Monday, 7 September 2020

Making a wargames board part 3 Snagging and finishing.

I got side tracked from finishing the board off last week and only got back to it this weekend just gone.  I drilled the frames through on the long edges and bolted them together to ensure everything lined up and fitted snugly together.  This is one of those jobs where measure twice cut (or in this case drill) once is very much the thing.  It would have been easier if I had remembered to place all of the screws which hold the frame to the MDF table top the same distances apart.  What saved me was that I used 50mm deep battens and 20 mm long screws so that even allowing for 5mm as the depth of the counter sinks into the table top the screws only reach 25mm down into the batten.  That meant that I still had 25mm of the frame to drill into.  Live and learn as they say.

Framing all done.  Centre line battens are to help stabilise the end sections if they hang over the end of the banquet table a bit. 

Bolts help the sections butt up tight but mainly are there to stop sections moving apart in use.

I have bought 6mm diameter bolts with 50mm length.  So I drilled 8mm holes to give a bit of leeway. but I didn't really have any problems as the holes all lined up and the sections bolted together fine.  I do have some snags to deal with.  One section doesn't butt up as closely as I want.  This is either the batten not set square to the top so the bottom of the batten is leant outwards a little or the drill hole having to be tidied up a bit, but either way the application of a wood plane will sort the issue.

Some of the filler I used to hide the screw heads has shrunk and I need to add a second layer but that is a simple job to do before I apply the second coat of the green paint to the table top and paint the edging strip.  One more weekend's work should be sufficient to see it all done.  The only outstanding question is should I leave the table top the single shade of green or try to break it up a little?  I'm open to ideas here.

I haven't got it to the point of  gaming on it yet but while I was trying out the 6' x 4' combination I did deploy some 2mm ACW figures.  This was to give me a visual on the Altar of Freedom First Manassas scenario comment on this being a very large table for the small number of troops deployed, but it recreates the issues of command and control on the day.  I set up all the forces in the game's order of battle for First Manassas and it is clear that there is a lot of ground for them to cover.  Next step on that particular project will be to make the specific terrain called for to replicate the main features on the battlefield.  Some of my existing terrain can be used but there are some items I don't have or don't have enough of for the scenario.

You can see how lost the troops for 1st Manassas are on a 6 x 4 table

At the moment I have some Brigade models ACW small scale scenery buildings on the painting table.  These are slightly smaller than the figures and still wildly larger than ground scale but they work well enough in use.  I'm making some additional river sections especially for the scenario, first up are the numerous fords that allow crossings of Bull Run, then some additional hills.  More on those in coming posts.

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