To make the corrugated iron palisade walls I used cut down toothpicks as posts and aluminium foil for the corrugated sheets. I found a really helpful video online which started me off.
Whilst the youtuber was using tin from a take out tray, I didn't have any to hand so I substituted aluminium foil instead. I folded some foil over until it was about 8 ply. I adjusted the height to size, about 5mm high. Then I used a cocktail stick to score lines in the foil. I painted it completely with rust coloured paint and then gave a heavy dry brush up and down with platemail. I used a strong tone wash and added the odd ash grey highlight. By going up and down this hopefully conveys the idea of rust and water running down the sheet. I then glued the posts to the foil and placed them in the model trench.
I included two dug outs in the trench system, the command/ radio bunker where Lt. Winters found the map recording all the German artillery positions and an ammo store.
The command/ radio bunker I made larger. I decided to wall this as if it was lined with logs, just to add variety to the model. The logs are simulated by 1mm diameter leather cord strands which I laid next to each other and then used PVA to glue together. I covered the cord with Oak Brown paint and gave a Desert Yellow drybrush.
I used the spoil on the sides to raise the overall height of the bunker and for there to be an opening on the south side looking out into the field.
I intend to create an ersatz desk and radio station but that will be later in the build.
I cut out the ammo store and just covered the walls with the earth layer. The ammo crates are from Perfect Six Miniatures.
I built removable roofs for both bunkers. Again I decided to simulate logs laid side by side. This time though I used cocktail style toothpicks just over 1mm in diameter. These were laid side by side, PVA'd and then covered in the earth mix and flocked with Woodland Scenics fine turf.
I put the sandbags on the model in place last. Outside the trench I used a bead of flexible filler covered with the base mix to simulate the spoil from the trench. I set this back from the trench edge by a couple of mm.
Between this spoil I put a single depth, single width line of sandbags. The TV episode showed sandbags on the edge of the trench and it helps give the model trench definition. I also thought they might be being stored there for when needed or were bolstering the defence and preventing the spoil being washed back into the trench.
I made my sandbags using air drying clay. Mel the Terrain Tutor has a really good video on making sandbags. He’s working at a bigger scale but the principle was spot on. I made my sausage 1.5mm wide and gently flattened it to 2mm before using a cocktail stick to mark the individual bags 3mm apart.
I found the lengths would often split after about 4 to 6 sandbags. Once dry, again the lengths would easily break apart at joins if you weren’t careful. However this often worked to my advantage as the ground changed direction and was uneven. I just placed a little PVA down and then gently pushed with my finger. The lengths generally broke at a sandbag join and could then be easily adjusted.
Once in place I coated them with PVA to harden then and a quick coat of skeleton bone and a strong tone wash gave me a great result.
Finally I used several sandbag lengths from Perfect Six Miniatures on the entrance to the trenches at the western edge.
Next time I'll look post a quick update on the guns themselves.
Charles the Modeller