Posts Tagged ‘trench’

I’m back from Vancouver Island.  I ended up missing the ferry I was trying to catch, it was a hot slow day and we arrived minutes too late on my bus.  Coming back from Vancouver Island was no great relaxing trip either, I re-read some Too Fat Lardies scenarios for the Through the Mud and the Blood that are in the supplement Stout Hearts and Iron Men. Closeup of Rusty Sword

Otherside of Rusty SwordI basically had a nap when I got back to Vancouver but now that it is evening I did some touch-ups on the Nurgle demons.  I then tried to take some closeups of the rusty swords.  This didn’t go that well with my iPhone.  Eventually I got some OK pics of the light grey Plaguebearers sword, the other demon didn’t seem to want to photograph well, which is ironic as his sword had more rust detailing.  I think I may have done one rust wash too many…

The other thing I read on the ferry was Sidney Roundwood’s latest post on making terrain.  He made the World War One trench table seen in the Through the Mud and the Blood rulebook, he eventually added a ruined village scratch building the buildings.  I will probably add a ruined village to my trenches someday, I’ve looked into some of the resin buildings for sale but maybe I’ll have to have a go at making some.

Hopefully tomorrow it isn’t too hot and I’ll resume painting, but I have a lot of real world things to do too…

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Paint PaletteI finally finished the second modular trench terrain tile.  This is tile D2.  The last few days I haven’t been productive.  I’ve slept in a couple times instead of getting up early to read the paper, paint, watch the world cup, and of course look for a job.  I’ve now been unemployed for three months.  I had an interview recently, but it wasn’t a slam dunk, so I have to wait and see and keep looking and applying to other jobs.

I’ve put a lot of effort into these trench tiles but I have to switch to my 2010 Astronomi-con Vancouver army.  It will once again be Chaos Space Marines.

The second tile looks big because it is four inches wide, too wide.  I did things in a slightly different order, I also used some new materials.  I tried out cork rubble and pre-made plastic sandbags.  They came out looking too smooth, I don’t like it.  Next time I use them I’ll probably put a dusting of sand on top to give them some texture and variety.  Either that or run a board along the top, both are realistic. Affixing Trench Sign

I put a little more ‘stuff’ scattered around this tile, but I think I need even more inside the trench.  I might try painting it first then gluing it down, though to get that half buried look, you need to glue it down before most of the grit.  I also think next time I’ll have less grit inside the trenches and I’ll leave bigger spaces between the planks.  I experimented a bit with rust techniques using different pigments, but still also using Rust Brown Ink and Foundation Orange both diluted with water.

I tried to get a yellower canvas color on the sleeping bag or rain cover that is sitting on one of the rocks.  I used Iyanden Dark Sung and Gryphonne Sepia for the most part to achieve the color.  I’ll test it on an Imperial Guardsmen soon. Finished Tile Number 2

Not all washes are an improvement, one of mine had too much ‘rusty red’ in it or I should have started from scratch rather than trying to lighten the previous wash…  Anyway I’ll just have to start from scratch with the lightest orange rust pigment I have.  I need even more little cups on my palette.  I’m just waiting for the last few washes and coats of paint to dry then I’ll have up some photos.

So far no comments on this entire blog, but I’m not getting any search engine traffic or basically none, which is odd because the Greening the Inner-city blog gets some and it had mostly linking to it early on, but it must have more variety of incoming links.  I’ve posted links to the odd forum and on the Lead Adventure Forum and the Miniatures Page there is a little discussion about this project, but it is mostly me talking to myself as usual. Looking down the trench

I had to put on my “Music to play 40K to” mix as my downstairs neighbour has lately taken to playing loud crappy hip hop.  I have by far the louder stereo so I now have Rage Against the Machine of all things…

Slightly Higher Res shot showing details

Today was a little more productive and as it was Canada Day, perhaps my recent readings and research into the Canadian Corps was well timed.  Tonight I tried to finish the second modular trench tile.  Alas I did not make it.  I got most things painted but I need to finish off some fine details and paint the two big rocks. Drybrushed Dirt

I did finish the scatter terrain, even painted some sort of growth on one of the embankments.  I was originally not going to paint it green, just leave it brown but I looked at some of the other trench tables out there and they had greenery, though historically in the really heavily fought over sectors everything was just blown away into dirt and rubble.  There are some pretty hardy plants so I figured some sort of moss or fungus or algae could survive on the side of a trench so I painted it up to look like that.

I shouldn’t have started on the bed roll or rain sheet, whatever it is, I should have painted it after the rock, but I wanted to try and get a better canvas color, one that more closely matched the 08 Webbing used by the Canadian Corps and the BEF after about 1915.  My World War One army is going to be modeled as if it was early 1916 so they will have 08 webbing and Lee Enfield rifles, not that it is really a big deal at 28 mm, but it is the thought that counts. Test fitting scatter terrain

I also watched another of the supposedly best World War One movies, this one is called “The Grand Illusion” and it is another black and white film it is also another French language film.  It seems the French made more movies about WW1 than they did about the second world war.  It isn’t a bad film, shows the transition from wars fought by professional soldiers to wars fought with enlisted or even drafted men, men who weren’t career soldiers.  It does not have a single trench battle or any battles at all.  It takes place almost entirely indoors and the French soldiers spend the majority of the movie trying to escape.  It is like the Great Escape or Hogan’s Heroes in that regards.

I might order another book or here’s a thought try to get some from the library…  I also still need to find a job so maybe I should focus my reading to that end.

Mostly painted trench tile

I wasn’t very productive today.  I didn’t find a job.  I didn’t watch the World Cup.  I didn’t finish the second trench tile.  I didn’t even watch a film.  However I have worked on the trench tile.  I did watch “All Quiet on the Western Front” last night and I’ve been reviewing my other research material, principally two books. Maximum Grit

“The Canadian Corps in World War I”, is an Osprey title, perhaps the first one I bought.  It has a Van Doo on the cover and I pretty much will do a unit of them, how big of a unit I’m not sure.  Three officers and 116 enlisted men would be the best number.  The other book I bought is called “Postcards from the Trenches”, it is real postcards produced during the Great War that this collector ultimately donated to a museum and they produced the book.  It and the film reveal that my trenches may be too orderly, but other material shows it was all a matter of what sector the photos were taken in.  The Canadians or the Stormtroopers as the Germans dubbed them were always sent where the fighting was thickest Vimy, Ypres, the Somme.

As for modeling, after a coat of thinned down white glue dried, I then painted the tile black with a 1″ brush and Rustoleum brand black paint.  After that I twice went over the tile with a much smaller bush and Ceramcoat black.  Both times I used my ‘dab and jab’ technique as this keeps as much grit as possible in place and also is the only way to get paint into some gaps.  After even more black touchups, I painted the wood in the trench and just outside it Ceramcoat Terra Cota, which I thinned considerably with water.  Two coats was necessary for coverage but also tends towards orange… One coat of brown paint

Hopefully after the drybrush things look fine.  My two observations are it is better to leave a small gap between planks on the ground as it is easier to get the brush in there, requires less planks, and is more historically accurate.  The second observation is I don’t need quite as much grit inside the trenches.  Less grit but maybe more little detail bits.

I found two more interesting links while reading threads over a the Lead Adventure forum which along with B&C, The Waaagh, and the Miniatures Page is my go to place to discuss painting, converting, terrain, and mini manufacturers. Two coats of brown

The first link is an informative page with pictures about life in the trenches of World War One along the Western Front primarily.  The second link is to a new (to me) line of WW1 trench inserts.  These would be inserted into correctly cut shapes of foam, saving all the bother of doing the planking and sandbagging by hand.  They look pretty good, narrow, but big enough to accommodate 30mm bases apparently.  They are designed for 25/28 mm miniatures.  I may have to give them a go, at least their machine gun nests when I make version 2.0 of No Musk’s Land.

Tomorrow I’ll have to try harder to find a new job and it will be the drybrush fest as I will drybrush the planks, the sand and dirt, and the sandbags to match the first tile.

So I’ve been collecting links for a long time, since 1995, my original links page still lives, but I created a specialized one for painting advice and I’ve also put a lot of work into the collecting the links in my sidebar.  I’ve been doing some Googling for tutorials and advice and a lot of what is coming up at the top of the Google results isn’t the best stuff, so here are ten links I recommend checking out ASAP.  All will help you with your painting, modeling, or just provide inspiration.

They aren’t ranked, ten is just the magic number picked by David Letterman.

  1. Blood and Gore using Tamiya Clear Red
  2. Rust Effects the Orky Way
  3. Painting Realistic Flames
  4. Preparing and Cleaning your Model
  5. Painting Rust and Battle Damage
  6. Making ‘Arab’ buildings
  7. From the Warp’s Tips and Tutorial Collection
  8. Massive Voodoo’s Tutorial Collection
  9. Trench Making Tutorial
  10. Sidney Roundwood’s Trench Terrain

So now that I’ve finally started work on my modular trench battlefield, I’ve been thinking, how best to take and hold trenches, or more succinctly which armies and units would be best for the task.  My goal with the battlefield is to take Warhammer 40,000 back to its World War One influences, alas I fear no amount of carving foam will stop skimmers, jump infantry, or deep striking.  To that end I think Codex Space Marine and Imperial Guard armies will do the best on this board and the mission that will go along with it.  Those armies are quite versatile and have access to skimmers with transport capeability.

But what about… Eldar and Tau they have skimmer transports?  Eldar in particular with all their specialized troops may do a pretty good job of taking entrenched positions, but holding them?  Eldar are supposedly not geared for a war of attrition.  As for the Tau, even with Kroot I’m not sure they would do a very good job at storming the trenches.  Now Orks and Tyranids, they can send waves of troops at the enemy, but digging in defensively really isn’t their forte.  Deamons are a total wild card and the specialty marine codices, which are getting a lot of love online, mainly bolster the offensive capabilities.  Lots of jump troops may gain you the enemy trenches but holding them plus your own defensive positions?  Space Wolves might do better than Blood Angels at this type of thing due to the awesomeness of Long Fangs and Grey Hunters.

While giving this all some thought I even wrote up a Codex Marine 1500 army list and looked at more obscure chapters, but since I’m trying not to buy any new minis, starting a new army, even Marines is out.  So the question then becomes what can I do with my existing armies and their rule books to make them more effective on the battlefield I’m building?

My trench table is destined for next year’s Astronomi-con Vancouver.  You could say I’m starting early, or you could say I’m starting too late for this year’s Astro…  I currently have two painted armies in my display case, the Diseased Sons and their non-Nurgle allies the Nefarious Fire plus my old, old Ork army.  The orks will see the table top again, but optimizing them for a mission isn’t a priority, just getting the units legal again is the priority.  This year I am running Chaos Space Marine at Astronomi-con Vancouver, but next year I planned to run the Servants of Decay from Imperial Armour 7.

No one seems to be using that list or building an army for it.  The regular Imperial Guard Codex is too good, most people are using it for their traitor guard too.  Not me, I like to be different and I’m not afraid of a challenge.  I made a quirky assault oriented list, knowing full well that WS2 and WS3 troops with questionable leadership doesn’t sound like an elite offensive force.  While thinking how hypothetical armies would do on a hypothetical battlefield in a hypothetical mission set 40,000 years into the future, well I decided maybe I should adjust my proposed army list.

I wrote out another list, selling back some things, adding others, but I continued to avoid the option of taking plaguemarines.  I wanted a pure traitor guard force, even though taking plaguemarines would save me money an painting time.  Plus when I looked at other army list I recognized the need for elite assault troops to gain the trenches, but for my own army I was trying to make due with Rabble and Rebel Militia.  Finally I said enough is enough, lets throw a squad of ten plaguemarines into the mix.  Plaguemarines aren’t cheap pointswise, I had to sell back Rabble and Plague Zombies, as well as eventually removing my Fast Attack and Heavy Support choices over the course of tweaking the list.

Non skimmer Fast Attack I think will just get bogged down in the mud.  Jump Infantry might work, I intend to try it with my Chaos Space Marine army, but they too could die crossing no man’s land.  Getting rid of my lone heavy support choice may seem odd, but if you’ve read the army list, the command HQ can take a pile of heavy weapons teams.  I’d already maxed out on mortars before I even thought about making my list more effective on the battlefield I’m building.  Hopefully I won’t miss one or two extra heavy weapons a turn.

The army list I ended up with has Plaguemarines leading the assault.  They are supported by Rabble and Militia men.  The Plaguemarines might be able to breach the defenses and/or tie up the enemy for a turn or two allowing the Rabble and Militia to advance.  I bought my militia squad an armored personal carrier, figuring it was worth a try.  If it gets stuck, they just get out and walk.  The plague zombies I feel will make better defensive troops.  They are Fearless and harder to kill, but they are slow.  I think they work better occupying space, though they can tar pit the enemy too, if in sufficient numbers.

Before I added in the Plaguemarines, my command squad were my best assault troops having two models with WS 4, whoo hoo! Alas they are few and they aren’t armored.  I bought them an APC too, but they may be better served getting out and hunkering down.  I now forsee using them as a counter assault force.  The leadership they potentially provide to the rest of the troops on defense necessitates them being placed centrally.

I just counted and my proposed 1500 point Servants of Decay army list with the 10 Plaguemarines, has 14 models with WS4 and 18 models with BS4.  My Rabble alone have more models than that, they are WS and BS 2, booyah!

My mortars will go in my trenches or behind them.  Massed mortar fire isn’t popular in 40K, but I’m still going to try it.  It is historically accurate and with a little luck could pin the enemy in their trenches allowing my Rabble and Militia men to advance across the battlefield.  Also to be used in a defensive role are the best troops available to a Rebel Militia commander, the Disciples of Xaphan.  These are basically veterans with superior moral and access to a wide variety of guns and equipment.  They have BS 4 unless they take a heavy weapon in which case their ability to aim magically decreases.  This is an odd quirk of the list, it is impossible to get heavy weapons with BS 4.  I think regular guard can do this, or through orders or special characters or something can improve their aim.  Regardless, even with the addition of the plaguemarines, I’m still treating my Disciples as an elite unit.  They are basically my sharp shooters.  They’ll be deployed with the best field of fire and will pick off advancing enemy infantry.

That’s about the gist of it.  Assault force of plaguemarines supported by Rabble and a few Militia men.  Doesn’t sound too intimidating, most armies should either be able to out shoot my army or out class it in close quarters fighting.  That’s the lot of traitor scum I guess.  Even sending out almost 50 models into no man’s land I’m not too confident I can take the enemy’s position.  Sending that many models to attack which is both likely necessary and historically accurate leaves my sharp shooters, my mortar, and my command HQ defending my lines, plus of course zombies.

“Using zombies to bolster your line” by Muskie McKay coming to Osprey soon.

I gave a go at making a Chaos Space Marine army list that might excel at trench warfare, but I’m going to experiment some more with it.  Astronomi-con allows the use of Imperial Armour rules so that makes things a little more interesting.  I still think Marines and Guard will be best for this mission, any one else have an opinion?

So it took a while, and the last wash is still drying, but the first tile in my modular trench table is finished.  Now I only have to make 23 more.  Even at one a week that is 23 weeks and that doesn’t even count all the time I spent already, especially doing research.  I scoured the internet for bits and tutorials. I bought books, I’m going to see a few movies, but basically I got it right, not historically perfect, but good enough. Almost Done

Things to improve, more grit.  I will put beach sand over most of the tile next time.  Cat liter can bunch up and not let scatter terrain sit on it very well, but beach sand, nothing I make is going to be so delicate that it can’t sit on top of beach sand.  I’ll still have the really fine sand for some spots, but their won’t be bare foam showing like on this tile.  I drybrushed it, but the grittier stuff takes the drybrush better.  I could do a heavier drybrush but I’m trying to get better at drybrushing not worse.

I wish I would have put another piece of battlefield debris by the crater I carved into the tile.  That didn’t come out as nice as the ‘bought’ craters, but it may be cover-able with scatter terrain, if not on this tile then on some other.  The other option is to put a lot more grit, maybe even some foam or cork.  I bought some scrap cork the other day, as part of my two dollar expenditure at the strange craft store on Main Street.

Awesome Paint Job Rust PigmentsThe next time won’t be done for a while.  I need to finish off my army for this years Astronomi-con Vancouver.  I think I need to paint five more guys, a couple rank and file and my HQ.  I put enough effort into this tile, hopefully I get better.  I plan to thin the Terra Cotta paint next time, this time I just put it on pretty much out it came out of the container.

One last thing I tried out was some pigments I got off of AwesomePaintJob.com, this was a bit of an impulse buy, as I already had some pigments, but I was big into trying out new techniques, and one I’ve never used much is pigments.  I also mixed into my rust mixtures, Rust Brown Ink, water and later, the Foundation Orange.  I’ve tried out a lot of new, small, one person hobby companies, after reading about them on Table Top Gaming News or elsewhere.

Down in the Trenches

The Finished Tile