Friday, 28 October 2011

77mm Field Gun Position and Trench paraphernalia

It's been a while since I posted, but I've been doing a fair amount of hobbying in one form or another during the last few weeks despite losing my painting area at home.

I built up an insert for one of the terrain boards in September, and finished painting it earlier this week. I was interested in trying to swap out one of the inserts which is currently a reinforced shell crater for an insert which features a dug-in position for a German 77mm field gun. I came by a few photos of this sort of arrangement on the internet.

Unfortunately, I can't locate the work-in-progress photos of how I went about building the position. However, it was pretty simple to make, involving Styrofoam being cut out and glued to a plywood base as a first step. I measured the Styrofoam before gluing to the plywood base to make sure the new insert would fit into the board. The internal details were then finished and painted before the roof was prepared, the latter being based on a piece of plywood and an assortment of sticks from the garden. Finally, I made some Milliput sandbags and stuck these around the base before the roof was glued on. One the rook was fixed in place, I added some more of the Milliput sandbags and painted anything remaining on the insert which wasn't finished off yet. Here's the finished insert, awaiting the 77mm guns (more of which in the next post!)

I also finished off some trench items. You may remember seeing these earlier in the summer. Generally, I think trenches (and most terrain) looks better with some bits-and-bobs strewn about. They give terrain that lived in look, which helps when you're trying to imagine the battle raging over the table top. There's no magic in these items - the boxes are resin casts from Hovels, the grenades and helmets are from Bolt Action Miniatures and the map's made from a piece of foil from a wine bottle.

I'll post the figures I've finished off over the weekend. Thanks for reading and catch you next time.


  1. Sidney, that looks superb! I love the texturing and weathering in the emplacement; really brings it to life. Top work Sir!

  2. Prolific, excellent work, damn nice pieces.

  3. Great work Sidney. The extras really do make it.

  4. This must be one of your best, which is to say a lot given they already supperb general quality!



  5. Amazingly detailed - as usual - brilliant!


  6. Red and blue on the map...grain lines on the rifles...awesome job mate!

    Col. Hessler

  7. Sid:

    There's just so much to like in these pieces, from the rust on the corrugated iron and the barbed wire to the texture of the wooden duckboards. Brilliant. How will you get the gun inside? Does the roof lift off?
    Also, that historical photo is interesting, in that the crew is posing in the front of their position, which presumably faces the front. Either it was a quiet day, or that position is part of defensive works constructed behind the active front? Curious.

  8. As always,,excellent work. The details..I sit here now shaking my haed in amazement..:-D

  9. Thanks guys. I really appreciate the comments, especially after not blogging for a while. I'm looking forward to getting back into the blogging habits now the work on my house is coming to an end.

    @Michael - I think the weathering is a big part of trying to make terrain "lived in". Pleased you like it.

    @Angry, Rodger, Burkhard, Frank and Paul - thanks guys, although you should know I get my inspiration from what you're doing!

    @Col Hessler - really great to hear from you, mate!! You've been much missed around here! I'm glad you liked the red and blue trench lines on the map. The British trench maps of the War used those colours - until early 1918, red for German and blue for British. In early 1918 the colours were reversed to conform with French maps.

    @Mike (Mad Padre) - Mike, great to hear from you! I "drytested" getting the field guns in and out of the prepared position with the roof held down. It was a tight squeeze, but the guns fitted in...just. So I've glued the roof down, which allowed me to drape the Milliput sandbags over the edge of the roof.

    The historical photo is interesting, I agree. My guess (and please, someone shout if I'm wrong) is that the position photographed is possibly part of the Siegfried Stellung (Hindenberg line) defences which the Germans retreated to in early 1917. The line was constructed behind the (then) active front. There's a few accounts in memoirs of Tank Corps officers of their tanks being fired upon from these kinds of prepared positions, which were pretty difficult to spot. If the field gun's shell hit at close range, the effect was often pretty devastating.

  10. Great stuff, I love the rust effect on the corrugated sheets, the map looks cool too, all in all an excellent job!!!

  11. Wonderful stuff. I wish I had a "Sidney" in my club... do your chums appreciate what a jewel they have there?

  12. Thanks guys! Really appreciate the comments:

    @Ray - thanks mate. Glad you liked the map.

    @Benito (Anibal) - cheers mate, always great to hear from you....How can I answer a question like that?'ll have to ask them !!!

  13. What's more to say. Superb as usual. Do we see you or your work next week @Crisis? Cheers, Michael

  14. Thank guys.

    @Captain Richard - always great to see you come by!

    @MiniMike - YES! I almost forgot to mention that me, Richard Clarke, Nick Skinner and another five members of the St Albans Wargames Club are making the trip to Crisis next weekend. Not much of my work on display (some small bits of 15mm terrain), but it would be great to meet up with anyone over there! We're doing a game from early 1944 - Korsun and Cherkassy Pocket. And yes....there's a lot of snow!

  15. Where did you get the rifles and grenades? Those map lines must be very tiny even at 28mm!!!


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