Tag Archives: Terrain

French Harbor Town – Part VI

When I started laying out this board in my head I knew I was going to want to fill up some space by the mooring location with something other than a building. I thought some sort of crane would be visually interesting and tie in with a few other bits I was planning on having in the vicinity.

I wanted something that was good and tall – a good place for an MG team or a sniper. Also I wasn’t too concerned with historical accuracy, looking for something that would fit in an Alistair MacLean story.  Not having much faith in my scratchbuilding skills I was delighted to find this Things from the Basement kit at Fall In. It’s a bit modern but I figured I could change it a bit.

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I built the base and the rails straight form the kit, only adding some sand texture to the platform.

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I ended up taking quite a few liberties with the cab using some various kit and spare parts. Here’s what I came up with. I’m not sure if the physics would work for the winch, but visually I like it.

Here it is almost complete. I have some cable and a hook to add, but am waiting to complete other things before I commit to the length.

Next up I’ll be working on a few vehicles, some u-boat mines and a torpedo cart.

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French Harbor Town – Part V

My new compressor showed up so I was able to complete the storage shed. It’s a Things From the Basement kit, and I built it straight out of the bag. The miscellaneous supplies are from various sources. The pallets and cable reels are from Things From the Basement, the fuel drums are from Tamiya, the stack of sacks and the grey boxes came out of my 1/35 scrap box, the bundle of crates and barrels are from Grand Manner, the other crates are 4Ground and the single barrels are pre-paints from an unknown source.

 

Next up, the harbor crane.


French Harbor Town – Part IV

I had a few moments this weekend to devote to finishing up the “non-dock” part of the board. Wanting something to delineate the commercial/residential area from the mooring area, I painted up a few sections of walls from Charlie Foxtrot. I also added in a checkpoint from 4Ground and some sandbag sections that I believe are from Warlord.

Also I added in a few more detail pieces. The doghouse is from Warbases and the small stack of newspapers is some parchment paper glued together, painted and then soaked in the bottom of my afternoon tea for a few minutes. Thanks to my friend Richard of Warpstone Pile for sharing his technique for the newspapers.

While I’m waiting on a new air compressor to show up, I’ll be working on some detail pieces for the mooring area.


French Harbor Town – Part III

Mid-week I’ve been working on rounding out some of the bits and bobs for the town and adding in the remaining buildings.

I’ve used this WWI memorial statue “as is” for a few years now, but always felt that it needed dressed up a bit, so I put together a small memorial garden to surround it. I cut a base out of plastic card, and then added some HO scale hairpin fence around the perimeter. I then painted and flocked the base, and added some bushes and flowers. I’m not completely satisfied with it – I feel there’s too much red going on – so I may circle back and add some different flora.

Thomarillion has this nifty cast iron water pump that I picked up a while ago, and I thought it would make a nice bit for the town. I scratch built a concrete catch basin by making a box with balsa and covering it with Liquitex Stucco Texture. Then it was just a matter of some paint and washes.

Here’s the remaining buildings for the town, again from Grand Manner. The warehouse truck is from Blue Moon and the clothes line was made from balsa and an old foil wine label.

Next I’ll start working on some walls to delineate the town from the dock area.


French Harbor Town – Part II

I’ve decided to work my way from the town toward the U-boat so I can knock out some “low hanging fruit” to motivate myself. While I had the draft layout setup, I measured and trimmed an old fleece blanket gaming mat I had to use for some grassy areas. This was my first attempt at having a blanket printed and it ended up with some flaws, so I didn’t feel bad about chopping it up. Here’s the first section with the church, Dr’s house, cafe and small house on it. These buildings are from Grand Manner as are the sidewalk sections.

 

When I run convention games I usually bring a shaker of flock with me that I’ll use to dress up the transition areas, like the one below. I guess I’m willing to trash a convention hall floor, but not my basement.

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I like to add some detail pieces to my boards to dress them out, so here’s some shots of my proposed minutia.

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MBA Woodpile and Table and Chairs from a Dollhouse Manufacturer

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Tomato Plants from Scenic Express and a Cold Frame from Petite Properties

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Cross Plinth from Grand Manner

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Diecast Repaint and some Flowering Hedges from Scenic Express

I had some empty space by the Dr’s house that I wanted to add a greenhouse to. I already had the piece from Warbases and decided to detail it a bit. I covered some of the seams on the structure with cardstock, and then fashioned some potting benches out of Renedra bases and plastic rod. The flower pots are from Scenic Express, the tools are from true2scale and the other bits came from the spare parts bin.

 

Some paint slapped on and voila. I decided to add a plant that I hacked together with a pot from the craft store and a small scale Woodland Scenics tree. The brick on the floor is cardstock. I downloaded the texture from Paperbrick. I added in some “glass” by cutting an old sheet of inkjet transparency.

 

Here’s the final product with the base flocked. I added a few garden tools on the outside, also from true2scale.

Next I’ll be ginning up a small memorial park for the town square.


French Harbor Town – Part I

“Wait, what happened to the rest of the Fall In! prep?” If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m a shitty blogger.

Fall In! has come and gone, and unlike for Historicon I didn’t take enough pictures or notes to write an AAR. I can however report that I had an enjoyable time, the Host is making some marked improvements and the Lardie Days was a great success. So much in fact that the group is making preparations to host another series of TFL games at Cold Wars.

I’ll be running a few games of Chain of Command that feature a section of British Commandos assisted by a group of Franc-Tireurs mounting a raid on a U-boat moored in a French town which is garrisoned by some Heer and Kriegsmarine. I’ll be making the conning tower of the U-boat the objective under the guise of sabotage or Enigma Machine retrieval.

Knowing that my schedule can be up-ended at a moment’s notice, I’ve decided to start working on this early. I laid out what I thought would be a reasonable board and sketched a map.

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I want the bulk of the town surface to be cobblestone, but I didn’t want to spend a lot of resources, including time, to create something. I decided to go with a fleece photo blanket from Walmart Photo. I purchased a cobblestone mat file from Wargames Vault, and then resized it and manipulated some color levels using Affinity Photo. Here’s what the final product looks like.

The level of the town needs to be about 2″ above the surface of the water, and I happened to have some 2″ foam in 2′ sections. It isn’t the best solution, but I scabbed together a 4′ x 5′ section of 2″ foam using some toothpicks and painter’s tape. I then wrapped the blanket around the foam and secured it with some straight pins.

For the water I had a piece of variegated blue fabric that was close to the correct size. My wife ironed on some interfacing to prevent it from fraying, and then I cut it to size. In the past, I’ve coated fabric with Liquitex Gloss Gel to create a nice water effect so I may give this the same treatment.

Next I’ll be working on some smaller detail pieces for the town.


Fall In! Prep Part I – Trenches

I know it isn’t until November, but if I’ve learned anything being a convention GM it’s that I shouldn’t put any stress on myself trying to make a deadline. It is just a hobby afterall.

That said, some folks on the Too Fat Lardies Yahoo Group put together two “Lard Days” at Fall In! to showcase some TFL games. I threw my hat in the ring to run some games of Chain of Command. My scenario is a late war affair where some British Commandos have relieved some Canadian Paras and are preparing for a German counterattack. The only terrain elements I needed were some trenches and a gun pit.

There are a few manufactures that make nice 28mm trenches, but I wanted to do these on the cheap as I’m assuming they won’t get much use. Fortunately I had already purchased the 3D printing files for these trenches from Printable Scenery. My plan was to print a set of masters and then cast what I needed in dental plaster.

I printed a set of masters using my PrintrBot Play (which is now apparently OOP), but naturally neglected to snap a picture, which would appear below.

I then made latex molds of all the masters using Duplos to contain the material.

Over several days I casted enough pieces using some dental plaster that I bought off of eBay a few years ago. I think I have enough to last a lifetime.

The bottoms of some of these were pretty thin and I had a few casualties when I removed them from the molds. I shored them up with some balsa that I trimmed to fit.

Prior to painting I added some details here and there – some corrugated metal using a cardboard coffee insulator, a camo net made from gauze, a tarp of lead foil and a strand of barbed wire.

I also needed a few machine gun nests so I ginned these up using some plastic sheet and bamboo skewers. I know they look more “Eastern Front-like”, but they work for me.

Here’s the finished products after painting and flocking. They aren’t great as individual pieces, but together on the table they look okay.


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