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Thursday, 30 November 2017

Rommel 2mm

Nearly there! Almost finished all the terrain pieces I think I need to get started.

So far I've finished the following;-

  • 12 x Hills/Mountains
  • 12 x Bocage tiles
  • 12 x Wood/Forest Tiles
  • 10 x Swamp/soft going tiles
  • 1 x Built Up Area (BUA) tile with a small town (scratch built)
  • 1 x BUA tile with Irregular Small Village + Bocage
From a distance the BUA tile looks OK, but took a lot of fiddling to complete. The buildings are a mixture of 5mm Foamex Board and square section Plastruct together with artists modelling paste, sand and PVA. I think I need at least two more of these so I've ordered a couple of town terrain pieces from Irregular Miniatures to speed things up.
I thought I might get away with their village terrain piece as a BUA, but you can see from the above that its hard to tell the standard Bocage tiles and the village tile apart.
You'll see that I've also finished the river sections I spoke of. These have come out quite well, though I say so myself! 

Simply fine sand glued with PVA to create the two banks. Then sprayed Leather Brown before a rough dry brush of Vallejo Game Colour Camouflage Green. When dry, a light dry brush with yellow before painting the river in a Citadel Turquoise Blue. When dry this is given a coat of Army Painter Blue Wash before spray varnishing.

In total there are;-
  • 12 x 100mm lengths
  • 5 x 90mm lengths
  • 5 x 80mm lengths
  • 6 x bends on 20x20mm bases
  • 6 bridges on 20x20mm bases
The latter were scratch built using self-adhesive craft foam from Hobbycraft.
Finally I've finished 7 x Coastal Defence prepared positions.
These are all on 80x20mm bases so they can fit in a grid square along with any of my terrain features. These are also scratch built using self-adhesive craft foam from Hobbycraft, 5mm foamex board and artist modelling paste. Finished with some PVA and fine sand before priming with Army Painter Leather Brown.

I'm finally ready to try out a solo scenario to get to learn the rules. More on this soon.....

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Rommel 2mm

What to do about hills/mountains for my Rommel set-up?

Following the same thought process as I have with my other terrain features, I decided that these would be symbolic terrain markers, rather than large terrain features.

My first thought had been to buy Hexon single hex mountains or pulverised ground, but these are 100mm across and would completely fill my grid squares. To boot they would look enormous against my 2mm miniatures. So it looked like I would have to come up with a home produced alternative.
What I’ve settled upon are 60mm diameter hills that can be placed in a 100mm (4”) grid square to indicate high ground is present, but still allow bases of miniatures to be placed on or around them.

Step 1: Attach a rough circle of 5mm foam board to a laser cut 60mm mdf base.
Step 2 & 3: Having carefully trimmed the edge of the foam board with a scalpel to produce an incline, smooth over the edges and texture the top of the hill with artist’s acrylic paste. Then, when dry, coat with PVA and scatter sand over the entire hill.
Step 4: Once fully dry, spray hill with Army Painter Leather Brown
Step 5: Roughly dry brush hill with Vallejo Game Colour -Camouflage Green. Followed by a light dry-brushing of Yellow. Finally, a couple of coats of varnish to seal the surface.

These should suffice for my needs and won’t take up too much room to store either.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Rommel 2mm

I’ve also completed painting & basing the Allied forces I have so far.

These also equate to roughly a brigade of Infantry & Armour with artillery support. In this case the armour consists of 5 bases of Cromwells and 2 of Shermans.

I’ve been thinking about the outstanding terrain features required. That is the hills/mountains and rivers.

For the rivers I plan to construct a series of 80, 90 & 100 mm by 20mm wide mdf strips to use as the long river runs along the 100mm (4”) grid squares with 20x20mm mdf squares with bends to allow the river to change direction. This is an 80x20mm example.

Perhaps the drawing will better explain the concept!
Long term I fancy recreating amphibious assaults like the Juno Scenario available on the Honour website.

To this end I’ve mocked up some simple 100mm beach squares I produced using PowerPoint.
I’ve also scratch built a prepared defence terrain tile (on 80x20mm mdf) to represent the Atlantic Wall defences the assaulting troops might face.

For Hills/Mountains I firstly considered buying Hexon individual hex Hills & Mountains, but they are quite large and would better suit a 150mm (6”) grid. So back to the drawing board.

I’m currently making a prototype 60mm diameter hill and we’ll see how that looks on the table.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Rommel 2mm

I've completed my German starter army and thought I'd share the picture.
I have (loosely) two Kamfgruppen, one infantry and one armoured.

The armoured Kamfgruppe comprises 4 x MkIV Panzer bases, 2 x Panther bases with 1 x Tiger II base in support.

The infantry Kampfgruppe consists of 9 infantry bases (3 of which are mechanised) and a Jadgpanther base in support.

Finally I've 1 artillery base to support both groups.

Not a text book organisation I'd be the first to admit, but should enable a try out of the game before committing myself to further investment.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Rommel 2mm

Having bought Sam Mustafa’s latest work last month I have decided to give this a go in 2mm scale.

I did contemplate using 10mm (1/200th) as I’ve a sizeable collection of Skytrex Action 200 miniatures I used for BKC. However having seen some games on-line using this scale I decided against it as it looked too abstract for my tastes and the cost of additional items (mainly artillery & infantry figures) would be too high.

Whilst 2mm will still be abstract, it will look more believable and will be relatively low cost.

I’ve opted to start with items from the Irregular Miniatures 2mm as I’m familiar with their Pike & Shot/Horse & Musket ranges in this scale and already own some useable terrain pieces (i.e. built up areas)

As I am going to use 2mm miniatures I’ve decided to go with a 4” (100mm) grid. Against character I opted to purchase a pre-printed Deep Cut Studio 4x3’ mat to use as my base terrain.

Whilst on this subject can I share with you the experience I had with these mats. I initially chose the MEADOW design and ordered it from BIGREDBAT, but was very disappointed when it arrived as it looks nothing like the on-line photos from their website. It was a much darker green (too dark) and very pixilated – nothing like the finely printed grassy image on the website. It was graciously exchanged for the PLAINS design, which is much better for my purposes (lighter green) but still lacks the detail the website infers you will receive. Altogether I’m OK with the finished article for my purposes but I think you need to be aware that the photos promoting the mats do not really match the finished article.

Since getting my mat, I’ve been busy scratch building some terrain tiles for the game and examples are shown in the photo below.

See text below for explanation
  1. Is a Bocage tile (the hedges are thin strips of self-adhesive craft foam from Hobbycraft, with sand PVA’d to the upper surface. Crops are indicated with sand & PVA)
  2. Is Swampy Ground (shapes painted in PVA with sand scattered to create "pools" then painted and finally foam scatter material added for bushes)
  3. Is a Wooded area (Simply clump foliage glued to a textured base)
  4. Is another wooded area as above
  5. A Built Up Area -BUA - (similar to the Bocage tile, but with an Irregular Small Village at it’s centre)
  6. An example playing piece
  7. The Deep Cut Studio mat - PLAINS finish
These are all on 60x60mm mdf bases. My reasoning for this was twofold.
  1. By not filling the 4” grid it should be easier to position up to 3 40x30mm bases in their too.
  2. If I want rivers, these have to run along the grid lines and will therefore encroach on the 4” grid squares. If I’d based on 100x100mm mdf this would not be possible.
To start me off I purchased a WW2 Battlepack from Irregular which consisted of two balanced armies – one German and one British – for the late war period. These came with their own Mechanised Warfare rules which are a simple set based upon some published many moons ago in WI and also available from FreeWargameRules on the web.

In Rommel terms there were enough pieces included to construct a couple of battalions of infantry for each side plus 2 armoured regiments with some artillery in support.

To match the 4” grids I’ve opted to go for 40x30mm mdf laser cut bases for the miniatures. I’ve been experimenting too, with artist’s acrylic paste for base texture. This can be pre-mixed with acrylic paint to colour it and applied with brush or palette knife. I sets quickly without shrinking and provides a very good base texture to build upon. In this scale PVA and sand doesn’t work – it looks too much like the ground is a boulder field! (Works OK for crops in fields though!!)
Textured tiles (60x60mm) before painting
Infantry bases have 1.5 Irregular mini’s figure bases + a weapons team/AT Gun/HQ base. Where necessary I’ve added a half-track for mechanised troops. The tanks are generally based 3 to a base but with Tiger IIs and Jagdpanthers I’ve gone for just two so they stand out.
Example bases - AFV and Infantry
At first I considered using a roster for recording hits etc. but have since re-thought this and I’m going to go for the attached data strip idea.

My first attempt is shown as no.6 in the photo above.

I firstly purchased some off-cut self-adhesive ferrous paper from Magnetic Supplies and attached this to the underside of the base.

Then I printed off labels created in PowerPoint and gloss laminated them. This should allow water based white board pens to be used.

Then these were stuck to 40x40mm magnetic sheet (surplus promotional fridge magnets I rescued from a bin) with double sided sellotape and then the sheet fits onto the base with the data strip showing.

I’ve a bit more work to do before I’m ready to try out a game, so I’ll keep you informed how I get on.