Wednesday, April 25, 2018


When I learned of the Bolt Action tournament at Little Wars just a few weeks ago, that set off a scramble to prepare.  The army was painted, but I didn't have a display board, nor did I have objective markers.

While I am not sure if they are actually needed, I figured that have the standard 3 objectives on hand might be a wise precaution.  One of them is already set, but I needed 2 more that could cover a few different aspects.  They needed to fit my early war "what if" French army, but later on I wanted them to be potential terrain pieces which could work for both France 1940 and for our Barbarossa campaign.

This meant breaking out the extra firm Gray Sculpey, and seeing if I could get these sculpted, baked and based in a mere 2 hours!!!

The hulls of the Panzer 1 and 2 were a more simple task to create, but the wheel and track assemblies are always much tougher to construct.  I had to save major time, and after reading a book series called PanzerWreks, I discovered that burned out tanks had a tendency to end up on their belly armor buried in the dirt/mud. 

This is due to the rubber on the drive wheels burning off, but more importantly the tortion bars melting.  Once this happened, the weight of the vehicle made the remaining hull sink to the ground.

This was perfect, since it meant that I could set the hulls into the wood filler, as well as the scattered drive wheels and sprockets.  I could also make some very quick and easy folded track lengths, and bury those too!

This alone saved hours of painstaking work on something that was "destroyed".  Yet another reason I did not want to spend very long on this project!

I used my clay extruder/pasta machine to create metal 'plates', which I could cut up with the exacto knife and turn into hatches, hinges, viewports and so on.

I was hoping to keep the hulls intact so that I might even be able to make temporary "complete" wheel/track assemblies in case I needed a working tank, but this part of the vehicle is simple enough to sculpt that I could make more in a pinch.

It is mostly a matter of creating 'blocks' of the Sculpey clay, and cutting away at it to get the desired shapes.

Once the pieces were set into place, I added some more wood glue to cover up bits of the tracks, as well as provide a little more 'grip' for the shattered wheel assemblies.  It was pretty funny to see them sitting at such odd angles, but after looking at dozens of images of wrecks, this is fairly common.

I had a collection of debris from my previous terrain projects (the roads and display board), which made some very nice large rocks and other scatter bits.

The original bases were going to be larger, so that I could potentially have miniatures standing on them, but space on the display board is at a premium.  Also, this is a lot closer to the normal recommended size of Bolt Action objective markers.

These have already been primed, and I will try to paint them in some form of video tutorial.  It might be a facebook live, or an instagram live.  Not quite sure yet!!

As always, any support on my Patreon Page makes it easier to create how to articles such as these, terrain making videos, painting videos, and so on.  It is a lot of fun to do them, but they also add a lot of extra work to every project.

Any support is greatly appreciated!