Saturday, 24 August 2013

Decorating Mud: Completing the Scene

 Where to stop? It 's a dilemma. You can keep on adding detail until, well, until it is all detail and there is no room for the action. It's a bit like painting the figures how much is too much and how little is too little?
So, we have to have the basics plus some added value.
 Get your contours defined. Red for the plateau, yellow to define slopes and greens of various hues to denote the main undulating fields...
 Using my patented, copyright, R&D financed and trademarked 'SPRINKLE' method (Spread Particles Right Into Niches Keeping Lines Emphasised) as demonstrated in this photo, you can see the colours beginning to breathe life into the palette of the scene...arty enough for you?
 ...and colour in.
 This photo shows again how having your table painted gloss blue allows you to have water pretty well wherever you wish.
 Of course due to having the open spaces around built up areas I use the CRAPP method (Could Really Add Proper Pieces) for villages en route.
 A couple of different greens (or to Colin, greys) add a bit of depth...or I could be just kidding myself.
 Rough flock and bits of lichen fill out the wooded areas without using too many trees. You know what it's like constantly shifting the trees to facilitate movement. Depending on the group dynamic you can end up arguing over the wood being 'a little more to the left' once moved and replaced all game long.
 The odd tree, and they don't come odder than the BBT (Bog Brush Tree) and the wood is clearly defined wherever you move the actual timber.
 Here we have no line of sight between the wood (foreground) and the village unless you're through it and standing on the level height (pinky red) of the higher ground just beyond the wood.
 Here to the left of the yellow a good line of sight, over and to the right of the yellow, no line of sight.
 The road, left to right, off the level high (pink) ground down the (yellow) incline along the flattish (green) fields and up the (yellow) incline and into town.
 ...and repeat.
 French end. I believe in giving the bowler a jolly good run up.
 Middle river crossing where we had the last little punch up.
 And a view from the pavilion end. Down all 24 feet of it.
 With thanks to Roy B. for his farm complex and its years of sterling service.
 The long shape of Bossau Wood. Allied right flank.
 ...and a few shots of the river just because it's nice.

 Now you can interpret the topography for yourselves we hope you'll get more from the AAR's
Next time: Populating the battlefield.
My thanks to CL International (Wedding and  Bar-mitzvah) Photography and 'Billee' President of the Laura Ashley Country-side Appreciation Society for their help in this blog.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Making Mud: The fun begins

Take a quarter ton of red sand, finely sifted, and add water. Mix thoroughly and add black pepper to taste...
Spit it out you nut case! Take a map of the proposed area to be recreated for toy soldiers to play on.
 Roughly mark out the main features. Start with the topography and bed in any man made features such as towns, cuttings, trenches, etc..
 Compact the sand with the palms of the hands. You have to put in anything that needs to be moulded or cut out before the red sand hardens. This is the main draw back with red sand. The advantage, of course, is that once it has dried out you have such a hard surface you can lean on it quite comfortably and not leave an imprint.
 This is the stage at which you can be easily caught out because the features like ridges and hills don't seem very dramatic until you colour them in with flock.
 Take a pointy thing (cocktail stick, nail, matchstick) and draw in the borders of your roads.
 Once this is done, leave to dry and serve with peanuts, no don't! It makes the peanuts gritty.
Looks rough, and it is, but flock and lichen with transform this replica beach play pen into quite a realistic looking country estate.

Photo-graphical Reproduction by Colin - Artworks of Fantasy and Holidays International PLC Inc.

Extra hands by Billy (Plastic Surgeon to the Stars)

Next time: Sepia becomes full colour before your very screens (without the aid of a safety net)

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Goodbye Pont du Hoc - We're stepping back 129 years

It stood alone at the end of the table while we practiced our Shako 2 rules. Now we need the space to put down Quatre Bras for our 'Hundred Days Campaign' field test. Still no camera but thanks to Colin's magic telemophone we can still see what's going on......
Beach removed with a brush
 Cliffs removed with a hammer
 ...with extreme enthusiasm...
 While excavating the site we found two distinct levels. In the piccie you can see the bit of green flock that has survived at the road level of the WW2 'Operation Bagration' games we had a wee while ago (sorry, just an interesting geeky thing)
 Here you can see 'River Dunce' as the graded grains make finer features. Crushing the harder clogging red sand enables the water to penetrate and makes the sand a smoother consistency. Easier to work with when it comes down to moulding the terrain.
...and, of course, a flourish to finish. Thanks Col...nice trainers.

Next week: Making mud.