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Thursday, October 17, 2019

Project 2mm Terrrain: Update 7

Woooo Hooo!

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I've completed all the hills on the board! It took a lot longer than I expected but I did get faster as I went along.

Here's the board almost complete with just the corner to go. I finished it the next night. Despite each contour being only 1mm, there's some really substantial valleys in the board.

Things I learned

Well, I've learned a few things that, if I ever do this again, I would do differently:
  • Not do every contour line. I would just do every second contour using the foamcore and use polyfilla to smooth out the contour lines
  • Put reinforcing bars. About half way through, the board started to warp and it's now at about 1/2 inch on both ends. 
  • Cork is a neat material to use. I would use it more often for contouring because it is easy to cut using scissors, flexible, and resists compression. It is pretty expensive if you need to use a lot.

What's next

  1. Add some 1x1 bars to the back to straighten it out.
  2. Since I have decided to keep the contours showing, trim some of the paper overhangs so that all of the contours are clean.
  3. Seal the board so that it won't absorb water when I flock.
  4. Mark the locations of the waterways, roads, and buildings.
  5. Figure out how tall to make the trees.
  6. Figure out where to put the woods and how to do them. One woods is marked on the board. I've seen another map with woods in other locations.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Trumpeter September and Call to Arms

On September 13th, Trumpeter held their regular monthly club meet. I managed to get into a 2mm game of American Civil War. We were doing the opening day of 1st Bull Run using a set of rules call Bonny Blue Flag. I found the rules very interesting if slightly frustrating in that you could spend a lot of valuable command points and not accomplish much. But on the other hand, I did launch a very successful attack late in the game on the far right. I think I'd very much consider using them for my own 2mm figures. As an added bonus, I met Doug from He has a very nice blog and you should check it out.

On the 14th, Trumpeter held a brand new event for them. A whole day of gaming in the fall.

The morning saw me back at ACW with a set of rules called Stars and Bars. It's a set of rules written over 40 years ago and it shows: written orders as its command and control, features a complex damage table, and relies on details to try to achieve a "realism". Unfortunately, it took a long time to set up and get the game going, so we ran out of time before getting really stuck in.

The afternoon game was French and Indian Wars using Rebels and Patriots. Basically, it's the same rules engine as Lion Rampant. I enjoy the system but I'm thinking it's a bit too loose for my taste.

The final game was modified Force on Force for WW2. I enjoyed the game except for when we had a PIAT team sneak to the rear flank of a buttoned Panther only to lose the initiative roll and be vaporized by a lightning-reflexed tank crew. The Germans attacked from an unexpected direction and it looked grim for the Canadians. But then the Germans became fixed on firing LMGs from their halftracks. The Canadians moved troops to the threatened flank and then every slight German burst was met with a massive volume of fire in response. It was an interesting game and I didn't realize how the Canadians were winning until I saw how their reaction fire was taking its toll. They were also helped by a very effective rocket attack by a Typhoon.

No pictures because of my phone. I have an ancient camera somewhere so I think I will have to look for it so that I can take some pictures.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Project 2mm Terrain: Update 6

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That's another 2 levels done. The next set of two are the trickiest in terms of complex shapes but after that, the hills smooth out and take up less overall terrain.

The more I think about it, the more I'm inclined to keep the contour lines. I won't be saving any time because I would need to clean up the paper overhangs, but I think it will perform better as a gaming table, even if it is not quite as "realistic". There's a kind of honesty to keeping the construction method exposed that I'm appreciating.

(I really need to get a new phone. These are terrible pictures)

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Project 2mm Terrain: Update 5

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Woo Hoo! I have the wind at my back and things are progressing nicely. I've just completed up to the 120 foot contour. It's this contour and the next two that are the most complex, large, and fiddly. The pinning technique is working brilliantly and it's helping to speed things up.

I'm currently waiting for the glue on the second part of the 120 to dry so that I can trim off the excess. So I thought I would take some time while the glue dries to do this update. Sorry, no pix but they really wouldn't show anything.

I've been watching Luke's APS channel on Youtube and it is brilliant in how he shares his techniques. Yes, he pushes his products but that is redeemed by how he reveals how he actually makes his products and how he uses them and how he uses competing products. From his one-day builds, he's given me an idea on how to finish and protect this project. If I can find it cheap enough, I'm planning on using a deep picture frame, turn it upside down, and insert the terrain. If I can't, I'll have a go at making the equivalent.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Project 2mm Terrain: Update 4

Well, I have now completed the hills on the extreme left of the battlefield, where the initial Confederate thrust came from.

I'll confess that my slow progress has mainly come from a lack of motivation, slow progress, and how fiddly the whole process has been. But last night, I had a brain wave. Since I am using foamcore and cork as my materials, I can just pin the terrain in place until it is dry. All of a sudden, the fiddliness has gone away and it's just become a matter of cutting the pieces out, gluing them, and pinning them in place.

Completing the western hills represents only a small fraction of the entire battlefield but doing something and having it come out looking really good has raise my morale and now I want get the rest done.

I was toying with the idea of smoothing out the contours but now I've gone the other way and I'm thinking I might keep them. I might do some experimentation before I decide.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Life and Death

Sometimes life sucks. Not long after I had posted my last project update, I received some bad news. My mother was in hospital and not doing well. I booked a flight for first thing the next morning. When I got into Calgary to change planes, I learned that she had passed.

The crazy thing is that I had talked to her a few days before. She had sounded a little breathless but otherwise seemed fine. She'd been having problems with swelling and severe itching. She was going back to the hospital the next day for a follow-up. She had had a full battery of testing and, while there were a lot of things that weren't quite right, she'd had them for a long time. We didn't have any indication that there was any immediate concern.

Two days later, she was gone.

Looking back, I'm glad that I saw her when we returned out East this last May. It had crossed my mind that it might be the last time I saw her. The previous May, she'd come to visit us in our new house. I found it concerning about how much difficulty she had in walking and, in particular, how she struggled to climb stairs. But she also displayed an iron will about getting to where she needed to go even though she would take some time to get there. Her only concession was to using a cane when she left the house.

My Mum's great joy was her garden. She came by her green thumb honestly. Her parents had created a prize winning garden in New Brighton, England, despite its modest size. In every house that she lived in, my Mum spent time creating and maintaining its garden. It's fitting that her final garden is her best. It's also fitting that she waged the same war against squirrels that her father did.

So what's next? We're planning a tree planting in Toronto on her birthday. Back here in BC, we're also going to plant a tree for her.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Project 2mm Terrain: Update 3

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I have now done the 90 foot contour and the 100 foot contour. The one change to my plans is that I've ended up gluing the paper pattern I used to cut the contours back onto the elevations. I think it will help me with positioning the roads, buildings and creeks later on.

I'm liking how it is looking but it is much, much slower going than I had anticipated. And it will get a lot worse too because the two levels that I did are likely the easiest ones to do. The next 2 levels will be the worst.

There are two "islands" on the left side and I've got one in the above shot. I'm going to the much larger one next and build it up to its apex of 170 feet because it will be useful practice for the rest of the board. I've already learned that I need to cut inside the lines and I shall learn a few more things as I go.