Salute 2023 - Renovating the Dambusters Challenge - 1

Salute 2023 – Renovating the Dambusters Challenge – 1


Well, I’d love to regale you with tales of how much I bought at Salute, but due to us needing 4 folks to run the game, and having only 4 folks at the show, the sum total of my shopping was two Warlord Epic ACW command packs (usefully as they were 20y from our game), and picking up What a Cowboy from Too Fat Lardies‘ stand (right at the other end of the hall). I actually spent more on tea and coffee for the team. 

The game, however, went down a storm, as far as I can tell. At least, I kept hearing various expressions of amazement and delight from just over my shoulder as I was running the sound effects and moving the Lanc. 

We took some time last month to tart up the dam, as it was originally untextured hardboard painted grey, and, well, it looked a bit boring. So we broke out my stash of US foam board (the stuff that the paper facing actually peels off of – imported in my suitcase from the US in late 2021), bought a 3D printable brick/stone texture roller from Etsy (or was it Thingiverse? I forget) and set to work.

Rob and Myk’s (I think) calculations and
measurements for the lake side of the dam.
  • Stage one – (Rob) texture the foam board with the roller.
  • Stage two – cut various pieces to fit the shape of the dam, and (Andy, Myk and I) affix with No More Nails.
  • Stage three – paint. 
    • dry brush with some incredibly rubbishy grey roller emulsion that had been around since we painted the first set of club boards in about 2015 (so old it was more the consistency of putty). This left the mortar (the white of the foam boards) showing through in places.
    • Pick out some bricks in darker colours.
    • Add mossy and wet streaks
    • Wash (twice) with different grey/brown washes to knock the colours back a bit
  • Stage four. At this point, we could have taken it to the show and it would have looked… well, OK. But we still had a week. And a scrap blue XPS foam bin with just enough biggish bits of 12.5mm foam to do the arches along the top edge of the dam. Time for the Proxxon hot wire cutter and Shifting Lands fence to earn their keep (and Rob!).
    • Cut the scrap foam board to size. We realised that we only had enough to do just over half the dam. And then we realised that it was enough, because it tapered to nothing at the bottom where it feathered into the main surface.
    • Rob set up the Proxxon very carefully with the wire at just the right angle to cut each bit of the foam from corner to corner end on to give us two wedge shaped pieces.
    • With a combination of sharp knife (for the straight cuts) and Proxxon (for the tops) cut arches into the long pieces of foam.
    • Add stone texture with the roller.
    • Myk and I affix (the following evening) the arches to the dam with No More Nails (and superglue/PVA in a few places). Remember, the whole thing curves both horizontally and vertically.
    • Friday a.m. – drybrush, add streaks and other weathering, apply wash. Decide not to care when the wash dribbles down the face of the dam, because in fact it looks awesome.
  • Meanwhile, I’m respraying the tower rooftops, and Reuben is re-doing the grass below the dam. 
Et, as they say, voila. Huge thanks to Dan (artistic director, painter and 3D roller printer), Rob (foam cutter extraordinaire), Reuben (landscaping), Myk (paint and ‚what happens if we…?‘) and Andy M (original dam builder and general engineering consultant).
Ready to load up for Salute.

We have noticed that there is, before the raid, a power station just off the edge of the dam board, and if we happen to feel like modelling the spillway, we could add that in as well…
Next post – the queuing board.

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Autor: Mike Whitaker / Trouble At T’Mill – a wargaming blog

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