Legio Wargames

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Good Scenics

By smacdowall, Oct 21 2016 03:24PM

I really should devote even a tiny fraction of the time I spend painting military units to terrain and scenics.

Whenever I go to a wargames show, I invariably come back with a bag full of scenic materials, camps, baggage and interesting civilian miniatures. Just as invariably they languish at the bottom of my ‘to be painted’ pile as I focus my attention on the latest recruits needed for the army I happen to be assembling.

Occasionally I get a jolt which spurs me on to spruce up my wargames table to make it more than a simple green cloth for my armies to march over. I should do more. One of the great breakthroughs occurred a few years back when Gary Kitching suggested I should flock my felt cloth. This relatively simple process utterly transforming my table-top setting.

These are rather nicely painted Wars of the Roses figures, if I may say so myself. Yet deployed on a plain green cloth they still look like models. The setting really does not do justice to the miniatures.

How much better they seem when the ground they are fighting on actually looks like a field?

Or better yet when other scenic elements are added?

I think that one of the main reasons I like miniature wargames is the sheer visual spectacle. I want to look down at the table-top and feel like I am seeing a battle unfolding.

To do this the terrain and other visual scenics need to match the quality of the troops, otherwise I might as well play a boardgame.

Last weekend I will ran a multi-player 15mm game set in 5th century AD Gaul at the Society of Ancients Conference. A village was central to game. I had a random assortment of moderately suitable buildings but nothing which matched the painting quality of the units which would be fighting over it.

Therefore I delved deep into my stock of unpainted stuff and came up with wagons, animals. villagers, thatched buildings, a tavern scene...

... and a blacksmith’s workshop (this lfrom Donnington - the others from various manufacturers)

In the end I felt that the village, various civilians and the other scenics did justice to the rest of the miniatures deployed on the table-top.

I really do need to spend more time on this!

Oct 22 2016 11:15AM by Martin Lysén

Great post, lovely pictures! I can't seem to get the link to how to flock your cloth blanket to work, though?

Oct 22 2016 11:22AM by smacdowall

Thanks. I will reset the link. It should be at http://legio-wargames.com/blog/4591469581/Terrain-matters/2324007
Alternativley click on the terrain tag and the previous blog entries on terrain will show.

Oct 24 2016 11:55AM by Ross

Firstly, your new new terrain and the troops look great together. Good work! The whole looks very dioramic (is that a word?)

Secondly, I've become a big fan of having the terrain match the troops stylistically. So matte, detailed, flocked troops, flocked table, detailed buildings etc but also old school gloss troops on painted table with simplified buildings, toy style troops, toy style terrain etc. etc. Crossing styles seems to detract from both.

Of course, the last 2 decades have now left me with a tangled mess, the legacy of experiments and explorations but I am slowly starting to put things in order, possibly meaning duplications of terrain in different styles, hopefully in fifferent scales!

Oct 24 2016 12:00PM by smacdowall

Thanks Ross. Yes I agree the style of terrain and troops do need to match, for too long mine did not

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