Testing Downsized Buildings from Supreme Littleness Designs

Despite my intentions to make all the rustic buildings I need for my 6mm SYW setting, I have recently been tempted to drop down a scale for them. I think there’s a sliding scale for the aesthetics of matching buildings to figure size – and it relates to the size of the conflict being represented.

For skirmish games you need a good match, as the individual figures will generally interact closely with the buildings, sometimes even being placed inside them. For a big battle, the main problem with matching scale buildings is the footprint. You end up saying ‘this cottage represents the whole village’, etc, which is fine, but coupled with the towering height of the building over the supposedly substantial troop formations, this can jar a bit.

Others have taken the approach of going to the next ‘wargaming scale’ down for their buildings, and I’ve always been interested in this approach. Goat Major is putting 1/300 buildings with his 10mm DBN Napoleonics, and I’ve liked what the Baccus guys have done in the past with their miniature big battle show games, using 2mm buildings.

So, when I saw an advert for the new 3mm MDF buildings from Supreme Littleness Designs I decided they might just work with my Heroics & Ros armies, as these figures are a bit smaller than the more modern approach to ‘6mm’. I ordered a few packs from their central Europe range and they arrived very quickly via their friendly and efficient service.

I put the first one together, a partially walled farm on a 40x40mm base. Everything popped out of the pre-cut MDF sprue very easily and then I set-to with the glue. What I hadn’t realised was that the buildings come not as ‘boxes’ to be assembled, but rather as a sort of swiss roll that needs to be built up layer by (vertical) layer. This was a bit tricky, but I was probably just being inept. Adding the long side fascias helped align them better, but I didn’t manage to get them 100% right. Still, rural buildings don’t always adhere to straight lines do they?

First one assembled:

With a battalion of Prussians:

Painted (I added some timbers with the brush), with a bit of texture on the base:

 

I have more village and farm buildings to do, plus a church and a manor house. Most are about £2, which is very good value.

All in all I really like these models. They’re fun to put together and very easy to paint. Some climbers on walls, the odd tree drilled into the base, and some tactical dry-brushing, and they fit in well with my terrain and other scenery. In terms of size, I don’t think they look too small compared to the figures, although I won’t be sure until I’ve done enough to create a settlement from several bases. I also like the 40x40mm basing approach, which makes them modular and easy to place, and move when more space in a game grid square is required.

I’ll aim to get more done over the Christmas period and post again when I finish them.

Merry Christmas to everyone who’s visited this blog in 2016, your interest and encouraging comments are much appreciated. Have a good one.

A Small Big Bridge

Although I made my riverbank terrain sections some time ago, and have bridges for 15mm and 28mmm, I have only just gotten around to making a bridge to get across it for 6mm games. I do have a couple of pontoon bridges, but nothing fixed and proper, as many a good scenario demands.

So, yesterday I did a quick bit of measuring and quickly started marking out and cutting some card. I was after a useful generic stone bridge that would serve for all my 6mm gaming from the mid-17th century up to the present day (should I ever dabble again with Moderns, or even WW2). I would normally have gone for something a bit narrower, but my recent SYW efforts in this scale have generated figure bases 24mm wide, so I decided the new bridge would have to be wide enough for these.

With about 90-100mm of river to span, I decided on a flat roadbed rather than anything fancy, largely due to my modelling limitations. A few arches would add some visual appeal and, although curves are never easy with a knife and card, it went OK. I could also mask the dodgy cutting with some arch stones made from thick paper.

I made the structure first and then added the road layer (a thin piece of card) after.

 

Everything was black undercoated first and the stone got a couple of shades of grey, plus some light weathering with a pale buff shade. I textured the road with sand and painted it to match my terrain.

The finished bridge:

I may return to this model later to add a removable customs house/arch at one end, which I think would be a nice touch.

Here it is being made use of, by Austria’s finest (not my usual river board but it’ll serve):

 

Now, back to those Heroics & Ros!

6mm Camps and Buildings

A tabletop battlefield can sometimes look better with a bit of relevant clutter on it (especially if kept conveniently out of the way of the action). To that end I’ve been working on some 6mm camp bases that I can use in a number of periods, from Renaissance to the 19th century.

I’m mixing some Baccus metal tents, including their nice command tents, with some simple scratchbuilt ones I made a while ago but am just in the process of re-painting.

Here’s the first batch, Baccus in the background, my own in front. Mine are a bit bigger, but I think they look OK together on the table. They’re just intended to give a sense of the big army camps anyway. To be honest, I think a Baccus miniature would have to remove his over-sized headgear, and possibly even his head, to actually fit inside the smaller tents! 😉

 

And here’s everything finished:

 

I have some ideas for how these camps may play a part in certain types of scenario. I’m thinking of things like the night (or even the morning) before some battles in history, like Blenheim for example, where the scouting out of the enemy’s camp formed part of the attacking general’s battle plan.

There may be some scope to have a the defending player set out his camp as a pre-game indication of his army’s dispositions, from which he will have to deploy on the day of battle. Having 2 styles of tent rows, in addition to the command tent bases, will allow for distinction between infantry and cavalry formations. One to try out sometime, perhaps with the SYW project when it hits the table.

I’ve also managed to paint (well, dry-brush really) a couple of Timecast buildings. Here are a rustic railway station and a generic wooden barn (I think it’s from their WW2 Russian range so I tried to cover the drain pipes with foliage to make it less period-specific!)

A Slow February

The dearth of posts this month hints at my lack of project and gaming progress. It’s not all been a washout, but some time away, being busy at work, and a nasty cold have all taken their toll on hobby time and energy.

I have achieved a few things;

  • A bit of a games room sort out, to create more storage space. Coupled with the loft being boarded out and a proper ladder being installed at the end of the month, this will give me a big boost in the flexibility I’ve got to store bulkier items like terrain, 28mm scenery and modelling materials. The trick will be to not overdo things and just fill up the new capacity!
  • Based and painted some old Irregular Miniatures 1/300 trees in small groups, just to get them off the lead pile.

 

  • Mostly painted a 1/300 Russian church – I’ll post a pic when it’s finished.
  • Made a couple of additional internal river corners from 12mm styrofoam (high density polystyrene) board, and I’ll make a couple more outer corners soon too. This will allow me to have a more meandering river, or a lake with a big island in it, etc. Here are the new with the old (which are made from marine ply) – no difference other than 2 of them being lighter and more fragile:

 

  • Made a 1 foot square terrain board for Frostgrave, again from styrofoam. This was a test piece, inspired by Goat Major’s excellent desert city terrain. I just used a biro to etch the paving slabs and cracks. This board, and the 3 others I’ll do to make a square area, can be used with my existing winter terrain boards to give me a decent base for setting Frostgrave (and other) games.

 

 

 

  • Done some thinking and prep for a few small campaign ideas. Some of this is around simple rules to link games for a variety of periods – I’m on at least version 3 but I’m getting there! I’ve also been doing some storyline work on my Medetian Wars setting for Sharp Practice, although I’m holding off a little until the 2nd edition of the rules come out as I’d like to check them over and incorporate any important or interesting changes they bring.
  • Re-visited my collection of 1/3000 sailing ships with a view to getting more of them painted and onto the table at some point. These are Napoleonic ships, but I think the wars of the mid-18th century appeal a bit more. No chequerboard paint jobs (impossible at that scale anyway!), less British dominance/superiority, plenty of campaigns, battles and settings, the C&C challenge of maintaining a line, etc. I’m looking for fleet battles, not frigate actions, so some simple rules will be needed too. A slow-burn project, but one I’ll come back to for sure.
Now, if I could just get some figure painting done too..

A Small Forest

I’m not exactly short of trees for my 6mm games, but the occasional foray onto a 6×4 foot table has left my thinking that a few more wouldn’t go amiss. I needed to borrow a few last time just to be sure – clearly not a long term solution.

Step forward Amphibmods and their eBay shop. 32 trees, each 50-60mm tall and coming with a nicely sculpted base, and only costing about 50p each.

Naturally I needed to give the shiny brown plastic bases the Medetian touch so that they blend into the terrain boards nicely. Not too much work, and voila! A small forest to help with those big battles.

 

 

Everything’s come out a bit pinky due to the light outside at the time of day the pics were taken!

Beef

Bought a few years ago, based and undercoated over a year ago – I’ve finally painted this very small herd of cattle. They’re 28mm (from Redoubt possibly?) and will serve as generic scenery in some games and specific loot-type objectives in others.

I took the lazy route and went with an easy colour scheme!
Not much more to say really 🙂

Cows (in skirmish order):

 

 

Simple buildings for the islands

Now I’m back from my hols, I thought I’d follow up the last post with the other naval game scenery I finished in August:

As you can guess, they’re Monopoly buildings. I picked up a cheap set without chimneys from ebay and have decided on basic clusters of 3 houses for settlements and 2 hotels for industrial or military (ie. when placed next to an airfield or harbour) centres.

A quick paint job and I’ve got 4 town and 3 industrial bases, with enough to do the same again if I decide I need them.

I just need a handful of very simple trees now!

Insulation Foam Walls Test

I have plans to make some simple ruins for the Frostgrave fantasy game setting, and for other 28mm gaming purposes. I will mix and match between bought stuff (mainly MDF) and scratchbuilt. For the latter I’ve decided to try XPS insulation foam board, so I ordered some sheets in 6mm and 10mm thicknesses to have a go with.

So far I’ve only managed a few minutes with this material – which involved snapping off a small piece from the 6mm sheet and etching some stonework on one side with a biro. This was much easier and quicker than I expected and I slapped on some undercoat and a couple of grey drybrushes to see what it would look like painted.

I’m happy enough with the results and look forward to trying some proper pieces, L-shapes, etc, with the 10mm material.

Before:

After:

I don’t have particularly grand architectural plans, I just want some wall ruins, with some window and door openings and a few partial upstairs floors to get a bit of height on the table. I think I need a quiet Sunday to really get going on this, but that may be a while away as things stand.

The ease with which this material can be carved has given me some other project ideas, so I may see if thinner sheets are available too.

New Boats from Partizan

In the limited browsing/shopping time I had at Partizan I did manage to pick up a few bits and pieces, including some ready-based S&A hedges and treasure chests from Fenris.

I also added to my growing collection of 28mm boats, with a couple from Empress Miniatures and one from Coritani. Both types are excellent – a bit bigger than the ones I’ve got, and good value too (Empress £10 and Coritani £8). Everything is resin except for the Coritani mast, which is wooden.

I’ve now got them painted up, which was a simple job and done to match my other related stuff. The two from Empress are very suitable as ship’s boats or launches, and the Coritani one comes with a mast and some stowage.

The seats come out of the bigger boats, to allow more figures/cargo, etc, to fit in. Very handy. I’ve also left the mast and stowage loose for the other boat so that I can use them in different ways.

 

I’m very happy with them, they’re handy additions for river and coast-based skirmishes, and suitable for a wide spread of periods.

A Change of Scene(ry)

One thing I’m going to be needing in the future for my colonial Sharp Practice setting is some jungle. Fortunately I have an old, stalled, project to produce some jungle scenery so I’ve got something of a head start. Unfortunately, there’s still a lot of work to do.

I’ll be making about 50 bases worth, containing a mix of plastic fish tank foliage and Games Workshop jungle trees. The former are on the bases already and the latter are assembled (although foolishly I didn’t paint them on the sprues first and it’ll take a lot longer this way!).
To get started, and provide myself with a bit of inspiration, I’ve finished a couple of samples and I think they look OK. Some will have rocks/boulders on them as well but this first pair just have the trees.
With a 28mm figure for scale:
Clumps of these bases should provide a decent jungle effect, and I can use taller normal trees behind them to add some height to the canopy. I’m a fan of multi-purpose hobby stuff, so these are nice and generic and might get some use in other scales and periods too, eg:
Only another 48 to go….