Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Glasgow Copse - artillery emplacement insert

After the excitement of the TooFatLardies Games Day 2011 on Sunday, I had a quiet evening last night progressing the gun emplacement insert for the wooded terrain board, Glasgow Copse, I'd finished a weekend ago. I’d built this in the same way as the other inserts, starting with a Styrofoam square, mounted on a piece of 3mm marine ply of the same size. The “walls”, of the emplacements were built up with offcuts of Styrofoam, and revetted with Green Milliput sandbags, plastic corrugated iron and cardboard “planking”. In other words, exactly the same as the other inserts, with perhaps a little more in the way of sandbags to protect the gun crew.

I’ve been long tempted to try and built a more substantial gun position, with more of a wooden bunker look – and that may well be one of my next projects. However, here I was looking for a hastily constructed gun position, providing rudimentary cover for an artillery crew who would have manhandled a field gun into the front line to take on allied tanks advancing in the open.

I wanted to try and make the new gun emplacement insert as consistent with the other inserts and wood bases in the Copse. I used the same paints and also the same effects. As before, I used some very hand leaf scatter from Antenociti’s Workshop, really to try and “set a time and a place” – being an Autumn setting for the Wood, perfect for Cambrai and Bourlon Wood in November 1917.

The leaf scatter was glued in with PVA glue, each leaf being lifted into place. I’d thought of truly scattering the leaves, but somehow that didn’t look quite right. I was very much aware that there is no foliage on the trees (having been shredded by shellfire), and part of me is still nervous that a large dump of leaves on the ground might look a bit incongruous. Maybe the single leaves look a little strange – but on balance I thought they looked OK. Comments welcomed if you think otherwise !

When the glue had set I dry-brushed the leaves with some highlighted orange and ochre, and gave the leaves a wash with some dirty water from my brush-cleaning pot to dull the colours down slightly.

Next, I cut some brass rod for use as discarded shell cases, filing down the rough edges, and gluing these onto the edge of the base. I put the artillery base in position to check I wasn’t gluing the shell cases where they would be placed. Keen eyed readers may notice that I’ve tried, but not quite succeeded in getting the base of the artillery team to be quite the same as the base of the gun emplacement insert. Some re-painting of the artillery base to come later, perhaps !

Finally, I prepared some camo netting which I’d bought a while back. I usually like to make this a bit more “used” and dirty looking than the neat stuff which comes out of the pack.

I filled an old plastic take-away food tub with some more of the dirty brush water and diluted dark brown paint and gave the netting a good soaking, before stretching it out to dry overnight.

I’d be interested if you have any readers of this Blog have experiences with camo netting for 28mm figures. I have to say that this netting, when stretched out, looked a little fragile for club use and regular play – any comments and thoughts are very welcome !

Next stage, I’ll try and finish off the gun emplacement and the artillery piece, ready for a game in a few weeks.


  1. Wow!!! That's a nice gun emplacement!
    The camo netting I use (for 20mm) is simple gauze soaked in paint.
    If you want to see the result of this method, you can visit my blog:

    Not as good as your work, but I am still 30 and learning! :-)
    Great work as always mate!

  2. I also use gauze for 20mm minis. The only difference with your painting system is that I add diluted white glue with the paint, providing some consistency to the net once it dries. Great post indeed

  3. Gentlemen,
    Many thanks indeed!

    @Thanos - I really like the gauze you have used. I'm going to see if I can get some of that to compare with the modelling netting I found. It looks from your photos to be a bit more substantial than the stuff I was going to use.

    @Anibal - Benito, that's a great suggestion of using diluted white glue to give some substance and consistency to the camo netting. I'm definately going to give that a go also.

    Now....off to the internet to find somewhere selling gauze!!

  4. Great post, I love the leaf flock!!!! I didn't know you could buy such a thing. Where did you get the Camo netting, my mate needs to buy some?

  5. doh! just noticed the email address on the packet!

  6. I guess you can buy gauze in any Boots pharmacy. As far as I remember from my period in London, there were as many around as Starbucks

  7. I don't think you need worry too much about the artillery team base not being quite the same as the emplacement. I wouldn't have noticed if you hadn't said and even then I'm struggling to see any difference.

    Just a superb terrain piece

  8. One of the many products I bought for my trench table which hasn't been worked on in many months was camo covering. I plan to do at least one bunker or fixed position with removeable camo covering. I gave it some thought but I haven't tried it. I was going to mount it to a wooden frame and then leave holes for the frame in the styrofoam, so it could be removed for figure placement and movement.

  9. Your hard work is paying off as it looks very nice!


  10. I purchased some gauze at lunchtime - from Boots, thanks Benito! I'm going to try it out this evening - so stand by, Ladies and Gentlemen, for the next post to be "Camo Net Comparison" time. Oh, the excitement ! :)

  11. Your work gives me inspiration to do better...to make something from nothing and make it the best you can possibly make it. Amazing talent.

  12. I have used this type of camo netting before when I was still doing scale models (bought it from Verlinden). Looks great, but the big problem is, that you need to glue every mesh close to where you cut it apart, otherwise everything will come undone. Or use it in one piece.

    These days I just use gauze dyed green as well. If you want to skip that step, the German Bundeswehr uses gauze that is already green and you often find it on eBay.

  13. Another option for cam netting is Cheesecloth, which I am sure is very much like gauze. Just another option out there for you to check into should you so desire.


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