Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Terrain Two Point More.

Yup. More woodsy-looking things. It took me a long time to take the gaming plunge into the French and Indian War because I was concerned I wouldn't be happy with the "look" of the game. Forests are hard to model. Harder still is to combine a forest with a practical game surface that permits one's model soldiers to stand and deliver. The evolution continues : )

One design goal that is eluding me is quick "set-up and tear-down." My choice of scale and genre makes this goal doubly challenging. I found that using individual trees and shrubberies (Ni!) to denote the edge of forested areas required multiple storage solutions and took a lot of time to set up and put away. How to speed set-up and simplify storage? Forest Edge Strips! 

Here is the first one I made to test the concept.

Forest Edge Strips are 12" x 2" styrofoam bases covered in a mixture of latex house paint and papier mache featuring birch sticks and "ferns" from Michaels', some trees and bushes from JG Miniatures and some more trees I made form the Woodland Scenics "tree canopy" kits. The 12" format works seamlessly with my 12" terrain squares and the "2-sticks per strip handles" make the pieces easy to position without having to handle the shrubberies (Ni!).

I've only completed one Strip so far, but I like the look. Here are views from both outside the "forest" and from within.

And of course it only matters if it looks right with the toys!

Question for you. . . Here are some shots of my 28mm Lonely Roman in the same terrain, perhaps in the wilds of Gaul. Does it work for 28mm scale too?


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Hear no evil, see no. . . whatever.

Outside of a little terrain building, which I'll post when more finished, I don't have much to show for the last few weeks. I did base a few of the new John Jenkins Indians, along with Captain Joseph Waite, who completes my 10-man Ranger unit.

I also picked up Osprey's new rules for Samurai skirmish gaming, Ronin. Of course I haven't played them, but the book is beautifully presented and the rules are a straight-forward read. Lots of good Sengoku Jidai period flavor, with some nods to other eras, ranging from the 12th Century Mongol Invasions of the Kamakura period up to 19th Century Late Edo (as in the movie The Last Samurai). Might even tempt me to paint some of those Perry Samurai languishing in the Great Lead Hoard.

See ya!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fort Pitt; My French and Indian War tour wrap-up

Next up, after Fort Ligonier, I drove to downtown Pittsburgh to visit the Fort Pitt Blockhouse and Museum. I knew the Blockhouse would be closed, but could still view the outside, and the Museum itself was open for visiting. The route from Ligonier to Pittsburgh included some rough and wooded countryside, and it got me thinking about game terrain, of course. I think I am representing the more cultivated areas well enough in my games, but want to add more ruggedness to my wooded terrain. The challenge is to maintain "figure friendliness," too. I'll figure it out.

Anyway, the park area around the Museum and Blockhouse is really attractive.

More cool dioramas of Fort Pitt at several stages in its growth, along with some set-piece life-size displays. And more regimental colors.

A section of the Museum is devoted to an interesting exhibit showcasing movie memorabilia from Cecil B. DeMille's epic "Unconquered." 

And then it was off to Cleveland and back to work.

See ya!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Fort Ligonier; My French and Indian War tour Part 3

More Fort Ligonier. . .

More walking along the perimeter walls. . . Look! A moat!

Finished up at the gift shop where I purchased two books. Outposts of the War for Empire by Charles Morse Stotz is a big coffee table format book with lots of very good plan illustrations of the fort architecture of both the French and English during the F&IW. Robert Rogers' Rules for the Ranging Service by Matt Wulff is an analysis of the actual written rules crafted by Rogers. Good stuff.

On to Fort Pitt!