Category: Making Stuff

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


Dana’s Year 7 Castle Assignment – Lütjenburg Castle in 1:150th scale

Year 7 Castle 3328 Lütjenburg Castle in 1:150th scale

My older daughter (Dana) is in Year 7 and in January she came home with some home work that got me excited … she had to make a castle. And Dana wanted to do a Motte and Bailey Castle. Oh, wow, modeller heaven. We only had two weeks so we got stuck in.

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What to use for Crests in Crossfire – Part 2

Crests2 19 - All sizes

Back in 2014 I blogged about What to use for Crests in Crossfire. To be fair I didn’t really like any of the ideas but the “Long tiny hills” had some merit. So I did a version 2 of them and I’m very happy.

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Home made cemetery in 15mm

Homemade cemetery 416

Decades ago I purchased some lead headstones from Military Miniatures in New Zealand (now defunct). I figured I should do something with them. So here you go … a home made cemetery in 15mm.

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Home made Burmese Pagoda for 14th Army

Burmese Pagoda 78 Finished including flocking

Adam is keen on the 14th Army in the Burma Campaign. Accounts of the campaign feature pagodas (i.e. temples) in the villages. Luckily you can buy roughly 1/100th scale pagodas from pet stores (or Amazon or eBay). Unfortunately, these are all Chinese or Japanese. And it doesn’t take long on google to discover Burmese pagodas are unique. They feature a golden umbrella in a variety of patterns but basically a spire with wider and narrower bands around the spire. Gold of course. And the base is a white dome. Hmm. I can’t buy one, so I’ll make one.

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Making boulder and rock fields for Crossfire

Rocks24 Portuguese Cacadore in the rock field

The Crossfire supplement Hit-the-Dirt introduces Boulder Fields and Rock Fields as Crossfire Terrain for scenarios in the Italian Campaign. My post Types of Terrain Features in Crossfire explains how they are used in the game. In this post I explain how I made mine. Simple but excessive is the summary. Simple because I start with actual rocks. Excessive because I base, paint, and flock.

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Operational Terrain 7 – What size Hex/Square Grid to use?

Grid Size 5 - 4 Inch Hexes

Cards on the table, I should have started with this experiment first. It might be too late, because I’ve been doing a lot of Experimenting on a 4 Inch Hex Grid, but I thought I’d see how my 15mm figures fit into the hex grids (4″ and 5.5″) and square grid (4″) that I’ve already got. The answer … not very well. This is, of course, for my as yet unwritten rules for operational level wargames called Deep Battle.

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Operational Terrain 6 – Tiny Hills to Fit 4 Inch Hexes

Tiny Hills 4 On Table

My Terrain Experiment on a 4 Inch Hex Grid convinced me that my existing hills were too big. I need some tiny hills to fit within 4 inch hexes. The context is that I want to try some operational level wargames on a mat with a 4 inch hex grid. This is for my, as yet unwritten, Deep Battle rule set.

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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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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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