Saturday, 27 March 2021

Olive Grove

 Terrain is crucial for any game, but I find that I am always neglecting terrain in favour of figures or vehicles.  So to work a bit on this deficiency, I've added a small olive grove to my collection.

I was inspired by Pat Smith's Setting the Scene:  Volume II – Creating a Wargames Layout for the MediterraneanGreat book, highly recommended.

I started with some old CDs, added some air-dry clay, sand and ballast for texture and some tree armatures from Woodland Scenics.  I experimented a bit - I put four trees on the first base, which looked too crowded.  The one with only two trees looked a bit sparse, so I put three trees on the remaining bases.  Once I added the foliage, though, the bases were pretty full, so two trees per base is probably right.

All five bases:

The two-tree base:

The four-tree base:

Three-tree base:

PIAT team using the trees for cover:


Another CMP

 I stopped by Imperial Hobbies for their annual spring sale, and came away with a second Rubicon CMP truck.  To make this one a little different, I built it without the canvas canopy.  

I gave this truck markings for the 1st Canadian Anti-Tank Regiment.  It could serve as a tractor for the 6-pdr AT gun if I end up needing one.  I know that the 6-pdrs were generally towed by Loyd carriers, but I'm certain the gunners would have used whatever was available.  The US Army used the similar Dodge 'Beep' to tow their 57 mm AT guns!

Italian Priest

As my little Sicilian village grows, it's become clear that it needs a priest to tend to the needs of the residents and to be in charge of the church.  I recently found a couple of Russian priests, but these fine gentlemen would not be acceptable to minister to Roman Catholics in Sicily!  So I started a search for a suitable mid-20th century Italian priest.  There's a great variety of mediaeval and dark ages priests available, even suitable priests and monks for Napoleonic Spain.  To my eyes, however, none of these look right for 1940s Italy.  I discussed this with my friend Doug, who simply reached into his collection of unpainted miniatures and gave me a plastic Perry Miniatures ACW officer in a frock coat.

I took a cut away his sword and pistol, and also trimmed his moustache.  I also extended his frock coat with some green stuff.  An Italian priest would likely wear a biretta, but that would exceed my meagre modelling skillz.  So instead I gave him a simple skull cap (aka zucchetto).  I kept the officer's sash to be the priest's fasciaA village priest would likely have plain black fascia and zucchetto, but that would be pretty boring or even invisible against the black cassock, so instead I promoted him to monsignor so that he'd be allowed to wear purple.  As I painted him, I was reminded of Sir Alec Guiness and Leo McKern in Monsignor Quixote, a 20th-Century retelling of Don Quixote set in Spain shortly after the end of Franco's regime.  

His face is a little unfortunate.