Posts Tagged ‘Normandy’

Very quick update of the progress so far. All my attention has been on completing the roof

and internal roof space. The 1/48 scale Citroen parked outside is just a guide for scale.

Next up is prepping the ground floor for some interior design work and painting.

A much needed update on my chateau project. Things have finally started moving again as I have cleared by back log of painting during the covid 19 lock down.


As you can see, I have been working on the ground and second floor and have just started on the third floor and attic space. It still looks a bit Heath Robinson at this stage but once I get some paint on it will come on really quickly. One thing that has surprised me is the sheer scale of it as it comes together. I wanted a scratch-built Chateau as nothing on the ready built market ticked the box in size or detail, even so this going to be a beast.


Things that have slowed me down are the planning of how everything will fit together and allowing access to all rooms and spaces for figures. Its difficult making whole floors that can be separated for game play and structurally solid at the same time, especially in foam card.


Interior design will include marble floors using marble effect sheet, wooden flooring using model boat planks and dolls house wall paper for a lot of the rooms. Fire places have been scratch built and I intend to fill out every room but in a moth ball type state if that makes sense. So white sheets over chairs etc etc.
Big thankyou to my laser cutting friend who was responsible for turning my very basic diagrams into some fantastic looking windows and doors.


Next challenge will be the roof which is a Mansard and the dormer windows protruding from it. The roof will most likely be the most complicated part of the building and I think it will test my limited building ability to the max. Wish me luck.

Been busy at home during this corona virus lock down

adding bits and pieces . This is a simple large, fallen

oak tree made from wire wrapped in woodland scenic flex

paste. The canopy is made from a floor cleaning pad that

was ripped up and the roots are a combination of sponge, real

dirt and rubberised horse hair. Basically anything spare lying

about was included in the build.

Just a small update of progress being made during these strange and worrying times.

The picture is of a mock up for the front entrance of the chateau before I start

gluing things in place. I have an excellent contact who is able to make most

things from laser cut mdf and he is responsible for the brilliant doors and windows.

I now have a large ready made supply of doors and windows for the project so things

should start to get a move on shortly.

After the success of my foam card French house project in 2019 I have

decided to be a bit more adventurous and go the whole hog and build

a chateau. I love individually built terrain as it brings something

unique to the table top, that combined with a desire for centre piece

for the table fits perfectly with the idea of building a chateau.

On top of this a lack of ready made buildings is driving me on and

the strange discovery of a beautiful abandoned chateau online has

aroused by creative curiosity.

I discovered the beautiful abandoned chateau online while searching

for images. It turns out there is unique bunch of urban explorers who

specialise in discovering and photographing derelict and abandoned properties.

The details of many of the places are kept secret as once a location is

known it often becomes vandalised. Luckily with a bit of research I was able

to locate the said chateau on google maps helping me get a better idea of

the layout. Sorry the chateau location stays a secret and my chateau name

is fictional.

So progress so far is slow, but its a start and I’m finding the scale

and complexity challenging for my basic ability.

I have measured the whole thing out and drawn a master diagram. I have

also started cutting out the ground floor walls. On top of this I have

started on some of the internal room features such as fire places etc.

I am presenting working on the internals wall and will post up pics

shortly.

Chateau diagram

I’ve been wanting one of these for my Bolt Action table and finally somebody

has decided to make one . A company called,”paintandglue

have made a 3d printed version which is ok but low on detail. Saying that I’m not complaining its

better than nothing by a long way.

The Challenger A30 was developed because of a need to have a tank that could mount a 17pdr gun

and take on the German armour. Unfortunately its slow development and cost(it was much easier and cheaper to

build a Sherman Firefly housing the same gun) made it almost obsolete by D-Day.

Even so a limited number(less than 200)reached the battlefield serving with the Guards Armoured Division and

11th Armoured Division in Normandy. The vehicle was unpopular with crew because of its large turret,

lack of armour and faulty suspension, but it was able to take on any German armour on the

battlefield.

My A30 is a an 11th Armoured vehicle with the 2nd Northamptonshire Yeomanry used in the reconnaissance roll.

The rifle section was the core building block of the British army organization of WW2 and was the chief instrument in Normandy in closing with the enemy and destroying him.
In 1944 the British rifle section consisted of ten men. The section was commanded by a Corporal who would normally divide his team into six riflemen, which he led and a bren gun team of two with a Lance corporal commanding (so two groups of 7 and 3 men).

The standard infantry man was equipped with a Lee Enfield number 4 .303 rifle and could fire at targets up to 550yds away. This bolt action rifle was reliable and accurate.

The section leader carried a 9mm Sten gun which even though was an inaccurate and somewhat unreliable weapon was favoured for its effectiveness in close quarter battles, especially as it was able to fire 500 rounds a minute.
Each section was issued one Bren gun and the two-man team that operated it was known as the “gun group”. The team consisted of a No1 who carried and operated the Bren and a No 2 who loaded and spotted targets. The No2 also carried spare ammunition and barrels. Additional ammunition for the Bren was also carried my all members of the rifle section. The Bren usefully also fired 303 rounds and had an effective range of 600 yards. It fired 500 rounds a minute

Individual riflemen were also equipped with grenades, the No 36 grenade and White Phosphorous grenade (Phosphorous grenades were used to produce smoke).

In combat the section centred on the Bren gun with its considerable flexibility and reliability. As the 1937 training manual,” Application of Fire” stated the lmg was main fire producing weapon and led to tactics revolving around this weapon.

In attack the British section would split into two. The Bren gun team of 3 men would move to the flank and provide suppressing fire on the target while the other group of riflemen(team of 7) would close with the enemy. Ideally the Bren gun would get to 90 degrees of the target allowing a cross fire between the two groups.
The rifle team would close with the enemy using grenades and bayonets to finish the job off.

This was my first real adventure of using foam card to scratch build a bit terrain
and I think it went really well.

Ok, so why scratch build your own terrain ? Your fed up with the lack commercially available
terrain on the market and you want something different, a piece of terrain that will stand out
on the gaming board as something special. Plus you get the satisfaction of doing it yourself.

I choose foam board as its the cheapest(its cheap if you buy in bulk) and easiest material to work
with. I used Kapa lined foam board as it has a simple outer layer than can be peeled off and then
sculpted. A word of warning, there are lots of companies that sell foam board but I have yet to
find any that easily peels off the outer surface, thus making it useless.

The sections of the house were easy to cut with a very sharp knife and glue together using simple
pva glue. The stone texture was created by stripping off the outer layer of the foam card and using
a pencil to gently mark the individual bricks.
I had the windows and doors made in bulk from laser cut mdf(£20 will get you 30 doors and 60 windows of various sizes),leaving me plenty spare for additional projects.
The outer wooden panelling is made from balsa wood strips, the lower barn type building roof is a scalecast mould
and the taller house roof is made from embossed sheets.
The chimney is also foam board and the chimney pots are 1/48 scale dolls house chimney pots.

Built from scratch and meant to fit into a Normandy WWII

terrain landscape..

I went for the disused ,overgrown and neglected look in

the end. I like the idea of it sitting in one corner of the farm

slowly rotting like the apples, awaiting better days.

Perhaps a pile of rotting apples next to it might be the next

bit of scratch built terrain ?

In an attempt to get started on my Bolt Action terrain

boards I am getting stuck into the fine detail. I wanted

something extra and typical in a Normandy farm yard,

thus the cider press.

Normandy is covered in apple orchards and is famous

for its drinks made from apple juice. These include,

Cidre(Cider) apple wine fermented from apple juice,

Calvados(apple brandy) distilled dry fermented cider

which is then aged in oak barrels, Pommeau(aperitif)

unfermented apple juice and apple brandy aged in oak

barrels and finally Benedictine(herbal liquer) a mixture

of plants and spices distilled in oak barrels.

All these were made on an industrial scale and more

importantly a very local scale. If you had century old

apple or even pear orchards on your land then all

you had to do was build a rustic apple press from

spare timber and let the happy times begin.

My simple press is meant to look as rustic as

possible and simply works by dropping apples

into the wooden barrel usually within a muslin

or cloth wrap. The long pole will be attached to

the top and would have been turned forcing a simple

wooden block board down squashing the apples. The

pomace(juice) runs out via a funnel/pipe at the bottom.

Obviously at the moment its not complete and requires

some legs and painting. If your wondering what the silver

bands  are around  the barrel,they are artist foil.

I will post up the finished product soon perhaps with a

scratch built apple run as well.

Oh I have also been making some Cidre bill boards to

advertise on the road side.

Below is a typical Normandy cidre press found

on every farm.