Saturday, 27 June 2015

Making trees

I need more trees for my Vietnam terrain as I feel that I have too many Palm Tree types.

A few years ago I also needed some big trees for Sherwood Forrest but never got around to doing them. I had cut a few branches off a shrub in my front garden and left the offcuts in the garage to see what the wood would do once it dried out. About a year later the offcuts had dried to a nice solid wood and all the bits of foliage had been easy to just brush off.

This shrub has now been cut down to make space for my games room so I may not be able to get more of this.

I based the trees on wooden MDF bases bought in a local craft store using a hot glue gun. I then added some air drying clay around the base as reinforcement. This was then covered in paint and sand. Now I need some foliage.

Reading about making foliage on Youtube got me thinking about making my own. The Woodland scenics packets are about $40 and would require a large amount to cover the trees. These are often out of stock and I had a supply of waste foam packing from work. I bought a blender and some craft paint and had a go at making my own. The first issue I had was the foam only got ripped into large chunks and did not look at all like tree foliage. The second was the difficulty of judging the colour as it turned out much too bright. I then squeezed out as much water from the foam as possible which also removed much of the colour!! Into the blender again but this still did not reduce the size much at all. I then stripped down the blender and using a small file I sharpened the blades of the blender. This much improved the result but was still as not as fine as the Woodland Scenics product but looks good enough.

I originally used just the black and the green paint but on the second attempt I also bought and used some yellow oxide which looks much better. The foam has not dried yet so I don't know if the colour is good enough or if I put enough PVA in the mix which means it will not clump together if the proportions are wrong.

At this point I don't think I have broken even cost wise, but another batch will do it. I intend making hedges for my WW2 Normandy and ECW games etc.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Helicopters are finished.

Unless I decide to go back and wash and weather them the Helicopters are now finished.

I had some trouble finding the balance point to drill a mounting hole. I now wish that I had put a tube into the body as the balance point is under the rotor just like the metal versions. I cut a very untidy hole and then tried to drill them out. After that proved unsuitable I mounted washers spaced out to get them level which also meant cutting the rear mounting brackets for the armament to make room.

One of the Hogs is quite stable while the other one tends to get a bit lopsided if not carefully positioned on its mount.

Now I just have to download "The ride of the Valkyries" for the Demo game.

Today I started to make some trees to replace the "really really" bright fish tank plants which I will post next weekend if things go well.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Waterloo 200. Wellesley Club, Wellington, NZ.

I was invited to play in the Wellington 200 game by the organiser Paul Goldstone. Since I have gotten into the habit of doing a Demo Game once a year and very little else I was happy to say yes.

This is not intended as a detailed report but just my experience as a newbie to Napoleonic battles using Black Powder.

I have read through Black Powder several times but had not really remembered much of it when it came time to play the game. I also had no suitable troops as this is not really my era and I had thoughts of hiding in the corner while everyone else discussed Buttons and  Braiding. The guys were very happy to discuss anything in a light hearted manner and made me feel at home to which I am very grateful of.

I borrowed three Troops of British Dragoons from my brother Dave and a couple of guns from friend Ray. I thought I'd sneak in my Spanish General as I could then say I had my own figure on the table. This General was supposed to represent Vandeleur. I think this choice was inspired as he certainly was very erratic in his command of the Troops. I gather the real Vandeleur was a good commander who took over Pictons command in the real Battle of Waterloo.

I took over 100 photos so this is just a selection of them.

The main table with La Haye Saint
The secondary table where the Prussians were to arrive
British reserves

French reserves

My guns

The Rocket about to set fire to the farm buildings

My Brigade getting stuck in