This is a follow-on from the post two weeks show some more Chain of Command markers I need to play the game. These are the ones I have done (for other markers go here):
Patrol Markers – done, see below.
Suppression fire – done, see below.
John Bond has a good guide on doing patrol markers and I was going to do them in this fashion using poker chips and then put stickers on – elegant and what you need (link here).
Having read the guide I got myself some Poker chips and found some Finnish and Sovietic symbols on the net to make the stickers from. I then thought that it would be cool to add some skiers on the finish ones and then it all went in another direction, adding stumps, trees and bushes. Overkill – perhaps, but why not? Difficult to turn these around to indicate that they are locked down! Had great fun doing them.
I made these from 10mm wide strips of some wood I had lying around – I suppose I could have used lollipop sticks as well. I added some twigs, green foam, stones and winterises and added some fluffy stuffing mixed with pva glue and some white paint. The last part to stimulate snow flying as shots are being fired.
I am going to make the suppression markers the same, but smaller.
Romans for Command & Colors
I also had my order in from Marching in Colours (link here) of some various miniatures – excellent as always. I spent the weekend basing and a very limited amount of detailing a large lot of Roman (and allied) infantry that I will be using for my Command and Colors game (see more here although I have changed some of the proposed basing conventions). I will do a write up of progress so far next week and also discuss the amount of bases and hexagons needed for this project. I am also working on the forces that will serve under the Barca family, but that will take some time to complete as I will need to focus on the Great Northern War stuff for the next few months.
If you recall episode 6 of the Band of Brothers TV series about the Battle of the Bulge, you may remember the wintery forest fighting scenes (well that was most of it anyway). I really like the cinema photography of that episode (as well as many of the others) and the relatively clear line of sight with regards to obstacles – the dominant thing at forest floor level being the tree trunks. Of course the Ardennes is not only tall pine trees but it is the tall pine trees that, in my view, helps to set the scene. What breaks the line of site is not necessary the trees but the white fog that sweeps the forest and the uncertainty is what is lurking out there.
Mature Scandinavian pine forests look very much the same.
Most winter wargames tables have traditional looking Christmas Trees with some snow – it is the ticket to add some winter feel to your terrain. The pine tree is an evergreen and the Christmas tree shape is easy to deal with and to pimp up to look wintery. They are also relatively cheap, and easy to manage on the wargames table. I have use these to, in my opinion, great effect for my Fraustadt 1706 and Gadebush 1712 tables that was laid out at Joy of Six in the past.
However, in adhering to my new year resolution of doing some Chain of Command Winter war (that is the war fought between Finland and Soviet Union 1939 to 1940) I wanted to try to get some tall pine trees on the table. I looked around the net for some commercial ones but did not find anything that I particularly liked.
I then stumbled upon an excellent video (link here) from the world of railway modelling and followed it to the letter, with the following exceptions:
Basing – I based mine on 40mm washers
Skipped the step on the highlighting with the turf (as, in my case, I will highlight with snow)
I did not add the additional branches on the tree trunk (but perhaps will do that later).
I added some snow (step 1 a mix of snowflock, white paint and glue added on the edges of the branches, dry, step 2 apply hairspray to the tree and let snowflock drop over the tree standing from above).
Have a look at the video (link here) by Luke Towan.
That thing of using the steel brush on the balsa to create something that looks like a tree trunk is just amazingly efficient.
This is how mine turned out – a compromise if we compare to the picture of the forest above – but spot on for what I was looking for!
I did a total of 19 in the first batch (as I can not count to 20 yet! – it seems). I have made enough to do another 70 or so, but not sure how many I need.
Took them for a test drive and I like the way they add to the overall look.
Now I need to figure out a practical way of basing them so they do not fall that easily – I suppose a bigger base with magnets or something like that.
The video show what material you will need to make the trees, it should be all straightforward, but if not let me know. I speculate that the total outlay for doing the 95 trees would be in range of £70 to £100, which is less than £1 per tree. I will let you know when I have finished my batch as I do not know how much spray paint and glue I will be using yet. It is not a difficult project to do, but I trust that you are careful when you use any sharp tools and read the recommendations on any packaging on the materials that you use. I am not saying this as a general statement to absolve myself of any responsibility when you are sent on a violent trip to God-only-knows-where from spray glue fumes or sent to hospital to put your cut off finger back – I am saying this because I still tend to rush into things without considering the safety of myself or more importantly others around me before the production of a piece of shitty wargames terrain.
They are relatively sturdy (the spray glue and in my case the additional hairspray to apply the snow creates some rigidity) and will probably last for a while. I suppose a few more coatings of hairspray would make it even stronger (use poundshop hairspray).
I am using mine to do Winter War using Chain of Command, but I suppose the trees could serve equally well in many other conflicts using other rules. 😉
I intend to do some for Summer actions during the Continuation war at some point, but without the snow of course.
I spent most of this weekend in Hospital as the Little Ones appendix needed to come out – he is the bravest of boys. He was disappointed as we missed the Rugby tournament on Sunday and our little family derby of Gaslands on Saturday. Anyway he is recovering at home at the moment and there will be no rugby or karate for a month, but the Doctor said nothing about wargaming!.
I used to tell the kids, when they were younger that I fought in the Finnish winter war, and that my appendix removal scar was from a bayonet. This was in hand-to-hand combat against a never ending onslaught of Russian infantry. But they soon realised it was a very economical truth and the closest I have ever been to the Winter War, was when I was playing the board game Artic Storm (link here) a few years ago. I suppose the Little One now has all the props he needs to replicate this “legendary” dad joke himself one of these days.
On the subject of the Winter War, one of the resolutions from the last (excluding the bonus one) blog (link here) was to get some Winter War Chain of command on the gaming table. I have all the miniatures I need but I am still lacking in terrain and markers. This blog entry is about some of the markers I have been doing in the early days of what I hope will be a fantastic new year.
With regards to markers I would need the following:
Patrol markers – not done. I got some Poker Chips from and will labelled these with Sovietic and Finnish symbols, that I will print on some adhesive labels. As you may be aware these are used in the little pregame to establish the location of the Jump-off points. I am not too worried about the fact that they are not blending in on the table and since they do not stay on the table. Maybe it would be cooler to use some Ski troops for the Finns and Scouts for the Soviets?
Shock makers – done, see below.
Jump-off Points – done, see below.
Pinned Markers – I will try to make these to simulate snow that flies in the air as a consequence of heavy firing on the ground. I will be trying this out this weekend as I have a little idea.
Broken – I will break a twig and put it on a base, simulating a broken piece of timber! Simple and a little bit of funny.
Tactical markers – done, see below.
Overwatch markers – done, see below.
These are done in the same way as the “Dead Parrot Markers” I wrote about earlier (First part and the second part) but I used 20mm washers instead of 15mm ones. The dead soldiers are from various Peter Pig packs (WW1 and WW2) and a few models just clipped from the base and laid down. I also played around with some heads and helmets – it would not be funny otherwise.
Jump off points
These were fun to do and as they stay on the table during the game I wanted these to blend in the overall terrain, as opposed to the Patrol Markers that are only used during the Patrol Phase.
I have to admit that I found it difficult to find anything pre-made that would fit the Finnish Forests. I have some Jerry Cans and Barrels but would find it unlikely that it would be lying around the forest in the type of situations we mostly find ourselves in a Winter Scenario.
First I added some stones and twigs to the bases (the twigs was actually from some metal model tree I have had in my bit box for ages, but I suppose you can get any twigs from a bush or something). Most Finnish units were equipped with Skis so I made a set of skis and poles for each base. I made the skis from plasticard (get a health lottery card and you enough for plenty of skis) cut thin, with one end sharpened and slightly bent, I also added a very small piece of Bluetac to give the illusion of bindings on the skis (i.e. where the soldier would attach the boot). I also had some pieces of Stowage and small boxes that I had lying around that I bought from the Scene ages ago (link here), I also added some helmets as I had some left over heads from my head swapping exercises (I got these from Peter Pig, link here). Finally added some snow flock mixed with PVA glue and some white paint, then flocked them again.
Similar to the finnish ones but no skis (some units had Skis but this was rare, especially in the beginning of the war) again boxes and stowage from the Scene stuff. The first one is with a dead horse (again from Peter Pig – Odds and Animals – link here) – there are also some dead cows if you prefer, I also flattened a piece of bluetac and cut out a flag sized square and used a piece of paper clip for the pole (unrealistic spread of the flag perhaps, but I just wanted to make it clear that it was a flag), third one a dead Russian and for the last one I added two rifles made from “rifle parts” from sacrificed models.
Tactical move marker
These are just small triangles made from plasticard with some snow effect on top that I will place in front of the unit.
as for the tactical move marker but a different shape.
I also completed some defensive positions, the Russians did not have sections and the smallest unit is the squad at 15 man strong that gives the need for some very big ones.
In other news
Got some pictures from Marching in Colour painting services (link here) that I am using for some of my projects. Another load of about 60 Polemos bases worth of 6mm stuff that he has base painted for me. If you are able to, do your lead mountain a favour and ask him for a quote!
I gave special thanks to Henry Hyde in a recent blog (at the end of this one) and he has recently started a Patreon campaign to raise funds to allow him to produce wargaming related material. I urge you to read his own words here as they are better than any I would be able to produce, and if it is your kind of thing, give him a few bucks.
I have known Henry for a few years now and remember him coming to Joy of Six a few years back when he was the Editor of the Miniature Wargames magazine (with Battlegames). He had travelled up from South of England in the morning, set up his tripod, took a few pictures of our Klissow game, had a short and insightful discussion with me on 18th century warfare in general and the Great Northern War in particular and then he moved on to the next table. Two months later I got my issue of Miniatures Warfare and on the cover was a picture from our Klissow 1702 game.
Having read Battlegames (in the day) and Miniature Wargames (and still doing so), the Wargames Compendium and listened to Henry on numerous Podcasts and followed his work, and interest, with regards to the physical and mental health of others, it is fair to say that he has had and will have an important role to play in our hobby (here is another link to the page where you can pledge your support).
/ All the best, hope I will have the rest of the markers done by the end of next week.