Monday, June 25, 2018

Fully Grown Rice Paddy Terrain Tutorial

For my 28mm Philippine-American War first scenario, I needed rice paddies.  I have made 15mm rice paddies in the past with limited success and the same approach was not going to work for 28mm scale.  I looked at what other people have made online and I am not impressed.  I thought I would take a stab at making something better.  The approach in this blog post is for a fully grown rice paddy.  I will also be making a recently planted and fallow field versions.


For material I recommend using what you have available and what works for you.  The material I used is what worked for me.  I'm sure you can find cheaper or better material.

Material:
  • Pre-Mixed Grout (sandstone)
  • Woodland Scenics Realistic Water
  • Rust-oleum Gloss Spring Green spray paint
  • 1/8" hardboard (from old poster frame back)
  • Light brown faux fur
  • Liquitex Acrylic Color: Burnt Umber
  • Optional: Some sort of green flock for the berm

Steps:
  1. Assemble all the material. Make sure you have enough of the material to finish the project.
  2. Cut the hardboard into a 10" x 10" square. I choose the square shape because I wanted to have multiple rice paddies beside one another.
  3. Using the grout mix, build up the berms around the outside of the square hardboard. I went  1/2" high and flattened the top to give the impression that people can walk along the berm.
  1. When the berms are dry (1-2 days), paint the berms and the inside one or two inches of the rice paddy a dark brown. No need to paint the whole board as the middle part will be covered with the faux fur.
  2. Cut the faux fur into a 8" x 8" square.
  1. Trim the fur around the outside of the square and then use an electric hair trimmer with the 1/2" comb attachment to cut down the fur to about a 1/2" length. The hair trimmer was only about $20.

  1. Lay out the fur square flat and spray the fur with the green spray paint until you no longer see any brown fur. I recommend a brighter gloss green color (i.e. Gloss Spring Green by Rust-oleum) for the spray paint. If you miss a bit of brown fur deeper in the fur, that is okay.  Most of what you see wargaming should be green.
  2. When the fur square is dry, glue it into the middle of the hardboard. Make sure the outer edge of the fur square is flat to the hardboard.
  3. With a small funnel, pour the Realistic Water into the gap between the fur and the berm all around the board. Let dry and repeat the application if not satisfied. It probably won't be perfect. No worries since I don't think it will be very visible when on the table.
  4. The berm can be left without flock if you want, but I chose to glue small green flock on the berms.  I did not glue any flock on the inside of the berm.

That's it, the rice paddy is good to go.  There will be some warping, but I think when you lay it on a wargame mat it will sink into the mat slightly and the warping will not be noticed.

Monday, May 28, 2018

West Wars 2018

Our annual West Wars Convention was held May 19-20.  Another good one and I got to play in three different games.  The photos below are from Saturday events.  I forgot my camera for Sunday events.

360 degree photo 1 link

360 degree photo 2 link




Prehistoric game

The Men Who Would Be Kings game

Prehistoric game

Prehistoric game

Prehistoric game

The Men Who Would Be Kings game

The Men Who Would Be Kings game

The Men Who Would Be Kings game

Vietnam game

Prehistoric game

Sword and the Flame game

Sword and the Flame game

Prehistoric game

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

GameCon 10 report

I recently volunteered at GameCon, which is a convention for Junior High and High School kids in the Colorado Springs area. Last year a friend of mine volunteered and inspired me to put on a historical miniature game.  The convention games are mainly card games (Magic), boardgames, and cosplay.  I ended up being the only miniature game.  I was surprised at this as I always see lots of 40K miniature games or other miniature games like X-Wing at other local gaming conventions.

Overall, this was a great convention for the kids.  Most of the kids that joined in my game were really into playing the War of 1812 (Muskets and Tomahawks rules) 28mm skirmish game.  This came as a big surprise.  My take away is the kids that come to the convention are wanting to play anything.  I would say they are less picky than older gamers going to game conventions.  Some really got into my game and could have played it all day.


I just laid down terrain on the table and put out a number of miniatures based on how many kids were at the table.  When kids would want to join, we would divide up the units or I'll pull more out.  I ran 4 games on the table.  Two were full table and two were just run on part of the table when there were only two players.


The kids picked up the rules pretty easily.  I would recommend keeping the rules simple, something like Sword and the Flame.  It was a mix of gamers, some really got into the game and a few were more interested in turning the rulers into drum sticks.  I'd prefer the more focused kids, but I'm impressed at the interest level all day long.  Not all kids stay for the whole game, so be ready to swap troops to new or existing players.

The gamers are from middle and high school, so be prepared for damages to terrain, mat and miniatures.  I would recommend not bringing anything you do not want damaged.  I didn't mind their handling and prepared myself mentally for damage.  I don't mind touching up my miniatures or gluing some terrain back together.  I ended up with no issues with damaged terrain.  I have yet to check the miniatures, but I think they did okay.

I think all cities should do this at a high school at least once a year.  It is a great way to introduce kids to the various types of gaming.  Something other than video gaming.