Charlie don’t scratchbuild

cnv00004It’s been over a decade since I last played a Vietnam game but I thought I’d share these old photos, with a few new ones, all the same. At the time I didn’t base miniatures so they’re typically smaller, most of the above is scratchbuilt, some purchased with a few found goodies too. Rather disturbingly this means the bulk of the sandbags you can see have been made from miliput and hand laid individually. One thing I have noticed, and will illustrate later on, is how my palette has brightened over the years. It was common for all gamers of all scales to use the same standard colours and tones, now we tend to brighten those the smaller we go, a positive development I think.

cnv00016I can’t remember who made the miniatures, but the bought features like the mortar pit to the right of the tower were from Irregular. I added the tin roof for utility. The trees are those railway trees and don’t really fit, but palm trees were as rare as pacifists in foxholes. Yet again this is a single box collection, that is all the buildings pack away into a single shoebox sized, er… box. The trees I store seperately, another single box, but suitable for lots of periods bar perhaps jungle based scenarios.

dscf0754Some of the pieces in detail, a couple of which I’ve rarely seen anyone else bother with especially not in 6mm. A latrine, a shower (very “It ain’t half hot mum”) and a supply office or QMs, the latter was a railway piece I think with added crates and miliput sandbags.

dscf0755A couple of adaptations of “tent” pieces from an old boardgame, the one on the left generic, the one on the right being an officers mess or the C.O.s. If the extra protection and sandbags weren’t enough of a clue there’s also an air conditioning unit on the rear. Showing more wear and tear than the rest of them for a very good reason which I’ve learnt from. The original pieces were just smooth forms with no texture so to get a canvas look with creases and folds I glued some strips from a plastic bag to them, about the worse way of doing it. Now I’d either use very damp paper with a wealth of PVA or thin metal from a cut open and cleaned empty tube of tomato puree. The latter is a bit risky to fingertips as it can cut so well it makes a papercut look like a joy.

dscf0756From the same old boardgame come the barrels and boxes, with the fuel tank in the middle being a model railway piece. The barrels are a single piece including the base and just needed painting and flocking, the boxes had a tarpaulin made from a slice of puree tube added too. The fuel tank was based, had a pitifully useless number of sandbags added plus a fuse wire hose. Both the fuel tank and the barrels were very popular pieces in games involving a U.S. base, the NVA and VC used to nearly always mortar them first.

dscf0758A couple of manufactured pieces, a wholly enclosed bunker and a mortar pit, both from Irregular I believe.Out of focus GHQ jeep to show scale.

dscf0760Scratchbuilt mess hall and kitchen, made from corrugated plasticard and a stovepipe from I don’t know where. Another one of those pieces which would fit a variety of periods. This also show the brightening of palette I mentioned early on. The building is quite dark, the mud dirty and a monochromatic flock for the glass. Compare it with the much brighter finish of the blurred tank (hey it’s moving really quickly ok?) and it’s base. That’s natural evolution over about 20 years, and no sign of that pesky Darwin.

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