Saturday, 31 October 2015

Tablescape new release - Mid East Ramparts

 Tablescapes lastest release is a town gate which compliments their Middle Eastern range.

Designed for 28mm it is shown here with some of my Gripping Beast Moors so you can get an indication of size. The piece is approximately 150mm wide and about 120mm tall. It has a non opening entrance gate in an Arabic style and a dressed stone texture.

On the reverse is a platform capable of holding figures. The figures in the photo are based for Impetus and are on a 120mm x 40mm piece of 3mm MDF. As can be seen steps are represented to allow access to the ramparts.

Tablescape terrain is ready painted and in this case is painted in light sand tones to represent the different shades of dress edrock. It is made from a light weigth polyeurothane foam which won't shatter like standard resin castings. A 150mm straight section of wall is also available in the same colour scheme. Corner pieces and/or towers are also planned.
I have also experimented with a red colour scheme to suit Indian style fortresses. It will be available on the Tablescape stand at Warfare in November 2015.

Flocking and basing tray

I tend to do a lot of rebasing of figures as I can't find the best look or rules system. My latest approach however is to group figures in a diorama fashion which suits Amarti and Impetus rules and also my lastest foray into "To the strongest" ( more about these later).
Anyway I never had to hand a suitable tray to catch the flock or grit and often resorted to newspaper for my rebasing activities then I saw this in Tesco's.

What we have is a stackable set of wire trays used for cooling cakes. I found it in the Tesco's baking section for £10. There was a single rack £2 option but the cross wires only went one way and with a large gap I felt figures could fall through. This wire mesh however is ideal for allowing the flock to pass through but not the base. The stacking also increases my storage capacity which is an ongoing problem.

 Here is a sinlge rack with the legs folded up.

However what was also needed was a suitable tray to catch the flock. Using standard mounting board (card board) from Hobby craft I constructed a deep box into which the tray could fit.

Hey presto a rebasing tray. I'm am going to modify it possibly by cutting a hole in one of the shorter sides and glue in some guiding walls so that when I tip the tray up the flock will head towards the hole and I can pour it back into its storage container. The tray took about 2 hours to make including drying and used about £3 of mounting board.

Friday, 30 October 2015

To Hexon or not to Hexon - Kallistra

I've been eyeing up Kallistra's Hexon system for some time and am going through the internal processes of justifying the purchase. After a great deal of thought and looking at the pro's and con's it will probably end up as an impulse buy anyway, much like most of my lead mountain, mainly because it looks cool.
Having said that I'm not particularly happy with the way things like roads and rivers are laid on top of the hex grid. I fully appreciate that this is the most pragmatic approach to this wargaming dilemma however a search of the oracle provided one solution. This involves purchasing blank hexes and inverting them. You then have a depth of 10mm to play with allowing you to sink rivers, roads and trench system below table level. Anyway I thought I would give this a go.

I purchased Kallistra's standard blank pack containing 10 single hexes for £7. First step was to mark out on which face the river/stream would enter each hex . I then cut out the side walls of those hex sides using a Dremil.

Next step was to carve out from 10mm styrene foam the course of the river. Sheets of this foam which is dense and can be carved and shaped and purchased from Antenocitis Workshop. The foam was then glued down using a special styrene cement (UHU Por Styrofoam) which wont dissovle it but which adheres different plastics unlike PVA.

This was then covered with a standard DIY premixed filler mixed with a little PVA.
All pieces were then painted with Dulux Salisbury Stone acrylic as recommended by Kallistra which matches the colour of the plastic. This paint range is ideal for terrain making as a 250ml sample pot can be purchased for around £3. The large DIY stores can usually mix a colour on demand from a range of 16,000.

The water was cover with Saphire Blue from the same range. Yes, river water is usually brown/green but it doesn't look as good.
River banks were added using the colour Rich Havanna then a topping of sand grit which was dry brushed with Earth glaze and Desert sands. The water had a layer of Vallejo water effect which adds a texture and a gloss shine.

Finally, the ground was covered with Kallistra flock so it will match in with their preflocked range of hexes.

And the finished result which I'm quite happy with. However 10 hexes will not a river system make. This took about 5 hours over a week to make and I probably would need about another 30 pieces for a small table but similar techniques can be used for trench systems and sunken roads so the approach is feasible. So do I purchase the Hexon system?

Monday, 12 October 2015

Colours 2015 - Newbury

Tablescape attended Newbury race course in September. The event was under new management and had been reduced to one day (Prefereable if you ask me). Not as many traders attended so we took the opportunity to extend our normal stand to 12 foot. From a sales perspective it was a good show for us, thank you for all that attended and purchased, I however will not being retiring on the proceeds or purchasing the company jet yet.

We also attended SELWG at Crystal Palace. Again I think the number of traders attending was down. Is this a trend?

Next show will be Colours in Reading. Come and say hello.

Update: I found a picture showing our attendance at Salute 2015. This is a very big show and although not a very pleasant venue it is a must for most traders due to footfall.
 As a trader you dont get much opportunity to have a good look around the show but this table caught my eye.

Waterloo 200th Aniversary

In June this year I attended the 200th anniversary of Waterloo. We travelled by Eurostar and rented a car in Brussels. We hired a Gite which was located on the outskirts of Ligny and embarked on self catering. This worked out cheaper than a hotel and as well as being centrally located provided us with more than enough of the creature comforts, including a pool.

We had prepaid tickets to the bivouacs and evening shows and spent the days wandering around the local area and battlefields. We purchased entrance to museums on the day. There were large numbers of reenactors in attendance from around the world and it must have been a fantastic exeprience in the bivouacs.

It was interesting to watch manouvres by large bodies of troops dispelling some of the missconceptions held in some wargame rules.

Arriving before the main events that were scheduled for the weekend, we were able to sneak into Hougoumont and see the rennovations before the grand opening by HRH Prince Charles.

On the catering front we refused to except the general crap that was on sale and found the "Three Ducks" restaurant near Papelotte farm. We had eaten here before on a previous visit to the battlefield and were pleased to find this oasis of calm and tranquility still in business. Less than a mile away, thousands were putting up with greasy burgers and chips.

Another excellent choice was a Thai restaurant just south of La Belle Alliance.

The lye of the land is very interesting as the dips and folds in the battlefield could hide thousands of people and gunfire. There was stand seating arrnaged for the battle event but I should have taken binoculars. The Friday evening display did not go according to plan as the British deployment was delayed due to thousands of reenactors and their guns having to file through La Haye Sainte farm. Deployment (which was concentrated to the right of La Haye and the road dissecting the battlefield) was rushed and I commend the French for their patience for what could have been another Salamanca had they chosen to attack. Saturday was much better with an attempt for a more historical deployment and recreation of events. Before the battle started a lone piper played a lament for a reenactor who had died the previous evening (I assume from natural causes) which was very moving.

Our seating on this occassion put us in front of a Prussian battery (yes 8 guns) which generated vast quanties of smoke every couple of minutes. Another rule change required, smoke obscures the battlefield!
If you choose to join a reenactment society I wouldn't select artillery. The poor buggers had to push/pull their guns miles around the battlefield.

The local authorities had prepared well for the event with a number of museums around the battlefield having been upgraded from our previous visits.
Ligny had a wealth of stuff on display...

The new under ground museum on the battlefield itself was excellent.

There was a very interesting section on survivors of the battle with horrendous wounds.
Some parts of the battlefield were not open to the public such as La Haye farm
or La Haye Sainte
 La Bell Alliance (now a pub)
 and Grand-Pierrepont. This is now the club house of a Golf club and we did manage to have a beer and sandwich over looking the 18th which form part of the left flank at Quatre Bras.
 and Gemioncourt.
 but if you have time to spare or the weather is inclement then the army museum in Brussels is well worth a visit

The event was on the whole well organised with the officials handling the mass of visitors and traffic quite well. A most excellent adventure!

Lost time

Can't believe that two years have past since my last post. I can only suggest that I forgot, sorry.
I have been up to stuff in the lapsed time so ets see if I can maintain a flurry of catchup.