At some point I am going to produce houses again. All the farm houses that I will be using for my “Battle at La Fière Bridge project” must be finished as the first thing – and I am very eager to get going. Making these farm houses will give me plenty of that kind of houses and the next thing in line will be classic small town houses in the best Normandy style, like those in Carentan, St-Lo or Sainte-Marie-du-Mont.
In the planning stage it is very easy to thinking about going back to my original plan that was to make molds of my houses and duplicate them – but I forget how boring that phase is compared to how much fun I have when making the originals. Making molds and cast several duplicates which I then can make small changes to, especially in the painting, for vareity is tempting compared to scratch build every single house, but I also know that the process will drain my energy…
I will need to make up my mind about which way to go. Until then I will keep studying photos and make sketches.
Guys! While nothing at all happens on my blog in the summertime, I warmly recommend you to browse over to Arkiegamers game blog: ArkieGamer
Arkie is very talented and makes some really authentic looking games, mostly WWII in 20mm and 15mm American Civil War.
Who doesn’t want to play a game on this board?
James Klein has asked me how I make my own bocage pieces – I will try to explain this by showing a few couple of pictures I took while i made them. I hope the scarce image material will be enough, I didn’t take them for doing a tutorial.
First of I cut pieces of plastic sheet, the sizes is about 4×20 cm. This will be the bases for a piece of hedge.
Next I glue cat litter to the bases using white glue. Because I want a certain hight I let the stones dry to the bases and then glue an extra layer on top of that.
When I am happy with the height of the “stone wall” I let it dry before I add a layer of gravel on top of the litter. I add the gravel with a thin acrylic glue – I am pretty sure that white glue, thinned with water, will work great too. I let the gravel cover the whole base. Some places where I want the hedge to have a hole in it I add a pile of small stones.
When the bases are dry again I paint them. I use the big bottles of acrylic colors from Winston & Newton. When the paint is dry I drybrush them with a lighter color.
Now it is time to make the bushes. For that I use an old material, used for stuffing in furniture, called rubberized Horsehair. This can be hard to come by, I found mine on internet and bought a big piece that I will never be able to use all of. treated right this will look just like a bush with its branches pointing in all directions. I cut them in pieces that match the size of the bases (see to the right in the picture above). Then I twist it, cut in it and try to puff them up so that they aren’t too thick and dense. Then I dip them in my thin acrylic glue, which as well can be white glue thinned with water, and dip them into foliage. Several of companies makes foliage, make sure to mix different shades of foliage to make it look more realistic.
When the foliage has dried to the horsehair I stick the bushes to my bases using a thick layer of white glue. It will dry for 24 hour and then the hedges are ready.
I hope this explains how I make my bocage, if not – feel free to ask.
After been doing nothing for ages I finally started up again last month. I have been working like I tried to make up for the lost time.
This is what I achieved:
• 1 full US Platoon
• 1 extra US Mortar Team
• 1 US Medic
• 1 German Fallschiermjäger Squad
• 3 US Shermans
• 1 House
• 3 new Terrain Boards
• 3,6 meters of Bocage
That is 53 figures in all. I am usually very slow to paint figures, so 53 figs is a lot for me. Making new terrain boards doesn’t seems to be much, but every board has got two layers of plaster and have been painted several times to get a differentiated surface that I wanted to look like a mix between grass and earth. I have started up doing my houses again which is something that I have longed for. And finally I have started using my airbrush (on the shermans)…
So in all a very productive month, I hope Januar will be as good and something is indicating that it will be. I am soon ready with four new Shermans. When they are done I will go one with three more, the first one I finished assembling this morning and I will start up on the next two tomorrow. The next step will be to paint 6 Armourfast StuG’s and hopefully make some more Fallschiermjägers to bring them up to a full Platoon. There are four US 105mm Artillery pieces together with trucks and gun teams that also would be nice to have ready. I hope to make some more Normandie houses and to keep getting more terrain done: fields made out of Fake Fur, dirt roads and a couple of forrest pieces would be nice.
But if you want to know how fast armies can be built and still keep a really high quality you should check out Piers and his blog: WW20mm
(Click the picture to see it in big size)
A teaser of my new terrain. This is showing the first bocage pieces. I ran out of glue and was not able to make more than this few pieces. The boring plain green boards will hopefully be covered up by all kind of terrain pieces.
It feels like I am keeping myself from gaming, always abandon my projects to start new up, paint all my figures all over or trash my old terrain and make some new. Now it is the third time I make new terrain, and almost none of the old can be re-used. But this time I felt it was necessary, my old system of making all designed boards was killing me, too slow process to make new boards, too expensive and would soon have taken up all my space. I have made some clean boards with nothing at all on them and will now start to make terrain pieces that I can move around as I want. It will not be as beautiful as my old boards would have been, but now I feel that I will be able to game more instead of always have to make new terrain. Of course the terrain pieces have to be made, but it doesn’t feel like a hopeless task. I will soon have 3,4 meters of bocage ready – that needs to be doubled up. Then I will do dirt-road pieces, cobblestone streets, river pieces, woods, hills, fields, orchards, fences, stone walls, trenches and so on… The good thing is that I don’t need to have everything ready at once, and soon I will be able to play much bigger games than I have before.
Hopefully I will show lots of new terrain pieces in a near future :-)
Woooow – it is long time since I have been working on my La Fière Bridge houses. I felt that now is the time to continue. I guess that I have a limit of how many figures I can paint before I have to do something else for a while, I almost did 5 squads.
I needed to do something else, so I continued on my house project. Painting a house that I built a year ago. Here are pictures of the painted walls. I still need to add the door, paint the roof, and add details such as moss and strokes of dirt from rainwater. Right now I have used pigments for mortar between the stones but after adding plaster a few places, to make it look like reparations (something the real house don’t have) I found out that I easily will be able to use the plaster as mortar and achieve a more realistic look, so I will probably go back and work on the walls again at some point.
In the lower corner to the left I have used plaster as mortar and like the look, I will probably use this on the rest of the house.
I like how the house blend into the terrain. The plaster reparations is too distinct though (more on the pictures than in real life). I will probably try to make them less dominant.
The house is made for my La Fière Bridge project. The initial thought was to make moulds of every house that I build for this project so that I easily would be able to make more french farm buildings. The idea was good but I found out that I liked to make the houses from scratch but the process of making moulds was extremely boring. And when considering that I will have 15-20 farm buildings when ready, I probably never are going to need more of them which make all the work doing moulds a bit overkill. The idea is still good and I will probably do it when I am going to build small town buildings – making moulds for roofs and all the walls minus the facades, then I will be able to do all the fun facade building and just make copies of the rest from the moulds.
See the specific house HERE!
and all post in the project HERE!
I removed as much of the old plaster as possible and added a new layer all over to fill the cracks between the stones. The plaster was a bit too bright so I sprayed a thin layer of brown all over and then added pigments to make it look old – now I am pretty satisfied with the result.
The pictures can be watched in bigger size by clicking them:
On to the next house. The doors are missing in the pictures but has been made, so hopefully the moulds can be made tomorrow!
I have now made a mould of the roof piece. When making the roof mould I by accident placed the master on a uneven surface which gives me problems when making the cast, the resin tends to gather in one of the corners. The roof piece that comes out of that is harder to fit together with the house. It is easy to place the mould so it is plain when casting, but still it is quite irretating.
The following pictures are showing the house with added details, ready to get painted.
…and here after the primer:
I made a resin cast of all wall pieces today so that I could assemble my first house (still miss the roof). I made it harder to assemble by pouring too much resin in some of the moulds, this forced me to carve and sand to make it fit. The wall pieces had some air bobbles which my test casts didn’t have… I guess they came as the resin sets really fast, I have only 2 minutes before it harden and this make me pour the resin too fast.
I will soon make a mould on the roof piece but still need to fix some details first.
And this is the two-store barn in 1/1:
Just a quick and dirty paint test and used lots of pigments. I think it looks promising, will put more effort into paint the final houses.