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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.

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