Copyright © 2019, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2019, Paul Scrivens-Smith

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Saturday, 18 July 2015

Bois De Caures - Setting the Scene

Our finished table
Last Sunday James, Tom and myself attended the rather lovely Barrage show in Stafford.

I reckon I'll get three blog reports out of it as I have been a little slack with the updates of late so thought I would kick off with a description of how we set up the Bois De Caures table.

We requested a 6ft x 10ft table from the show organisers, we cover these in a couple of blue nylon cloths to hide and rough edges and give a neat backdrop to the game.

We then put two 6'6" x 5ft cloths that I made from black-out lining, decorators caulk, cork chippings and emulsion paint, they are quite hardy and give a good playing surface, also a lot easier to carry around than terrain boards.

The cloth is laid over some polystyrene hills to give some texture to the battlefield.

We then clamp on the backdrop, this is two pieces of 4ft x 1ft MDF with a wooden baton that James has painted very effectively with a WWI background of shattered trees, dark skies and rolling hills.

Now the fun part, before we put any terrain on the cloth we give the whole table a dusting of snow, this means that if any of the terrain shifts during the game we do not get any harsh 'shadows' from the darker cloth showing through.

Once the cloth has been liberally dusted with snow we then start putting on our terrain features, as you can see here, we have a belt of barbed wire and defensive positions representing the origginal front line on 21st February 1916, plus shattered trees and shell craters.

The whole thing again is given a liberal dusting of the snow, it's the Woodland Scenics Soft Flake Snow, two pots cost James about £30.00 and is more than enough to cover our table, after a game we just funnel it back into the pot for re-use.

The trees are rather simple, but very effective. We just use twigs cut at one end and snapped off at the other stuck with hot melt onto mounting board and textured with filler.

One person at the show was quite critical of the trees, claiming that that are too tall and 'look wrong' however there are ways of being critical and my opinion of the chap following his rudeness is that he came over as rather a cock-womble.

The barbed wire positions are made from satay skewers stuck on to mounting board and textured. The wire was bought from Northstar and wrapped around the posts to make a suitable entanglement.

The shell holes and defensive positions are all vac-formed plastic from a mix of Amera, Kallistra and Early War Miniatures  likewise these are stuck on mounting board, textured an painted.

 One pain in the arse job is that we have to go around the shell holes and flick most of the snow out of them with a paintbrush, we forgot to take a brush with us at the weekend so it was a matter of flicking it out with our fingers.

The whole table takes less than 30 minutes to get set up and I'm rather happy with how it came out.

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