Ruined Church

Here is a long awaited projected completed…. a ruined Normandy Church!!! The model, cemetery, and walls are by Loic Neveau, a French producer of fine resin products.  I supplemented the ruins with debris from woodland scenics and cat litter.  It’s based on MDF, greenery by several manufacturers.  Figures are TQD.  Hope you enjoy!

Cheers,

Ted

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Half tracks and Hedges

Below are some shots of two half tracks I built and painted and some medium hedges I just completed. The sdkfz 251/1 (PSC) will round out my Panzer Lehr armoured platoon. The Sdkfz 250/3 (italeri) will be the forward HQ for my Ost front Waffen SS. Very excited about both of these additions! I also made medium hedges out of some old foam and woodland scenics flock in various colors. I have been working very hard and have a few surprises coming up in the form of some major projects that are nearly ready to share!

Thanks for looking!!!

Cheers,

Ted

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Bocage Making Tutorial

Last month I took on a major project of building realistic bocage.  I wanted to make enormous bocage that would completely block line-of-sight and look the part.  While some folks scale down their bocage models so they don’t overpower the board, I wanted a realistic looking hedgerow country scenery.  I found a superb example of what I was trying to achieve at this site:

http://www.ucs.mun.ca/~tmarshal/terrain/bocage/bocage.html

I would recommend reading through Mr. Marshall’s tutorial and looking over his pictures.  I modified his technique to suit my materials and skills.

I decided I would try this method out to make 12 ft of realistic bocage for my table.

I also used this site from Mr. Marshall’s tutorial for measurements:

http://www.lonesentry.com/normandy_lessons/index.html

 

The supplies I used are as follows:

1 inch thick sheet of styrofoam (any type/density will do) – I cut it into 1.75-2 inch thick segments 6-12 inches in length to create the bases/mounds the hedge grow up on.  These also help simulate the actual height with the sunken nature of the lanes between the hedges.

2 lightweight Filler to help shape the mounds

3 fine earth-blend flock from woodland scenics to flock the bases

4 static grass flock (color to your individual requirements-( I used medium green)

5 clump flock of varying colors

6 lichen of varying colors

7 hot glue gun with plenty of glue

8 PVA glue

9 Scenic Cement

10 tree armatures

11 metal washers for weight

12 Spray paint (earth colors for bases, brown for furnace filter and tan to highlight the filters)

13 Michael’s blend from craft store of dried moss

14 Toothpicks

15 small rocks from the yard and twigs, other scatter material to add realism to the bases

 

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Here are some shots of the furnace filter I used.

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And the white styrofoam I used (it is 1 inch thick)

Below is the step-by step process:

1. The first step is to shape the furnace filter.  I wanted hedges that are 6-12 inches in length for ease of storage.  and I wanted the bases to be roughly 2 inches wide.  Once I had these basic cuts to add up to 12 ft I started to carve out chunks and shape the bases to reduce square edges and make the bases look more realistic.  I used a serrated knife and sandpaper to achieve the shapes of the mounds.  I tried to make a lot of little culverts and areas to hide.

2. The next step is to cut the furnace filter to match with the bases that are already made.  I cut lengths of filter from 1.5-3+ inches and contoured them to the tops of the mounds made of styrofoam.  This is really hard to create a seamless look which I eventually used the dried moss to cover the gaps that occur between the mounds and the furnace filter.  At this stage I make sure to keep the mounds and filter sections together so they are not mixed up later when you will connect the two parts.

3. Next you shape the filter by teasing out the top portion to the desired shape.  The bottom which attaches to the bases will likely stay compacted more tightly, but this is totally your call.

4. After the filter is shaped you thoroughly spray them with the brown spray paint.  Once this is dry lightly spray with the tan to create a highlighted effect similar to dray brushing.

5. After this I return to the bases….. I used the filler/spackle to cover the entire top of the mounds.  This step helps to strengthen the styrofoam and creates texture for the earth.  If you are attaching woodland scenics armatures I glue them to the styrofoam with the corresponding weighted pieces (i.e. washers) before spreading the filler.  Once each mound is completely covered and texturized you must wait until each segment is completely dry.

6. The following day (I allowed the bases to dry overnight), I sprayed the bases an earth color.  Once this coat is dry I flocked the bases and glued any scatter materials to the bases.  After flocking with earth blend, and static grasses, and adding any other scatter (i.e. small rocks, kitty litter, pebbles, and twigs) I spray liberally with scenic cement to lock it all together.  Allow this to dry rock hard, then proceed to attach the furnace filter.

7. I use toothpicks and hot glue to attach the filters to the bases.  below are two pictures of the furnace filter uppers painted and highlighted and the drying bases which have just been coated with the filler in the 3rd picture.

 

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8. The next stage is to flock the filter.  I used a hot glue gun to attach the dried moss as seen below.  I use lichen, dried moss, and clump foliage on the top of the hedge leaving some of the filter bare to look like a brambling mess.  I interspersed trees in several lengths of the hedge.

 

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Below is one of two boxes that I store the bocage— this box hold approx. 6 feet.

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Hope you enjoy!

 

Cheers,

 

Ted

 

 

 

PSC Panthers

Here is the finished state of my PSC panthers. I know that the lehr did not mark panthers with it’s divisional marking “L”, but I took some artistic liberties here. I think they came out exceptionally well and they are now my two favorites! I also have festooned the tanks with some fine leaf foliage from woodland scenics to simulate the branches that the Germans placed on their armor to conceal them from air attack. I have not glued it on yet and trying to decide of I should make them more permanent fixtures on these wonderful pieces? Below are pictures of both ways…

Hope you enjoy!

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Weekend AAR of Operation Bagration Front

Another week in the books working hard to produce some new scenery and finish up my giant basing project.  I managed to finish off nearly 30 pine trees and 10 large 5′”-7″ deciduous trees (both of the woodland scenics range) and glued them to bases but did not have time to finish the aesthetic appearances of the bases, but bear with me as I was able to complete my PAK 38 crews, and new Normandy building meant to be a part of my “Saving Private Ryan,” inspired town of Rammelle.  I also nearly finished some new PSC wet stowage Shermans for a Normandy game planned for this weekend, but ultimately made me go back to wanting a eastern front battle, and saving a Normandy game for next weekend when I hopefully receive my pre-ordered copy of Battlegroup Overlord from Iron Fist Publishing/PSC.   Anyway, I opted to play a scenario of my own invention on the eastern front during 1944 summer.  Below is a map of the board, with the main objective being to hold/defend the bridge or take the bridge. We are currently using my house rules for skirmish games while awaiting our BG ruleset.

Kursk PAK Front

Lauren as the Soviets won the dice roll for choice of offense/defense, and chose to defend the bridge.  for her forces she chose:

-about 100 Infantry

-4 Zis 2 57mm AT

-2 Zis 3 76.2mm AT

-2 45mm AT

-2 SU-122s

-1 SU-76

-2 SU-85

-1 122mm Howitzer

-1 BT7

and

-11 T-34s   (she chose to reinforce on turn 4 with the majority of the infantry 85+ and all her T-34s, while deploying a PAK front of her Arty and Tank Destroyers)

 

The Germans led by yours truly had in their command initially:

around 40 Waffen SS panzer grenadiers

3 Panzer IVHs

2 StuH42s

3 Sdkfz 251/d

1 Panzerwerfer with two timed barrages coming on the 2nd and 3rd turns

and an Sdkfz 232 for recce,

with reinforcements on turn 5 of:

2 Panzer IIIJs

3 Panthers

2 Opel Blitzes  towing PAK 38 50mm

and an additional force of 25 Panzer Grenadiers of the 3rd Waffen SS division

below is a shot of the board at the start of the game.

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Some shots of the PAK front at the start….

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The Grenadiers and StuH42s take to the right flank

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Simultaneously the Germans Send their armored car to recce the area by the bridge…

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Contact!

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The German Recce destroys the BT-7 with a lucky roll and continues its patrol finding the PAK front and Calling in two separate rocket barrages from the Panzerwerfer.

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Destroying;/killing the crews of the Soviet Arty.  Also the StuH42s take a couple of guns down in a barrage of their own.

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the Panzer IVs move up to take some ground towards the river

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A great shot of the StuH42s advancing

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Along come the soviet reinforcements….

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and subsequently the German reinforcements for a showdown of massive armor…

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The AAR to be continued in the next post!