Thursday 28 May 2015

La Chute river French saw mill

I've just started work on a terrain board featuring the saw mill which was on the La Chute river and was a feature in the British approach to Fort Ticonderoga in 1758. I shall add more images as the construction develops.

There was a portage route just towards Lake George from this site, with a bridge crossing the river. With there being no evidence of what this bridge looked like, I've decided to use the bridge and ford at Rushmere as a template.

Progress so far. River, bridge and ford constructed. The mill is partially built and painted.

Making great progress now. The main part of the river is finished. For the water effect, I used transparent silicone calking, which is surprisingly versatile. A thin coat will give a nice clear effect when it dries, but if you go a bit thicker, you get a nice milky look which looks like disturbed water. You get about eight minutes play time before the material stops being workable. A wide, flat brush works well to spread the silicone around and to give a direction to the flow of water.
The mill building is now finished with creaky roof in place and fixed in situ. Next thing is to make the mill surroundings look used and busy and to add the water feed chute to the mill wheel.

Here are a couple pics of the finished surfacing for the first two boards. The boards are recycled old terrain boards which have been beat up. I used a bit of flock and paint to hide the blemishes ad the used two green spray paints to bled things in together.

Now to start work on the other two boards, These two will be partly wooded shallow, rocky hills. I stuck two old gaming boards together then carved out the shape of the hill from the smaller of the two. To this, I added cork bark for rocky bits and the entire surface was covered in a mixture of brown paint, PVA glue, sand, tea leaves and birch brachts. When this was dry, I coated the higher areas with PVA and poured onto this, a mixture of tea leaves and birch brachts to simulate woodland undergrowth and leaf mulch.

Obviously, a wood need trees. I wanted to get away from having trees with bases being sat onto the terrain but still wanted to keep the flexibility of being able to remove them for ease of transport and storage. This is what I came up with...Stick brass rod onto the tree if its a small one or drill out the trunk for larger trees. Then insert into the ground, a corresponding length of copper tube which the brass wire glued to the tree will fit into. Now cut out a piece of material to be glued to the stump area of the tree and glue tea leaves and birch brachts to it. This tree can now be fitted to the terrain and removed during game play or for storage and you don't have the unsightly bases.

Birch brachts can be harvested for free in the autumn from any birch tree.

A Huron and Mohawk from the Galloping Major 'soldiers free' selection.
Clearing a few bits and bobs up and now on with a battalion of the Connecticut Regiment and some terrain boards.

Friday 22 May 2015

Canadian militia command

Canadian militia command.
Figures by Galloping Major

Sunday 17 May 2015

Massachusetts Provincials

Figures by Galloping Major. Mounted officer from Perry AWI range.

Wednesday 9 July 2014

Witchfinder General

A contingent to fight a Witchfinder General scenario, complete with Witchfinder stickler by Foundry. The rank and file are Warlord plastics.

Wednesday 2 July 2014


Been researching this one for quite a while. Finally put all the bits together in my head a couple weeks ago and got round to building it. Its supposed to be able to fit into anything mid 17th / 18th century. Everything is scratch built.

Before starting to make the model, I put a lot of time into researching pics of thatched building and ways to best create the look. The model that you see is an amalgamation of many buildings. I started off by calculating the size. I didn't want the piece to take over a 4'x4' board but at the same time, I did want it to be a key feature. After some rough calculations, I cut the board out and drew features onto it, erasing and adjusting until I arrived at something that I was happy with to begin work. The main building was constructed by building a balsa framework and then thick paper was glued to the inside of the balsa to make a base for the walls. Windows and doors were then glued in place onto the paper. The walls were made by painting on a polyfiller solution in a couple thick layers. As I didn't attach the paper base all around its edge, this let it warp to give a more ramshackle, realistic feel. The chimney is built from crushed rocks. After this I put the roof on, which is made from faux fur. A piece was cut out and fitted to each side, making sure that the fur direction pointed downwards and then treated with watered down PVA glue. A third piece was cut to form the ridge section and treated in the same way.
The next stage was to position gate posts and to start laying down the stone walls, which were made of crushed rocks, individually glued into position with super glue. The lean to and stable are balsa with kitchen paper used as the tarp on the stable.
The ground work started with making flag stones with watered down polyfiller then scribed after being left to dry for 24 hours. The old trees were glued in place with a few roots showing and basetex added to the rest of the floor area with bits of straw to mess it up a bit. After painting, finishing touches like foliage around the walls and flock were added and the pub sign made and positioned.
I hope that helps and I'm happy to answer any questions about bits I may have forgotten to mention or need better explanations.