Monday 13 April 2020

Winter Woods - Norway 1940 - The Road to Dombas - part 2

This is a work in progress for The Road to Dombas project but things are coming along quite quickly so I thought I would do another post.

First up, Winter Woods.

 Rather than single trees, this time I opted for groups of trees where the base would define the edge of the wood.

 I did consider buying some laser cut MDF sabot bases specifically for making woods, where you can remove trees from the base to make room for placing figures inside the wood. As I found an old sheet of hardboard in the back of the shed when I was having a clear out, I thought I would save myself a few bob and cut this up into irregular shapes to make some bases for my woods instead. The sheet was a bit warped, damp and mouldy but not so much that I couldn't work with it.

I cut out about a dozen irregular bases no bigger than 8 - 10 inches. I also had enough Woodland Scenic plastic trees that I could glue three trees to each base. They were glued with a hot glue gun to the base, keeping them near the edges so that there would be plenty of room in the centre of the base for troop movement. I also glued a couple of stumps and fallen trees on the base that wouldn't effect troop placement but would help to fill the base out along with some wooden fencing glued randomly along one or two edges. (fences made with matchsticks and wooden coffee stirrers.)

Next I applied tile grout around the base of the tree to blend it in and for extra strength and also to give the rest of the base texture.

When dry, I covered the base in PVA glue and sprinkled sand on top. Let dry and give a second coat of PVA over the sand to seal it in.

As the trees are made of plastic they had to be primed.

I then painted everything, the trees, fencing and base in dark brown paint.

When dry, I highlighted the base but still keeping the groundwork quite dark as it is meant to portray a winter scene. The trees and fencing, I highlighted with grey and then green, trees are seldom brown.

For the dead leaves that you would find around the base of trees in the winter I used some herbs that you can buy from the supermarket or wait until they have reached their sell buy date and take them off your wife's hands when she is about to throw them out. Brush on PVA glue around the base of the trees and then sprinkle the herbs on. Try to leave a pathway in the middle clear of herbs, which gives a pleasing effect (and the woods smell really good).

I will add to the leaf scatter with this little gadget that I purchased from Green Stuff World. I need to collect some more dead leaves when I go for my walks or buy some appropriate colour paper, so that I can punch out some leaves and glue on top of the herbs to finish off.

Lots of room for troop movement without having to remove any trees and yet it still gives the impression of woods with only three trees per base. On top of all that, it cost me very little as I already had the plastic trees left over from my Mediterranean project.

WW2 Norwegian Infantry Platoon - plus supports.

Platoon - without supports.

HQ- Senior Leader with pistol, Inferior Senior Leader with pistol, Inferior Senior Leader with rifle.

Two LMG Squads each with Junior Leader.

Two Rifle Squads each with Junior Leader.

Supports - One LMG and One Rifle Squad.

Two HMG Teams plus a FOO.

And here they are going for a stroll through the woods.

The table so far. I still have a bit to do yet and am still waiting for more materials to turn up in the post. Buildings, civilian vehicles, bridge, clutter and German Para's to finish and then if the isolation is finished, some battle reports of the campaign.

If you are interested in a step by step guide for making winter terrain and you would like to put your name on the waiting list for a reprint of my first book Setting The Scene Winter Wargaming or you would like to buy a copy of volume 2 Setting The Scene The Mediterranean then click on the following Link below.

Monday 6 April 2020

Norway 1940 - The Road to Dombas - part 1

My apologies for the long delay in posting on this blog and not leaving feedback on the many blogs out there. This was due to a loss in interest and motivation in the hobby after a death in the family in January.

Apart from the world Pandemic, things are now sort of back to normal on the hobby production front. The lack of gaming means more time making and painting, so when we finally get back to the table, there should be an abundance of new terrain and painted collections to view out there on the blogosphere.

Recently, an article in issue 100 of the Wargames Soldiers & Strategy magazine caught my eye and I thought would be quite achievable and fun to do.

The Road to Dombas 1940, an article by David Hunter using the Too Fat Lardies Chain of Command WW2 rule set. David has written a seven game campaign based on German parachute troops landing near a key road and railway junction in Norway in April 1940.

The article ticks a lot of boxes for me and I thought would be quite doable with what would be needed to run the campaign.

First of all, I needed to make a new flexible snow mat (having sold my last one), but I wanted to make this a little different to my last winter mat, with roads and river built into the mat, along with plenty of rocky ground showing through where the snow has started to melt.

Some winter woods and plenty of barbed wire fencing. A reinforced Norwegian Infantry platoon and supports and a couple of reduced strength Fallschirmjager platoons.

 WIP of these have been shown in this post, and in each additional post I will show the following items needed for the campaign. Buildings, stone bridge, a couple of civilian vehicles, road block and slit trenches. So as you can see, not too much to collect and very achievable.

Once everything is complete, I will do further posts with a battle report of each campaign game, unless of course the Germans lose a game, in which case it is campaign over.

First off, the winter woods WIP. For these I have glued three trees to a base, leaving plenty of room in the middle for troop movement. Keep trees near the edge of the base and I have added a little fencing and tree stump with fallen branches. After grouting, sand and glue and then painting, I plan to add plenty of dead foliage to hopefully get the right look.

You can also see the barbed wire fence and gate bases WIP.

Where the road meets the river I will be making a stone bridge to cross over the ford.

For the Norwegian Infantry I have used Warlord Games plastic German infantry in greatcoats and Belgian HMG and crew with slight conversion and different paint scheme. The Fallschirmjager are Wargames Foundry and Crusader Miniatures (not all painted yet).

I still need to finish painting and winterising the bases on the figures below.

Norwegian Platoon HQ - Officer and Sergeant.

Magazine fed LMG Team and Junior Leader.

Water cooled HMG and crew.

Early war Fallschirmjager.

  If you are interested in a step by step guide for making winter terrain and you would like to put your name on the waiting list for a reprint of my first book Setting The Scene Winter Wargaming or you would like to buy a copy of volume 2 Setting The Scene The Mediterranean then click on the following link

Stay safe,