For many years, in addition to assembling plastic military models, I also engaged in wargaming. Friends and I played HO scale and 1:1200 scale land and naval battles on the ping pong table located on my home’s screened in porch. We even founded a wargaming club at our high school. As with building models I stopped wargaming decades ago, but like modeling I decided in recent times to take it up again.
A slab of insulation that I held onto for years – even moving it to our new home – is the basis for the playing surface. Its compact dimensions and light weight make it easy to store upright in a closet, when not in use. I used an XACTO knife to make shallow excavations for the roads and watercourse; I laid down craft paper for a roadbed, which I then painted.
Given that I wanted to have the ability to alter the table’s terrain to suit different gaming scenarios, I made up a bunch of cardboard hexagons, adding foliage to a few of them. These hexagons can be stacked of positioned a number of ways, to represent different elevations.
Sometimes a battle I plan will feature a village. For this I made a cardboard template, painted to illustrate dirt streets; the cut outs are where buildings will be placed – once I’ve built them!
The photo above indicates how the terrain hexagons look on the table . . .
. . . while this one shows how the village template will appear.
Wooden fences were a common feature of mid-Nineteenth Century farms and other rural settings. There were a number of fence styles but I decided to use the split rail variety. In case you hadn’t guessed it, these are challenging to build. I used wood from coffee stirrers for the rails.
I’m having a lot of fun creating the things I’ll need to stage my little American Civil War battles! Any comments?
2 thoughts on “Reviving another hobby of mine”
Happy New Year;
I’m glad that you have taken back your war games hobby. I know that it takes a lot of time and effort to get all of the accessories built up but keep at it. It was a lot of fun and if you are doing Civil War battles, that it even better.
My good friend it was so good to receive your comment. Remember all those mornings we gathered at the PBGHS flag pole, waiting for the first bell to ring?