Sunday, 23 April 2017

Terrain Progress!

Hi Folks,

Lots of blog posts this weekend, as a few different things have popped up.

While some lucky people got to go to Salute yesterday and see/buy lots of nice things, I was out in the garden getting covered in PVA and static grass. Yet another battle in my fight to upgrade my battlefields and make all the time and effort spent painting models be reflected in the quality of the gaming table I (plan to) own!

I have, I accept, a long way to go. But even the last few days has shown progress can be made.

Yesterdays efforts started with some work being done to my GF9 'Battlefield in a box' terrain. Specifically my various road sections:

I've added the static grass I use for my standard basing to the dirt tracks (perhaps a little too heavily...) and to the edges of the cobbled sections. I'm thinking of doing a little work to the crater sections to have them match the craters in my minefields. A coat of German Camo Medium brown, a drybrush of beige brown and then a very light drybrush of Buff might do the trick! I'll have a think on it as they are really OK as they are. I'm also thinking of adding the usual tufts and flowers...

I also turned them over and sprayed the undersides with Matt varnish. I've had issues with them sticking together in places and causing damage due to this. I think it was because some of the resin was showing through the paint, so I'm hoping a coat of varnish will sort that out!

I also got my minefields finished - some step by step pictures:

Starting with 2" by 8" MDF 'tablets' from East Riding Miniatures, adding some of the Vallejo 'Brown Earth' Texture with some finger applied craters... Just adding circular swirls with a finger tip helped, but the craters were not very pronounced. 

Using some Milliput to build up the craters once the resin was dry. Wetting your fingers helps get it nice and smooth. I applied a sausage of Milliput in the area I wanted, making it into a donut. Then wet my finger and pressed it outwards to slope the edges. I then made the crater hole with my finger, and smoothed it outwards again. 

Adding some fine sand to the top of the craters, to give texture. I used PVA for this. I then painted them German Cam Med Brown (Vallejo 826), drybrushed Beige Brown (875) and then a very very light drybrush of Buff '976). Followed by the usual PVA and static grass + tufts. 

My 4 'breached' minefield markers, shown here being carefully negotiated by a Polish Sherman V. Rather than removing cleared minefields, I'll replace them with one of these markers. The 'white tape' is some thick thread painted ivory. The idea had been to have the ground a little more beaten up from the Flail passing - I may revisit these. Attacking the static grass with a modelling tool may suffice. 

Another view of the 'breached' minefields together. Note that the basing for the minefields matches that of the tank! I'll have a look at what signage might be appropriate for a cleared lane, just to make make it clear what these represent. 

And the 4 separated out. 

8 unmarked minefields. I may try to do signs for these, but then I might just mix in the others with the signs. The craters were just to add some variety - they are probably more shell craters than mine craters. I discussed it on some of the chats with the guys and I'm really uncomfortable about modelling victims. Dead cows were mentioned... but in the end I left them a bit 'plain'. 

'Clean' Minefields but with signage. I've 6 of these. 
So a total of 18 Minefield markers in one form or another. Oddly, with the completion of these I have actually totally finished a planned army. My German Grenadiers needed some minefields to go with their MG bunkers!

Then, I did a little more work on my ruined houses. Mainly getting the roof colours to match, painting doors and doing other small bits of detailing. I've marked the bottom of the various ruin sections and houses with the building number and the level of the building the ruin marker is for.

Repainted roof, added some more rubble detail. Painted doors. The other side of the building looks undamaged, and is actually a shop front. I added some colour to the shop fittings and front doors as well. 

Repainted the undamaged side of house, and roof. I've another building like this so wanted to make them different. Painted doors and window details. 

Repainting the roof also meant that some of the rubble bits were a different shade, so I gave them a quick running over in order to have it all match. 

Repainted the roof (it was red) and added the detail to the two rubble piles outside this building. I also added the cork rubble to the damaged walls and internal rubble sections. Gluing small patches of the cork rubble to visible floors helps the rubble piles merge in a bit. 

I gave the roof here another coat after looking at this picture. The 'cuts' in the MDF really soak in paint! Painting the roofs also make some of the assembly pegs less visible. 

Other side of the same building, showing damage to the interior and the larger rubble pile. All this damage is removable. The internal sections can be moved into the undamaged rooms in the house for ease of transport. The rubble piles also fit into the 1st floor. 

View from above. Close inspection makes the rubble look a bit out of place, I think. But the impression that the piles make on the table works really really well. I think it's important to match the colours to the building as well. 

Closer shot - you can see the painted doors here - I didn't do much more other than paint the roof. There is a question over painting the cork rubble - but I am just going to leave it. I think it looks OK at tabletop distances the colour that it is. I could try to paint it the same brick red as the building, but I think it would look too stark. 

Lastly, I finished off the Telegraph poles.

I added a 25mm base to the bottom of these, and milliputted around the give weight and make the surface a little smoother. I've another 9 of these to build. Transport for these is a issue as they are fragile. I'm thinking of using the same technique as my vehicles and magnetising the bases to stand upright, but they are taller than most of the boxes I have. The transport of the buildings offers the same issue!

I also started work on my fields. These are fairly iconic for the Normandy fighting, I think. I totally appreciate that my based tanks are going to look weird sitting on top of this stuff, but that's just one of the issues with any sort of basing. I've got a LOT of this stuff to do....

These were cut from an Ikea door mat. The backing material was a rather stark white - 'Matt Varnish', one of our Paint and Chat contributors, suggested using an ink on it. As it turns out the Vallejo 'dipping formula' Sepia Shade works really well! I also found that applying liberally to the backing and the bottom of the 'crops' looks good. I trimmed up the edges with my trusty 'basing scissors' to tidy them up. I also took Matt's advice and give the top of the sides and the top surface a liberal dry brushing with 'Buff' paint. 

One thing I did find - I have been using some purchased resin rubble piles for the larger sections at the sides of my buildings, but had some milliput spare the other night. I clipped off some of the building sprues and found this made and excellent base to build on with the milliput. So if your thinking of doing your own ruins, that might be a cheaper way of building up the height you need:

A clipping from the 4Ground sprue, with milliput applied. It doesn't look much now, but once I detail up the surface with more sprue and cork rubble, it will fit right in!
This week will be final prep for the game next Sunday. Phase II of the Battle of Noyers! I've mainly admin to do, sorting out of forces for transport, printing unit details, etc. I'm trying to do handouts in the v4 style, which show all the unit stats, dice rolls, etc.

I'll try to get some more fields sorted, as these will help clutter up the map space. I'll also see what buildings I am taking and what work needs done to them. This will, currently, mainly be roof painting I think.

Thanks for all the positive feedback guys, hints and tips are always appreciated!


  1. Realistic, creative and fantastic work on these terrain elements and ruins...

  2. Some amazing stuff here mate!

  3. Hello, I enjoy reading through your article. I like to write a little comment to
    support you.


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