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Operation Get the Horn Completed Starts Here

Well, I’m back from Scotland where we had some great fun playing Sharp Practice at Claymore combined with some jolly times with chums over beer and curry.  All in all a great weekend, but that must be consigned to history now as the next project has landed on our desk with a crash.

We have The Other Partizan coming up in 12 days time and, frankly, we have a whole ton of work to do.  The game we will be running there is an 1840s action, with a Royal Navy landing party of Marines and Sailors taking on an evil bunch of slavers on the Horn of Africa.  It’s a game I have long wanted to do ever since I read up about a local Admiral who died in the early years of the 20th century but whose name lives on in a number of road names and local landmarks around Lard Island.  Having done a bit of research, I discovered that his first action was as a midshipman in the 1840s against Arab slavers.  One of the great joys of Sharp Practice is that the limited number of figures required means I can aspire to do several small projects like this which have been loitering in the corners of my mind.  It’s probably a game I will only play through a few times, but with the limited time and money required to be invested it will make a viable little diversion which we can run out for a short campaign or a few scenarios.

Those of you who follow us on Twitter will know that I finished painting my Royal Navy chaps about a week ago.  They aren’t based yet as I wanted to get the terrain boards done first and then match them to that.  But here they are anyway:

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That’s a mix of Perry Miniatures and Foundry for the Marines and Empress and Foundry for the Jolly Jack Tars.

Okay, lets have a look at the terrain.  Some of you may recall a post a while back about some Citadel terrain boards that I had nabbed off eBay.  I ran a piece here about covering the multitude of daft skulls with sand and grit.  This is what it looked like when I completed that task.

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The first job now was to get a base coat on which would then allow the whole thing to be dry-brushed up to a desert type colour whilst having some depth to it.  I went with a chocolate brown and applied that first to the broken ground with a smallish brush, before then painting the whole thing with a 2″ paintbrush of the domestic variety.  You need a relatively stuff brush to ensure that nooks and crannies are got into, so I use a pig bristle brush for that purpose.  After than any old 2″ brush will be fine.

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When that dried, I began the process of building up several increasingly light colours using a selection of match-pots from the colour co-ordinated range in the local DIY store.  Nothing very exciting here, so here’s a snap of how that ended up.

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As you will note, I concentrated on the rocky and broken ground with the lighter colours to bring out this detail.  What you’ll also notice is that I have kept the overall feel fairly dark as this is really the base colours done.  Now I wanted to soften the look by using an aerosol of Humbrol Desert Tan gently applied across the whole area.

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My plan is to do some more fine dry-brushing over this, but not until I have completed all of the terrain boards as we need to add some home-made boards to complete our set up.  Indeed, let’s take a look at the plan for how our layout will look when complete.

Plan

 

As you can see, I want to add a beach with some low dunes (the yellow bit) and a stretch of sea so that the British can decide where to land.  On the high ground will be a tower with an artillery piece, although on reflection I am actually considering making this a low works rather a tower to improve the arc of fire.  Then there is the fort behind that.  To the north is the baracoon where the slaves are held (it’ll be empty at the time of the game) which will be an objective for the British to burn down, and then an oasis will provide some colour and a water supply for the fort.

My first task for the day is to head over to B&Q to get some wood cut for the additional boards.  After that I need to start painting my slavers and get building the other stuff.  So much to do, so little time…

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4 Responses

  1. Cpt. Shandy says:

    Very interested in this project – I love landing operations and I’m looking forward to seeing how you include them into SP!

  2. Great start on these terrain board. I am really interested in seeing the completion of this project. Cheers, Peter

  3. Warburton says:

    Very interesting project… Looking forward to more!

  4. "Fingers" Lane says:

    “It’s a game I have long wanted to do ever since I read up about a local Admiral who died in the early years of the 20th century but whose name lives on in a number of road names and local landmarks around Lard Island. Having done a bit of research, I discovered that his first action was as a midshipman in the 1840s against Arab slavers.”

    I’ve been eagerly anticipating a bit more information about this historical background, particularly the name of the Admiral in question and I expected to find this in the write up in the next TFL ‘Special’ PDF magazine.

    Well, I’ve now read the comprehensive article on this project in the TFL 2016 Christmas Special, but I was dismayed to find that the identity of the historical Royal Navy Admiral who inspired the whole scenario has _still_ not been revealed!

    Please, oh please, tell us who this chap was!

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