Friday, April 10, 2020

The End Of Afghanistan

a long prospect, looking down from the highlands to the river bottom 

       I have too long bored my gentle readership with my seemingly endless adventures in building a tiny corner of Afghanistan. That is now over. At long last I have completed this project (you don't know how satisfying it is to  say that!). All that remains is to crate it up and deliver it to Zhodani Commando, that is if the good Governor will ever release us from house-arrest.
last we visited the Lowlands had been highlighted, following that I painted the river bottom

better lighting shows the warmth of the colors better,
I think it was Ansel Adams who said "While it is simple enough to take a
 bad picture with good light, it is nearly impossible to take a good picture with bad light" 
I really need to upgrade my workshop lights

the fields still needed sanding and painting

I studied photos of Afghani rivers for ages trying to get a handle on color,  
needless to say there are as many different looks as there are rivers and days of the year
Zhodani Commando settled on a slow-moving stream with decent clarity

the village is not attached to the hills to ease storage and transportation

the boards are not fully geomorphic, only three sides match from one board to the other

the Woodland Scenics two-part casting resin needs warm temps to cast properly, 
of course the evening that I was casting Michigan decided to revisit winter 

if allowed to get chilled the resin will develop an unhappy milkiness

so I stuck a 200 watt incandescent bulb in my reflector and baked the resin as it set

it did the trick, the resin set up without a flaw

looking up the hill at the Headman's house

the poppy fields are made from an artificial turf that 
does a pretty decent job of looking like real plants
I got these as samples from Menard's a while back

the walls are not attached to the base

I wish I had some 28mm goats to put in the paddock

I built walled gardens to cover the footprint of the houses to change the tactical problems
 and to allow for the houses to be deployed into the lowland section of the board

but who wants to live next to a river that floods every time it rains?

an infantryman's point of view

the village Headman has a great view from his hilltop

the resin models were really rather well done

fine fields of fire from the rooftops

I added water plants to the river bed before pouring the casting resin
the Woodland Scenics product is time-consuming to prepare properly but give excellent results

       This certainly was an interesting project, aside from the solvent-based disaster that destroyed six weeks of work, I have rather enjoyed the work. The constant battle between playability and realism made me stop and consider each step as I progressed through the job. There was always one more thing that could be added but which might impair the flexibility and playability of the boards. Surface texture had to be secured so that there is a reasonable expectation of it surviving contact with wargamers (widely known for such things as spilling beer and eating greasy potato chips). Living in the verdant greenery of Michigan I had to resist the urge to add vegetation. I had to constantly refer to photos and speak with vets who had served there to fully understand just how barren the countryside is. I also resisted the urge to add scatter terrain like oil drums and spent casing that would trap the boards in the modern era. By leaving these off the terrain can be used for any period over the past three millennia.

       As I was making the crate that the bases are destined to be shipped in I had both panels leaning against the doorway. I snapped a couple of photos  with the idea of comparing them to the initial design sketches. I think that they turned out pretty close to spec.

the original design sketch as approved by Z.C.

the hill panel

the flat lands, the roads changed path to accommodate the irrigation canals 
and two small hills appeared at the last minute to break up the vast flat space

       Aside from the time (and materiels) lost due to the "incident" I have about fifty hours of work in this little project. That includes the time spent cleaning and prepping the buildings for painting and then the actual painting itself. At a paltry $15hr that would come to $750.00.
       All told this project consumed the following supplies;

                  1x   4'x8'x3/16" sheet of luan plywood                            19.00
                  8x   1"x2"x96"  clear pine furring strips @ $1.25ea        10.00
                  1x    package Insulfoam                                                     9.00
                  2x    16oz bottles of Titebond wood glue                          8.00
                  2x    Pint tester jars of interior grade house paint            13.00
                  2x    64oz Durham's Water Putty                                     16.00
                  1x    DAP 3lb premixed wallboard compound                15.00
                  3x    2" Syntox nylon paintbrushes @ $14.98ea              45.00
                  4x    1" stenciling brushes  @3.29ea                                13.00
                  1x    package multi-grit sandpaper                                     6.00
                  2x   Gallons of "mistint" interior grade housepaint          18.00
                  2x   Woodland Scenics "Deep Water" casting resin         58.00

                  Total                                                                                 230.00

      Maybe I should have had oldSarge make it on his 3-D printer!


  1. Absolutely brilliant! I’ll be able to play with the boards separately and with them together and have three different ways to set up both together giving maximum replay ability. Very happy with outcome, very happy indeed😁

  2. Very immersive terrain, great pictures as well...

  3. Wonderful stuff the made over buildings look great.
    A fantastic table to fight over.

  4. Beautiful terrain - very impressive work

  5. An absolutely magnificent result.

  6. Fantastic board for gaming. Simply marvelous! 😀

  7. I bow to the master of terrain making... Great stuff.

  8. Simply the best terrain board I have ever seen!! You went over and above expectations on this one. Can't wait to play on it. Dude you really set that bar pretty high. Nice job!

  9. Wonderful work! Your table looks fantastic.