Thursday, 31 July 2014

The Old Contemptibles at Mons

The build up for my upcomming Great War Spearhead II (GWSH II) scenario has reached it's first milestone with the completion of the British Expeditionary Forces (BEF) OOB for the Battle of Mons (23 August 1914), their first major engagement of the Great War.

The BEF under Sir John French fielded 70,000 troops and 300 guns at the Battle of Mons but faced General Alexander von Kluck's First Army – 160,000 troops with 600 guns. The BEF were charged with holding their line so the French Fifth Army under General Charles Lanrezac, on the right of the British line, could fall back.
Courtesy of: In the footsteps 

The GWSH II scenario focusses on the actions on the right of the BEF's line with elements of the 7th Brigade and the 8th Brigade attempting to hold the salient around the city of Mons against the German IX Corps – represented by two brigades of the 17th Division and the four brigades of the 18th Division. The BEF were dug in along the line of the Mons–Condé Canal with the Germans advancing across open ground to the north.
The German Attack at Nimy Bridge on 23rd August 1914. Courtesy of: In the footsteps 

Below are the completed BEF units based on 30mm x 30mm squares. They are 6mm Irregular Miniatures. While the miniatures lack a bit of clarity in their castings, once painted up I think they look good. As has been said elsewhere, gaming this period in 6mm is more about the terrain than the figures. They have been surprisingly easy and quick to paint. I've tried to put a little extra effort into basing the figures.
Two battalions of the 7th Brigade, BEF

8th Brigade of the BEF

BEF Engineers (not required for the scenario, but I couldn't resist getting a few for later use)

The heavy guns of the BEF – 2 Batteries of Howitzers
(should be 4.5" howitzers – but I only have these 60 pounder's at present)

One of the two 18 pounder Field Gun Regiments supporting the BEF.

Brigade HQ

Detail of the Old Contemptibles – each base is a company of infantry or a machine gun platoon
Also, I've started work on a generic terrain mat for the WWI gaming. I'm using a canvas painter's drop sheet coated in brown latex caulking compound coated in various colours of flocking.

The next step is to start work on the German IX Corps!

Monday, 14 July 2014

Mayan Temple for Pulp adventures - complete!

It's amazing the motivation posting work in progress pictures on forums give me when completing projects. A few days after deciding to make a Mayan-style temple for Pulp Alley adventures to come, I have managed to completed it (although some final painting will be completed/details will be added in time).

I'm quite pleased with the result and am grateful for the useful advice I've received on TMP and Pulp Alley Forums.
The painting was largely inspired by this thread on painting stonework on TMP.
Details to come include:
  • crafting a sacrificial alter to sit on the summit of the temple
  • some more shading on the stairs
  • a little dry brushing to knock back the colours used to highlight different tones among the stones
  • possibly one final wash to help define the shadows a little more
  • adding some moss/lichen to increase the 'lost ruin in the jungle' look
The next project is some trees for the jungle setting.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Mayan temple pt 2

After some great advice on  TMP and Pulp Alley forum about possible approaches to texturing the
surface of the Mayan-style temple, I have settled on building up a clockwork texture using thin card 'stone slabs' glued on and then covered with tissue paper brushed in diluted PVA glue.

I think some of my efforts to lay the tissue paper over the 'slabs' of cardboard are a little sub standard, but in general I'm liking the texture. Of course, the immediate benefits of this approach is that it is cheap and I can get moving on it strait away.

The question will be whether to undercoat and dry-brush, or to use some sort of texture over the tissue paper. The advantage of another layer is it will make the surface more durable, but I may end up losing some of the effect I've created.

Another pice of advice I received was to seal/reinforce the edges of the corrugated cardboard with thin strips of card glued on. It's a little too late for the edges of the bottom two levels, but I will try this on the steps and possibly the upper level.

Some other products mentioned by fellow wargamers that I will be looking at for future projects such as this will be:

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Scratch built Mayan temple - of sorts!

My pulp adventures need more locations - I fancy a steamy jungle ruin.

The aim here is to produce a cheap, useful bit of terrain without it spending months on the craft table like all my other projects do.

I am loosely basing this (very loosely) on the Tikal Temple II in Northern Guatemala.
Ok, I confess I was originally planning on the standard Mayan temple with the staircase on each face but I could see the job bogging down if I had to make four staircases! So a quick web search found the temple at Tikal, and Bob's your uncle!

So, the basic structure (sans stairs) has been constructed our of heavy corrugated cardboard. I'm pondering how to manage the summit shrine - partly because I've not allowed enough space - but in the mean time am wanting to get the main exterior finish sorted.

Here's how it looks at the moment:
28mm miniature to give a sense of scale.
I've contemplated covering it with tissue paper soaked in PVA glue to give it a uniform, rough finish, then dry brush and add a bit of vegetation. However, it would be good to get a bit of a stonework feel to the surface. The question is how?

The role of this bit of terrain is just to be a serviceable bit of pulp terrain - so it does not need a refined finish. The other criteria, is to continue with the 'no cost' strategy!

I'll post more pictures as it progresses.