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Miscellaneous Battlefield Features
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1 Tank Traps, Foxholes, Trenches, Sandbags and Mealiebags

These items are all painted in the same basic way. If the sandbags or mealiebags are 'free standing' and have no other terrain features (such as earth or wood) on the model, then prime the model with white primer. If there are any other terrain features, paint the model black.

Begin by drybrushing the groundwork (mud, earth, etc.) with burnt sienna (enamel or acrylic. When dry, repeat as necessary, each time adding a little more flesh colour to the burnt sienna until the desired effect is achieved.

To bring out wooden details, paint on a 3:1 mixture of brown and yellow ink, staining the wood a different colour to the earth. To give more depth, when dry, lightly dry-brush with white and raw sienna.

If not already primed white, paint the sandbags themselves white and leave to dry. Cover the sandbags with a thinned wash of Paynes grey oil paint, then, while the paint is still wet, wipe off with a piece of clean, dry sponge. This enhances the fabric effect of the sacking.

For old or damp bags, this should be sufficient. Drybrushing with white or yellow ochre adds a lighter, dusty effect representing dry sandbags.

Review by Mark Wheeler published in the SOCTW Journal, Issue Twenty:

"...The 'SB' range falls into two types at present, 20-01 to 20-06 are lengths of sandbag walling, whilst 20-07 onwards are various foxholes and dugouts. The various sandbag lengths are free standing and orderly (no bases with all bags neatly stacked, none scattered) with each a little over half an inch high, giving an impression of a leisurely prepared defence rather than a hasty construction under fire or of some age.

Each bag is formed with a sack fabric effect and many sag realistically. At a pinch they will serve as lengths of mealie bag defences, with the exception of SB 20-04, a hut (store or armoury rather than occupation) about two and a half by one and a half inches composed entirely of sandbags but for a wooden door and a single window/embrasure.

A separate sandbag lined roof can be removed and the interior is hollow but with all internal sandbag detail present - clever moulding here I think. The examples I have of the fox holes and dugouts exceed in number the three listed so I suspect this part of the range is still under development. In appearance they are circular, oval or semi-circular, come topped with sandbags or tree trunks. None have bases and the surface is depicted as abrasive (stones and earth) and some will double as shell craters. All the 'SB' items are a competent attempt at basic weargamers scatter items, sensibly priced and are recommended."

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2. Stone Ruins

This is a set of 8 ruin pieces designed in a 12th. Century ecclesiastical style of stonework. They may be used singly or in multiples to represent a ruined church, cathedral, monastery etc. in Western Europe from the 12th. Century to the present day. They are also suitable for fantasy and science fiction. The larger items have separate damaged floor pieces.

Undercoat the pieces with white primer and allow to dry thoroughly. Cover the model with a thinned layer of Paynes Grey oil paint then, while the paint is still wet, wipe off with a piece of dry, clean sponge. When dry, any woodwork can de drybrushed with burnt sienna, then raw sienna, yellow ochre or yellow then white. Water marks and mossy areas my be simulated by stippling in black and green, then gradually adding lighter areas of green, yellow and white. Burn marks and smoke damage can be added by stippling with dark brown (burn umber) and black. Chipped stone can be picked out in white and yellow ochre

Review by Mark Wheeler published in the SOCTW Journal, Issue Twenty-One:

"...Meanwhile, (Monolith) have release some very useful and different items in the shape of RB 30-01 to RB 30-08, a series of 8 25mm ruined ecclesiastical-styled stonework ruins. Now, these are very clever models, in many ways being 'scaleless'. For 25mm figures they blend in as abandoned church or monastery sections whilst in a 20mm game their sudden 'increase' in stature gives the impression of a much larger cathedral type structure. Most pieces depict a large stone-block construction with concrete type base and corner pillar design and a number come with separate timber flooring sections which fit onto lips in the internal stonework to give a partial section of upper flooring. All are versatile, well thought out with RB 30-04 (illustrated) being both my favourite and representative of the range. Not shown in the drawing is a section of optional flooring which makes for an excellent firing/observation post from behind the huge arched windows.

All wall sections are pocked and flawed as if by projectile damage and none have any piled debris or even any bases. Personally I prefer this; although it looks more realistic it becomes far more difficult to position figures and vehicles. Moulded in a mid grey you might even get away with no painting and the pieces are usable either individually, in small groups or in one large 'scatter' depending on the size of the structure represented. Thoroughly recommended."

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3: Brick and Adobe Ruins:

This is an adaptation of the method of painting complete adobe buildings. As described before, two methods can be used:

The first method is slower but relies less on technique and is fairly repeatable if you have a lot of models to do. The second method produces more variation, suitable for structures produced over a period of time by different builders.

Method 1:

  • Cover the entire model with a thinned layer of raw sienna oil paint. While the paint is still wet, wipe it off with a piece of sponge (the little squares used in figure blister packs are ideal). This will stain the white primer a pale light brown and leave traces of paint trapped in the crevices of the model. Use fresh pieces of sponge as they become filled with paint, the last wipe-down should be done with a dry piece.
  • Use a brush wetted with thinners to clean up around windows, doors or brickwork to avoid obscuring detail through paint build-up. When you're satisfied with the appearance, set the model aside to dry, preferably overnight in a warm place.
  • Details such as doors and window frames can be painted as desired.
  • When finished, clean the sponges with white spirit and allow to dry in a well-ventilated area.

Method 2:

  • If you are in a hurry to do a couple of buildings, acrylic colours are brighter and dry much faster, although enamels are fine if you prefer using them. For this method, prime the building as before then undercoat it with raw sienna and leave to dry.
  • Next, using a technique called 'wet brushing' (like dry-brushing, but with a fully-charged or wet brush), paint the required surface with strokes that run up-and-down (rather than side-to-side) using a shade halfway between white and raw sienna. The tip of the brush should just skim the surface of the model, such that the undercoat colour is still visible in some areas.
  • When the second coat is dry, use the wet-brushing technique again to apply a white top coat. The two undercoats should be visible in areas, creating a feeling of character and depth.

Any woodwork or exposed brickwork can be undercoated with acrylic burnt sienna., then finished by dry-brushing with white, then raw sienna, then white again.

The ruins should have a neglected look about them. Use a wash of burnt umber to darken the walls, and lighten the broken edges with a light dry-brush of yellow ochre and white. Dirt stains, plant marks and, perhaps, burn marks can be added by stippling with burnt umber, green and black.

Brick can be simulated by using the above techniques, substituting brick red or terracotta for burnt sienna.

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