After having posted last month about considering buying some pre-made, painted model railway terrain from Hornby, I have been doing some research about their suitability for Eastern Front wargaming. I wanted to try to see if those kinds of stone walls/stone fences are found in the region…or were found in the region at the time.

I employed Google’s image search and tried a number of different search terms in a number of different combinations. I used English words, which I knew would severely restrict the numbers of results I found even before . I did find two photos – one here and one here – but they are both from a museum of Ukrainian folk architecture. Nothing else that I was satisfied with. I had tried a number of different country names – Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Poland and Germany – so I felt I’d been fair.

Once I changed the location search term to to “Britain”, up popped many photos, so stone fences seem to be fairly commonplace in England, Scotland and Ireland but not so much in Eastern Europe.
I won’t buy these stone fences now – I’d rather buy and paint up another set of wooden fences (which you see in some of my AAR/game report photos).

Still, it was worth doing the research.

 

I’ve been working on some IG-18 field guns whilst tackling the caulk rivers (the caulk rivers are coming along slowly because they require at least two uninterrupted hours of time each session to get anything substantial done…on weeknights I’m lucky to get an hour for modelling (with or without interruptions), so smaller or quicker things get done while bigger ones drag on and have to wait for their turn on weekends).

All of a sudden the crews of these guns were elevated from their long-standing unpainted status here to being complete on Monday night. The guns themselves required little effort – two coats of homemade Dark Grey, some drybrushing with Codex Grey (fading paint) and then weathering with Kommando Khaki (dust coat).

I hit a snag with the gun aiming periscope, which I wanted to paint blue glass lenses on. The lens sticking up over the shield waseasily identified, but not the other one (which the aimer would peer in to). The model had a couple of projecting tubes or knobs which could have been the aimer’s sight – and I had no assembly instructions or painting instructions for these kits to fall back on. Google Images to the rescue! I did a simple search, ‘ig18 sighting’ (minus the single quotation marks) to get 100 resultsResult number 9 was perfect. Figure 79 had exactly what I wanted…the eyepiece. I was able to put Skull White and then Regal Blue onto the correct part.

(Result number 9 comes from a website mentioned here a number of times before – Lone Sentry! I refer to it in earlier posts when discussing the theory and practice of vehicle camouflage).

All that remains for these IG-18s is a final light second dust coat, then the figures can be glued onto the bases (I’ve already glued these guns onto bases). The bases then get two Kayak Brown undercoats, flock glued on and finally a coat of Dullcote to protect them and give them a long playing life.

My sticking of talus onto the river sections immediately after applying and shaping the caulk on them hasn’t turned out well. The caulk didn’t latch on to the talus at all well, so many pieces have fallen off. The modelling grass did better, but I still wasted plenty as a good portion fell off. The lesson for the talus is to glue it on after all the undercoating is done, then do the flock representing grass as a stage after that. The lesson for the modelling grass is – more experimentation and practice is needed in order that more adheres and doesn’t get wasted. I may actually squeeze caulk into my fingers, knead one end of the modelling grass into aball of caulk, then place and shape the caulk ball with its grass sticking out into a bed of already-laid caulk.