Friday, 7 April 2017

Bull Run Update

I'm about 40% of the way to completing the table for Joy of six and as requested it's probably time for a few photos. I've started at the Stone Bridge/Manassas end of the table (where Ian's Union forces entered the table during the xmas game).. The pictures show boards that are either finished,need a little touching up or are at plastering or flocking stage. All the hot wire cutting has been done so I know the lay of the land. I need to paint the wooden bridge and the ends of the rivers need sanding where the resin has expanded so that the boards sit flush and after some research I have discovered that North American river grass is green so I'm going to change that and I'm going to flock the board edges so that if there are any small gaps between boards hopefully they won't be as obvious.

Mary doesn't think the photos do the boards justice ,especially the water effect but here goes.

Black areas are either undercoat for roads, rivers or woods

Union left flank entry point looking from the middle of the Bull Run river toward the confederate positions (Henry Hill is the white unpainted polystyrene at top right), the stone bridge is round the bend in the river behind the woods. I am going to replace the yellow river grass with green since every picture I have found is that colour.  (Yes Mark, those are stormtroopers still in there boxes in the display cabinet). The wooden bridge in the centre needs painting.

The Stone Bridge crossing the Bull Run. The river needs sanding at the end as the resin leaked slightly from the dam I placed at the end during setting, but once that's done the two boards should sit flush and the gap disappear . Youngs Branch the smaller water course that runs through the centre of the battlefield can just been seen through the trees at middle left .The board in the center just need the roads and river preparing and then i will add the water effects to it. The crossroads that the figures are approaching has been created with plaster of paris, painted black, then sprinkled with small ballast to give it texture. It will then be painted with two shades of brown and a light dusting of dirty white. 

Youngs Branch. Unfortunately my camera hasn't done this justice as the river is shallower than the Bull Run and you can therefore see the river bed

The Confederate entry point. Manassas (the Federal objective is behind you. Henry Hill ,scene of the worst of the fighting is directly ahead through the trees. The Stone Bridge is to your right.

View from the Confederate positions . Henry Hill is to your left and the Stone bridge is on the other side of the trees to your front

This pretty much shows how each board is developed. I'm getting better with each board and revisiting the first ones each time I learn something new.

A slightly better shot of the Branch, but still lots of light reflecting from the surface so you don't really get the full effect. You will just have to see it in the flesh

No table is complete until some boots have marched across it and these guys are about to get their feet wet. See how the felt fields blend so nicely into the flock. I also need some single trees basing on 15mm diameter stands so that they sit better on the tables. The bigger stands are okay for large woods but many of the wooded areas are quite small.

Next section of the Branch ready for painting ,dry brushing and then the addition of river bed, vegetation and water. In the centre of the picture is a piece of raised river bed that will become another of the fords. Again ,I also need some single trees basing on 15mm diameter stands so that they sit better on the tables. The bigger stands are okay for large woods but many of the wooded areas are quite small.

Early stage of board development. Painted undercoat for fields, woods and roads. The roads have been created by laying down strips of Plaster of Paris which can be laid across contours. The edges have been folded over to create a verge.

Basic stage. This is Henry Hill. Ready for PVA to stick hills down, application of Plaster of Paris to create the smooth contours and roads. The board to the top left is drying after application of green flock and dark shades and light highlights .Next stage is to flock the areas that are wooded and then finish the roads.

You can only just see it in the picture but the parallel pen lines that run from the sticker at bottom left to the bottom right are where the Bull Run re-emerges at the rear of the Federal positions and runs almost two thirds of the way across the back of the table. This is the reason that the Federal forces attempting to outflank the confederates had to go on such an extended march. 


  1. These are coming together very nicely. I like that river effect Jon, you will have to enlighten me on the technique used. It's something I would employ on tables 2A and 2B on the Operational boards. I can see a lot of time and effort has already gone into this project.

    Nice work - and once your all done Morph can go back into his box!

  2. Looking good - can't wait to play the dress rehearsal. I would recommend surging on with production and leave improvements until the end. It allows more time to think about those improvements and it easier to go over all the boards at the end as part of a tidy up. I find this is quicker.