Saturday 25 June 2022

2mm Strength and Honour: Urbs Romana


Having initially sworn off putting too much effort into the ancillary pieces for the 2mm Ancients project, I ended up going down the rabbit hole of producing a Roman fortification that could represent a ‘camp’ in Strength and Honour - to be fair to myself (!) I didn’t go the whole hog in making giant scratch-built marching forts or sections of Hadrians Wall, but rather went for a generic looking set of walls and towers, leaving an internal space that would accommodate a quartet of the 60mm by 60mm urban tiles that I made earlier.

I thought that by enabling swapping out the tiles, the walls could do double duty in posing as the fortifications of Carthage, Locus Castorum, or even the walls of Troy, depending on what I put inside.

I really liked the look of the parts from the Brigade Models’ Modular Castles range that were used by Mike Headden in his own 2mm project, detailed in the forum thread here (scroll down):

So, digging around in the Lead Pile, I dug out some likely contenders, and, good news, also re-discovered my long-lost Roman Triumphal Arch, also from Brigade.

I had a scrap piece of laminated wood to use as a base, which measured around 160mm by 140mm, so pencilled out the ground plan of the walls and towers etc, leaving the central area big enough for the urban tiles - just about managed to squeeze them on, allowing for a bit of a moat and some ground out front.

The Brigade Models castle pieces are in resin, and come out of the pack pretty clean, so a quick blast of stone coloured paint and some red earth tone detailing over a mid brown undercoat meant the job was straightforward, although not necessarily quick - lining in around all the windows to try and stay neat had me going cross-eyed !

I did struggle somewhat in lining up the various wall sections, in that although individually well cast and straight, they are relatively short, so have a tendency to wander when modelling in a long line, and there is a bit of a gap between parts that seems obvious in these close-up photos. I think more skilled modellers or others less cack-handed could easily rectify this, or even smooth and fill any spaces, but to be honest at this scale, and tabletop viewing distances, they do the job for me !

The moat around the castle was formed merely by gluing on a strip of darker basing sand to the outer part, and splashing on some dark wash - I wasn’t going to go to the trouble of actually ‘digging’ it out ! - again, viewed from a distance, doesn’t look too bad.

The Triumphal Arch is free-floating, given that it straddles across two tiles, and enables me to use it in other settings - the terracotta coloured ‘roof’ is a bit odd, perhaps, but somehow it just looked naked when done wholly in marble white - there are a couple of bronzed panels on one side, too - no doubt detailing the Emperor’s victories - although you’d need a microscope to read them off at this scale !

I also went ahead and stole some additional buildings from Brigade Models Spanish and Arab village sets, just to add some variety to the other architecture, and make the tiles look a bit more ‘populated’

Brigade, of course, do their own Roman castle/mile fort wall set, but I followed Mike Headden’s lead in using the modular parts as they are more visually impressive, and hopefully not too anachronistic - the rounded bastion like towers on the gate sections look pretty Roman to my eye….

I’m yet to do much more with this project, as my butterfly mind has been drawing me in a completely different direction lately, and hence the time lag since my last post - I’ll no doubt keep coming back to it when the mood strikes, so stay tuned…

Next time, though - something completely different !

Saturday 4 June 2022

2mm Strength and Honour: Town and Country


A small update on the 2mm Strength and Honour project, where I’ve been working on some crop fields for the terrain, something to sit alongside the farm complex.

I sourced some cheap 3mm MDF ‘coasters’ around 100mm by 100mm from EBay to use as terrain bases - there are quite a lot of sellers on there outside of the normal wargaming ones, that offer such blanks for craft making, which are often pretty cheap when bought in bulk - these ones are nicely done with rounded corners.

A blast of acrylic sanding spray on both sides to seal the surfaces, and a bodge of ModPodge and basing sand got me to here:

They are a bit ‘overscale’, but I put in some lines to act as ploughing/crop marks, and a few clumps of basing material to add a bit of definition as hillocks, etc.

I decided that rather than flat wheat or arable fields, however, I would follow up with using more of the pre-made sticky tufts from Serious-Play, and go for more of a olive trees/groves grape vines in rows sort of feel - that says ‘Ancients’ to me more than cornfields - I’m sure the Romans had olives for breakfast rather than Shredded Wheat !

If I’m lucky, these could also see double duty with 6mm miniatures as well, so a good result all round.

Next up, I finished painting up the remnants of the Brigade Models Roman buildings pack with the two largest examples, again based on a 60x60mm ‘tile’, forming maybe a Mansio - a sort of Ancient roadside B&B:

This can sit alongside the other town tiles, to which I also did a little bit of additional work - unfortunately the Roman walls and Triumphal Arch are still lost in the garage Lead Pile, so just a few 2mm figures cut from their bases as statuary, and some textured paper cut into sections to give a little, added, well….texture….. I didn’t yet want to go the whole hog and begin detailing the bases as such, but rather just suggest some different shapes/areas to catch the eye.

I’ve also added a few of Irregular Miniatures’ 2mm wagons as set dressing:

So, things rumble on - I’m still dithering about whether to do forests and hills fresh for this project, as I’ve got heaps of likely candidates squirrelled away somewhere already, but I’ll have to see - I’m telling myself that ‘mission creep’ on this is justified as I haven’t worked on anything else in a while…..