Wargaming the Seven Years War with 40mm miniatures, done by: Johann-Peter Scheck and Anselm Scheck

Thursday, August 30, 2012

New gameboard finished

 I used this free days now between the semesters to go on building the tabletop with all the stuff we will need for wargaming - after 2 months patience getting the ordered furmat, it arrived on monday morning.

Immediately I started to cut and to prepare it for shearing the artificial fur with a small, electrical razor.
As I mentioned it in an earlier post, I was so fascinated by the tutorial of elladan (www.elladan.de), that I absolutely had to learn this technique and to build my own gameboard.
So, the technical aspect: it is a furmat of 1,80m x 3,00m seize - big enough to give place to 2-4 armies in a great battle. After fixing the principle layout, I started with the agricultural parcels as they seem to be original, pre-industrial: small, diverse and irregular.
Further, I intended to have a late summer ambience, so I chosed the furmat in a "fox"- colour with a warm, red-brown tone.
The cut was done in 4 hours, the cleaning of the vast number of cutted hair 1 hour. But then followed 10 hours of drybrush to give a green-yellow tone to the fur - or, à la mode de l´époque, a "paille" tone.

the workplace had to be outside - the friendly Bavarian summer supported a fast drying of the colours. In the foreground on the left you can see a piece of the original furmat - a very soft and cosy material.

I still am not absolutely happy with my work: I am not sure if I let the fur on some pieces too long for wargaming, if the colour is allways right chosen.
But the big advantage is that you can change all the time the colour or cut some pieces. But the most exciting aspect of this mat is the fact you can put some objects under the mat´s surface and get in a simple way a wavy, hilly landscape.

I did some shootings with the farmhouses and the new hedgerows I produced the last weeks:

the kind of streets in lower Silesia...

Sweet Anush is smiling...

trees after a storm over the country...

and a first placement with the buildings - I am still thinking about the interface between building and ground.

view from a private garden

farmer´s grange

a detail

And finally, a test with miniatures:

the haywagon, topic of my last post, is now placed..

test employment: Saxonys´s Prince Maximilian in a summer manoeuvre with a Russian grenadeer squadron.

First conclusion: it´s a great fun to have this furmat, especially for taking pictures.
Second conclusion: I have to change the colour of ALL my figures´ bases - they don´t match.... OMG!!

Friday, August 24, 2012


A new object will decorate the tabletop soon: a haywagon from stronghold-terrain.de.
Normally, it is provided for 28-30mm scaled miniatures, but it works quite well with our 40mm figures. I will fill it with hay and place it in the center of the battlegound.

You can find the store here:

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Friederisiko: the big exhibition in Potsdam

Last weekend I went to Berlin to meet my children and to enjoy the city - at this occasion I also took the time to visit Potsdam and Schloss Sanssouci with its all around announced exhibition strangely called "Friederisiko" (a mix of Frederick and risk...).
Firstly, the good parts: It was possible to enter into the entire palace (neues Palais) and to see all the rooms and chambers of der Alte Fritz. The exhibitors placed all private things of Frederick they found; as his books, travel bags, personal dishes and so on.
An overview wasn´t to find; instead of this, there were some departments called "dynasty", "horizons", "world", "risk and fame"; always containing particular aspects more or less linked with Frederick.
It was very difficult to find an causal overview of his life and all the causes and consequences of his doing. If you don´t know very well his biografy, you are lost in an confusion. If you know about him, it´s boring, because the exhibition don´t give any new informations.

why Elisabeth II should be part of this exhibition, I ask. source: www.friederisiko.de

Typical german was, that they avoided to give any informations about Fredericks wars - I found absolutely nothing. The exhibition focussed the psychological aspects of Frederick as human being like a screening of his inner constitution. This seems to be contemporary and is - following our public discussions - absolutely political correct: everthing, really everything what could be used as a comparision "Frederick - Prussia - war - Third Reich" has absolutely to be evited.

Sorry, this is the dissappointing part of the exhibition: it is again not a factual exhibition, but a position - we as germans don´t talk about war; the official position is: Frederick was not a great leader or reformer, just a man with a complicated psyche - end.
I missed e.g. the aspects of Frederick as musician (he had the best teachers in that time: Joachim Quantz and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, two of the top musicians in this epoch. Also I missed all his doubts in his life and in his warfares, his excellent mind and strategical talent.

some impressions of the exhibition. source: www.friederisiko.de

Honestly, after Versailles and Peterhof the Prussian palace is modest in its architecture and furniture, the spatial concept just à la mode du 18me siècle. But the original materials, tapestry, furniture and exhibition objects was really exciting to see. You cannot walk on the floor now, because they built a wooden base, large enough for two adults passing - so it was not possible to stand near an interesting object, because you have to keep moving for the people behind you. And the perspiration of all that people walking through the rooms gave an warm, bad odoured climate - so the initial enthusiasm gave way to the stressed and uncomfortable feeling.

After 2 hours of this warm and humid treatment I found the way out and was immediately confronted with the Potsdam reality as a Stasi-City as I know it since 1992: assiduously working east-policemen prowled all the day long around the Neue Palais and presented me a parking ticket for letting my car beside the street under a tree.. Der Osten lebt..

splendid: Fredericks library.  source: www.friederisiko.de

splendid: Fredericks musician chamber. source: www.friederisiko.de

the interior design was not the best I saw.   source: www.friederisiko.de

I recommend: the book with historian´s essays.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Silesian architecture (II): farmhouses and stable

This is now the second part of the Silesian housing project for the new tabletop. The farmhouse is a standard type from lower Silesia with one floor and the top floor - I chosed two alternatives to be able to place them in a group with the barn and some stables.

 See in the following the references I found by my researches; noticeable is the fact that Silesian villages were not organized as a spatial arrangement, with streets, lanes or squares as defining elements.
We can find more less easily grouped conglomerations of one and the same type of house, surrounded by gardens and open yards. The only joining element is the main street, conneting overregionally the village with its environment. The composition of this villages is a set of uniform buildings, trees and hedgerows, without a center or a regular pattern - that´s so interesting.

Mois/Löwenberg: typical structure

former Honigern, Silesia

pictures from: http://www.vogel-soya.de and www.bockau-in-schlesien.de

And this is the (unfinished) stable in the typical brick tradition:

The dunghill isn´t still done..

View from the back: the opening is just an invention to have more possibilities for wargaming...

front view: the typical bows in brick.

I hope I will get my fur mat soon to do the base for all this stuff. Some more buildings are planned, then I will do some variations for Silesian village examples. In the meanwhile I will build some hedgerows.

This is a map showing the typical Silesian village (Klein Ellguth):

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Silesian architecture (I): barn

Today I finished the first buldings for our 40mm scaled armies. This is a part of my plan to build a new tabletop with several buildings, trees and hegderows this autumn. In this picture above you can see a type of barn, built for sheltering animals below and storing a hay mow up above. The typology is original and can be found still today in northern Silesia (today Poland) and western Prussia (also Poland).

I changed a little bit the width not to loose too much surface of the gameboard, but the articulation of openings, rebounds and change of materials is true to original.
Honestly, I saw already so much buildings on other sites and blogs, where wargamers presented their so called contemporary architecture around their moving armies: mostly an ensemble of medieval townhouses.
But the reality in the 18. century took more or less place in the countryside in an agricultural context. Kunersdorf, Zorndorf, Leuthen: all of them were small villages with an agricultural population. The supply of the troups also was a big challenge and every full barn was marauded immediately. So, I am sorry, my background architecture isn´t so decorative as others.
I really hope you can enjoy this pictures and the typical architectural details I built. Everything is done in polystyrene, the roof in cardboard. And then, I drybrushed hours and hours....

The "nosebags", the sacks, in front of the barn are from my favourite tutorial site stronghold terrain.

More of Silesian architecture in the next days.