Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Big time. I'm on my way I'm making it.

I hope everyone appreciated the tongue in cheek nature of the previous post roasting mi hermano competitivo Jonesy.  He remains my best friend and someone I'd crawl over broken glass for.  But he is a recovering competitive gamer (despite protests to the contrary) and though he now seeks to follow the path of the Gentleman Wargamer, occasionally we get a glimpse of the younger, meaner Jonesy peeking through (You should have seen the merciless drubbing he delivered to his own daughter, when we persuaded her to play in the March Madness Melee game recently.  It was brutal!)  Anyway suffice it to say that the affair last week was entirely good natured and all accusations of drug-addlement, senility or self-delusion on either side were delivered amidst gales of laughter.

Anyway as promised, I have photos of current works in progress/near completion.

Here are the completed rocky hills.  The rock faces were drybrushed in progressively lighter shades of grey & light sand.  Then I sprinkled a good layer of budgie sand along the pathways before flocking the rest of the horizontal surfaces.  I used a darker than usual flock colour (Javis "Moorland Mix" but blended it in a few places with a slightly lighter shade (some old GW flock I had lying around)  The ground level was then flocked with my standard Javis Mid-G|reen.

I'm quite happy with the results.  I've thought about adding some vegetation, but I normally use lichen as loose scatter on the tabletop and will probably just scatter  Shifting the plane of the polystyrene sheets from horizontal to vertical makes for a much more natural looking hill, though for reasons of practicality it's not going to replace the traditional hill for gentler rolling countryside.  A number of figures can be stood on either side of the hill on the pathway, enough room maybe for a 10 man GASLIGHT unit in 28mm.  In 15mm or even 6mm these would look even more impressive.  I'm probably going to want to knock up a few more of these at some point.

Next up is the railway station, converted from a OO scale Airfix kit to something better suited to 28mm.  The brickwork "skirting" around the base is brick paper over balsa wood and adds an extra cm to the building height, which is all it needs to  look usable for 28mm.  The main doorways front and back were enlarged and filled with scratchbuilt doors, as was the side door.  Of the two other platform-facing doors, one was left as is and now looks like just another window, the other was removed and a counter added above the skirting turning it into something like a ticket window.  All that remains to be done is for a few details to be touched up and a printed clock face to be glued to the circular mount above the doorway (which was originally an old popper stud).

It's not prizewinning material, but it says "railway station" and it looks OK with 28mm figures.  It'll do for the sort of small rural stops that tend to crop up in wargames terrains.  As mentioned previously I've also got a signal box that's coming along nicely.

Next a much rougher work in progress.  This is what will be Birnbeck Pier for the Battle of Weston-super-Mare.  The black blob on the left is a raised promenade area with steps to serve as an interface between the ground surface and the raised pier.  It's a solid block of polystyrene, with cutouts for balsa steps and some card texturing work.  It will be painted a sandy-stone colour before the game.  The pier itself is as seen before, and the seaward end will be connected to a regular wargames hill representing the island on which the "end of the pier entertainments" building will sit.

Finally the big project that's been distracting me from this terrain building.  It's in a slightly larger scale than I'm used to doing for gaming., roughly 1828mm scale, or 304mm to the foot, for all you model railroaders out there.

This is going to be my bedroom when I have to move in to take care of my father 24/7 rather than simply coming here every day.  As you know I don't normally like to talk about non-gaming-related matters here, but I mention it because I was amused to find out that the techniques that I'd normally use painting miniatures and terrain pieces actually translated rather well to this full-scale job.  My normal technique for painting is to first get the paint on with as good a coverage as possible, then make several passes over the model correcting mistakes, neatening up edges and generally tidying up. Applying the same technique here saw me making the final "neatening up" pass with a size 8 brush which is the biggest I use for gaming painting (I usually use it for final Quickshade coating or terrain pieces).  The results have even impressed the old man, who is a retired painter and decorator by trade.

Still far too many projects on the to-do list.  But for next Sundays game all that's left is to paint the 20 man Naval Party, finish the pier and the MDF railings.


  1. Nice! I especially like your repurposing and rescaling of the rail station building.

    1. It does the job, doesn't it. Given the silly low prices you can find for second hand buildings on eBay, especially if they're damaged (the two station buildings came to £3.20 for the pair) it's certainly worth experimenting.

  2. Nice looking terrain, well done.