Farming Commune for Bolt Action

Yesterday (Monday, 13th of October) I finished my farming commune, the first of my scenery for Bolt Action. Suss my previous posts regarding when I kicked things off on the long weekend and my trial and error with doing the rooves last week. I’m very pleased to have it completed and I’ve learnt a few things along the way which should improve things in the future.

The Farming Commune

The farming commune consists of three houses, a barn and four fence sections which join together in pairs of two at 90 degree angles.

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Nothing fancy with the paint jobs, for the most part I’ve used craft paints from Spotlight (about $3 a tube). I started on the bases for each piece with a watered down coat of a colour called Brown Oxide and when this has dried thoroughly, drybrushed over that with Red Oxide. The houses are white, with orange doors (the handles are Gunmetal Grey). The rooves were painted Yellow Oxide, then drybrushed Cool Yellow and then a lighter drybursh of Unbleach Titanium (a Sonja’s colour, I also did a light dry brush of the bases with it after the red oxide). I didn’t photograph and document the whole process, but the rooves themselves are folded cardboard with fake fur glued on. The fur is then heavyily coated with watered down PVA glue, stroking the fur down from the top to the bottom of the roof. Finally, the fences and barn were originally done Red Oxide, but I changed my mind and did them Brown Oxide and then dryburshed with Unbleach Titanium. One of the barn doors is also Magic Blue, Red Orchestra eat your heart out.

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After the paint had dried I did a good coat of burnt grass flock (I think that’s the right name of it, I think it is Woodland Scenics? Not sure, I do have another bag, might check the label some time). I then applied smaller patches of a flock/static grass called Meadow Grass, I’m no idea of the brand, I bought a big packet of it about a decade ago which has long since been thrown out. I then sealed this all with a healthy coat of watered down PVA. Finally, I tore up bits of foam that had come from plucking the various sheets for my KR Multicase and glued these down as small bushes/shrubs/tufts of green. The foam is actual blue, but I gave it a good coat of watered down Dark Green before dry brushing with Camo Green.

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Over the course of the project I’ve identified some improvements for the future. Firstly, when assembling builds, in the future I will cut my lengths for each wall section (i.e. all the bits needed to form the front wall, the back wall etc) and then glue these together in a sort of sheet. I’ll then cut the ends to create the overlap (so each wall will have alternating long and short rows), cut out the door/windows required on that wall, then once all the separate walls are sufficiently dry, erect them like some sort of pre-fabricated structure. I think this will result in smoother walls that will be easier to ensure stay square. The second thing will be to remember fake fur has a grain. I remember now that I noticed this when I made my Eastern Front terrain for FoW. The rooves would look better if I made sure the grain of the fake fur always flows from the top to the bottom of the roof. Finally, there is a bit of a gap between the upper/roof part of the barn and the first floor. I didn’t notice this when I assembled it, but it is quite noticeable at some angles. I’ll be more careful in the future to avoid this. The pre-fab building method is likely to help.

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Overall I am quite happy with the result and pleased to have my first pieces of Bolt Action terrain done. What I’ve done so far can probably fit fairly comfortably across up to half a standard 1800mmx1200mm (6’x4′) table. As it is displayed on my kitchen table, it is taking up about 1000mmx700mm (3.1’x2.4′, or there abouts). But I could lay down more fields (which I would do) and increase the coverage. I think the main thing it shows is how much I need to get my 1800mmx1200mm board up from mum and dad’s – 1000mm wide is doable for FoW (my kitchen table is 1000mmx2000mm), but it’s a bit restrictive for 28mm games. Course I do have two 1200mm square boards (one of which you can see in the background of one or two of the images about with my Infinity terrain on it) so I could always put them side by side.

What next?

I’m not sure what to work on next terrainwise for Bolt Action. I think one of the things that make what I have done so far look a bit weird is the lack of roads. I don’t own any 28mm WWII vehicles though, so I’m not sure what dimensions they should be. A simple next task would be fields. I cut up another doormat for the photos, but it is only 10mm high – fine for FoW (which is what I originally bought it and one other for) but too short for Bolt Action. Bunnings do a 28mm thick mat though, so I might investigate that this weekend or next ($42 though, not cheap). Other than those two things: hills and forests. The trees I have are much better in size for FoW, but still useable for 28mm wargames, though they look a little odd. But I need new forest bases (mine being shoddy foamcore knockups – you learn the hardway not to paint foamcoare if used as a basing material). As for hills, I currently have none, but do have the foam for it now.

All that considered, I’m thinking roads next. But there is plenty to compete for the attention: North Africa terrain for FoW; more Infinity terrain; and painting miniatures (though I’m short on those at the moment, deliberately so).

That’s all for now though, things are looking good for a game of FoW on the weekend so I am hoping that will be this weekend’s post! Till later, happy wargaming!

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