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Modelling, Musings, Writing

Sandbagging – In a good way


I thought I would get my hands dirty today. Literally and figuratively. I’m not the best modeller in the world, but I sometimes like to have a go at projects I wouldn’t normally. After a bit of googling, I found a good way of making sandbags and sandbag emplacements for my models.

I’ve just started playing Bolt Action by Warlord Games, which is a 28mm second world war game. I also play Warhammer 40,000, which is a ‘heroically scaled’ 28mm game. The two aren’t anywhere near compatible unfortunately, so I’ve had a bit of a challenge to make scenery that I can swap between the two. Yes, I’m tight. I used Das air drying modelling clay, so won’t be painting these up for at least a few days.

My first attempt was a concave emplacement on a roughly 60mm base cut from card. As you can see, it’s just big enough to fit one soldier in, so is more of a sentry post than a proper emplacement. Start small and work up I say. The scale was hard to do as well, due to the different sizes, so in my compromise, I made it a little low for the Games Workshop Imperial Guardsman (aka Astra Militarum). I think that it works well for both however.

Overhead of the first attempt.

Overhead of the first attempt.

A Warhammer 40,000 figure.

A Warhammer 40,000 figure.

A bolt action airborne soldier.

A bolt action airborne soldier.

My second attempt was on very thin MDF and built to allow a larger number of models behind it. I estimate that five or so models should fit in behind them. Again, the height is a compromise, and I’ll be able to fit in more Bolt Action figures than I will Games Workshop figures.

A member of the 6/66th taking cover

A member of the 6/66th taking cover

The third attempt was – in hindsight – a bit too ambitious and I’m not sure how well it’s all going to hold together when it’s dry. The poles are to support a camouflage net that I’ve yet to make, and were an absolute pig to keep standing. Because I have to make the sandbags individually and pile them on top of each other, every time I add one, I find the others slipping. Very frustrating indeed! Again, this is a sole sentry post, rather than a squad emplacement, but I will be stretching my skills further when I do my next circular emplacement.

The third and final attempt for today. Bloody hard and lots more to do.

The third and final attempt for today. Bloody hard and lots more to do.

About mattsylvester

Father of two beautiful daughters and married to the beautiful Karen, Matthew has been reading and writing fantasy and science fiction since he first read the Hobbit at the age of 7. Matthew was Features Editor, Technical Consultant and regular columnist for magazines such as ‘Fighters’, ‘Combat’, ‘TKD & Korean Martial Arts’ and ‘Traditional Karate’. These are the four leading martial arts magazines in the United Kingdom. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed 'Practical Taekwondo: Back to the Roots', which has been sold around the world. With regard to his martial arts background he has been studying martial arts since 1991. In 1995 he hosted Professor Rick Clark of the ADK and since then has been studying pressure points and their uses in the martial arts and on the street (initially as a Special Constable and as a Door Supervisor). All of this practical hands-on experience means that he is uniquely placed to write fight scenes that are not only plausible but some of which are based on personal or anecdotal experience. Matthew has had a number of short stories published by Fringe Works, KnightWatch Press, Anderfam Press and Emby Press.

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