Picking up those brushes again.

Hi and welcome to the occasional mutterings of Dave Doc, a military modeller and some time gamer. Gaming and model making has given me a real education, History & Geography(obvious really), Artistry, Politics, Economics, Logistics, Project Management -you try building miniature armies without the last 3.

I will use the blog to record my creations & the odd occasion I actually do some gaming.

I have always been inspired by the aesthetic side of gaming. Playing on well constructed terrain using excellently painted units is always a joy.

Tuesday 27 November 2018

Terrain - Hedges for Normandy WW2

The big project for next year for me is get a good sized 15mm Normandy game up and running - as in 16 x 6 . I am doing the US forces who fought in bocage country so I am going to need a lot of hedges.  I made 12 feet a few month back for a game with the guys , but decided this has to be an occasional task to make sure we have enough - and you must know the mantra - you always need more hedges!

I set about making another 12 feet - its on bases 20mm wide and range of lengths such as 12 inch , 9 inch , 6 inch and 3 inch to give to flexibility.

I thought I would take the opportunity to show how I do it.

finished article
raw material - industrial sheet of rubberised horsehair - currently £35 on eBay for 6 foot x 3 and inch thick -I bought this one a few years ago for £25 from an upholstery company (its used to fill furniture)  - still got plenty left!
Small sizes are of course available from a range of suppliers ..just expect to pay a premium for it 

cut a strip to height or width you want

cut bases - these are made from 1.5mm ply

hot glue the hedge hair to the base

add weight to help secure until glue is set

trim and shape the regular strip with pair of scissors to produce a bit more irregular shapes - and then add some base material I use PVA to stick on sand - and let dry

spray a dark colour - in this dark dark green

colour the base material an earth colour

highlight the base earth 

liberally apply neat PVA across the hedge area - working it into the weave

prepare your scatter mix - this is by Javis available at various model and railway modelling suppliers - its a mix of shades of summer/spring green

I had sourced some 15mm MDF gates and fences from Blotz - these were added as part of the sticking on to the bases - I just forgot to  photograph them.

all covered in scatter - allow to dry before shaking off any final excess

spray with cheap extra firm hold hair spray - it will stop the scatter shedding - and you can always redo this at any time  too

I also found some trees on e-bay a while ago and they were based singly - I cut those off and  I have added them in to some sections by just  hot glueing them in place

the hedge stash - only another 36 feet to go!

Now whats that hiding behind the hedgerow? 

Altogether took a couple of hours - spread over 3 days - most processes don't take that long - you just need things to fully dry between some of them 

Saturday 24 November 2018

Battleground game

Today saw the guys have a game at the Battleground show, well in between shopping and mooching around .

John has set up the game based on Pickett’s charge. We were using Black Powder which if I am honest are not a favourite , a bit meh for me .. but it was a least simple.

Some limited pics of the battle and show as ended up,with iPad issues due to new software update! But now seem to be sorted.

Union on the right , sitting waiting the Reb advance

My newly painted stuff awaits its fate! It did alright in the end ..

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Shopping was minimal, but the others seemed to have a reasonable top up  . I got some resin bits for market stores, barrels n boxes from Ainsty, a pack of south sea islanders for the Hammerhead game and few Vallejo green colours that I was running low on . I also picked up some pre order !0mm Confederate ACW packs from Pendraken to boost the 10mm lead hillock up. It seemed a good busy day overall.  It’s great to see this show doing well.

Tuesday 20 November 2018

ACW - Top up for the Battleground show game

This coming weekend sees the Battleground show at Stockton on Tees. This show has been revamped by the guys at Pendraken and its really on the up I think with a good range of traders, display and participation games on offer. I am pretty topped up with stuff , but you never know what I may find - the bring and buy was very good .

I am attending with the guys from the Old Guard group and we are putting on 10mm American Civil War game based on day 3 of Gettysburg. Its always handy having a deadline so I have been working through most of the remaining lead pile that I originally purchased last year. I have completed the first lot of limbers for Confederate artillery plus another Union brigade. In fact I have finished these quicker then anticipated so have started on some more Union guns and casualty markers will be done in time for the weekend too. The 10mm lead mountain is looking more like a small hill now - I do though have some on order to pick up this weekend.

6 Confederate limber/caisson team 

The 10mm ACW collection is based for Fire and Fury. I have added a further 31 infantry stands and 6 command , plus some brave colonels , and range of mounted commanders

My union infantry altogether is around 80 stands - so its growing nicely. One more decent sized  brigade should do it for me - then I can do some of the unusual units like zouaves etc.  With the guns under way I will 9 in total. I will need some limbers and few small cavalry units to finish it off

My Confederate forces have 3o infantry stands and 15 guns (don't ask!) and the next real work here will be another 2 infantry brigades- one of these will go the Chris the painter at Marching in Colour to help me move this along.

The work in progress 
In addition I have also built up the Really Useful box inserts I picked up at Partizan from Sally 4th -they have had ferro-sheet added. So for the basing of this latest lot of ACW I added some 3mm magnets -I will need to go back over the existing stuff at some point as I revamp the storage.

the 4 or 9 litre RUB mdf insert - this is35mm in height - perfect for storing the 10mm stuff 
As John from the Old Guard has also been busy adding in a decent amount of Confederates the game should look good with a decent troop density - and with all the new stuff a lot should be running away! any way I  will try and get plenty of pictures

Wednesday 14 November 2018

WIP - Back to the brushes

I have finally got some brush time in. I have a game coming up at the Battleground show with the Old Guard group. We are getting the ACW stuff out again - so I am topping up the Union infantry with another 30 or so stands , and doing 6 limbers for my Confederates.

Limber teams coming along nicely
Stockton on Tees 24th November - its looking like a good show 

I am working on clearing out some other long term paint desk squatters as well to clear the decks prior to the AHPC winter challenge.  Some tanks, bash bazooka and unit a of Naploeonics need clearing out by Xmas .

Martin, James and I are down to run a game at Hammerhead and it looks like we are going Pulp style to recreate "Tales of the Gold Monkey"

I managed to source a 1/48th kit to make "Cutters Goose"

its something a bit different which is nice. Anyway - back to wielding brushes which is nice

Friday 9 November 2018

Not Forgotten - Pvt Thomas McQuater M.M.

I made a recent family history discovery on the paternal side. I now have a Canada connection with some family members in Canada . I made contact with Jean a cousin of my father living near Toronto who has kindly passed on all the original records she has for her uncle Thomas McQuater. We don't think any member of the family has specifically visited his grave. Although I have been to the actual cemetery several years ago without being aware of the family connection.

With the centenary of the end of first war approaching myself and Mrs D had decided to make another visit over to Ypres and Menin Gate. I also wanted to make sure we paid our respects to Thomas and we diverted to the Vimy Ridge area to visit his war grave in one of the smaller cemeteries in the area. He rests in an original battlefield plot and was not moved as part of the concentration of graves after the war.

With the 100th anniversary of the WW1 it seems appropriate to remember all those effected.

Pvt Thomas McQuater M.M. 4th Battalion C.E.F. killed in  action 11-4.1917

Thomas was born in Glasgow and emigrated to Canada before the first world war. He joined up in 1915 and ended up in the 4th Infantry. He fought in the battle of the Somme , being awarded a Military Medal for being the last man manning his Lewis gun in a series of attacks and counteracts near Courcellette in September 1916.

Military Medal Award

4th Infantry War Diary entry 

He was wounded with a gun shot wound to the eye and thigh while on the Somme in October 1916 and was moved to the base hospital at Etaples

He recovered to take part in the Vimy Ridge attack in April 1917 where he was killed in action on the third day of the attack, possibly even by friendly fire according to war diary.

We called in at the Vimy Ridge memorial.

For the evening we attended the Menin Gate for the Last Post Ceremony . The haunting sound of the bugles playing under the archway always has an impact when I hear it.

                                                             "NOT FORGOTTEN"

Wednesday 7 November 2018

Crisis 2018 - stash

Annoyingly my small planned shopping list was disrupted with some trader drop outs. so purchases from  Flag Dude , Tiny wargames and Ainsty were out.. A point to be fed back too TSOA,  but I am sure there is a reasonable explanation. . So I went a bit off list .

No idea why , but I like it !,
This piece has now led to the sourcing of a1/48th Grumman Goose seaplane.

Cutters Goose

"Tales of the Gold Monkey " on some South Pacific Islands here we come ..

next up more terrain items - lots of MDF

This stuff was on a cracking show discount to make up the above set up (by products for  wargamers .. whose old west buildings I have some of. ) ...bit of Necromunda coming up with the lads I think

Plus some other bits

I picked up another FW190 for Wings of War. Stefan Ko donated me a model of Lawrence of Arabia form the Tactica show - thanks Stefan .

So a bit off list.. but all good!

Saturday 3 November 2018

Crisis 2018 .

Today has been spent at the Crisis show in Antwerp. It’s been another good one. It’s the largest mainland europe show in the calendar , with a good range of traders and games. It benefits from being in a great city too. We will certainly be back next year , combining a great show with the history of the Low Countries , good Belgian beer and food... well what’s not to like .

So learning from last year I decided to have lie in and leisurely breakfast - our hotel is  about 20 minutes walk away. - and decided to turn up for 10.30 to save queueing . Some hope , there was still a full  queue , but at least it moved quickly , taking about 15 minutes to get in overall .

My queue joining point . 
Another learning from last year was to take cash , as there isn’t a cash machine on site, and not many traders take card or Paypal.. it also costs 0.5 euro to go to the loo !

I had a small shopping list , pocket money in hand , and friends to chat too .

I met up with Sander and Arthur , handing over my challenge painting items, next up was Stefan Ko and Sidney Roundwood (aka Adam! ) .  I had a good chat with Colin and Katherine re the Kenilworth event next year too.

There were plenty of good looking games on display , so here is the montage . Sorry I didn’t note the providers or clubs . I will do the stash post next