Thursday 29 August 2013

Beach II

This is the sea flank for Sunday's Thapsus game.  The unfinished beach is at the back, and the sea darkens as it gets deeper, and is lighter near the shore as it shelves up to the beach.   I'm in the process of coating it with many layers of Gloss Acrylic varnish.  I'm hoping this will work almost as well as Yacht Varnish, without the strong smell of the latter, as I need to apply it indoors.  Seems to be working so far; it's starting to look "deeper".  I've also made a couple of darker-looking river boards, for use on the swamp flank.

I also finished the final reed-bank section last night, so they are good to go.  In fact I find myself quite close to being ready for the game...

(Note to future-self- the sea is Crown Matt emulsion Laguna Bay Feature Wall, shaded with a little Dulux Sapphire Salute, and Buff Titanium near the shore.   On the river boards I mixed in some Dulux Enchanted Eden and Brown Umber, and a little Army Painted Strong tone in every coat of the varnish).

Wednesday 28 August 2013

Le WS&S 68 est arrive

It looks very interesting, not least because it includes this blogger's own spread on Caesar vs. Scipio; the Battle of Thapsus (page 24). I note that there is also an article by BatMate Roger Murrow, on Leipzig, and a bonus piece about his Leipzig re-fight, and several other very promising looking articles... If you don't have a copy on its way in the post, you can buy it here.

Monday 26 August 2013

Rules Writing Retreat

Mrs Bat is on business in Antwerp, and I have two days in the Executive Lounge of the Hilton, to:-

  • finish an expanded version of my "To the Strongest" Lite Rules
  • sort out the deployment for the enlarged Thapsus Game, next Sunday
  • design a Caesarian campaign, set in North Africa, that is suitable for non-gamers

The Executive Lounge is very nice; unlimited coffee, beers and soft drinks, and food turns up from time to time.  There is a Happy Hour in the early evening.  The only downside is the Muzak, which is ghastly; at the time of writing a CD of Orchestral versions of Simon and Garfunkel is stuck and looping endlessly through the same line of "Rosemary and Thyme".  It could be a long 48 hours...

Friday 23 August 2013

Beach I

This is going to be a beach (honestly!).  I have designed it to fit on one end of my ever so useful "Zama" boards, so that I can use them for my BigRedBat-on-autumn-tour Thapsus game.  I have built up the near side of the board to 10mm high with wood and balsa.  I've also applied a couple of coats of filler over the "beach".  The far side of the board will become the Mediterranean Sea, some 10mm below the level of the land boards.

Thursday 22 August 2013

Over-exuberant reeds

I've completed the first of the four reed banks, here with a figure, for scale.  The figure is standing where the water will be. The image is clickable.

I'm very pleased with the effect, but they are quite a bit taller than I'd anticipated! I could have cut the feathers smaller, but then I'd have had to waste a lot of material. So these reeds will remain huge: think Nile, or somewhere deep in Darkest Africa...

Wednesday 21 August 2013

Reed Banks III

Back from my summer hols, rushing to get my act together for Partizan. Here is a reed bank with bull-rushes and some plastic plants in place:-

...and below I've started to add the "reeds", which are a mix of dyed feathers and bits of a cut-up feather boa. Verdant, neh?

Each feather needs to be cut, trimmed and stuck into place. This is a messy and tricky job, which would have been easier with smaller feathers... but I reckon the end result will make it worthwhile.

Wednesday 7 August 2013

Reed banks II

I've primed the 4 mud-bank bases brown, and prepared a lot of "bullrushes"- these latter are green plastic bristles from an old broom, cut to length and with a double thickness of PVA over the top 5mm.  Later I'll paint these tips a reddish brown.   I'm going to raid the loft for aquarium plants.

Tuesday 6 August 2013

Reed banks I

The above (and 3 others, not shown) are going to be reed-banks for the salt lake* flank at Thapsus. Each is 30cm long, 10mm thick and built of 2 layers of foam core on a card base with a pine "rib" running along the back for strength.

The Impetus units are finished, but I won't post until after the article has been published.  This is a wee bit frustrating, as they are a couple of the nicest units I've ever turned out...

*Strictly speaking, they are more Nile river bank than salt-lake bank, but I won't tell if you won't!

Saturday 3 August 2013

A little Impetus army

A WIP shot of some used minis I'm restoring to form an Impetus army, that will hopefully appear in a future Wargames, Soldeirs and Strategy.

In the front, on the traditional Jenga painting blocks, are some pieces of Roman battlefield debris from 1stCorps, which has bags of character and which I'd heartily recommend for collectors of smaller 28mm minis, such as Foundry, Gripping Beast and Warlord.  A nice company, 1stCorps.

Note to self: basing colour was a mix of SLD and brown umber as the base coat, with a wash of dark brown ink in Klear wash, then SLD as the highlight.

Friday 2 August 2013

Hi-definition Romans

I'd noticed that the quality of my painting had been suffering, particularly when I didn't wear my specs, but even when wearing the glasses I have been using (an old prescription).  Today I have taken delivery of a new pair of bifocals, with a focal length of around 12" that is perfect for painting, and a long distance prescription that will help me focus on my other favourite hobby, watching the box! They are glare free which should also help whilst painting under my lamp, and lightweight.

When I just looked at these minis, painted by Andres of Einar Olafson, I could see detail I've never noticed before!  :-)   On the downside, my painting rate will slow right down...  :-(