Sunday, 18 March 2012

Trench Loot

I’ve been working on a few additions to my Great War stuff amongst building up the Dark Age forces. I’ve also managed to get a few trench raiding games in over the last couple of months and it’s spurred me on again in the direction of doing some German trench raiding parties and a few extras for the defending British forces. One of the things I was keen to try was a couple of trench raids in which the attackers could try and collect “objectives” in addition to completing their mission determined under the TooFatLardies’ Winter Sports supplement for “Through the Mud and the Blood”.

These objectives would be items of military importance, but as it was dark and soldiers being soldiers, there was a good chance of some loot being included in the night’s haul. I doubt there was many troops who could turn their eye away from an interesting souvenir. Here’s what a young George Coppard was doing in 1917:

“I decided to jettison my souvenirs weighing nearly twenty pounds which I had been lugging around in my pack. German fuse tops, funny shaped bits of shrapnel and a rusty saw-edge bayonet were among the collection of old iron. Why I had been torturing myself with agonizing load I don’t know, just a boyish habit of collecting something out of the ordinary, I suppose.” “Boy Soldiers of the Great War”, Richard van Emden, (p95).

So, with that inspiration, here’s six objectives from a British trench which I came up with for my German trench raiders. Some are militarily valuable, some useful, others ... well, you decide

So we have – a pair of British trench maps, with German trenches shown in red and the British forward positions simply delineated in a single blue line.

A very smart Burberry trench coat and scarf. No military value, but it’ll be a hit with the Belgian ladies in Bruges ...

A couple of cases of carrier pigeons – clearly valuable military loot

A field telephone – again, something which GHQ won’t be happy has gone walkabout

A collection of fine Scottish Malts imported from Jenners. Military value? Of course!!!

A kettle. Well, I guess the German kettles have been turned into an U-boote ...

So the idea was really to add a bit of colour in the tabletop trenches producing some physical items rather than just card counters. All of these were basically made out of scrap cardboard, wire, tin-foil bottle tops, green-stuff and grey-stuff and some items from the bits-box and it was a lot of fun making them.

The only really tricky thing to make was the pigeon. I won’t tell you how many attempts there were before I settled on the final one.

I also finished off a British version of the “Communications Down” figure I’d made for the Germans a while ago. I wanted to add a card into the card deck of “Through the Mud and the Blood” for British Communications breakdown, and wanted to field a figure on the tabletop to show this visually. So, here he is, converted from one of the wonderful generic casualty figures from Silent Invader over on the (most excellent) Lead Adventure Forum:

Next up - a look at some British casualty figures and battalion stretcher bearers. Hope you can join me later for that.


  1. Sidney, glad to see you're back to the trenches after your trip to the Dark Ages. Great additions to your ever-growing WWI collection. You're always not one, but many steps ahead of the rest.

  2. Simply bloody stunning, bloody lovely work, Sidney you are a talented fellow.....

  3. Outstanding Sir! Lovely and imaginative use of materials to produce wonderful results; very inspiring!

  4. Your far too clever at this kinda stuff for your own good!!! Excellent work!!!

  5. Excellent! The that speckled Jim, Lord melchets childhood friend? :-D

  6. Stonkingly good work, very inventive. I am sure that pigeon is Speckled Jim. Better watch out, I hear General Melchett is looking for him. I am sure he could be washed down with some of that scotch.

    1. Damn, Paul beat me to the Blackadder joke, by a minute, no less!

  7. Absolutely splendid! I really like these little counters. I'm hoping to make some one day, so I'll be sure to snaffle a few of your ideas.

    Well done!

  8. Very nice indeed, you scary man you!

  9. Very nice indeed, you scary man you!

  10. Absolutely fantastic Sidney. Wonderful work.

  11. Good to see that you are still in Great War mode, grand stuff, yet more inspiration. Looking forward to the next lot, this doesn't mean we don't want more DA stuff as well :-)

  12. Thanks for the comments, guys, much appreciated.

    @Benito (Anibal): That’s far too kind Benito. I’m barely in step with the rest!

    @Angry, Michael and Ray: Thank you, but it was a lot simpler than you might think!

    @Christopher – thank you!

    @Paul – It could indeed be Speckled Jim. I carefully examined the pigeons in a churchyard off Bishopsgate a couple of weeks ago in a (vain) attempt to get the shape of its head right!

    @Mike – Pigeon (or any game) and a fine malt scotch. Dash it, Sir – now I’m feeling hungry!

    @Matt – snaffle away, Matt. They were a lot of fun to dream up and pretty easy to make. I want to do some German loot later in the year to make sure the British raiders have something to take home.

    @Derk – Scary? Not at all. But thank you anyway :)

    @Rodger – thank you, that’s very kind.

    @Phil – Yes, still in Great War mode. I’m going to have a go at my own version of your brilliant Rattenkeller in April, so watch out for that! And yes, I’ve not forgotten the Dark Ages – Rich would kill me if I did!

  13. That's really clever. Something I would buy.

  14. Absolutely superb. Thanks for the tutorial. Your WW1 collection is second to none. Looking forward to the next installment.

  15. Brilliant stuff here! Consider this well and truly nicked.

  16. I'm in awe of your scratch build models. What a treat to see it and what a treat it will be to play it!

  17. Lovely work, Sidney. It is fun to create from scratch ain't it?

  18. Sidney...your work is over the top...just fantastic stuff

  19. Yours is one of the blogs I go to for notch work

  20. Sidney, so sorry to ask this as I'm sure you've provided it somewhere on your blog (and I'm too daft to find it), but can you provide the dimensions of the various bases that you use for your Great War collection? In particular I am curious to your hex bases, the pill-shaped bases and the larger circular bases that you use for your weapon teams.




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