Saturday, August 13, 2016

Modern Paved Roads - Cheap and Easy

Thought I'd share this with you all.  As I continue to fill out my modern terrain, I am working through my paved roads this weekend.  I've seen all sorts of different approaches to paved roads over the years but there is one way to do it that I actually picked up in the 80's when playing WW2 with my Dad back in Nova Scotia.

Black shingles.  Yes, shingles you put on your roof.  One pack, which at the local hardware store here in California costs about $30, will give you enough paved roads for your table and likely one to two of your friends.  The black shingles I use are pictured below ...

Black Roofing Shingle
This is the underside, it is the perfect pavement colour.

Black Roofing Shingle
Top side, with the pebbled surface.

Now, why black roofing shingles?  Well, first off, they are black.  The "pebbled" side is **NOT** the side you want to use.  It is the underside of the shingle.  The tar and smoother (relatively speaking) side.  Some key benefits here:

  • The underside is the perfect pavement colour blend - so you don't have to paint it!
  • Shingles are flexible and just heavy enough to "settle" into mild variations in your tabletop.
  • Other than the pebbles, the core of the shingle is soft and easy to cut with an exacto knife.

A single shingle for me can yield 6 x 12" x 5" roads.  For 28mm I'm using 5" wide roads - plenty for me.  If you are using smaller scales then you are in luck, because you'll only be able to make even more roads out of a single pack - enough to start a business if you are playing 15mm, lol!

You'll notice on the bottom of the shingle there is a dark black line down the middle.  This is an important feature!  The outside edges of the shingles are not square, making measuring a challenge.  Fear not, that dark black line is the perfect straight edge.  I cut down either side of it - and the result is a perfectly straight edge - which one I have that, I can use a square and ruler to cut straight lines and right angles.  I highly recommend cutting all edges of your roads so they are straight and line up with each other well - getting lazy and using the rough edges will lead to alignment issues.

Picture below of the flexibility of the shingles ...

Black Roofing Shingles
Flexible and heavy enough to settle on the tabletop.

My roads will consist of 12" straight sections, a T junction, and a 4-way intersection.  The measurements I used are below ...

Alright, with my material selected and my measurements ready, I used some cardboard to create some stencils for the road markings.  Cardboard works for me - but of course you can use anything that is "stencil" worthy.  You can see the two stencils I created below.  This is the most difficult part of this entire project.  Once you have the stencil done though, you can reuse it for all your roads.

Road Marking Stencils
(Top View)

Road Marking Stencil
It is helpful if you build a lip that the road
can fit into so you don't have to muck around
with alignment before spraying.
(the yellow part is the lip under
my stencil that I fit the road
into before spraying)

I decided to do the markings rather generic.  I bought some white spray paint but you could of course use different colours.  I also decided to do the intersections with the cars driving on the left side of the road ... I'll also do intersections for the right side of the road as well - and - because of the way I marked the straights, they'll work for both types of intersections/junctions.  

A little bit of cutting and spraying later and I had a good start into my paved road project ...

Putting the sections together.

SUV from Spectre Miniatures for reference.

As you can see from the pictures above, they don't look too shabby!  The texture and colour of the underside of the shingle is perfect.

You don't need to be a modelling expert to pull this off.  Other than cutting out the stencils (which, if you want, some companies sell them for you), easy peesy lemon squeezy!  Now, back to making more roads.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Modern Scenario Figures

Wrapping up scenario figures for use in my Operation Iraqi Freedom games (but they also work for Operation Enduring Freedom).  A real mix of things here:  hostages, a middle eastern VIP with bodyguards, a western VIP with bodyguards, a news crew and embedded reporter, additional RPGs for my insurgent cells, and a sniper.

Painted By:  Steve Dake

(Spectre Miniatures)

Middle Eastern VIP w Bodyguards
(Spectre Miniatures)

News Crew/Embedded Reporter
(Mike Bravo Miniatures)

Insurgent RPGs
(Spectre Miniatures)

(Empress Miniatures)

(Empress Miniatures)

Western VIP w Bodyguards
(Spectre Miniatures)

These new miniatures really open up lots of interesting scenario options now.  I look forward to getting them onto the tabletop here shortly.

Modern French Infantry

Alright!  The French infantry platoon is based and ready for action.  Pictures below as usual.  All figures are from Eureka Miniatures.  The platoon has an officer, medic, 3 x infantry sections, 2 x Milan ATGM teams, and a marksman/sniper.

Painted by:  Steve Dake




2 x Milan ATGM Teams

1st Infantry Section
(Section Commander, Team 300, and Team 600)

2nd Infantry Section
(Section Commander, Team 300, and Team 600)

3rd Infantry Section
(Section Commander, Team 300, and Team 600)

A closer picture of one of the Team 300 fireteams

A closer picture of one of the Team 600 fireteams

Once the French vehicles are done (in about 2 weeks) I'll be all set for my modern game at PacifiCon.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Russia Resurgent Project Update #2

Few updates to share today.  First up ...

Russian Vehicles

The Russian vehicles are essentially done ... I have a few small details to do (white numbers, some radio whips) but they are operational at this point.  Pictures below.  I didn't take pictures of every tank and IFV as there is little difference between them ... so I just picked one and took pictures.  As you can see below the entire Russian force has filled out nicely.

This is the complete Russian force.














The vehicles are finally assembled.  Lots of parts and a lot of work to get all nine vehicles assembled.  The French infantry are back from Steve Dake and I'm in the process of basing them now.  Couple of "not so good" pictures below ...

French vehicles are finally assembled!

WIP basing the French infantry --- I'll take better pictures
when I'm finished.


With the Russians essentially done and the French nearing completion, I'll be looking to spend more time on my Canadians.  That being said, I have made some progress.  First, I submitted my pre-order for the Canadian infantry models from Full Battle Rattle Miniatures.  I think they are supposed to ship near the end of August, so not too far away.

I used my "3D" guy to build out a 3D model for a Canadian G-Wagen in 1:50th scale.  I then uploaded the file to Shapeways and got it printed off.  I'm happy to say that was a resounding success.  I'm pleased with the outcome and have ordered an additional two vehicles (they are ~$30.00 each).

Pictures below of the 3D model (with Leopard 2A6 from Empress Miniatures for comparison).

1:50th scale Canadian Army G-Wagen

1:50th scale Canadian Army G-Wagen

1:50th scale Canadian Army G-Wagen next
to Empress Miniatures Leopard 2A6.

Other Odds & Ends

Ok, so not specific to my Russia Resurgent project, but neat nonetheless.  When I had Steve Dake do my French I also sent him some odds and ends for my Operation Iraqi Freedom collection.  I've now added some scenario figures (western VIP, middle east VIP, bodyguards, hostages, and a news crew/embedded reporters), some additional RPGs (needed more for my cells), and a sniper figure.

Scenario miniatures and other odds and ends.

So progress continues.  I'm on track with my PacifiCon plans (September game convention) to run a modern game with Russians and French.  Stay tuned, lots more to come ...

Monday, July 18, 2016

28mm Modern Russian Infantry

Just finished basing my modern Russian infantry platoon.  Special thanks to Steve Dake for turning these guys around quickly.  Russian vehicles are in progress and should be done in a couple of weeks - which will give me lots of Russians to play with.

If you are curious as to the colors here --- the Russians do use digital camo, however - the greens used wash out easily with even a moderate level of wear.  There is a little brown, but there is so little that it washes out even more than the green!

Case in point:

Although the Russians use digital camo, at even a
modest distance and with a little wear it washes
out the digital pattern, essentially leaving the
uniform looking plain green.

I'm very pleased with the result here.  The platoon consists of 36 figures:

1 x Officer (2 figures)
3 x Infantry sections (9 figures each)
1 x Heavy AT Team (RPG-30, 2 figures)
1 x MMG Team (3 figures)
1 x Sniper Team (2 figures)

Pictures below.  I use a lot of light when I take my pictures - and I also pump up the brightness in my post-picture taking photo touch ups ... hence the green looks brighter than it actually is in person.

Painted By:  Steve Dake


MMG Team

RPG-30 Team

Sniper Team

1st Section - Maneuver Team

1st Section - Fireteam

2nd Section - Maneuver Team

2nd Section - Fireteam

3rd Section - Maneuver Team

3rd Section - Fireteam

So not a bad start here.  When combined with the armoured vehicles this is a force to be feared.  I'm in the process of finishing the assembly of the French vehicles and the French infantry is also sitting with Steve Dake for painting - so that should be done in the next couple of weeks as well (French vehicles will take a little longer, they'll be next after the Russian vehicles are finished).