Shortly after Christmas I was searching on various web sites for some new pavilions to go with my Italian Wars collection (and at a pinch, my Crusades stuff). During my searches I went to Renedra Ltd.
Although they didn't have the pavilions I wanted, I noticed that their 'Dog Tents' were being sold at half price (£2.50 for four). Heads up and fill your boots!
An immediate change of plan was required: Tents to make a small camp for my horse and musket collections.
I'm not up on tent lore, and I rather think that most other gamers are in the same boat. I'm not exactly sure what kind of tents were used in the SYW, or for that matter during the Napoleonic Wars either. However, from pictures I've seen, I do know two things: The ridge tents in military camps were set up in neat lines and, they all look the same to me.
I chose to buy four packs of dog tents and a pack of larger ridge tents - total cost (inc. postage) £21. This would give me four rows of five tents; a row of four dog tents for the rank and file with a larger tent at one end of each row for the 'officers / NCOs'.
Following a quick undercoat with white spray paint I used household emulsion to paint the tents medium grey; I dry brushed light grey; I finished with a couple of layers of dry brushed pure white; I picked out some of the creases with grey paint; I painted the tent pegs dark brown highlighted with mid brown.
Whilst the coats of paint on the tents were drying, I made the bases (each 80 mm wide and 240 mm long) using 2 mm thick MDF.
I marked out where the tents would stand on the bases with a pencil and glued fine sand on these spaces (so the tents would have somewhere flat to sit); I sand and gritted around the fine sand areas with coarser materials (sand, ground oyster shell and Tesco's 'orange / pink' coloured granular dust free cat litter - which is fantastic stuff for rendering 28 mm rocks); I ink washed the bases (using burnt umber ink, 1 part ink to 4 parts water); I dry brushed the bases with household emulsion paint (a deep sand colour, followed by a light beige).
When the tents were finished, and dry, I glued them onto the bases. Finally, I flocked with coarse turf (Woodland Scenics burnt grass mixed with yellow grass).
This is what they came out like. Not a bad for a Saturday afternoon's pottering whilst listening to the football. I feel a scenario coming on......