Skip to main content

Freewheelin'. . .

The mill after another hour or so of tinkering yesterday evening.  Over the years, I've managed to neaten up my construction process and don't leave quite so many fingerprints fossilized in glue all over the models as I did once upon a time in the distant, dimming past of the mid-1980s.

The mill is slowly coming together, but I cannot remember when a scratchbuilt model structure presented so many challenges.  Ok, frustrating problems.  But it's all a learning experience, right?

As indicated in yesterday's post, the roofline and waterwheel, in particular, have taken several attempts each to arrive at something that, at least, gives the right impression.  The details are not exact enough for, say a model railroad project, the best of which feature meticulous and painstaking attention to detail, but it will work well enough in a wargaming context.  

Underscale, stylized structures, as I mentioned a couple of years ago in an article on building a North German town center, penned for Charles Grant's 2018 Wargamer's Annual, should be the goal rather than accurately scaled models too fragile for handling.  The former provide the right stage dressing, atmosphere, and local color for our games without taking too much time to build, or tabletop space.

Circuitous digression notwithstanding, the point is that it still took a while to nail down something that resembles a waterwheel on the side of a rural mill in a mid-18th century "German" territory.  Initially, I had a go at cutting out a couple of somewhat round side pieces from heavy card, kind of along the same lines as that featured in Charles' how-two piece on building a mill in the 2012 Wargamer's Annual.   

Just how I avoided slicing dangerously into a finger or palm during all of this is still up for speculation.  But two attempts, and two X-acto blades later, one of which was dangerously dull, and I was left with a tiny pile of cardboard scraps, but nothing good enough to use for the intended waterwheel.  Grumble, grumble, grumble. . .

I finally got smart and rooted around in one of the three drawers here to my left where I keep my model making tools, most of my supplies, oil paints, and (in the deep bottom drawer) the carefully sorted pile of unpainted lead.  I dug out a small diameter heavy cardboard tube that I've hung onto for more than a decade and soon sawed off a 1" piece to form the basis of the wheel using my mini miter saw.  After much subsequent slicing, trimming, and gluing, I was left with something approximating the wheel on an old water-driven mill.  

As I say, the details on my model are more than a little sketchy -- if anyone out there actually knows about the component parts of old water driven mills, never mind now -- but the end result looks sort of like what it purports to be, and that's good enough for me.  Just a few more details to cut out and assemble, but then I can paint everything, apply the suggested fenestration (doors and windows),and Bob's your uncle.  

Sawmill Village, here I come!

-- Stokes

Here is the basic structure on Friday evening all finished, glue still drying in a few places, and ready for painting.

All base-coated and ready for painting on Saturday morning.  Acrylic gesso seals the cardboard and provides a nice, even surface for the paint.  It also helps brighter colors to show up in much the same way as a white undercoat does for the miniatures themselves.


Fitz-Badger said…
Looks like it is shaping up nicely, despite the challenges! I'm sure it will make for a great centerpiece on the tabletop battlefield. Looking forward to seeing it all fenestrated and painted!
Steve J. said…
Looks perfectly fine to me, so keep up the good work:)
warpaintjj said…
Looking very good!
I especially like to graffiti, some local wit scrawling the "bleeding obvious" on the side wall. There's always one...
Best wishes,

Popular posts from this blog

Post-Christmas Excitement by Post. . . and a Brief Review

Can't wait to retire to bed this evening with this new arrival!
Earlier this afternoon, Digby Smith's Armies of the Seven Years War arrived with the mail.  A quick glance through the book -- after wrestling it from its Amazon packaging -- shows it to be chock-a-block with information on the various combatants who partook in the conflict, their uniforms, standards, etc.  While I've been aware of Mr. Smith's book for a couple of years, I only got around to purchasing it with some of Mom and Step-Dad's Christmas gift on December 26th.  I cannot wait to examine it more closely later this evening, and might hit the sack right after supper with some fresh coffee and the book, leaving the Grand Duchess and the Young Master to their own devices for the remainder of evening.  Weeeeeell, maybe not quite that early. . .  but all bets are off by 9 or 10pm!

Thursday, January 4th

I just wrote my first review for on this book.  It reads:

A highly interesting title on the v…

How I Got Started. . .

Stirring scenes like this one, courtesy of the late Peter Gilder, are largely responsible for the way I go about the wargaming hobby now.  Coincidentally, this is one of three early issues of Miniature Wargames that somehow turned up on the shelves of a hobby shop I frequented as a callow youth during the early 1980s.  I still have the original copies, #6, #7, and #12, although I have since replaced them with 'newer' less well-thumbed copies as I have filled in holes in the collection of hobby print matter.  Finally, I'll go out on a limb here and state that the covers of 'modern' wargaming magazines in current publication are rarely as charming or inspiring.

At its heart, my wargaming hobby stems from and grew out of playing with green, gray, and blue plastic toy soldiers, tanks, etc. as a child during the 1970s.  Probably like many of you  GD of S visitors.  I also have very vague recollections of paging through a Phillip O. Stearns (?) book on model soldiers a…

Back in the Painting Saddle. . .

It's hard to beat the richness of oil-based metallics.  The Minden mounted colonel that I worked on yesterday evening.  He ought to look pretty good when finished.

I spent a pleasant hour or so last night, following The Young Master's bedtime, carefully teasing tiny bits of Winsor & Newton, or perhaps Grumbacher, gold and silver oils onto the mounted Austrian officer, who will oversee the composite battalion of Minden Austrian grenadiers.  They, of course, are the fellows in the foreground.

Those of you with longer memories might recall that these miniatures have been on the painting table since January.  Real life, however, has meant that progress has been at a standstill since late February.  I even put them away in a box for a couple of months to reduce dust and cat fur build-up!  

However, I managed to get my seat back into the painting chair last night, and here we are.  A steady hand, despite the usual after dinner infusion of strong dark roast coffee, meant only one m…