Still Entrenching

So in and around looking for a job and doing research in the form of watching movies set in the trenches of World War One, I’ve been gluing grit, sand, cork, cat liter, etc to my latest trench table tile.

The movies I’ve watched the last two nights are “Passchendaele”, which despite the guys at Happy Bats hatred of Paul Gross was useful as they were wearing Canadian uniforms.  They didn’t spend much time in the trenches, more like in flooded craters.  The next movie I watched had lots of flashbacks to the trenches in France, with French and German soldiers.  Their trenches were flooded and they too had more ruined forests than I had planned on putting into my battle field. Thin layer of glue

I may make some ruined forest type scatter terrain, but flooding all my trenches and craters…  I’ll invest in some water effects at some point and fill the bottoms of a few craters just for fun, but I’m leaving my trenches as is.  Some of the trenches in “A very long engagement” were not lined with wood, especially on the ground.  This is counter to my own research.  I did see lots of sandbags and barricades made of wood as well as barbed wire and telegraph lines.

I think the trenches look better filled with stuff, so this tile has more plastic bits glued both in and outside the trenches.  I have to remember that I will have plenty of larger scatter terrain too.  I also plan to name my trenches and fortified positions.  This was a common practice, the trench in “A very long engagement” was named “Bingo Crépuscule“, a name I may give to one of my trenches, as it is both obscure and realistic at the same time.  Soldiers often gave humorous or ironic names to places they were stationed. Trench Tile with lots of texture

My first choice of films for WW1 is “Paths of Glory” which I own, but it is in black and white and film making, the technical side has advanced a lot since that earlier but still awesome Kubrick film.  The other rapid suggestion was “Black Adder goes Forth” which I also own.  Most of that series is spent in HQ or in the front line bunker/sleeping quarters for Black Adder and Baldrick.  I’ll have to look for some more trench warfare movies.  Wikipedia has this list of WW1 films.

There was just a goal in the World Cup!  Spain is up 1-0 at the 62nd minute.

I’ve seen “Joyeux Noël” recently, maybe that influenced me in starting my trench project, most of that movie takes place in the trenches.  It also shows how close the enemy really was to each other, they could yell back and forth.  It was less than a football pitch wide in place.  “Joyeux Noel” has some useful extras for learning more about what really happened in the trenches of WW1 as censoring the press was still prevalent back then. Adding even more grit to the tile

I generally followed the same order and techniques I used on the first tile.  This time I used thinned glue earlier, more beach sand, glued on plastic details sooner, and then added cork and finally another layer of cat liter.  That is the current state of the tile, the glue is home drying on the cat liter and maybe later tonight I can begin painting things black.  Remember to gob on a bit and dab it onto the grit rather than paint in proper brush strokes.  Once the girt is good and covered in black, the drybrushing begins.

Is dry brushing one or two words?

True Grit

I continue to plug away at the first of at least 24, twelve inch square modular trench table tiles.  A few people have noticed, probably because I told them.  ;-)  There is a thread over at the Miniature Pages where people are discussing techniques for making terrain, particularly trenches.  I of course ignore everything they say and just do things my way.  :-D

The Miniature Pages is a bit old fashioned, but I think that is the way they like it.  Hopefully they don’t completely lose my thread like Terra Genesis did…

Beach Sand applied to tile

Onward and upward.  In this installment I basically put grit in the form of sand and cat liter on to the tile.  I used regular white glue.  The first two layers of grit I just squeezed the glue on, this makes the grit thicker and works better for cat liter which is super absorbant.  After two layers of grit, I sealed it with watered down white glue.  This can take a long time to dry so mostly I just use a really thin layer of straight glue in my basing and terrain work.

After taking the photos I then put thinned white glue where I had put the ‘S’s this stands for sand.  I want my terrain to be playable and modular so I can’t have as much texture as I did on my GT display board which everyone admired.  I also think the brand of cat liter I used back then was bigger, though I also think I did like two or three coats of cat liter.  I intend to use some air dry clay, foam, and other stuff to build up no man’s land some, but mainly I need to keep it not too rough so models and scatter terrain can rest easily on it.

Tile after two layers of grit

Now I wait overnight and in the morning shake off the excess fine sand.  Once that is done I have to get serious about choosing colors for the wood, dirt, and sandbags.  I think I may use GW paint for the sandbags, but for the dirt and the wood I’ll probably use cheaper paint, which I’ll bike to the art supply store to pick up tomorrow.

Sealing grit with thined glue

Laying down more thined white glue

Applying a layer of fine grain sand