I’m pleased to report that once again, prep work for my 10mm ACW demo game of the Battle of Murfreesboro or Stones River is progressing well and the twelve terrain boards are now almost complete. In my last progress report I’d assembled the terrain and it was awaiting painting.
Above: I’ve now painted and dry-brushed the boards and have added the base flock for the woodland areas. These areas were painted with PVA glue and then had Woodland Scenics ‘Undergrowth’ in olive green scattered over it, along with odd scraps of Woodland Scenics ‘Foliage Clusters’ in various shades of green. This was then covered with Woodland Scenics fine-grade flock in ‘Earth Mix’, to resemble wintry woodland floor covered in dead leaves.
When the game is set up, these woodland areas will then be covered in bare winter trees, with the occasional dark green cedar tree. I still need to stick needles into the trunks of over 100 Woodland Scenics tree armatures. Once done, the trees can then be stabbed into the polystyrene terrain boards without damaging them, which looks a lot better than based trees.
The undergrowth might prove to be a complete pain in the arse when manoeuvring troops through the woodland, so the players will have my standing permission to rip it off the board and move it aside, so the figure-bases sit flat on the board! 🙂
Above: The railway is second-hand ‘N’ Gauge flexible model railway track, which I got from an online shop selling second-hand model railway stuff for next to nothing. The chap very kindly cut it into 12-inch lengths for me, to make it easier and cheaper to post. It was originally very shiny metal with black plastic sleepers. In reality, rails and sleepers are always covered in rust and iron ‘brake-dust’, so I painted them with brick-red enamel. When the paint was dry I gave the rail-head a quick polish with fine sandpaper.
The track-bed was first painted with a thick later of PVA and the track was then pressed down into it, before being sprinkled liberally with Woodland Scenics’ brown ‘Railway Ballast’. I then finished it off with a few weeds, using more olive green ‘Undergrowth’.
The rivers were painted with Ronseal interior gloss acrylic varnish in ‘walnut’. In all I did about six or seven coats, but it probably only needed three! Once I’ve added all the grassland flock, I’ll add bushes and weeds along the riverbanks.
Above: The earth colour actually looks a lot lighter in the photographs than it does in real life! I used an interior emulsion colour from B&Q called ‘Caracas’, which is basically beige. Then I dry-brushed it with Sandtex ‘Oatmeal’. Happily, it goes quite well with the colour of the grit I used for the breastworks.
For the railway level crossings I used matchsticks for the planking, which were then painted dark brown, along with the matchsticks on the breastworks. I then used more PVA and ‘ballast’ to build up the road-ramps on each side of the crossings and the roadway was then painted and dry-brushed to match the surrounding terrain. I’m going to tone the pale colour down a bit with more rust, plus some black where trains would have dropped oil and soot when passing.
Above: The ‘Slaughter Pen’ looks pretty good now it’s starting to merge into the scenery. I’m going to add some bushes and flock, especially where it meets the road.
Above: Lastly, I’ve done some more Union troops. I thought that these were the last, but it seems I’d miscounted and I still need to do another dozen or so bases! 🙁 The sharp-eyed will notice the green flag of one of the Irish Brigade regiments; I’m still largely using the order of battle for Gettysburg as my painting ‘To Do’ list and I’ve been churning my way through the II, III & XII Corps for that battle, so this is actually Caldwell’s Division of II Corps, plus the III Corps Artillery Brigade. I won’t be using the Irish Brigade flag for Murfreesboro, as they weren’t present at that battle.
Back to the flocking…