Sarissa Precision Ltd: Buildings for the Far East

I've never been big into terrain.

I am never going to make any (far too much like hard, and messy, work) and in the past it's always seemed like a waste of money that could be spent on more soldiers. 

That, however, was before I got my wargaming room back after its sabbatical as a kids playroom, and before I moved this website to Squarespace. I'm having more games now, and the photos are easier to process and upload, and my existing terrain...well, it just isn't up to scratch any more.

Wooden huts for the Eastern Front from 4ground

I have had very good experiences with 4Ground's range of wooden huts for the Eastern Front, so I thought I'd see if I could get some more of that sort of thing, but this time for the Far East. 

A quick search of the web, and I found Sarissa Precision Ltd: a UK company that do a nice little range of laser-cut wood buildings just like 4Ground's.

They have six different village huts in their Far East range, so I bought one of each, and have spent the last few days putting them together: I love the smell of laser-cut wood in the mornings!

Once built, however, I felt they were slightly lacking something. Not in the models themselves, I hasten to add, they were lovely, just that the setting demanded something more.

So I have been very brave, and I have pimped them up!

First I've added a toupee of wool roving (whatever that is!) bought from the local Hobbeycraft to their roofs. This was quite difficult: it involved smearing white glue over the roofs, then carefully snipping off and sticking down layers of wool cording so they look a bit like some kind of vegetation. Don't ask me what sort of vegetation: just enjoy the look!

It didn't turn out just how I wanted it too.

Building One: Planked Style Village House - Low

Apparently you're supposed to be able to comb this stuff, and I had envisioned a sort of green thatch effect...whereas what I have achieved is more Boris Johnson! But I like it, and I think it will look good on the tabletop amongst the plastic palm trees and lichen.

Next, I thought that the empty holes for every door and window (on some of the huts: others have a wooden lattice effect) looked a bit odd.

Building Two: Small Village House

So back to Hobbeycraft and the purchase of a roll of hemp trimming. From this I have made crude blinds/curtains which actually round things off nicely. Flocked bases and the odd shutter finish things off: at least until I can buy some little pots and other household detritus with which to decorate the bases.

So a little bit of work to make them look super, but highly, highly recommended. Oh, and they cost £52.50 for the six, with only £2.50 p&p.

Here are the other four:

Building Three: Woven Palm Style Village House - Low

Building Five: Planked Style Village House

Building Four: Woven Palm Style Village House

Building Six: Small Village House - Low

A Small Village Somewhere In The Far East

CDS AAR: The Horror, The Horror!

Something we haven't had for quite a while: a Charlie Don't Surf! after action report.

This one comes from the excellent A Wargaming Gallimaufry blog (click on the name to go there) where you'll also find AARs for Chain of Command  and other, non-Lardy games.

The scenario pitches a Free World aid station coming under attack from NVA while an under-strength company is on their way to relieve it.  The aid station has the advantage of a Platoon of special forces but were likely to face a heavy assault before the relief force could get there. Click on the picture, below, to see the full report.

Q13 and CDS Army Galleries Reloaded

I have taken a rest from uploading all the IABSM After Action Reports in order to load up the galleries of my figure collections for both Charlie Don't Surf and Quadrant 13. You can navigate to them using the Navigation Bar, above, or by clicking here for the CDS galleries or here for the Q13 galleries.

Doing this has thrown up a couple of things to action:

1. I need to go back and properly 'fill in' my Q13 sci-fi armies. I have too many that have a few core units completed but lack either command figures, especially overall Company commanders; Specialists; and support units, especially aircraft and AA assets. 

This is, I think, mostly due to figure availability - how many 15mm sci-fi ranges include more than one command figure and any AA assets - but is also down to my tendency to get distracted by the opportunity to start new, shiny sci-fi armies rather than complete the ones I have. Not something that happens with my WW2 armies...so maybe it's a sci-fi thing!

2. I need to take better pictures. This new, Squarespace website is really good at displaying pictures, it's one of the reasons I chose it: the only problem being that the pictures therefore need to be of a better quality in order to do the site justice.

What this also means is that I need to find a way of taking pictures that are consistent with each other (i.e. all have the same background etc.) even if they are consistent only at army level rather than for my collection as a whole. This leads on to (3)...

3. I need to set up a permanent photography station somewhere in the man-cave. The galleries where I have photographed a whole army in one go, and added nothing to it since then, look good...but what most consist of is a core of units photographed in one go, then a whole series of individually photographed units against a variety of backgrounds added as they are painted.

This means a place with good, natural lighting; a permanent background screen; markings for where the figures need to go for the right focus etc. As always, I know the theory, and can get the detail from several useful bogs and web articles about photographing figures, but don't have the time to actually do what I need to do!

So that's a few things thrown up by re-loading just the CDS and Q13 galleries, but some of you might be asking why I have with the galleries anyway: lots of war gamers don't bother.

Well, there are several reasons for the galleries.

One is that I like looking at pictures of my figures: and I make no apologies for that. Obviously if the house was on fire I'd save my children before my figures...but don't ask me where the wife fits in to the list!

That was a joke, my dear, just in case you're reading this.

The second is that the galleries are a good way of seeing what I've got. I have about 15,000 15mm figures, all catalogued, but the galleries are a quick short cut to see what units I have and what's missing. If I can't remember if I have SdKfz 221s or 222s; or whether the ones I have are painted for early war, late war or for the desert, then the galleries are a quick way of looking. 

Finally, it's good to look at my figures and compare them to those painted by the experts (Piers Brand, War Painter etc). Mine aren't up to that standard, but seeing what they produce (both photography and the painting itself) inspires me to improve what I do...and if you aren't improving, you're dying!

R

 

Bulldogs for Vietnam

Originally posted 13th July 2014

A unit of Walker Bulldog tanks from the Battlefront Vietnam range. These are really lovely models that I picked up in their 40% off sale. 

I know these are technically a bit cheesy marked up as US tanks, as in Vietnam I believe these were only issued to AVRN forces, but they will suit for US troops in Korea...and they were 40% off and do paint up nicely!

BTR-50 PK APCs for Vietnam

Originally posted 14th April 2014

More models that I picked up as part of Battlefront's 40%-off Vietnam sale: a platoon of five BTR-50 PK armoured personnel carriers.

This is a cracking example of buying stuff that I cannot think that I am ever going to use! Well they were 40% off: bargain!

Actually, they will do for some general purpose sci-fi APCs for Quadrant 13: and will actually fit in with my Aphids very nicely.

Battlefront Vietnam Sale

Originally posted 18th March 2014

The large box from Battlefront has arrived! 

All the vehicles I need to fill in the gaps in my Vietnam US forces and at a 40% discount. I'm generally no fan of Battlefront, even though I buy their models quite a lot but, in this case, they have excelled themselves.

The 40% Vietnam sale is still on until 31st March.

M48 A3 Pattons

Originally posted 15th March 2014

In preparation for the large box that should hopefully soon arrive from Battlefront (well, if they will have a 40% off sale!), I thought I'd better clear the last few Vietnam-era figures on my existing lead mountain. 

Here are two M48 A3 Patton tanks painted in two distinct styles: one is straight off the ship, pristine and covered in nice bright markings; the other is a more battered, sober vehicle. 

Nice models...and if you're reading this before March 31st, get yourself over to the Battlefront website and stock up now!

M551 Sheridans

Originally posted 2nd March 2014

Some reinforcements for my Vietnam US infantry: three M551 Sheridan tanks from Battlefront. Lovely models that come absolutely ram-jammed with stowage built into the models. The only negative point is the delicacy of the barrels of the HMGs: you can see from the photos how bent they are...and stay, despite my best efforts!