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To the Trenches! Chain of Command

To the Trenches! Chain of Command

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Project Blog by sparkeswillfly Cult of Games Member

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About the Project

Recently have been able to get a regular number of games of Chain of Command in and has got me back into the creative space of building more terrain. Ive started with creating sections of a Trench network.

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Adding grass - 2nd stage

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Once the first layer of grass had dried, I dabbed on some layering glue (essentially watered down PVA) making sure to leave some of the dead grass exposed.

I wanted to create some different heights of the grass and colour variation.

Ill be honest, im really happy with the results, and gives me more confidence in doing this with the main tranch pieces in the future (deep breath!)

adding grass!

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Here i decided to bite the bullet as for me, a wire fence is very different to how it sits in the landscape to a trench (exception being WW1 where everything is portrayed as being just heavy thick mud).

So I decided to add grass and glue directly onto the piece.

I didnt want a carpet look and so I applied glue in randomised places leaving some of the ground texture exposed.

I then used the static grass applicator with the 2mm Dead grass to the piece.

And this is the initial result …

 

Wire sections .....

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Ever since I created the first piece of trench with the barb wire protecting the approach to it from the front, I have wanted to make some small pieces of moveable barb wire.

These are also a support option in Chain of Command and so fits nicely with the project.

These are 6 inches by 2 inches in size as per the requirements in CofC.

Made in a very simple way.

  • cut a 6 inch by 2 inch piece of 1mm thick chipboard
  • shaped a very thin slice of polystyrene and glued to the chip board
  • layed out the route of the barb wire
  • pre-drilled holes for the wooden posts
  • cut the posts to length from matchsticks and sharped the edge to help penetrate the polystyrene when it came to glueing
  • removed everything.
  • the posts and wire were painted in the exact same way as previously on the trench sections.
  • applied the ground texture – each time it got to the hole for the post, the post was glued into place
  • once all posts and ground texture in place, the barb wire was added

flocking directly to the ground textures

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I then decided, as i had already half done a test piece, to flock directly to it without risking anything that had actually taken time and effort ……

results were very “meh” and uninspiring.

the "Duh" moment .......

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It then occured to me, that as I had made my tufts on grease proof paper that needed to be removed to be applied to the model, rather than glued directly onto it … that I didnt actually need a test piece and could just “test fit” the tufts onto one of the existing pieces of trench that I had already made.

It gave me an idea of what it would look like, but would take some work to make it look like its embedded into the ground rather than sitting on top …. so still not convinced……..

To Flock or not to Flock .... hmmmmmm

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Since I have started the project ive been struggling to decide whether or not the fron edge of the trnach pieces need to have scatterings of grass that thin out as you move closer to the trench.

This in my mind is for three reasons

1 — helps the trench seem more “in the ground”

2 — helps to give hte impression that as earth as excavated, it was just thrown onto the existing ground and some of that either wasnt reached or fully covered

3 — makes it look like the trench has been established for a period of time, and nature is starting to take back over

 

But, there is a fear …. if it looks &*%$ then ill ruin the piece.

 

So I decided to just put on some of the ground texture i had been using onto a scrap piece of polystyrene to use as a test piece.

I then made my own grass tufts using my static grass applicated and using two colour types.

2mm Dead grass for the first layer, and then adding 4mm Summer over the top to give  some colour variation.

3rd section ... fully complete

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3rd section .... infantry insert

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Sandbags being added (these would help to ensure a snug fit, and also to hold the piece securely into position when in use).

 

 

3rd section .... final modifications

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The last thing I needed to do, to fully complete this section, was to raise the front wood panelling to protect the infantry.

On the core part of the model this is lower than the other sections as the gun sites lower to the ground, and it meant infantry looked a little exposed in its current look.

So I decided to build and insert that i can slide in / remove depending on how the section will be used.

The construction was again, the same as how I made all the other pieces with the wood panels / sandbags.

The important thing here was to be care not to glue any of it to the base model!

Below is the wood section being made / test fitted.

 

3rd section ... repurposed

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As mentioned earlier, I wanted to be able to use this section for either infantry or anti-tank.

So to do this, I simply made an alternative rear portion of the trench section.

3rd section .... techniclly complete

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3rd section .... techniclly complete
3rd section .... techniclly complete
3rd section .... techniclly complete

3rd section .... in progress

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I didnt take as many in progress photos of the 3rd section of trench line as its built in exactly the same way as shown earlier.

This piece is intended to be a gun position, but (as your see) I also gave myself the option to use it as another Infantry position so it gives me alot of flexibility in how I want it to be used from game to game.

The front facing piece looks alot more “fortified” and hunkered down with the earth works.

The rear, has some duck boards in place to be able to roll the anti-tank gun into position (and possibly to quickly withdraw it, if the position looks under threat of being overrun)

Thankyou ...... ?

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And a thankyou to whoever gave me a tutoring, skill and idea vote for the photos of my Salute purchases!!!

 

 

Thankyou ...... ?

And Salute came along!!!

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First real distraction of the project … Salute.

It was my first opportunity to return this year since “the event” after attending every year since I think 2005?!? So was nice to get back there.

Impulse buy was 02 Hundred hours (having a WW2 vibe at the moment and also had just started playing “sniper elite 5”)

Also picked up some things needed to complete the german infantry platoon force (the panzerschreck team) and well …. some additional goodies for both the German and US forces I already have (there was actually a 2nd Sherman as well)

And a couple of buildings from Sarissa – the Chateau and a ruined terrace (this will go with the ruined building from warlord that came in the band of brothers box set) and also I had a ramshackle barn from Redendra? so at some point i need to get these all put together as part of this project.

And thats the 2nd section complete

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How its done .... shell crater

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Earlier I mentioned that I had carved into the ground form a shell crater (more a HE round from a tank / anti tank gun rather than heavy artillery).

To create a subtle burnt soil effect, this area first had a wash of strong tone applied to give a darker stain to the ground.

Once dry, thinned nuln oil was applied from the centre and traced outwards to try and give some simulation of the soil being moved / blown outwards by the explosion.

How its done .... sandbag painting

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By now, your notice my colour palette is based around essentially 3 or 4 paints.

I start by painting a balck undercoat (generally takes two layers to block out any of the blue of the blue tac)

Then paint over with stell legion drab (if some black shows through its not really a problem)

I then highlight with a fairly heavy drybrush of Zandri Dust

Finally, A drybrush of I think Morghast Bone (ill need to double check)

How its done .... Sandbags

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Next I place the sandbags onto the ground, and form them into place so they look like they are laying as naturally as possible.

Once happy with the appearance, I then glue them in place with superglue.

At each end of the piece I put a small batch of sandbags (and this is replicated on the test piece as well) so that it will help each piece blend in with each other a bit better and create some uniformity.

On this piece, I piled up the sandbags a few layers high in the centre to provide more “protection” to those entering into the trench system – all for visual representation, but no real effect on any gameplay effects.

 

How its done .... Sandbags

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This is the part where the model reaches its final stage of construction. It starts out exciting but ill admit, does become a bit tedious the more you do it.

First I roll out some blue tac until its about 4mm wide.

Then I flatten the roll with a lolly pop stick – I find this gives a decent thickness of the bag, and also it naturally rounds the edges slightly.

I then cut the bags from the strip of blue tac. About 9mm ish. I try to keep the bag the size of a infantrymans chest to stomach as that feels about right.

Once they have been cut to size, I use a sculpting tool (to be fair a cocktail stick would work just as well) to score each end to represent a seam of the sand bag.

 

How its done .... Wire lines

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Again, pretty simple, and using the same colour palette as already used previously.

Colours used for the posts – black undercoat, followed by Steel legion drab, and then a highlight of Zandri dust.

The Wire, (Came from a couple of packs of old GW razor wire I found in the bits box for what must be 15-20 odd years ago!) painted in Steel legion drab, with a Zandri dust hightlight.

Then I added in some rust effect in random places along the wire.

Simple but I think it looks effective and suits its purpose.

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