Cabbages for Kings (and Commoners)
Playing Sharp Practice always drives me on in my never ending search of pretty terrain, so launching into work on the ACW supplement has seen me not just seeking to enlarge my figure collection, but also do some work on some terrain pieces for a few homesteads to populate the table.
Naturally I’ve been knocking out wheat and corn fields and rail fencing by the bucket load, but one idea that I saw at Salute really caught my imagination for a smaller, more homely piece; a kitchen garden. Now I’ll admit that 28mm cabbages is not something that I had even considered until I saw the superb terrain produced by the chaps from South East Essex Military Society for their Great War game using our ‘Through the Mud and the Blood’ rules. Their Belgian force was defending a Flanders village which was beautifully modelled and included several small gardens, one of which had rows of cabbages. With this serving as inspiration I knocked up a small sample that graced our table yesterday evening, and as it was so easy to produce I thought I’d run through it here.
Some of you may be familiar with the self-adhesive paper flowers that can be had from hobby stores to be stuck on random things, usually when some poor sod is foolishly persuaded to wed. The photo to the right shows a sheet of these that I got from our local branch of Hobby Craft for five pounds. You will note that some of these have been painted cabbage green, however this is entirely unnecessary as will be revealed.
I measured a suitable sized piece of MDF for the base to accompany the Perrys’ North American Farmhouse. This was essentially dictated by the size of the fencing that I used, which in this case came straight out of the box. I have chosen to leave this open on one side as this will allow me to incorporate it into a larger set up. Anyway, with the fence and a couple of barrels and a chair stuck in place I removed the sticky backing from the flowers (easy, they just peel off) and with a dot of superglue I stuck them in place. Once that was dry I painted the flowers with a 50% PVA glue and 50% water mix. This sets and leave the flowers/cabbages nice and solid. Once that dries I simply undercoated everything, including the flowers, black with an aerosol (completely negating my painting the flowers green earlier!) and then painted up from that.
For the cabbages I used Vallejo Olive Green, then added some yellow and dry brushed that on, before finishing, once dry, with the same with some added white. The base was then covered in Basetex and flock with the usual dry brushing of colours from there. Once it was all done a liberal coating of spray on matt varnish sealed it all in place.
I now have over forty flowers/cabbages left over to produce a larger garden area where I may well start off with some lines of “no nails” or similar builders filler to create more of a ridged effect and then leave room between the rows of cabbages to allow the figures to cross the field without tread in the greens. To my mind it is stuff like this that elevates our wargames table from the anodyne to the inspirational, and it is even better when the total cost is less than two pints of beer.