Saturday, May 22, 2010

May Madness

Well it has been a month or two but we have actually achieved some forward momentum.

I finally completed undercoating the buildings and Matt has started with the base layer of colour as you can see from the pictures. We are now working on the mechanics of creating the rise of the ground within the walls of the farm, as the Chateau was on higher ground than the south gate, Three failed attempts and we have decided on mdf 6mm board cut to shape to give the centre of the farm the elevation needed.

A trip to Auckland last week allowed me to stock up on a lot of nice terrain, thank you Wayne for your patience as we trapesed all over town from hobby shop to hobby shop to top up on Silfor and a whole lot of Noch bits and pieces that will make the formal gardens look the part as well as the forests to the front of the farm.

I finished a basic light box for photographing the units as they are completed and have just purchased the lights and tripod so will have a day of photography to start getting the units up on the blog in the not too distant future.

The first effort of photography without lights and the camera flash proved to be a bit disappointing but the next photo's will be much clearer with the new lights and tripod to keep the camera from shaking. If you cant tell what it is it is my first French Limber team being the Old Guard Foot Artillery carrying a 12pdr into action.

Next step is to finish painting Hougoumont and to get it based onto the new board.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Well the first weekend we got together proved to be more on planning and scale than actual work but we agreed that the centrepiece was going to be Hougoumont. Having acquired the hovels complete Hougouagged it out and commenced the cleanup of all of the buildings. Matt on the dremel and me with the soapy water to clean the release agent from the resin which is left by the moulds.

The next step was to determine the scale and dimensions of the battlefield. Having a 18m x 10m shed helps but the maths of scaling the distance if in absolutely correct scale would make the length of the battlefield around 48m long and about 20m wide. This wasnt practical so we have settled on 14.4m long and 6m wide. so that equates to 8 tables long and 5 tables wide. Each table is 1.8m x 1.2m which in old terms is 6ft x 4ft. Each table will have three 4ft x 2ft terrain tiles two long ways next to each other and one long ways on the end to make a perfect rectangle.
With that in mind the initial Hougoumont terrain tile needed to be two 4ft x 2ft tiles joined together to make a 1.2m x 1.2m square. We are using high density insulation foam as the basis for the terrain tiles backed by 6mm MDF. A note to the uninitiated in buying timber mdf boards precut to 1200mm x 600mm although they state that they are this size the normal is 650 x 1250 so the circular saw and straight edge come in handy. Measure twice cut once has worked to date. So with that in mind we are on our journey which will continue on the weekend.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Dream Becomes Reality

This blog has been set up for the purpose of following the progress of the recreation in 28mm of the battlefield of Waterloo for the 200th Anniversary in 2015. This blog will follow the construction of the tables and the painting progress of many of the 28mm miniatures that will be gracing the tabletop.

Although both Matt and Colin live in Australia and the Battle of Waterloo occurred 200 years ago in another continent, we were both as children enamored as we read about arguably the most famous battle in history. We are still captivated by the imagery of the art, uniforms and actual accounts in books. Our goal is to deliver a worthy monument to this battle in the coming few years or so.

Colin has always had a fascination for the period and battle and has been collecting and painting the entire orbats for the Allied army and the French for the last 15 years, a very large part has been purchased and added to the lead mountain. The Figure ranges include Front Rank, Calpe and Perry miniatures. Colin's book collection on Waterloo and to a lesser degree the Napoleonic wars is something to behold and he has bought nearly every available book on his favourite battle "La Belle Alliance" , "Mt St Jean" or "Waterloo" depending on your viewpoint.

For Matt, he has had a fascination for the Napoleonic period since he was ten years old, he personally prefers the Glory years of the French army 1805 – 09 and all of his 28mm armies reflect this. Matt has been wargaming for 30 odd years now and he still hasn't finished collecting what he needs (or wants) for many periods.

When Colin asked me to help, I was excited by the concept and honored when he asked me to help his dream become a reality. So with a spare day on the weekends now and again, some good port and lots of hard work we should have a piece of art worthy of a monument to Napoleon's last Hurrah!

The question of scale has been raised a number of times in the preparation and planning, as we both use 1 to 20 figure scales we needed a large table, quick calculations in exact scale put it at about 40m long and as this wouldnt work we have scaled down the area to around 14m long and 6m wide which will fit into the shed Colin is modifying to become the the games room.
The goal is to have from the staging area behind Wellingtons position to La Belle Alliance on Napoleons ridge and past Hougoumont on the flank and to the woods from which Bluchers' Prussians emerged.

The table is intended to reflect the battlefield down to the elevation, buildings, hedges, trees, roads, paths and the problematic crop fields; Matt has punched all this into a AutoCAD program which will help us build as close as we can a scale plan that will then be transferred onto the tiles that make up each table.

For those who are on the various wargaming forums around you will possibly know us from our handles "Brushmonkey" (Colin) and "Bluewillow" (Matt). We will be moderating the Blog and adding details, pictures and thoughts as we go.

Matt and Colin