Sunday, 5 April 2015

Easter Project

Having cleared most of the lead pile, I needed an Easter project, so I turned to the old stand by - terrain. I need several gun positions for a Russo-Japanese War game that will be played later in the year.

Each model had to be large enough to take one gun model and crew which, when based, measures 40mm wide and 90mm long. So the model would be 105mm deep and 80mm wide. The forward edge would be angled back. The model would be open backed. The height of the walls would be 20mm.

The first thing was to make the basic form, which was pretty quick to build - just cardboard roughly cut and glued with PVA. This could be quite rough at this point.

The basic cardboard form.

Next was to construct the interior, which would have been constructed from whatever materials that were availble. I chose to use logs and timber. I gathered some twigs from the garden, roughly broke them to the right length and glued them into position, before gluing a few matchsticks in front of them vertically as though holding the logs in position. For the rest of the retaining timber I used matchsticks broken roughly and layed in a mix of vertical and horizontal. Finally on the base of the model I glued a track of matchsticks as a bed of timber on which the gun will stand.

The basic form with the retaining timber in place.

When all of the glue is set, I cut a piece of polystyrene about 150mm square. Roughly centred on the back edge, I cut the shape of the emplacement from the polystyrene and glued the emplacement into its final location, trimming the polystyrene to the apptoximate final outline.

The polystyrene cut to shape and the emplecement glued in place.

Once the glue is set, the polystyrene is roughly shaped.

The roughly shaped polystyrene

The next step is to tidy up the joint between the rough cut cardboard form and the rough cut polystyrene. First is to glue a few more broken matchsticks along the joint, as though they have been hurredly thrown aside. Then, using an epoxy putty, I constructed sandbags across most of the top edge of the retaining timber. I also put some sandbags at the open ends of the emplacement.

The sandbags in position

When the putty is dry, I coated the polystyrene with PVA, scattered a coarse builder's sand over it and left it to dry.

The whole piece with sand glued in place

Once dry the whole model is painted with a black undercoat. Then the whole model is painted with various tones of brown. Then a few finishing touches - some grass flock, a broken wheel and a bit of Woodlands Scenics foliage - the model is complete.


  1. Fantastic bit of kit Mark.
    I am work on a village for the RJW at the moment, should have a few pics up in the coming weeks.
    Roll on the release of the cavalry.

    1. Thanks Stu. I really enjoyed making this. I have one more half made along with a command post that will become a part of a fortified ridge. All going well I will cut the polystyrene for this tomorrow. I agree about the cavalry - I want at least three regiments, both mounted and dismounted. The problem is that we have a major holiday coming up and cash is short!

    2. I know what you mean - 3 Regiments would be expensive - Good job its taken this long to get them into production.

      Best wishes.