A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that


Tuesday, 13 August 2013

What the Hex That Thing?


Well, since you asked, that's the first instalment of my new Stack-o-Hex scenic plates, manufactured to order and sent to me by Uncle Tony at ERM. They are 7 inches across the flats, same as my table hexes, and are laser-cut from 3mm MDF. They are going to be painted in the regulation baseboard green (Dulux Crested Moss #1) and then will be adorned with various hand-painted sections of road, stream, village and wood bases and so on - whatever else takes my fancy, or is required by whimsical scenarios (what's the plural of scenario - could it be scenariones? - hmmm...).

3mm weight is heavier than I intended, but it makes a neater job, and will help avoid warping - they are also less liable to slide about in moments of stress than thinner ones would be.

This is all a reaction to the embarrassment I felt as the result of deploying some old laminated paper scenic plates at my recent Battle of Nantwich. I'll work away at a few examples of the new type, and once I know what I am doing I'll crack on. The idea is to keep them flat and pretty much flock-free, so they stack in a compact manner and don't get damaged much. There will be some plain green ones, too, so that I can, if I need to, buy myself a little extra level ground to position houses around the edges of a BUA.

The little unit of 20mm French sappers is just to give an idea of what a 7 inch hex looks like. This is, after all, sort of a job for the engineers.


10 comments:

  1. I laid in a store a while ago with precisely the same plan in mind. Haven't had much chance to do anything with them, but the science is sound.

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    1. I'm going to practice painting freehand roads in a dark cupboard till I can do it. My horrible printed paper scenic plates started life as photographs of real roads, which sounds better in theory than it looks. So much for science.

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  2. I look forward to seeing what you do with those Tony.

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    1. Hi Lee - I'm a bit nervous about the hand-painting of details, but I guess a bit of practice will help. My philosophy with buildings is "rough is beautiful", but the resin buildings I use already have the detail cast on, so that is false bravado to an extent!

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  3. Scenarii? Paint both sides and you should get no warping!

    Hugh

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    1. Thanks Hugh - what if both sides warp, and to different profiles? What then, eh? I've used 2mm MDF in quite big sections for artillery bases etc and painted them on one side with no warping, so I think it will be fine. Plywood warps regularly - a number of my older bases have an elegant little curve.

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  4. Nice idea. Did you get any halves so you can fill in the sides neatly? My OCD side wants to know...

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    1. Good question - and, of course, halves come in two varieties, pointy and flat faced, which complicates matters.

      I'm about to make a new table top which will be laid out the C&C way around, with the straight rows of hexes across the table parallel to the long edges (my present 35 year old table has the hexes running the other way, which requires a bit of fudging for C&C scenarios). I'll adopt the C&C philosophy and abolish partial hexes - anything off the 13x9 board will be painted a different colour, and will end a long, depressing history of poorly balanced units diving off the edge of the Earth on to the floor. The edges of the table have always been the last remaining area where cheating goes on in this crisp, clean, OCD world of hexes, so I will welcome the change.

      The fact that I have been about to produce this new table for at least 3 years now does take a little of the shine off this theory, but it will happen. The posh new hex plates make that a point of pride, now...

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  5. Though only 5" across flats, I used 20 gauge sheet steel for my hexagons. Guaranteed no warping.

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    1. Wow - that's classy, but I am scared to ask how you make them. I have already realised that my magnetic-based units would sit very nicely on steel plates. Hmmm.

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