Sunday, 9 August 2020

More sci-fi terrain made from wooden blocks

This weekend I was able to complete some more wooden block sci-fi terrain. On my list was a series of low walls, elevated walkways, and pipes. The walls all were cut at 45 degrees to try and give them some shape and not look too square, while the pipes each had a square piece of wood cut and stuck on one end. This square was added so the pipes don't roll around on the tabletop.

The wooden walls, walkways and pipes were painted grey, printed features stuck to them, and a black wash applied.

The next step was adding some pastels to look like rusk and weathering. Followed by a coat of PVA glue as a sealer.

The additional bits of terrain are sized to be used with the buildings finished the previous weekend.

Next weekend I hope to make few more storage tanks and some other scatter terrain.

Thursday, 6 August 2020

Sci-Fi block terrain project continues

A brief post mainly of pictures of my wooden block sci-fi buildings. I have been slowly getting my wooden blocks painted and getting printed features added to them. The recent focus has been getting some walkways painted up so I can add them when creating multi-tiered buildings.
Completed blocks are getting piled up.
Recently completed walkways
Terrain laid out

The next terrain I plan to make are pipes and various low walls.

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

WW2 Desert Campaign turn 6 - game 3

This is the third game of campaign turn six. So far in this turn we have seen in the initial 21st Panzer division attack being repulsed by the South African infantry division. The following action saw the Axis attack regain it's momentum with the 15th Panzer division overcoming stiff resistance by the New Zealand infantry division. This third, and final, engagement between the attacking Italian Ariete armoured division and the Allied 1st armoured division will determine the outcome for this campaign turn.

Campaign Map Turn 6

The tabletop is setup using terrain cards and has three objectives, two sets of hills and an escarpment. Ariete armoured forces plan outlined below is to attack the first hill objective with some screening forces attacking any defending units positioned in the central wadi. The second phase of the attack will focus on the second set of hills. Any surviving units will then make an attempt the escarpment and third objective.

Tabletop, objectives, and attacking plan

Neither force is at full compliment due to wear and tear, and both start the game with 30 percent of their units in reserve. Weather conditions mean neither force can rely on air support (in other words I forgot about air support!)

Order of Battle:

  • 1 x Stuart unit
  • 1 x Carrier unit
  • 2 x Grant units
  • 3 x A13 units
  • 2 x Infantry units
  • 2 x 2 Pounder Portee units
  • 3 x Infantry units
  • 2 x Armoured car units
  • 1 x Light tanks unit (L6/40)
  • 5 x Medium tank units (M13/40)
  • 2 x AT guns
  • 2 x Semovente 75mm 
The engagement started well for the Italians. Their first attack on the first set of hills quickly gained a foothold. They we less successful in the centre with the intended screening force being more heavily engaged than expected with the defending Allied forces positioned in the wadi. The end result was only one Semovente unit was available to support their attacks on the hills.

Opening positions

Initial attacks gain a foothold on the first hill objective.

The second Italian force arrives and heads towards the wadi hoping to skirt around any defending forces and support the attacks on hill objectives.

With the first objective hill won both sides take time to reorganise for attack and  defence.

The second phase of the engagement saw Allied force regroup with their reserves behind the wadi. Italian reserves arrived and swiftly move down the road as a diversionary tactic. After this period of manoeuvring a tank engagement was fought out around the second hill objective. The outcome of this was in favour of the attacking Italian units.

Italian reserves move swiftly down the road to act as a diversion.

The Italian reserves draw off one tank unit with in the background a sizeable tank engagement is getting underway.

A tank engagement is fought over the second hill objective.

Italian tanks get the upper hand and the second objective which will soon be in their grasp.

Mustering all remaining units an attack was mounted on the escarpment. The defending infantry unit gave a good account of itself, but numbers eventually told.

Early attacks on the escarpment were unsuccessful, but subsequent attacks were as all remaining units were marshalled to provide support. 

A victory to the attacking Italians delivering a much needed second win for Axis forces to continue their advance on the campaign map.

Thursday, 30 July 2020

Sci-Fi Urban Terrain Project

Having finished snipping out my War of the Spanish Succession figures a few weeks ago. I have had a break from any modelling activities and focussed on wargaming with the Jacobite snakes and ladders campaign. This time gave me a chance to ponder what my next project would be, there were three possible projects:
  • Expand the French Indian Wars forces to Europe - I have a good number of plastic Spencer Smith models to paint.
  • Samurai armies - Old S-Range Minifigs.
  • Necromunda (SciFi gang skirmish)
The Necromunda project has been ongoing for a while. I treat it as my back burner project where I paint up a handful of figures every now and again when I need a change from whatever I was doing. However, this project does need some sustained effort put into the terrain to create more of a grimy cityscape. I have had two attempts at doing this so far.

Neither approach quite worked for me. The first attempt with all the bits added on to the wooden blocks meant the blocks were not modular enough for me to be build up however I wanted. The second attempt used Sci-Fi paper scenery which I cut up to stick on the wooden block. This second approach worked well from a modular perspective, but in the process, I had lost some of that Warhammer 40k look.

Then I read on The Stronghold Rebuilt blog how photos had been used to help create very effective looking bases for his fleet of galleys and ships. Link here:

This inspired me to have a go at photographing my existing Warhammer building features to create a set of photos which I could trim and modify before uploading in to Google Slides for final manipulation. This included pictures of individual girders, windows, doors and flooring tiles from the Warhammer building set. It took a bit of practice and attempts to get the right size.

Example slides

These slides are printed out, coloured, photocopied, cut out, and glued to grey painted wooden blocks. Once the glue is dry:
  • The whole thing is given a black wash
  • Chalk pastels are used to give a rusty and moldy look
  • The whole block is sealed in clear PVA glue.
Here are some pictures of the process and finished buildings.

Blocks getting a coat of light grey.

Once painted grey the cut out building features are added.

Caulk pastels are used to add rust and the odd bit of mould. The pastels are applied and smudged.

A close up photo of a building feature. Felt-tipped pens are used to do some of the colouring in.

An example of pastels used to colour a door.

As I progress with this terrain project I will be adding walls, elavated walkways, storage tanks, and anything else I can think up. The aim of all this terrain is to allow me to create different building arrangements, both tall and wide, for a variety of cityscapes.

A tower with walkways

Different options.

A larger building set up.

A few storage tanks have been recently added using cans and strips of card.

The can on the left is before pastels are applied and the can on the right after application.

Storage tanks all together.

Messing around with different options.

Storage tanks mixed up with buildings.

I expect this project will take a few weeks to complete.

A few more wooden blocks waiting for completion.

Monday, 27 July 2020

WW2 Western Desert campaign turn 6 game 2

Campaign turn 6 has moved on to the second battle of a best of three battles. (Please note the campaign turn modifications mentioned in the last post will not come into effect until turn 7). The first battle had elements of the 21st Panzer division being repulsed by the South African infantry division. The second battle has the 15th Panzer division attacking the New Zealand infantry division.

Campaign turn 6 game 2 - 15th Panzer vs. NZ infantry division

The order of battle after units were removed for wear and tear...

15th Panzer elements:
  • 1 x PzII
  • 4 x PzIII
  • 1 x Armoured Infantry
  • 1 x 88mm
  • 1 x Wespe
  • 2 x Armoured Cars
  • 1 x Marder
  • 1 x 50mm AT guns towed
  • 1 x Air support
NZ Infantry elements:
  • 1 x Matilda tanks
  • 2 x Valentine tanks
  • 1 x 25 Pounder
  • 1 x 6 Pounder AT gun
  • 2 x 2 Pounder Portees
  • 1 x Armoured Cars
  • 1 x Armoured (Carriers) Infantry
  • 3 x Infantry
  • 1 x Air support
There were two objectives, both key hills considered important for the attackers to capture. The defending NZ division units are positioned across and around both groups of hills. The attacking 15th Panzer planned to focus their attack on their first objective of the central hills. A flanking force would arrive as early as possible with the aim of holding defending units in position and and not being reallocated to the support the centre hills.

Tabletop with objectives and planned attacking moves. The primary objective being the central hills. The secondary objective would be attacked after the primary objective is taken.

Initial deployments as attacking Panzer forces arrive

The initial phase of the battle had success going the way of the defending New Zealander AT guns and supporting infantry tanks who quickly blunted the attack. In an attempt to counter this the German commander called in air support which eliminated some tank units. This bought some time for the attacking units to reorganise and refocus their attack on the defending tank units which were neutralised.

AT shooting and supporting infantry tanks put a dent in the attacker's units.

German air support help eliminate some of the defending tank units.

Panzer forces reorganise and neutralise the defending tank units.

The middle phase of the battle saw the Panzer flanking units arriving and deterring the movement of any units away from their current positions to support the central hills. The main attacking force now concentrated all available units for a second attack on the hills.

Flanking Panzer units arrive

Panzer forces make a second assault on the central hills.

As flanking units gather Allied air support arrives and failed to cause any problems.

The final phase of the battle progressed very quickly with a successful attack on the central hills, and was quickly followed by an attack on the second objective. After some stubborn defence of the second objective it was finally overcome after the 88mm gun was moved up to support attacks.

The first objective is taken.

The attack on the second objectives is soon underway after the central hills are secured.

A victory to Axis forces and campaign turn 6 will continue with a third battle.