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Thursday, 8 November 2018

Square hills ... are ready for use

Some time ago I bought some 10cm square wooden boxes that I planned to use as hills in one of the exemplar battle reports that will be included in my forthcoming THE PORTABLE NAPOLEONIC WARGAME book. The battle will be fought on a 10cm square grid that I have made from a 80cm/32" square piece of green felt cloth on which I have marked an 8 x 8 grid.

I have finally managed to make four hills using the lids of some of the boxes, and they look like this:



I sealed the surface of the boxes using two coats of PVA glue, and then painted them using dark brown acrylic (Burnt Umber) craft paint. I originally intended to flock the tops, but during a recent visit to a branch of Hobbycraft I discovered that they sold sheets of sticky-backed green felt. This was a slightly darker shade to the colour of my green felt cloth and I bought some ... and in a trice (and in good old Blue Peter fashion) I had cut the sheets to size and fixed them to the top of my hills.

For the benefit of blog readers from outside the UK, Blue Peter is a long running BBC children's television programme. It was first broadcast in 1958 (sixty years ago!) and in its heyday featured all sorts of 'build it yourself' projects, many of which involved the use of sticky-backed plastic.

16 comments:

  1. I think you deserve a Blue Peter badge for those hills.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Peter,

      Cheers! Perhaps one will arrive in the post ...

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. Tim Gow,

      I'm only following Chris Kemp's example!

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  3. Hi Bob,

    Very neat and tidy and I wish I had thought of the same idea for the square hills I have made!

    For the record I never got a Blue Peter badge although my daughter, Holly, has one gained from when her school choir appeared on Blue Peter and yes, we still have the video!

    All the best,

    DC

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. David Crook,

      Cheers! Being the father of a Blue Peter badge holder trumps my non-existent one!

      All the best,

      Bob

      PS. Does the video come out whenever you want to embarrass your daughter? You know, like those pictures that parents always keep and get out whenever you bring a new friend home to meet them.

      Delete
  4. I just wonder how many people reading this have asked ‘what is sticky backed plastic?’........

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ian Dury,

      I'd guess that most of my regular blog readers are of an age where sticky-backed plastic was part of their everyday life when they were young.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  5. Very neat job Bob. I'd forgotten about sticky-backed plastic! I never got my hands on any as a child though I was a big fan of the show (Singleton-Purves-Noakes days - the best line up!)

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    Replies
    1. Maudlin Jack Tar,

      Cheers!

      Besides the clear stuff sold to cover books etc., in places like WHSmith, sticky-back plastic in different colours and textures can be found in branches of Hobbycraft and The Range.

      I agree that the Singleton-Purves-Noakes line-up on Blue Peter was the best, but credit must go to Biddy Baxter for making it the show that it was. I once heard Peter Purves say that the sound of her high heels clicking down the corridor after a rehearsal could make strong men quiver!

      All the best,

      Bob

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  6. I like the look of those hills... I must admit my own approach has been a bit casual, with the attitude, what the grad area has the most of, that is its terrain type. Just asking for trouble...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have made an important discovery just now. Enclose anything in '<' and '>' and the whole bally lot vanishes into the total perception vortex of cyberspace.

      Delete
    2. Archduke Piccolo,

      My previous square hills were a lot smaller, and made using a combination of thin plywood and thick cork. I did not think that it was a method that would work with larger hills, hence the use of wooden box lids. The results aren't bad, although I might use a lighter-coloured paint on my next ones.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
    3. Archduke Piccolo,

      You've come across the dreaded arrow bracket and its effects! It's great for formatting in html, but not for use in normal text.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
    4. I was thinking the hill-tops a darker green than the base cloth is a very good look, especially taken together with the dark brown edging.

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    5. Archduke Piccolo,

      Cheers! I wasn't sure when I painted the sides of the hills dark brown that I'd made the right decision ... but once I'd added the sticky-backed green felt to the top, my doubts went.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete