My principal interest in wargaming these days is "Flames of War", a 15mm scale WWII wargame, although I do dabble with other systems too. Whilst I can't rule out the occasional musing on the state of the industry, the local wargaming scene, model reviews or the ability of dice to defy statistics, most of my ramblings will really be project logs dealing with some aspect of miniature conversion, painting or terrain building. Basically the stuff I (rarely) wrote about over at "Safety Markings".
So, what am I working on at the moment (in all defiance of the laws of physics when it comes to the transmission of sound waves)?
With the Brighton Bash FoW Tournament a mere month away, I thought now would be an excellent time to start building some terrain for it! Whilst the club has a good stock of generic terrain and Flames of war specific stuff, I had it in mind to do a few signature pieces.
The first would be a table to resemble the Band of Brothers episode "Crossroads". An embanked crossroads, towering over surrounding lowland bogs and fields, with a windmill draining the bogs into the irrigation ditches.
The second is the one I have started today, a V1 launch enclosure. The recent release of the excellent "Open Fire" starter set for Flames of War features a rather cool terrain piece in the form of a V1 Doodlebug on a truncated launch rail.
On its own, this is a nice little piece. I hope to get the various club members to paint their up and we can have them scattered around a few of the tables come January. But what I wanted was something a big more...intimidating.
During WWII the Germans constructed various purpose built V1 launch sites. These facilities group storage sheds (shaped like a Ski for purposes of minimising the potential damage caused by a near miss RAF bomb strike. The shape of these sheds gives the launch facilities the name "ski sites"), assembly hangers and a protected launch rail. One of the best preserved and documented of these sites is at Hazebrouck.
In the long run, I want to do all the buildings and have a full launch site. But I have left it a bit late so I'm going to concentrate on the launch ramp instead. Flicking through the internet I found an interesting scale model of one that I decided would serve as the basis for the launch facility.
Looking at it, the key elements are:
- A long launch rail, at least twice as long as the one in the "Open Fire" boxset.
- A launch bunker. This will be semi recessed in the ground and accomodate two medium bases.
- Large, heavily built blast walls
- A second V1 ready for final assembly and launch!
I found a convenient piece of 4mm MDF and laid out what I thought would look like a good approximation.
I then set about making the various bits. My priority was the launch ramp and stowed V1.
I thankfully have two V1 kits so I simple stuck all six rail sections together to give a long rail. I then placed three unmodified legs as you would normally with the kit.
I now needed to make three longer legs. I decided to use the existing legs but add a common extension piece to add the same stand off to each. I cut three trapeze shaped parts out of 1.5 mm thick plasticard (about the same thickness as the current legs), keeping the angle the same as that used on the current feet.
|Also handy for Mario/Wario cosplay|
I then used a Dremel and a sharp knife to cut away the plasticard to leave the "frame"
Finally, I cut the feet off the existing legs to leave a flat surface I could bond too and stuck the legs on the last three positions of the extended rail. Once they are dry I will bond the extension pieces on.
|Worse... War of the Worlds tripods...ever|
In the meantime I set to work on the stowed V1. A quick image search on Google showed that the wings and horizontal stabilators were removed and stowed alongside the hull of the V1 on a compact towing trolley.
|"Reich's Strongest Uberman - V1 towing competiotion"|
|As an aerospace engineer I can tell you, those bits are important|
|Now ready to double as a torpedo|