Sunday, February 17, 2019

'Water Feature' from PeteF: Weitzel's Mill and Defenders

Terrain is not exactly a strong point for me - I painted one building last year and I've put together a small number of snake rail fences. I've primed 3 gabions. But in the spirit of trying out new stuff here's a North American grist mill and a section of river.

The Mill needed its defenders - a bunch of militia and the 3rd Continental Light Dragoons.

I've never used Woodland Scenics realistic water before and it was certainly an education. Here are the lessons learned.
  • Water in rivers is not blue - although it does look bluer the more it is viewed from above
  • Woodland Scenics Realistic Water takes a long time to set
  • People who do Youtube videos make things look easier than they are
  • It is not possible to stop Woodland Scenics Realistic Water from flowing where it is not supposed to using blue tac
  • It is not possible to stop Woodland Scenics Realistic Water from flowing where it is not supposed to using duct tape
  • It is not possible to stop Woodland Scenics Realistic Water from flowing where it is not supposed to using packaging tape
  • Woodland Scenics Realistic Water - although it seems quite viscous - will soak through several layers of newspaper
  • If you touch Woodland Scenics Realistic Water before it has fully set you can leave a finger shaped hole in it
  • It is probably best not to do projects using Woodland Scenics Realistic Water in the kitchen
  • Do not try to carry an unset piece of river containing Woodland Scenics Realistic water to another room
  • Deny. Deny. Deny.
  • Thank god for scotchbrite
Armed with this knowledge I'm looking forward to making another 5 feet of river for wargames - either that or buying something off the shelf.

The battle of Weitzel's Mill happened shortly after Cowpens and several months before Yorktown. Details of the battle and its set up are in the Black Powder Rebellion supplement - I was originally going to run the battle as a Black Powder game but now I'm going to use it to try out the new Rebels & Patriots  rules.

I'm most of the way there for the two armies now that these Southern Militia and 3rd Light Dragoons are done.  All the figures are from Perry and I did discover a lot of additional metal tags and snags that I'd missed in the first round of preparation and priming.  I have some command, one more unit of Americans and one British cavalry unit to go.

The river is made out of a bit of old plastic placemat, painted with craft acrylics and then treated with Woodland Scenics Realistic Water. it is about 17" long - not sure how to score it. The Grist Mill is MDF from Impudent Mortal. The main building is 6x8x6.5 and the water wheel is 2.5x4x4 - for a total of 352 cubic inches which I think comes to 33 points.

24 Southern militia for 120 points. 13 light dragoons for 130 points. Together with the terrain that  will be enough to take me past my goal for Challenge IX.


  1. Thank you for sharing your learning with us!

  2. Sounds like real water could be less trouble! I really like the water dripping off the wheel.

    1. Thanks Noel - the dripping and the surface effects were much easier than the river water itself - Woodland Scenics Water Effects comes out of the tube quite solid and dries clear without running all over the place.

  3. That's quite a list, you got me panicking and worried about your kitchen! Lovely looking cavalry,mill and of course river, you've also convinced me to stick to gloss varnish for rivers!
    Best Iain

  4. I so agree with you on the Youtube tutorials, my stuff never looks like anything they show us but this is a great

    1. There are some great baking clips along the lines of "Nailed It!" with the beautiful artisnal cake on the left and the one attempted by a real person on the right - I'm wondering about doing the same thing for wargaming scenery - and maybe painting too!

  5. You worked hard to get this together - well done despite all the setbacks!

  6. Excellent brushwork all round Peter.

  7. Excellent f8nal project and I love the mill. You had my wife ROFL over your learning opportunities. She also noted that many of the products features were quite realistic in that real water is not stooped by blue tax, duct tape etc.

  8. Great work.
    I like your retrospective, made me chuckle and remember similar crimes of my own.