Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Derry's walls - part 6 lifting the roof off

Raw internal view - a front face will conceal the lower floor
One of my big dilemmas building this project was deciding whether to have removable roofs on the buildings. As many of the scenarios in the book are Donnybrook scale skirmishes and involve missions which have to be completed by various factions I thought that have internals in at least some of the buildings was a necessity.
mock up with removable items in both upper rooms
The removable roof has yet to be constructed
Another view of the mock up with removable items in place
different style of interior layout with a stray GNW artillerist!
It is quite a perplexing judgment call - which to seal up and which to leave open. Sealing the building is the easiest way to go and of course makes it far more robust for transportation and storage. Having only in the last few years been turned on to the real possibilities of skirmish gaming it have never bothered me much before.
overhead view of the upper floor of the Armoury

This is the small thatched store room adjacent to the Guard room

As I had not planned to have removable levels or floors on the buildings my internal access was restricted to single storey buildings or the top floor of multi storey structures.
beam to support lifting from lower floor with chains installed

Mock up with items in place with ladder in outer room shortened and fixed
Again you wil notice the liberal use of my highly expensive buildings materials - coffee stirring sticks, foam core, pins, wood glue, plaster, sand and items such as wire mesh for the windows.
Front face of the armoury fitted - refer to the original sketches below
The shots in this post were mock ups created very late on the night before a very early long haul flight to my other place of work the Gulf.
retaining wall added to the staircase which really changes the look
I did these shots mostly to give myself something to think about on the long cold nights in the Tropics. Actually, on the plane I sketched out some ideas for the street face of the Armoury/Magazine building which I intended to complete on my return.

During the construction process and encouraged by the tremendously positive feedback I have received here on the blog and on TMP I have designed a reinforced tower house attached to the walls. It will occupy the final space on the extreme left of the six foot wall section. I am now also considering extending the walls around a corner bastion towards a second gate.

Here is where we're up to as at 300915 - one major building to construct on the far left

Friday, September 25, 2015

Jim Purky's BIG unit of Swedes

Jim Purky needs no introduction in the world of Horse and Musket wargaming so I won't try here, if you don't know about Old Fritz then search out his German 'alte' ego and see what he has been up to for a long time.

Jim has become very engaged with Warfare Miniatures Great Northern War project and recently sent me some fine pictures of his newly completed unit of the celebrated Upplands Regiment.

Jim definitely beat me to the punch as I have long planned to paint larger units for my GNW collection but have simply been checkmated by the clock. I was thus delighted to see what he had done with the newly released Swedes.

He chose the tricorned attacking poses to create a fine animated unit capturing all the dash and aggression of Karl XII's blue killing machine.

His use of file closers to create the impression of a third rank is a neat little trick on the eye.  As a teaser I have included a final shot of four painted Russians completed just before I headed out to Oman (back soon to continue building the walls of a north western Irish town).

I know Jim has plans (big plans) to continue with his Swedish legions. I hope he shares those pictures with us all.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Derry's Walls Part 5 - some calibration mid project

Although not finished this piece is getting close with natural weathering taking place
At the approximate mid point of this project and having listened to the comments and feedback from Blog members and friends I thought it would be good to include a few shots of the walls of Derry provided by Peter. I used as my inspiration the drawings of Philip Armstrong (Painting the Past), old prints, modern illustrations and other sources.
additional work going on around the gatehouse with gate chains fitted
Peter has over the past few months provided many interesting pieces of period history as well as pictures of his impressive 15mm collection.
The Derry model illustrating the city at the time of the siege
His recent encouragement and feedback plus some additional pictures of the fantastic scale model of Derry in the town itself provided excellent food for thought as I ramped up towards constructing buildings on the two boards flanking the central gateway board.
Construction moving off the central board with buildings appearing on the two outside boards
I consciously decided to attach certain buildings to the inner side of the walls. Most illustration of Derry show the walls without anything on the inner edge but with some buildings clustered closely near the walls particularly around the gateways.
Another great shot of the Derry model
I suspect that these reconstructions are conjectural to a lesser or greater extent but to which I am uncertain. Without either an updated city plan, renewed on an annual basis over the course of the period 1680 onwards, it is impossible to say what structures existed for a short or extended period of time in any location in the world.
Looking at the city from the west 'bog side'
The recent discovery near Stonehenge is a great example of many learned tomes being challenged by modern discoveries. This coincidental event provided me with the license(as if I needed encouragement) to build what I was motivated to but in the spirit of the age and its architecture.
Ship Quay gate and the area around the river. notice the roof section of the gateway
Of course, all of the shots here from the project are still WiP shots and not the finished article. That is still a couple about three weeks away at time of writing as I am once more in the Tropics earning a crust.
outside view with the Guard House on the inner wall - right
Inner floors of the Armoury before the town-side wall is put in place - the bottom floors will be sealed except for the hatches

Monday, September 14, 2015

Here comes those Russkies!

OK so these pix are not the best and were done very quickly on the iPhone but I thought before I flew off again I'd share the punctuation mark activity conducted during my construction of Derry's walls.

I have prepped up one each of all 20 sculpts so far mastered but only managed to complete the painting of four. They were are real joy to do and actually very quick due to the elegant simplicity of the sculpts.

Clibinarium has really captured something special with these chaps. The mix of poses on the theme of FIRING LINE is interesting and distinct enough to give 10 distinct variants - five are shooting and fire are in the various acts of loading and priming.

The small, hastily assembled grouping here gives a very small representation of what is possible. The GNW range 'benchmark' was set with the Swedish infantry and these Russians compliment them perfectly with an  solid aggressive/defensive stance against the elan and movement of the blue coated northmen.

More Russians will be here on the blog soon and the production process continues even as I type.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Soldiers of Killiecrankie - Detail of the individual uniforms

Irish musketeer with French equipment
These shots are a selection of the many I took of individuals during the day. Sergeant Thomas O'Brogain carried enough authority  to encourage many of his group to 'pose' for the camera!
Ensign David O'Brogain
I gave inane instructions to the very nice people and they did their best to do what I was asking of them.
This uniform could be many regiments
I was particularly happy with the individual shots and although I did not get the names of everyone involved I'd like to thank Alan Larsen, Thomas, Sean and David O'Brogain, Sean Mcgennis, Ian, Frank and the nice chap from Loudon's whose name I did not get.
Earl of Leven's Regiment fixing bayonet

All featured here somewhere!
Earl of Antrim's Regiment sword drawn

Ferocious clansman!
Officer of Horse
Mounted senior officer

Monday, September 7, 2015

Derry's walls - part 4 the Devil is in the detail

roof tiles from cheap cardboard found at the back of notepads
The early stages of this project saw big progress. Walls appeared, stairways,a breach and a  gateway filled six feet of boards. Gouging and plastering and sanding and painting created a real sense that things were cracking on apace.
this middle board has taken over 40 hours alone so far.
When I started assembling the buildings around the gateway area I began to run into some real challenges - building symmetrical buildings onto tapering wall sections called for much planning cutting and pinning.
cutting door hinges
 Roof construction is challenging. The ubiquitous wooden coffee stirrers came into their own as a scratch building material.
Not yet painted - hinges and handle in place - brickwork is card.
I had to think of how to construct such mundane items as doors, gates, window frames, door knobs, hinges, half timber sections, fascias , a draw bridge and drawbridge chains, thatched roofing, fixing rings etc.
mesh grills on windows - I may yet seal this room up to create a more robust roof
This really put my ingenuity to the test and had me scrabbling through boxes and old materials bins which I literally had hung onto for more than 20 years.
finishing off the structure of the upper windows - built on wood

I have actually used stuff on this job which I acquired and stored as far back as 1995 and never used. The hording qualities of wargamers are I believe, unsurpassed!
This roof was difficult because I hadn't planned well enough

This post may help some of you who intend to embark on scratch building of mundane but necessary little features which lift a model up a couple of levels.
starting to take shape now - some tiles and chimney added
The humble wooden stirrer which is easy to cut and shape contributed to fascias, roofing sub structures, door panels, the gates of Derry, a drawbridge, hatches, half timber sections on the large military guard house and other patch jobs here and there.
where it's going is becoming more obvious now
I used a very useful sand, PVA and water mix to get the rough stone effect on most of the walls and buildings. This is easy just to paint on a dries very quickly.
this roof was tricky too
The hinges for the doors are made from cobbled pattern plastic sheeting which, when painted looks like rough wrought iron.
looking through the guard house gable end window
I even found something in an old store box that I thought I would find very difficult to buy.. some wire mess for the screened windows of some of the buildings.
to allow all edges to be finished properly I'll probably seal this room (without the guard inside of course)
The cruciform window frames were made from matchsticks. I was struggling with the idea of wrought iron door rings/handles and couldn't decide on anything until one day I noticed a bag of buckshot someone had given me to use as cannon balls! Voila! - Iron door handles in one!
feel the love.. it's had a lot of it so far!

There are various other details too numerous to mention but I am sure you will spot something here which you can use.

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