Friday, 31 October 2014

A simple little Orchard

Following BLAM last month I promised myself that I would take a break from building and painting for at least four weeks. I so nearly did it but the craving to construct something new and slap some paint on it was just too strong.

This enforced absence was cut short when a large parcel from China arrived on my doorstep. What could this be? Id completely forgotten that I had bought several flocked trees from china. Indeed over 60 of them retailing in at a total cost of around £35. Most of mine are at the larger end of size 12cm+

I’d bought tall poplars, oaks, willows and other deciduous varieties. I also bought some fruit trees.
And it’s the last lot I am going to start with first for my Orchard.

A couple of years back I bought some resin stone walls including corner sections. Apologies I can’t remember the vendor but these were painted up black and dry brushed greys. It was then a simple job of laying these out on a piece of ply I had knocking around to form the perimeter of the orchard. These were fixed to the base using a new purchase – a hot glue gun.


The glue set immediately so I could start on the next stage putting down the basing material. In this case a mix of builders sand and railway model ballast. This was glued to the base surface using PVA. Once dry after a couple of hours the base was painted dark brown and then highlighted.


Over the last few weeks I have been buying off ebay several bags of static grass and flock. I have now got a stock that will last me a life time. Seriously folks there is so much cheap stuff being knocked out on the ebay site I don’t think I have paid full price for any foliage or basing terrain stuff in the past two years. A suitable mix of these was then glued to the painted base and left to dry.

Once all this was dry I could turn my attention to the trees. Orchard’s are typically laid out in a grid pattern and mine would be no different. With 10 trees purchased I decided on two rows of four thereby giving loads of room around the edges and a couple spare. These were fixed to the board by drilling holes in the baseboard and then the trees fixed in these holes using both superglue and the hot glue gun.


A word of caution the flock on some of these chinese sourced trees is lose so a good spray of either wet scenic cement of cheap hairspray will help to keep them happy. The stuff that had fallen off in the bag I used as additional scatter around the base of the trees to signify fallen leaves and fruit.
 WW1 Troopers take position in a French Orchard


So there we have it – a small Apple Orchard fit to grace many a table of countless historical periods


Until next time

Monday, 27 October 2014

Poppies, Popguns and Publications

Hi Folks

Its all been a bit quiet in the Shed over the last few weeks...I decided to have a break from all things Wargaming (bar a couple of Warmaster games) and do some other stuff.

Two weekends ago  I took Shedson down to Eversley Gun Man for his first air soft battle and he had a great time running around the woods with his mp5.

I on the other hand am not as fit so a steady stalk was more to my liking.

Eric (Me) & Shedson

Last weekend I took the family up to see the poppies planted around the tower of London. The setting is fantastic but whoa the crowds were gigantic. I understand the ceramic poppies will all be there til the middle of November so if you are in London and haven't seen this display do so. Its both beautiful and thought provoking.

The colour was fantastic !

The cascade

The planters

The queues were all round the tower

On the way back I purchased a copy of Miniature Wargames to read on the train. Whilst reading an article by Jonathan Jones called 'Lets fight Oporto' I see my blog is mentioned...he writes...

The final stage was to make the river. The idea, amongst others, came from a great blog, hosted by Eric the Shed (link) where I first saw the use of floor tiles to model large expanses of water....

Who would have thought reference to my blog would get published in a magazine?

So once again apologies for no further progress on the Cliffs & Desert scape but I promise that ill be cracking on with this soon.

Until next time

Monday, 20 October 2014

Rocky Escarpments part 4

Hi Folks

Part 3 can be found here - a link at the end takes you to part 5

Thanks for following this post. Its been a week now since BLAM finished and what with work, a new regime of fitness training the posts have been a bit thin on the ground.

On the good side..well we did  manage one game last week (Warmaster) and I am running another tonight. Its been great fun playing the old games and if I remember ill take some pictures tonight.

My build on the escarpments has taken a bit of a hit this month so only a small amount of progress to report.

With lots of small bits of cork left over from the big builds I decided that I could use these to build some small outcrops. These are all based on 25cm square boards so will fit with overall base effect I am looking for.

As you can see from the above picture they are all based on a pink foam or polystyrene core with the cork pieces stuck around the edge.

 These are just higher than a 28mm mini.

These small units will allow me to create wadi's and small rises in the ground

 I used these two products in this build. Once the cork pieces were dry I packed the infills with small bits of foam then fille3d and covered using this filler. I allowed three days of drying before liberally covering the units with pva and sand.

I was still dithering on the base colour for all these when I read somewhere about the paint matching service at B&Q. Happy with the way I based my Afrika Korps I decided to see if they could match up the brown GW drab. £49 later a large tin of paint appeared.

So on when the paint - firstly on the flat desert boards

These will all of course get drybrushed and washed down to create the arid landscape I am looking for.

I then started on the cliffs and small outcrops. With these all painted I broke out my new toy - an airbrush and compressor. I used this to give the cliffs there first coat of black primer.

The cliffs on the left have been primed whereas the ones on the right have been untouched. Both boards have had the emulsion base coat.

Here are a few more shots of the small rocks with base paint and cliff primer

I love the way the air brush has tied to together the cliff faces in a uniform way. This will become the favoured implement for painting the cliff faces. Ill work up the face in brown and sand tones and then finish with a quick drybrush.

With over 6 metres of cliff faces to paint this is going to take time so bear with me.

I have also decided that the pyramid and temple will also get the same base treatment so there is still a  long way to go...

until next time

Part 5 can be found here

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

BLAM 2014 - The Photo Album (100+ Pictures)


For the past nine months I have had the pleasure of organising BLAM…British Lead Adventurer Meet. Each year a group of like-minded wargamers who frequent the Lead Adventure Forum descend on a particular location for three days of games, topical discussion and of course… beer.

For the past two years the event had been run very successfully by Matakishi but he decided that he wanted to pass on the baton.

Although not an exclusive event we do restrict attendance to those who post regularly on the forums, share advice and tips and of course share a passion in the hobby. The simple caveat for the games on show has to be that they look great (no plain green cloths), the minis are all painted and that the rules are playable, fast moving and above all fun.

Fun is the name of the game and this year was no exception. Plenty of beers were sunk, great tales regaled and imaginative ideas shared.

Knowing that the combination of good transport links, a nearby Travelodge and a function room in a hostelry were all priorities I volunteered my local boozer the Berrylands Pub. With this came the responsibility of coordinating the event. My proposal was readily accepted by the BLAM committee.

Coordinating the venue, transport and accommodation proved very straightforward  and on Friday 10th October the attendees began to appear. Cars and rucksacks all laden with wargaming madness. Many of the projects we had all been watching develop on the forums steadily took shape on the tables in the pub’s backroom.

Guests travelled from afar and included travellers from Eire, Scotland, Denmark, Germany and Sweden. Once issued with their exclusive BLAM T shirt – complete with named back, we were ready to rock and dice roll.

Over three days the event spawned games from the Past to the Future on beautiful and stunning scenic displays. The following montage of photos do not do justice to the quality of games and the dedication put in by the game hosts. Each set of photos has been prefixed with the day of play, their title and of course the games host and designer.

It would appear from the feedback received that this has proved a most popular venue and such the location will most likely be used again next year subject to the room being available. So before I leave you with over 100 pictures of eye candy…roll on 2015 !

The Games Room
Friday Game - Tex Mex versus Royal Navy by Captain Blood & Mamalute

Friday Game - Arabian Adventure by Dewbabuk


Friday Game - Pirates by Hu Rhu

Friday Game - The Angels have Landed (VBCW) - Eric the Shed



Friday Game - Rebel Run/Star Wars by Damas

Sorry Damas only one picture...

Saturday Game - Anarchy Offline by Matakishi 

More of this taken sunday...

Saturday Game - The British are coming - by the Mac Brothers 


Saturday - Pulp Victorian Style by Elk 101

Saturday Game - Upsheet Creek by Mason


Sunday Game - Predators by Eric the Shed

Sunday Game - Anarchy Offline by Matakishi


Sunday Game - Dorset Smugglers by jimbibbly, Dr D'eath & Malamute

Sunday Game - Winter Wreaks Wild  - by Silent Invader

Congratulations and thank you to all those that made this a great weekend

Until next year....