Sunday, May 19, 2019

Eastern Front Villages

I posted earlier photos of a French village and town I created using the impressive buildings from Brigade Models who have a wide and growing range to choose from.  I'm also using their buildings in the major Arnhem build project as well. I prefer to use buildings and terrain more in scale with the ground than the figures on my tabletops and these 2mm buildings allow that sense of scale whilst still having details you can pick out.
The buildings come from The Eastern Front set and eventually I’ll finish painting the magnificent church brigade do. I placed some Russians by Adler and GHQ, on 32mm by 32mm bases, in the photos to give you a sense of size. 

The walls are strips of 1x2mm plastic cut to size, the trees are scratch built using twisted copper wire and coarse turf foam foliage. I cover the base with a very thin smattering of Basetex, dry brushed several times and finished with a brown inkwash.
The layout above could be the Caucus and southern areas of Russia and eastern Europe, whilst the layouts below are more for the northern areas.

A big thanks to Brigade for their feature of my painting and for reminding me I hadn’t posted these pics!

Happy gaming!

Charles the Modeller

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Arnhem - The Little Things

I'm posting an update on the Arnhem model build which is progressing well although slower than I would have liked.
The key roads have been laid and the majority of the grassed areas have been flocked, the river repainted and the bridge all but completed.
The next stages will see the town blocks laid down, bushes and trees added working outwards from the bridge. It should then start to look like Arnhem.
Full extent of the board and view of progress - mostly added roads, built a bridge, finished a river and the embankments.
Finalised the bridge itself
North embankment built.
View up the embankment to the bridge. Bushes and tress now required.
Buildings selected and positioned. Attempting to recreate the photo below.
Aerial view after Graebners abortive attack
I wanted today though to focus on some of the key details. Dave, Roly and I were gaming a couple of weeks ago and discussing the excessive lengths both Roly and I, in our respective ways, detail the models we paint/ build. Dave turned to another gamer and simply said "See what I have to deal with!"
It got me thinking about all the little things that we all do on our models that we take pride in and get satisfaction from even though almost nobody will notice unless we point them out. So here are some of the smaller things I've done or built that I'm really pleased with and that most people won't notice.

The raw view of steps down off the bridge at the north end.
Road and walls still to be added in this pic.
The steps and support at the south end of the bridge.
The various bits I made and brought together to build the south bridge support.
I included a pencil in the shot to give a sense of how small this is
Much of this is hidden on the model unfortunately but I was pretty pleased with it
The building of the steps down the embankment before it was finalised and flocked
The view of the initial build of the steps on the west side of the embankment
Both sides in view
Some work still needed to add walls and to merge properly with the pavement at the bottom.
Bushes, trees and walls still required, as is a final dry brush with a light cream to pick out the steps
Early view of the river and the south bank

River bank post flocking. Bushes and trees still to be added. Note the planking on the small pier.
I'm sure I'm not alone in doing things like this. In many cases its not difficult and it doesn't cost anything, it just takes a bit of time. I can do it, the only reason not to is because I don't want to spend the time and effort. I know its there and if it wasn't I'm sure it would be bugging me.

Enjoy your gaming!

Charles the Modeller

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Arnhem Bridge - Part 2 - Modelling the city

In Arnhem Bridge part 1 I put up photos showing a the bare bridge and a selection of buildings I was using to represent the city area around the end of the bridge captured by John Frost and the paras. In this update I'm able to show the city outline and the relative position of the buildings within the city landscape.
I've put together a basic layout that's just short of 1m by 1m and this will form the area we'll use to fight over.
However, before I get into the detail I want to talk about my approach and some of the constraints I'm under otherwise some of my choices will seem a bit odd.
The object is to create a scale model of the Arnhem bridge area. Any fighting is going to be done with 6mm figures. Using a 1/300 ground scale though would require a huge model.
I don't have anywhere to store a large model, so it needs to be modular and stackable.
Consequently I went with a ground scale of 1:1000 and have used Hexon boards as a base, representing an area about 1km square.
Next, the city is going to require hundreds of buildings, and the fight for the bridge is not the most exciting - first the British destroy the Germans, then there is a brief stalemate, then the Germans overwhelm the British. Any refight is likely to be a one off or pretty infrequent.
Consequently pretty much anything not glued to the board needs to be reusable elsewhere and the buildings used are sourced from my existing (although very large) collection of Brigade Models buildings. I have used the best fit for the buildings from my available figures. With the exception of the bridge the buildings are not scratch built.

I have used photos of Arnhem during and before the battle to help guide the build. Its not exact but I'm pretty pleased with the look.
Initial layout, with river sections inverted
Plasticard used to raise the base level
Level of the main board raised slightly using an abundant, cheap handy material. Other large scale, global sales and logistics suppliers may exist.
Papered and painted. Now the real work can begin
River bed inserted and base colouring begins
Aerial view with river, bridge and initial building layout
View of the bridge from the east
Frosts HQ is the large building with the grey roof on the left with a good view of the ramp.
Eastern side of the ramp

View along the road
Close up of the bridge. Just got a base primer on it for now.

More detailing and supports to be added to the road
Parts of the milk factory and industrial buildings close to the river
I'm pretty pleased with the concrete embankments.
Most of the buildings are painted, but some still left to do.
Buildings are based on plasticard sections so I can lift the on and off the board and use them in other games.
View of the ramp from the west
View of the bridge from the terraces of Arnhem

 Here are some of the photos and pictures I've been using as a guide

Still quite a bit of work to do! But the basics are there now, ground cover and trees need adding.
Oh and the river needs repainting. Its the wrong colour and you can see my pen marks and writing through it. Tips on painting over varnish appreciated!
Let me know how you think I've done.
Happy gaming!
Charles the Modeller

Eastern Front Villages

I posted earlier photos of a French village and town I created using the impressive buildings from  Brigade Models  who have a wide and ...