Thursday, 27 September 2012

Part One of Table: Part One

Hey guys, nice to see you again.

My apologies for not posting anything for a while but my Internet connection has been down for a while (mostly my fault).  So to make it up to you I will be posting a lot of articles in the coming weeks.  Today, I will be showing you the first part of my table making project for Flames of War.

I started by making a rough drawing of what I wanted to put on the board.  This will be a northern Europe field, to represent terrain you might find on the World War 2 battlefields of northern France, Belgium, Denmark or Netherlands.  I decided that many of the feature on this board will be permanent but there will still be  alot of open space to place other objects.  All in all though, the board will be largely fixed.  I went don to the hardware store and bought a 1m x 2m board.  This will make up the first third in what will eventually be a 3m x 2m board.

I waited for the wind to die down to spray the board brown.  This will stop the board from flaking (I hope) and, if some of the terrain should come off, will make it look like there is still dirt under the grass.  Just for the record, I used Australian Export's "Mission Brown" spray because it happens to exactly match Citadel's "Scorched Brown", the colour that my British soldiers are based with.

I then got some scale trucks and marked out some roads.  Using three trucks side by side, I placed dashes around where the roads would be and one truck for country tracks.   After getting a satisfying road, I covered the area with PVA glue and sand.

After letting the glue dry I removed the excess sand.  Now, to line my roads with hedges.  I have had problems with the height of hedges before, as it was often not clear whether the unit behind it was concealed or not.  I got one of my Sherman tanks and carefully measured the height of what a hedge should be to cover some tanks but not others.  I was thinking in particular of StuGs and the Panzerjager.  They have no turret so their profile is lower.  This allows them to remain undetected in more terrain.  I waned my hedges to be taller than these tanks, but shorter than a 'normal' tank, like a Sherman.  So I cut the hedges at the height of the bottom of the turret, allowing the Shermans to see over, but still be concealed, while the StuGs and such can still hide if they want to.  Also, Infantry would be a bit harder to see.  For hedges I am using green scouring pads.  While they don't look very good in the packet there are a few tricks to make them look very much like a hedge, but still be cheaper than using clump foliage or buying pre-made hedges.

I carefully glued the hedges down along the sides of the roads and across the field a bit.  I tip with this, make sure you leave a little bit of a gap between the hedges and the roads for overgrowth.  I had considered painting the roads but I am actually pretty pleased with the colour, but if I was to, it would have to be done about now.

If you have ever looked at scouring pads closely before you will notice that they are teal and mostly see through, neither feature inherent in hedges in the early 1940's.  To fix this problem I gave them a rough coat of Citadel's "Camo Green".  You really don't need to be careful with this bit, as you don't need much to change the colour and even big splodges of it still looks good.  In fact, the patchier the painting, the better in my opinion, so long as you cover most of the scouring pad.  This also blocks a surprising amount of light.  Again, you don't need much paint to block out alot of light, making the 'hedge' look more solid.

After painting the hedges I put Hornby's "Spring Green-Coarse" flock around the edges, to give it an older look.  In parts I even put it growing up the sides of the hedges.  I then put the same coloured flock in a finer grade as grass to fill in some of the paddocks (I ran out before I could finish).  When applying this sort of flock, make sure you really push it into the corners and down into the glue.  Because it is so light it often doesn't break the surface tension of the glue and so appears raised if you don't pack it in a bit.

Well, unfortunately, that is it for now.  This section of the board if partly done and I shall update you as soon as I get some more flock.

On Saturday the guys of my local gaming group (Kingaroy Wargamers) are having a Warhammer tournament.  Some players from Toowoomba are coming down, so it should make for a great day.  I will bring you all a detailed report of how the tournament went and maybe even an interview with some of the players.  Looking forward to it.

Okay, catch you guys later