track and wheel had some 'rust' added by painting a few patches of dark brown followed by highlights of red/orange.  Next, add a few arid tufts and some small pieces of clump foliage.

I had some modeller's barbed wire which I wound around a large paint brush handle.  Dots of super glue hold it in place on the posts.  I’ll add extra wire when I can hold of some more.

To complete them I found some suitable signs on the internet, printed and stuck them on thin card before gluing the signs here and there on the posts.  Hmmm... The dining room carpet actually makes a reasonable backdrop.

Friday, 23 August 2019

Scenic bits and pieces

I wanted to add a few more scenic items to my tabletop so I had a look at the very reasonably priced Hovels range of accessories.  I’ve already got a few things from this range so I knew they were good... so I thought I’d do a mini product review.  First is the European Haystack.
Raw resin & nicely painted version (not by me 😉)
I’m not 100% sure if haystacks actually looked like this in Normandy ‘44 but it does look good on the table.  They’ll also be handy for the Eastern Front.  NB - if you have a PhD in European Haystacks then feel free to not email me.

Next are some crates and sacks along with a wooden water trough and pump.  The resin has very few bubbles or imperfections, plus will need very little trimming or cleaning.

Finally, barrels of fruit (potatoes for Ostfront!) and heaps of grain sacks

Customer service is great too.

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Re-purposed Chateau

I’ve been investing a little time in sprucing up some of my scenery items and I felt it was high time that my chateau got a new paint job!  I never particularly liked the original finish on it (NB – it wasn’t painted by me, lol!) as it was (a) quite untidy in places, and (b) the colours were too ‘pink’ and didn’t really go well together, especially when placed in the grounds I’d built for it.

The original looked like this
The original chateau (not painted by me)
Yeah, it’s “o-k-a-y” but it sort of looks a bit like custard, which is a trifle annoying 🙄  Anyway... I think it could be improved quite a bit.

The first step was to re-paint the ground floor brickwork to actually look like bricks.  A solid base coat of Foundry Conker shade was a good start, then I picked out a few bricks in darker brown tones and one or two in a much lighter red (go steady with these tho!).  Next, I applied a wash of GW Agrax Earthshade to pick out the brick edges.  Then I highlighted the bricks in their original colours, although a few were left with just the wash to give a greater range of brick colours.

The ground floor quoins and door/window frames were also too pink so these got a coat of Foundry Boneyard mid, then light.  A little fiddly at times but worth the effort.

On to the upper floors!  The light pink wall was painted in Foundry Ochre mid then given a highlight of Ochre mid mixed with some Boneyard light.  I also used the Boneyard palette to neaten the window frames and shutters.

The roof will eventually be tiled 'properly' so for now it just got a little tidy up.

Whilst the building stands within a larger set of grounds, I felt that it needed a bit of climbing foliage to add another layer of detail.  This was achieved using some clump foliage and a selection of tufts.

I’m *much* happier with this piece now.

Whilst I had the ‘gardening’ box out, I added a few little extras to the enclosing wall sections too!

The next improvement will be to add some battle damaged wall sections as this will ‘open up’ the terrain a little.