Over the last few weeks, I've being thinking quite a bit about desert terrain, due to being (only slightly) distracted by another project! Although my current main focus is on my Sudan The Men who would be Kings game, I've been painting up some 15mm World War 2 tanks, for a North Africa set up for What a Tanker! (WAT) rules, published by Too Fat Lardies.
|Picture from Too Fat Lardies
I'm going to do another post in the future, about why - even after only 4 games - I love this rule set, but for those who don't know, WAT is a WW2 Tank combat game, which puts the player in the role of a tank crew and commander, fighting against enemy tanks and AFVs. There's a nice career 'ladder', which allows players to work their way up through different types of tanks, as the war progresses, and become a tank ace. It's easy to learn, but with some nice subtle nuances in terms of command and control, and above all, it's fun! I bought the rules last year, and decided to start painting up a few tanks for 1941 North Africa , with the British facing the newly arrived Deutsche Afrika Korps. I've purchased an A9 and an A10 for the British forces, and two Pz III E tanks for the Germans. All of these tanks are from Skytrex.
|British A9 tank
|German Pz III E tank
So during a trip to the Hammerhead show right at the start of this month, I managed to pick up said barbed wire from Urban Construct and some palm trees from Hoka Hey. First for the 'Fall on Pell Mell' treatment, were the palm trees!
This is how they started...
|Sand added to the new base, before painting
After that I got painting! The first task, was separating the top fronds from the trunk - thankfully they weren't glued on, just a case of pulling them off the 'plugs' they were fixed on, and then I mounted the fronds on some skewers to paint.
|Fronds before painting - mmmm, plastic goodness!
These top fronds were firstly basecoated with Wargames Foundry French Dragoon Green 70 A shade, before a rough drybrush of 70 B, and a final light drybrush of 70 B. The base fronds, still attached to the trunks, were painted to represent dying or dead leaves, so I did those in a different mix, using the colours described above, but adding other layers of Drab 12A, and Phlegm Green 28C, again both Foundry paints. Once this was done, I painted up the trunks and branches with Bay Brown 42 A, washed them over with a black wash, then drybrushed them lightly with Bay Brown 42 A again and then drybrushed gently with Rawhide 11A, to bring up the final detail. I then matt varnished them (.....yes, like I said, a NUTTER, when it comes to doing even simple terrain!). Once they were finished, I painted up the bases in my usual store mixed colours, based on Games Workshop Steel Legion (that used to be Graveyard Earth), as a base, then drybrushed with Foundry sand 10, A, B and C shades. Then it was time for a little foliage - tufts, and Javis scenic bushes, and I ended up with this...
...and this is how they finished!
Next up was some barbed wire - I thought long and hard about this, but in the end, the first lot I've made used the classic 'roll' or 'coil' set up. To start off with, I got some 80mm by 20mm 2mm thick mdf bases, that I'd also bought from Hoka Hey. I then marked these up as shown below, starting 0.5cm in from each edge.(update: with each post being about 3.5cm apart, with only three posts)
|Dots added for where the posts would go
Then I cut out some short lengths of balsa wood, about 15mm long, and glued these on using superglue. Add the PVA/Sand/gravel/cat litter (still unused thankfully - not sure what the cat reckons to her toilet slowly shrinking...) mix, and job done!
|Sand added - with the original 5 post set up
|Close up of my finished posts
|Double thickness wire - a nightmare to get through!
|Definitely to be avoided! At some point I'll do some Minefield signs.
So, with some scenery completed, what better way to celebrate, than with a game of WAT! More on that, and my tanks in the next post, but here's a taste.
|WAT acquired, aimed, buttoned up and loaded markers, laser pen, and the 'Universal tanker tool', for measuring angles!
|Cat and mouse round the rocks...
|3 Critical hits, and kaboom! The Pz III has had it!
|A rather nice looking dice tray! Pint, anyone?
Next time, more news about What a Tanker!, and progress on the Sudan game!