Sunday, 22 September 2013

New markers for my WW2 desert games

Those who follow this blog will have noticed that we have been using plastic bases (for FoW) with home made sticky labels on them to indicate various things. Partly, this was because I couldn't think of enough different things to put on more scenic looking markers - the plastic markers would be a tidy stop gap until I could. I have been thinking about counters quite a lot recently, and I have come up with enough to get going.

I will, as usual, use small stones mounted on two pence pieces as casualty markers. These counters are very easy to make and do the job very well. At the moment I am using my less arid ones but in time I will make some new, less green ones. This photo shows a stone marker to indicate a 'compromised' stand. It also shows one of the old plastic markers.
Markers to show that a unit has fired are the most commonly used markers in our games. Consequently, they need to be kept simple enough to mass produce - I've made 32 so far and may need more. They take the form of shell craters mounted on two pence pieces. The crater is a thin layer (3mm) of Miliput with a hole pressed, and widened into it with the round ended handle of a big paint brush. The scoring on the crater sides was done with the side of a darning needle mounted into an Exacto handle. Sand and grit, glued with PVA, around the craters finished them off.

Markers to indicate suppressed units has been a little more difficult to come up with. Finally, I have settled on shell bursts.These were made on two pence piece bases. The bursts are made from nails of various lengths glued to the base with a glue gun. A glue gun is essential to make these simple and quite quick to make. After being made, the shell bursts were coated in PVA and dipped in a grit heavy sand mix. I made 16 in an hour and a half.

All counters were painted and dry brushed with household emulsion with a darker than usual base coat in the shell craters and on the 'sprouts' of the shell bursts.

Next up, I'm making up some 'used smoke rounds' markers. These are based on one pence pieces. They will be sand and gritted then have some cut up 28mm white metal spears sprinkled onto them - when painted a brass colour they will look like spent shell cases. I've used these on some of my artillery bases and they look very effective.

I am still to come up with markers for surrendered troops, and may need a marker for retreating (I plan on using two shell bursts until then). Current ideas are short lengths of barbed wire (for surrendered) and casualties (for retreating) units. Both must fit onto two pence pieces. If anyone has other ideas, please let me know, especially regarding markers for retreats - I hate painting figures that are just for markers.

Please, don't tell me that I am doing something illegal with my two pence pieces. I looked up the legislation some time ago, and I'm not. It is a myth that defacing the Queen's head on coins, or despoiling coins of the Realm is against the law. The law only concerns the 'breaking up' of coins. Providing that you don't cut, grind or drill into the coin it is pretty much OK to do what you want. If you want to dip the Queen in PVA and then sprinkle her with sand and grit, you can!


Richard Naylor said...

My suggestion for a retreating troops marker would be a set of footprints and/or tyre tracks running across the base. Keeps it pretty simple to make but it's the very thing retreating troops will make lots of.



Gonsalvo said...

I like the craters and the shells bursts.

The poor Queen, though; sounds like being "tarred and feathered" might be preferable to being dipped in PVA glue, grit, and dry brushed, LOL!

AHunt said...

I love the idea of the rocks for casualty markers. I'll have to wip up a bunch of those. Thanks for sharing.

Simon Miller said...

The shell bursts are really excelllent; love them!

fireymonkeyboy said...

I like how the counters don't compromise the visual effect of the game.


Dalauppror said...

Stunning set-up !!!

Best regards Michael

Mad Guru said...

It's an awesome set-up you have!

My humble suggestion for a "surrender" marker would be a small WHITE FLAG. You could do it simply as a flag itself mounted on one of your small coins, or -- and you may well bristle at this version of the idea -- a single figure converted to hold a white flag of surrender. That of course would be much more involved, but I do think the simple white flag would work, and be relatively easy to mass produce.

Whatver you choose to do, I'm confident it will turn out looking quite good!