Friday, August 25, 2023

McPherson's Ridge Complete


Oh that the ACW, 
is the best CW,
by now I've convinced you.
time for the last ACW,
the end of the ACW,
with your friend of the ACW,
its the end of the ACW
ACW time with Stew.
(that's me).

McPherson's Ridge Complete

Everything being done, it's time to get it all onto the table and see how it looks.  Time to see if all these disparate pieces made individually will come together as a whole.   

I did some mental gymnastics to lower my expectations; because nothing in reality really matches the images you have in your head.  reality always lets you down.  Like I have this idea of how I look in my head and then I see myself naked in the mirror......

As this is the end result of 3 months of hobby dedication, you'll forgive me in advance for the large picture barrage...

McPherson's Ridge

Previous part can be seen HERE

And here we go: 

Whole table.


The scenario is set on a 5' by 7' table, so I set up 3 of my folding tables for a 6' by 7.5' which gave me some room on the sides.

One end of the table.

This is the side that the CSA will be attacking from.

The forest bases and fields do drape nicely over the hills.

I'm pleased that the railways cut (on left) and the road (on right) look suitably different. 

Seminary Ridge with the Lutheran Seminary and Thompson House.
The Thompson house later served as Lee's HQ.

East McPherson's ridge running down the center.
West McPherson's ridge has the the McPherson Farm marked by the barn.

Herbst Woods butting up to the Willoughby Run (the stream)

I'm pleased with rolling hills effect.

I'm pleased that the wheat fields look decent.

Whole table again from an artistic slant angle...

Lets add troops! 

Naturally I wasn't going to set all this up and not do anything with it.  That would be like getting dressed up to watch TV.  So on a Friday, at the stroke of noon, the wife went to pick up the kids from school, taking with her the destructive 2 year old, and my friend CG came over to play a game.  We can do this because I have Fridays off and CG is retired so time means nothing to him.  

We played the scenario that takes place in the morning. where two CSA brigades are attacking while the union has 2 brigades from the first Corps arriving.  

Scenario set up pics

As the scenario starts, On the Union side, The Iron Brigade is in the process
 of deploying behind Herbst woods. 

Meanwhile on the Confederate side,
Arher's brigade is poised in front of Herbst woods.

Naturally they collided.

The above photo also illustrates well why I went through the trouble of making a base for the area of woods.  Half way through the game and the trees have been moved, the fences jostled out of position, but by the darker green players still know where the woods begin and end. 

I just think this is a pretty picture.

That's enough pictures.  You get the idea; I made table and played a game on it.  

Actually, I'm gonna play TWO games on it.  I cashed in even more hubby points to have my buddy AS over to play again not even a week later.  We played on a Thursday morning while the kids were at school.  We can do this because I have thursdays off, and AS is retired so time ALSO means nothing to him.  

Second Game set up.
The same scenario again

The Seminary catches the morning light

I won't labor you with a ton of pics.  
well alright, a few more.

CSA on the attack.

The Iron brigade smashing in with a counter attack.


I think the table looks nice.  Damn nice.  Not jaw droppingly gorgeous like I am (as I see myself in my head), but very good.  Could use more trees and fences.  WHY DO I ALWAYS NEED MORE TREES AND FENCES???!!!!    Definitely good enough for people to come by and take pictures while at a convention.  

This was my first attempt at making 'a table' versus 'a terrain piece,' if you get my meaning. I enjoyed the process.  There is more that I would do for it but I'm basically out of time.  Pacificon is the first weekend in September.  Plus, I had to post some pics for Dave Stones Terrain challenge.

Though I'm gonna have to trot this out several times, to conventions and club games to make sure I get enough appreciation and attention.  Wait, I don't mean appreciation and attention, that makes me sound vain and shallow.  

But yeah, I mean appreciation and attention.  


Speaking of Conclusions:

As alluded to in the above text, summer is over and school is here.  Now I get back my nights as the children will have to go the bed on time. 

To wrap up summer we had our traditional family water balloon fight in our backyard.  
We call it fight, but it's mostly the kids throwing balloons at me while the wife takes pictures. 

Son #3 was mostly happy just messing with the balloons

Son #2 and Daughter #1 were smart enough to change into swim wear.
I was all "you guys aren't even gonna hit me, I'm too fast too furious, I don't need to change..."

Everyone had fun and the kids didn't even complain when we had to pick up all the balloon scraps.

Thanks for Reading
Doable thanks for writing a comment.
Till next time.

Thursday, August 17, 2023

McPherson's ridge part 6 (The Seminary and The Stream)

Yes the ACW,
is the best CW
come on now and get a clue,
that the ACW
is the best CW
before we bid these posts Adieu.

Even More McPherson's Ridge

Even closer to the end now.  Then all shall be revealed in a upcoming glorious post.  Soon,
Very soon.  Which is the very same thing that I tell my spouse when she asks about lingering home projects.  

But for now, here are the last 2 required pieces for the battlefield.  
previous post can be seen HERE

Required Seminary

The first time I typed Semenary instead of Seminary.  I'm Hilarious, even when not trying to be.  And sophisticated humor as always.  

On Seminary Ridge sits the (now famous landmark) Lutheran Seminary.  It's a building that everyone recognizes and just screams out "GETTYSBURG, Gettysburg battle here!" 
I've had this huge hunk of resin sitting on my desk and on my to-do list for a long time now.  I got it from Noble Knights Games but I don't know who manufactures it.  

front view

I should of tackled it back when I wasn't on a time crunch, because it took forever to finish.  Why?  because of the damn windows.  Why are there so many windows?  Shouldn't people be studying instead of looking out at the world?  My office doesn't even have a window.  There are 73 windows on this building which is about 71 too many in my opinion. My own house only has 8 and one of those is broken.  

Rear view


Preview of how it will sit on the battlefield.
Miniatures are 15/18mm.

Imagine how cool this would look
If I had a fancy backdrop like a real blogger would...

I'm liking the way it came out in the end and it's a pretty cool resin building.  I had no issues in painting it or flocking the giant base it came on.  unlike the next item...

River of Woe

The McPherson ridge battlefield has a steam that runs through it. I wanted to upgrade the streams / rivers that I use for my ACW (the best CW) games.  Previously, I just laid out some clear acetate that was painted blue on the bottom. 

Like so.
Stream made of plastic.
From some previous game of Barlow's Knoll.

It's alright, it's versatile, but I think I can do I better.  I can tryout an upgrade and if it doesn't work I can come running back to this previous method.  Like in some stupid movie where the guy dumps his girlfriend to get someone hotter, only to be shot down and come crawling back.  I'm sure you know what movie I am talking about.  It's called "Stew's stupid mistakes from long ago."

I was keen to try out a method that I saw online from Little Wars TV,  used in their ACW (the best CW) games.  It's only a 4 minute video, and pretty simple so I think even an idiot like me couldn't screw it up...

Mistakes were made.

On a weekend when the wife and daughter were away at camp, and I was home alone with the boys; I started that night. 

It was an EPIC boy's weekend by the way.  We went out drinking (juice boxes at the park).  We stayed up super late (watching dinosaur movies).  We went out to where all the women are at (which is Target, and they have their own kids).  And at night I laid myself some caulk.  So it was just like being in my 20s again.  

First mistake was that I forgot how to use a caulking a gun and made a big mess.  After some internet research I learned that I forgot to puncture the seal in the caulking tube.  
Don't laugh at me.  I've never been very handy.  Which is why I have all those lingering house projects that I'm always saying that I'll get to...

Finally, on some wax paper, I laid out the shape of the steam with some caulk that dries clear (as seen above),.  I wanted one long river piece.  

Second mistake: I left that out to dry overnight thinking that I would just get up before the boys and clean it up.  The next morning it was NOT dry.  And while I was standing sipping my coffee grumbling, I heard the boys behind me. Telling them not to touch it, we went about our business.

And naturally while I was in the bathroom the 2 year old, who could not resist the temptation of a table being in the middle of the room, climbed up tore the whole thing down......

So now I have 2 river pieces....

I took the caulk and laid it out in the sun, thinking that some hot weather would dry the stuff since it's a hundred degrees outside 
It was a chance for that hellscape known as outside to work for me for once.

The next steps as shown in terrain video are that you peel the clear caulk off the wax paper and paint the underside.  For the life of me, I could not get the caulk to come off the wax paper, it was all fused together.  I blame the sun.  

FINE.  I'll adapt the process.  

Leaving the caulk on the wax paper, I trimmed it down to about an inch wide.  I then painted the top of it blue and then glued the strips down to some brown felt. let that dry overnight.
I know there are more realistic water colors than blue but I like my water blue.  Blue like open skies, my lover's eyes, like the feeling I get when I think of you.

Next, using a hot glue gun because I thought it would stick to felt better, I stuck a bunch of clump foliage along the edge, and then trimmed the felt back. Starting to look more like a stream now.  

Lastly, I gave the parts that are supposed to be wet a liberal coating of Mod Podge to make a glossy covering.

The end result.

With some troops next to it.

Overall, I'm 75% satisfied with it.  There are things I would do differently in the future if I were ever do this again.   Seems like a lot of work for just a modest upgrade in appearance. 
Maybe it'll look better on the table and surrounded by other terrain to help set the scene and I'll like it more.  Right now it kinda looks like a homemade art project.  Which of course it is.  

in the future I might just purchase some rivers.  But I also want the ability to have rivers in the size and shape that I want.

Done Enough

Now that I have everything for the battlefield that is required, it's time to set it all up and see if I have done enough.  Which will be next time.  This post has already done enough as well.

The finale of the project can be seen HERE

Thanks for reading.
Double thanks for any comments.
Till Next time.