Still plugging away

So after finishing my second modular trench tile yesterday I took a break, but I couldn’t sleep so I got up and work on terrain some more.  I still plan to assemble and get painting some more miniatures for my 2010 Astronomi-con Vancouver army, but I also worked on another entrenchment.  This one entirely scratch built to fill a gap, as Snapdragon only makes so many sizes and shapes.  I’m wedded to the 12″ tile for at least the majority of this project. Test fit of tiles D2 and D3

I also cleaned a lot of resin this morning during the second half of the World Cup game.  All these bits are from Ramshackle, they were bought for my ork army to scratch build and customize some vehicles, but a few of them will do nicely as battlefield debris.

Hand made and cast entrenchmentsI also dug out the photo I took of the drawing of how the battlefield will look.  This is the second drawing and it has been fixed to the wall above my painting table for months.  I’ve been scheming and planning and preparing for this project for well over a year.  So far things have gone according to plan, but if I don’t get a job soon, I may have to put stuff in storage…

Finally I plan to assemble several models.  I actually have a written down paint queue which I regularly adjust, but don’t regularly post to the Internet.  It is one of the tabs on my army Excel file which lists all the models I have painted for the Diseased Sons and the Nefarious Fire.  It also shows real and hypothetical ways to field them.  I’ll have to make a similar spreadsheet for the Orks eventually.  I’ve held off even making an army list for them, I want to make all or as many of my old ork figures and squads legal before I worry about tactics and optimizing.

I also uploaded the document that details the plans for individual tiles, some have detailed descriptions, others are more vague.  I jotted these down one night and have been updating it and the drawing when I feel the need.  I’ve even worked on a No Musk’s Land 2.0 tile layout.  It requires six more tiles, so that might be for 2012.

Consulting my own Excel file, as sometimes I forget to build things or paint them the correct color.  Often I write which squad a model is for on the bottom of it’s base when I prime them, as sometimes models sit on my painting desk for years…

  • 2nd Test Bezerker
  • Test Servant of Decay
  • Test WW1 Canadian Corps Rifleman
  • CSM with Heavy Bolter
  • Plaguemarine with Melta Gun
  • Plaguebearer
  • Secret model

OOP Plastic BezerkerFor the test bezerker I’m using the old, original, OOP, plastic model, I have five of them still on sprues.  That tells you how long I’ve been going to do some Khorne guys for…  For the test Servant of Decay I think I’ll use one of the plastic Necromunda figures.  He’ll be pretty much as is, but I’ll paint him in my proposed scheme of brown uniform, black boots, shoulder pads, and helmet, with purple accents.  The rabble can have a variety of earth colours for their clothes possibly including some greens and reds.  The big risk is the skin tone, I’m going pale blue as they are supposed to be Nurgle followers.  The Plague Zombies will be more traditional greenish tinged flesh. Ramshackle Games Resin Bits

I’ve painted a number of Heavy Weapons for the Nefarious Fire but no Heavy Bolter, which as the cheapest will be pressed into duty for my Chosen.  I don’t know when the plastic CSM with Heavy Bolter came out, but I’ve never painted one, so that is the fig I plan to use.  The plaguemarine is just for looks, I have unused metal Plaguemarine havoc bits, so I figure I’ll paint one up.  The plaguebearer is just for fun, I like to have one on my paint table to use up colors or to test techniques, Nurglings are great for this too.  I’ve already got a couple on the go, which along with touching up some old models I hope to finish off quickly.

WIP Demons


I’m going to need more Popsicle sticks

So although I said I was going to switch to working on my Astronomi-con Vancouver army and some more test models, I ended up working quite a lot on the next trench table tile.  This tile is ‘D2’, it has a name too.  I really should put some of my planning documentation on this blog.  I’ll save that for a slow hobby week maybe.  I got a few other things I’m saving for when I’m making less progress.

First two terrain tiles

As someone currently unemployed, who owns too many unpainted models, including a pile of material for a trench themed miniature wargaming table.  So I put another coat of black paint on a tile.  After first test fitting the tiles and scatter terrain, I eventually decided to do the planking last night.  It took quite a while and after only two tiles, I think I may have used half of my Popsicle sticks.  They are cheap and easy to find in craft stores, but this tile isn’t even the one that needs the most planking.  The wider trenches are easier to work with, the narrow more realistic tiles might be quite frustrating to do the planks.Clamps are useful

This time I made the planks fit pretty well.  I even used some balsa wood on part of it to make it level with the foam.  I also implemented my exit scheme.  One of my pet peeves with miniature terrain is the ladders are always modeled too small to be useful.  Miniatures often end their move half way up, but you have to pretend.  Ramps are great to show exactly where a miniature is, but they take more space and are not terribly accurate.  Stairs have to be oversized, but again aren’t something you normally seen in trenches.  I made a hybrid, it is a very steep ramp with two narrow steps on it, so miniatures can end part way into or out of the trench.  I’ll probably make some stand alone ladders that I can just plop down, they are also available for sale.  But I plan to model two more exits.

I’ve also lined one side of the trench with plastic sandbags, but the pictures of that are still on my iPhone and the cable is at home.  This was just for fun.  It goes against my modular everything theme, but I wanted to try them out.  I clipped them all off and put them in a jar.  Some are a bit big for 28mm though both brands are 1:35 scale.  28mm falls between 1:35 and 1:48.  Using pre-made resin pieces is easier, no gluing, no clipping, no cleaning, but I’m not sure which is cheaper.  Making your own sandbags out of a modeling medium might be the cheapest and most flexible, but for speed pre-cast resin pieces is the way to go.

Finished Popsicle planksMy plan for this evening is to put down a layer of black paint and then a layer of grit (cat liter) before bed time.  I plan to use a bit more grit than last time, but the big difference will be using a lot more beach sand.  I also will likely put some scattered bitz down at the same time as the sand.  I already put a drum for rainwater perhaps in the trench.  I have three pieces of resin scenery also on my painting table and will make three more pieces of scatter terrain which will spread into no man’s land.  These will be based on plastic GW tank traps, as although I want an opening in the defenses to slip the odd scout out of the trenches, which is historically accurate, I don’t want it to be a weak point so several tank traps will be further protecting the position.

For the record I prefer the Italeri brand plastic sandbags.  They have more detail, with a garbage bag style end.  Both brands have a couple different shapes, but the Italeri are solid, well the other brand is hollow so you can only put one side up with the green ones.  The green ones are bigger which works less well for 28mm.

Two brands of plastic sandbags

Trench with sandbags and planks

Trench Table Beginnings

One of my long schemed for mega projects is a dedicated gaming table more befitting of my tendency to play almost exclusively Warhammer 40,000.  Of course by play I mean occasionally attend a local tournament, say two a year, with one or two in-store games.  I think you play more when you can host, and in order to host you need a reasonably sized place and table plus terrain.

Expanding modular trench line

I have over a table worth of hills and forrests plus some rocks and the odd building, but with the success of one of my tournament display boards and the amount of stuff you can buy online, I decided to build a really nice table and I decided to make it a modular trench table.  I did a lot of research, I collected a lot of resin scatter terrain and bits I would need to build my table, but time and energy proved ellusive. Modular Trench Terrain

Recently unemployed I’ve worked on my dream table, but I discovered my hobby foam cutter couldn’t handle the big thick foam I wanted to work with and it was hard to make long perfect cuts.  I bought a jab saw along with a couple metal squares, but I had to give up on perfection.  Working on terrain pieces takes a lot more space and makes a lot more mess than painting another squad of plaguemarines.

Undaunted I’ve pushed on.  I was originally going to make one or two squares at a time, but in order to get a decent fit and to better lay out the scatter terrain I ended up cutting and carving almost one entire defensive line before I painted anything.  My plan is to paint the white and pink black.  Then I plan to line all the trenches sides and bottoms with little bits of wood.  This is historically accurate and although this table will probably get used mostly for 40K, there is no reason it can’t serve for World War One or even World War Two in a pinch.  I plan to paint up some Germans and Van Doos someday.

Resin scatter terrain

I painted one test dude, you can see him making sure the firing platforms are the right height.  I made my trenches deeper than most and wider than I intended.  The first square I did was the angle one and three inch wide openings and then drawing the lines looked too narrow.  I want to be able to fit 40mm bases in my trenches along with the planks and firing positions and some scattered stuff.  I’ll make some narrower trenches eventually, but the two initial defensive lines will be bigger than scale to make it easier to game.

First two tiles I made

Almost all the scatter terrain will be loose and thus can be rearranged along with the tiles.  I’ll make a dozen or so extra tiles eventually, but to start I’m make 24 carefully planned tiles.  There are some early ramblings on my personal blog about this and likely on the odd forum, but this is the most I’ve revealed my hand.  I need to switch shortly to finishing up my Astronomi-con Vancouver army, so this table will not be at Astro Van this year, but will be next year for sure.

All the resin terrain show on the tiles so far was made by Snapdragon ( he stopped making them due to injury so I bought rather more than I needed, just before he went out of production, as I thought it would just make things look better.  Other companies I’ve ordered from are listed here.

Constructing Firing Position One

Constructing Firing Position Two