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Thursday, 24 May 2012

Making Rivers

Making Rivers

Making rivers is an easy guide to follow. Rivers make up an important feature on a wargames tables, they represent natural barriers that must either be crossed or avoided and can become strategically important locations, perhaps capturing a bridge, or blowing a bridge up to slow an advance of enemy forces, or forming a bridgehead with pontoon bridges etc. 

Rivers can be easily made with the following materials hardboard or MDF using various fillers, carpet tiles, brown acrylic mastic. And of course it's not only rivers that can be made with these materials, canals, stagnant swamps, waterfalls, ponds.

Making A River With Hardboard And Polycell Fillers (Large)

1. Start by cutting your hardboard to the size you require. I wanted a very large river to represent the Bug River that marked part of the border between German and Soviet occupied Poland. So my hardboard was cut to 12" x 12".

2. I then cut thin slivers of foam board to allow me to make the riverbanks. I then glued the foam board to the edges of the board with PVA glue.

3. Once the foam board was firmly glued on to the board I then proceeded to cover the river bed with Polycell Filler making sure that the Polycell Filler was of a sloppy consistency more like paint than actual filler. 

4. The next stage was to texture the edges with Polycell Textured Ceilings Course Effect. 

5. Once the Polycell Textured Ceilings Course Effect and the Polycell Filler had completely dried I then used small pieces of doormat and stuck these using a glue gun to the riverbanks to simulate reads etc. 

Making Rivers Picture 1

Making Rivers Picture 2

Making Rivers Picture 3

Making Rivers Picture 4

Making Rivers Picture 5

Making Rivers Picture 6

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Making Rivers Picture 8

Making Rivers Picture 9

Making Rivers Picture 10

6. I then painted the entire board in Humbrol No. 110 Natural Wood including the riverbed. 

7. I then heavily dry brushed the riverbed with Humbrol No. 25 Blue followed by a lighter dry bush with Humbrol No. 80 Grass Green.

8. The next step is to varnish the riverbed with normal household varnish I put a couple of coats on mine. 

9. The next step is to varnish your river bank using Ronseal Diamond Hard Varnish, matt clear once this is dry you can then add Noch Summer Meadow Grass.

Making Rivers Picture 11

Making Rivers Picture 12

Making Rivers Picture 13

Making Rivers Picture 14

Making A River With Hardboard And Polycell Fillers (Small)

Making Rivers (small) Picture 1

Making Rivers (small) Picture 2

Making Rivers (small) Picture 3

Making Rivers (small) Picture 4

Making A River With Vinyl Floor Tiles

Making A River With Vinyl Floor Tiles

Go to your local DIY store, B&Q, Homebase, and look for blue vinyl floor tiles cut them to your desired shape and length carefully texture the edges paint and flock you then have a quick and simple river.

Making A River With Brown Acrylic Mastic

1. First of all you need some backing material I used an old bedsheet cut into 12 inch lengths by 4 inches. 

2. Secondly you need brown acrylic mastic which can be bought from any DIY store, B&Q, Homebase, etc that you have to be really careful here and make sure you get the right one it must say paintable.

3. You are now ready to apply your mastic to your backing, put a thin layer on your backing and carefully smoothed it out once you have done this you then need to make your river banks, you do this by putting more mastic on the edges and carefully building it up until you are happy.

4. Allow the mastic to settle down for half an hour or so before you attempt to add any details.

5. Once the mastic has fully dried I then paint it all with Humbrol No. 110 Natural Wood including the riverbed once dry. I then dry brushed the riverbank with Humbrol No. 103 Cream and heavily dry brush the riverbed with Humbrol No. 25 Blue followed by a lighter dry bush with Humbrol No. 80 Grass Green. 

9. The next step is to add Noch Summer Meadow Grass. 

Tools

Pencil
Tape measure
Wood saw
Rasp
Paintbrushes
Craft knife
Scissors 
Ruler 
Glue gun

Materials

Hardboard
Polycell Textured Ceilings Course Effect
Ronseal Diamond Hard Varnish, matt clear
Noch Summer Meadow Grass
Vinyl Floor Tiles
Bedsheet
Brown Acrylic Mastic 

Humbrol Colours

Humbrol No. 110 Natural Wood
Humbrol No. 103 Cream
Humbrol No. 25 Blue
Humbrol No. 80 Grass Green

Sunday, 20 May 2012

The Battle of Big Bethel

The Battle of Big Bethel

The Battle of Big Bethel, also known as the Battle of Bethel Church or Great Bethel was one of the earliest land battles of the American Civil War on 10 June 1861. Union, under Brigadier-General Ebenezer W. Peirce, 8,000. Killed, 16, wounded, 34, missing 6. Confederate, under Major-General John B. Magruder, 2,200. Killed, wounded, and missing, uncertain numbers variously reported at from 8 to 150.

This engagement, the first in the field, took place on the 10th of June 1861. Big Bethel is about ten miles north of Newport News, on the road from Hampton to Yorktown. A body of rebel troops stationed at Little Bethel, eight miles from Newfort News liad caused much annoyance to the Union forces under the command of General Butler. On the night of 9th June 1861, an expedition of 3,000 men, under Brigadier-General Pierce, was sent out from Fortress Monroe to dislodge them. He had dispatched several regiments to surprise the enemy at Little Bethel. This movement was in part successful, and the expedition proceeded on their march. One of those untoward accidents now occurred which sometimes turn the chances of victory into a defeat, and arouse instead of alarm an enemy. Colonel Bendix mistaking, in the darkness which surrounded them, the advance of Colonel Townsend's command for the enemy's, opened upon it a heavy fire of artillery and musketry, which was quickly returned. This fatal mistake resulted not only in the killing and wounding of several Union soldiers, but in arousing the whole rebel camp. The enemy, retiring from Little Bethel, joined their main force, consisting of over 2,000 men, which was strongly intrenched at Great Bethel. Without a knowledge of the strength of the latter, and without reconnoitring their position, it was decided to attack them in their stronghold. An advance was made in the morning at ten o'clock. Masked batteries swept the road all along the line of march. Lieutenant Greble was ordered up, with his three pieces of artillery, directly in front of the enemy's works. Unsupported except by his gunners, this gallant young officer was exposed to their destructive fire. But bravery alone can not repair the errors of incompetency, and he sealed with his devoted life his patriotism and daring love of his profession. Lieutenant Greble's men falling around him, and he himself struck down by a cannon ball, his guns were withdrawn from their position. The infantry columns made gallant but futile attempts, by different approaches, to storm the works. These defenses were protected in front by a deep stream and a marsh, and at other points by a ditch. Colonel Blenker's regiment and the Zouaves charged up to them repeatedly, in the face of the batteries. These brave men were gradually flanking the position when, it is said, the order to retreat was given. Among the killed in this battle was Major Theodore Winthrop, an accomplished volunteer officer, who in times of peace adorned the profession of the pen, as, in war, he honored that of the sword. 

Orders of Battle

Confederate Commander-in-chief 

1st Brigade, under the command of 

2nd Brigade, under the command of


Union Commander-in-chief 

1st Brigade, under the command of 

2nd Brigade, under the command of 

Download This Scenario

The Battle of Big Bethel

How it Played

Sources