Category: Making Stuff

My interest in wargaming includes military history, gaming, and modelling. This part of the website focuses on the last of those.


Top 20 Pages on Balagan

Balagan Site Stats

I started this blog on 21 Feb 2001 and then Migrated Balagan to WordPress on 15 Sep 2013. So, roughly 4.5 years ago. One of the great things about WordPress, compared to the hand crafted HTML site I had before, is that I get statistics on page views. Apparently I’ve had 1,176,779 views since I migrated and 1,125 comments. My biggest day (23 Feb 2018) brought 2,420 views – this was because Reddit got hold of my Academy of Street Fighting: Tactics during the Battle of Stalingrad post. Today is a typical day with 750 views.

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Operational Terrain 5: Railways using Gingham Printed Hard Craft Felt

4Hex039 Gingham Hard Craft Felt Railway Line

Following my Experiment with Felt terrain on Hex Grid, I was unsatisfied with using a grey felt strip for a railway line. So I went looking for a patterned felt that I could use. And I found it: Gingham Printed Hard Craft Felt in Black.

This is all part of my ongoing search for Operational terrain to inform the set of rules I’m thinking about called Deep Battle.

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Operational Terrain 4: Making Felt Rivers, Roads, and Railways for 4 Inch Hexes

4Hex368 Materials for felt linear terrain

In response to my Experiment with River Templates for 4 Inch Hexes, Doctor Phalanx suggested I use 1cm wide felt for rivers and roads. So I gave it a go and added railways into the mix. This is all because of my interest in Operational Games and my, as yet unwritten, Deep Battle rules.

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Operational Terrain 3: Experimenting on a 4 Inch Hex Grid

4Hex821 Hotz Mat with rivers road rail hills wods and towns

I got my Hotz Mat with a 4″ hex grid so I thought I’d try out my Operational terrain so far. This is part of my experimentation to inform the set of rules I’m thinking about called Deep Battle.

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Operational Terrain 2: Making MDF River Sections for 4 Inch Hexes

4Hex819 Hotz Mat with painted MDF rivers

I’m really keen on Operational Level Wargames at the moment and have a mind to write a set of rules called Deep Battle. I thought a good starting point would be with the table top. Get a table that looks like the kind of game I want to play, and use that to inform the rules. So I’m going to continue experimenting with Operational Terrain.

One of the ideas from my Experiment with River Templates for 4 Inch Hexes was to get a company to produce my river templates in MDF. Warbases kindly agreed to do this for me. They

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Grass Tufts or Wargaming with Fairy Door Grass Mats

FDGM062 Fairy Door Grass Mat

Brett Simpson kindly sent me some “Fairy Door Grass Mats”. I’d asked about the grass tufts in his jungle photos and wanted to know the source. Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, Fairy Door Grass Mats are only available in Australia. So Brett sent me some. Despite the mushrooms and bugs, these mats are a useful source of jungle foliage. Perfect for the Portuguese Colonial War.

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2018 Confessions of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian

Megalomaniac

My inner megalomaniac is back. This post is a follow on from my 2017 Reflections of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian. The previous post was a retrospective of the last 23 months, which means pointing out my successes. This post is the (overly ambitious) list of what I’d like to get done in the coming year. It is the more embarrassing part. The confession. Bear in mind these are more or less active projects.

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Terrain Templates from Sisal Florist Mesh Wrap

Sisal Wrap Wood Template

I’m always on the hunt for better wargaming kit. So a couple of years ago I experimented using Sisal Florist Mesh Wrap for terrain templates.

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Do I have enough Ruins?

I have been collecting, making, and painting Ruins for quite some time. All for my long term Stalingrad project. So I thought I’d get all my ruined buildings, rubble piles, and shell holes out and see if I had enough. What do you reckon … do I have enough ruins?

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SixMillBuilders Interlocking MDF Roads for 100mm Hexes

SixMillBuilders-Normandy-Table-3

I thought I’d share some of the ideas of Willem from SixMil Builders on terrain for hex mats/tables. In particular his interlocking MDF roads. He also makes 6mm buildings to match.

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Operational Terrain 1: Experimenting with River Templates for 4 Inch Hexes

Rivers for 4 inch hexes – Templates for most likely options

Quite a lot of the Operational Level Wargames I looked at recently use a hex grid. And 4 inch hexes seem about the right size for the table top – at least to me – so I have been wondering what to do about terrain. My normal terrain will sit on hexes fine. But rivers are different. That realisation lead to experimenting with templates for generating river features to sit on top of a hex mat.

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Making simple terrain templates for wargaming

Template1 - Materials

I ran out of cardboard terrain templates in my recent game of Crossfire so I made some more and took the opportunity to take some photos. It is a pretty simple process.

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Crossfire in the Western Desert – Brett Simpson’s North African Terrain

BSWD08 Afrika Corps Radio man walks past palm

Brett Simpson has been busy building up terrain and troops for North Africa using Crossfire. He is also experimenting with my ideas on Crossfire in the Western Desert. Brett has been sharing photos with me as he went along so I thought I’d share them more widely.

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Ponyri Station – A Hit the Dirt Blast from the Past

Ponyri Station 12

I was filing old papers tonight when I found a few photos of a very early game of Crossfire. Real photos, you know, the ones on photographic paper, from a shop. It took a while but I figure the game was Ponyri Station. I thought I’d share because, aside from the fact these are the only photos I have of a game of my favourite scenario from Hit the Dirt, they also show how I started out in Crossfire – using anything I had.

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Crafting trees using wire, steel wool, and flock

Brett Simpson sent me a photo of a tree he’d made. I thought it was fantastic and asked Brett for some step by step instructions. So he sent me his approach to crafting trees using wire, steel wool, and flock.

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