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"British forces come ashore at Kip's Bay, NY 1776" Topic

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Baranovich18 Feb 2024 4:29 p.m. PST

So at long last and after several days of massive reorganization of my wargames room, I was able to pull out my long-dormant water board sections.

I've got two layers of terrain board sections laying flat on folding tables equaling a 4 x 6 table area, so that I can swap out plain sections or water sections. I've got two different types of coastlines and two more boards that have modular rivers sections.

This is my sandy beach coastal board which I was looking forward to finally be able to use as a nice scenic backdrop for some AWI battles.

It's obviously very cramped and stylized, but if you're creative you can do quite a bit with a 4 x 6 table space. I can have this coastline section set up and still do a small battle on the remaining space. And a full 4 x 6 table is feasible for 28mm AWI, you just have to be content with smaller scenarios which I have no problem with. That being said I also do AWI in 10mm as well as Zulu War which of course a 4 x 6 table allows you to do fairly huge battles.

These boards are about 9 years old. They're made from a base board of 1/2" MDF with a 3/4" wood frame, with pink insulation foam set into the frame.

The water effects are just the MDF baseboard painted a greenish gray color with a coat of gloss Mod Podge put over it with a large paint brush. I applied it with a dabbing sort of motion to achieve the wave/ripple effects.

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP18 Feb 2024 4:55 p.m. PST

Looks good to me.

dBerzerk18 Feb 2024 5:00 p.m. PST

Exceedingly cool !!!

Disco Joe18 Feb 2024 5:28 p.m. PST

Very nice.

Mad Guru19 Feb 2024 3:03 a.m. PST

Excellent scratch-built terrain as usual, Baranovich, & awesome pics with the Royal Navy ships & flat boats! I've been a fan of your terrain work showcased here on TMP for years, but I never knew you gamed AWI until now. Never saw your coastal terrain boards before either, and they are very impressive! Gloss Mod Podge is a great medium for water features -- low-cost, easy to use & clean up, and capable of creating diorama quality finishes, like yours.

Not sure if you saw any of them but I started a few threads here this past August & September re: a Battle of Brooklyn game I played in & made water features for that you might find interesting. You probably know the landing at Kip's Bay was the next step in the British campaign to take NYC after their victory at Brooklyn/Long Island. No pressure but I'm hoping you'll set up a 28mm version of Harlem Heights for us to see on your table next!

Baranovich20 Feb 2024 10:45 p.m. PST

@Mad Guru,

Wow, thank you…! I didn't realize I posted enough content to have anyone be a fan, but I'm humbled by the compliment.

Thinking back now, yeah I guess it has been years! Yikes. I started posting terrain on TMP in like 2016? So that's eight years.

Those coastal terrain boards were based on a method I found on a blog that I discovered way back in 2004, named "Quindia" or something like that. His blog is still up and running actually. He used the MDF board with the framing and foam and I simply copied what he did.

Once I grasped the idea that you don't need to pour resin to achieve "depth" with modeling water but can rather create the depth with dark paint that is then covered by a watery-looking surface, I was off and running. I agree about Mod Podge, it's something of a miracle product for miniature water!

To be fair I can't really call myself an AWI gamer, at least not just yet, lol. I never painted or built a single AWI soldier until just this past September, and I'll be trying out a ruleset for the first time within the next couple months. Do you have any recommendations for good rules for AWI? I already own Black Powder, 1st and 2nd Editions, I have a copy of Land of the Free, and I also have an old copy of Volley & Bayonet. I think I've also got a softcover copy of, is "British Grenadier" the name? Fairly slim book with a white cover if I recall.

So I've got a number of choices to start out with.

I haven't actually seen your threads from last year but I will certainly go and check them out! That's what is going to be really fun over the next few months, is seeing how other gamers like yourself set up your tables and organize scenarios. I'm looking forward to seeing your water terrain as well!

Baranovich20 Feb 2024 11:01 p.m. PST

I just spent some time on your blog…is that a wargaming club space I assume where that setup is? What a great room, it's HUGE. Being able to have a table that large is so great for AWI battles where you need the room to do it properly.

I love your blog! I'm accumulating a list of wargaming blogs that I visit regularly to get inspiration and ideas, etc. Yours is certainly one I will be visiting often!

Here in CT we do have a wargaming club that luckily is just a couple towns over, I know they do historicals. I'll have to look into them. There are two other gaming stores in CT that I play at, but that's primarily Warhammer fantasy.

But at the moment I'm limited to doing AWI at home until do some networking with some new people.

For your Brooklyn table, I really like how you guys just folded over the edges of the green mat to create the coasts and shorelines. And in fact that approach is much more practical because you can roll it all up at the end and pack it away much more easily.

I HAVE seen boards of that size where the entire table was literally dedicated modular board sections that were foam and wood, etc. However, that's gotta be a logistical nightmare to take down and store. I can't imagine making the terrain boards I made for anything more than a 4 x 6 or 4 x 8 table, MAYBE 4 x 10. But even then you're talking about numerous sections that would begin to take up storage space very quickly.

Much, much smarter to do what you guys did and combine things like mats, blankets, etc. with some terrain board sections underneath, etc.

Great work!

Baranovich20 Feb 2024 11:09 p.m. PST

OH, that's so cool! I was just looking through your blog and I noticed that you also referenced Quindia! Small world! Seems we both found inspiration from the same source many years ago…unfortunately I just clicked on that link you have on your blog and it appears that his website no longer exists? I hope I'm wrong about that.

*So update – I googled his blog and I found this address:


Is that the same fellow? If so, he is most certainly still active but he's got a new web address now.

Mad Guru21 Feb 2024 3:01 a.m. PST


Thanks for the compliment re: my blog!

Yes, it's the same Quindia Studios -- run by the extremely talented Clarence Harrison. His WWII North African desert boards helped inspire me to build my own first ever terrain boards for a refight of the 1880 battle of Maiwand (Afghans vs. British) on its 130th Anniversary back in 2010. I remember when he first moved to his new website he didn't re-post his old terrain tutorials there, but then a few users/fans -- including myself -- sent him messages and he was kind enough to migrate them out of hibernation and make them available to the hobby world-at-large, which was awesome.

And yes again, that space you asked about is a club gaming space, but not full-time. It's the Knights of Columbus Hall in Anaheim, California, where a group I belong to games on a weekly basis. Unfortunately I make it down there far less often than that, but over the years I've played a lot of great games there.

It's funny what you say about the benefits of terrain cloths vs. boards. Of course you are correct, especially when it comes to transport! BUT… ever since building my first boards back in 2010, I myself have been a dedicated boards only gamer for my own games in my own home. I live in Los Angeles and over the years I've taken them to a bunch of cons, some as far away as New Orleans -- which is arguably nuts, but I was happy to be able to do it. And the table size of almost all those games is 6'x12'! Hahah -- the really heavy boards are the 6'x2' river sections, using not Mod Podge but multiple pours of 2-part resin with ink mixed in for color -- as per the excellent river board terrain tutorials by Clarence Harrison on his site!

I originally made the "scatter" water terrain sections you saw in the Battle of Brooklyn posts to serve as various rivers and canals for a friend's WWII Arnhem & Eindhoven games back around 2015. The same friend was the GM for the Brooklyn game, and he always uses terrain cloths, so we were able to repurpose them as New York Harbor and the East River, and I only had to make Gowanus Bay and Creek and the cattails to help complete the layout.

It's cool you live in CT, now that you've gotten into AWI gaming, since you have so much local history from the war -- also may explain why the first unit you painted was the 4th Connecticut!

There is no doubt that terrain cloths are far more practical than boards for storage and transport purposes, and if done well -- like for our Brooklyn game -- they can provide a nice looking table. But I still prefer the look of well-made terrain boards, be they yours or mine!

Baranovich21 Feb 2024 6:58 a.m. PST

Oh my gosh, I forgot to mention your water boards! I love them! How did you get the silver sheen, is that just the lighting in the room or did you paint that on? It really looks like sunshine hitting the water on a sunny day, it's great.

Thinking again I think I left a reply over on your Brooklyn thread in the 18th Century Scenarios forum, I talk more about your terrain, which is wicked.

Baranovich21 Feb 2024 7:55 a.m. PST

@Mad Guru,

I was chuckling about what you said regarding transporting heavy boards, lol. It seems that we're from the same mothership. I also slogged my heavy boards across town a couple times to play with a friend. I discovered that they just barely fit the long way in the back seat of my Honda Civic! My wife's Subaru SUV is far, far more suited to wargaming, haaa. So I 100% ignored my own advice and did what I swore I would never do with them. When I was building them I said to myself, "there's no way these are ever leaving the house!"

But I agree, the aesthetic of dedicated boards are so worth it. And I also agree that at the end of the day, they do look the most convincing and pleasing to the eye there's just no way around it.

I admire your forethought and willingness to use your water boards for both ocean and river terrain. My OCD tends to channel me and restrict my brain so that I insist that my river terrain can ONLY be rivers, and my ocean/lake terrain can ONLY be ocean/lake, etc. I really have to let my brain open up and be more flexible like that.

It is very true, I am most fortunate to live in CT where we are literally surrounded by AWI history. Just a half hour or so up Rte. 95 we've got several AWI forts you can visit, the coolest being Fort Griswold out near Mystic, which there is still an amazing amount of it preserved. CT overall has an insane amount of historical houses with functioning museums, just pick a direction and you're bound to run into one! My wife and I took a trip in 2016 to Lexington and Concord which is just a couple hours away. I actually grew up in Coventry, Ct which was the birthplace of Nathan Hale. We we were the caretakers of the house that his grandmother lived in, the Strong House. It's one of the oldest houses in CT, built around 1720.

Growing up in that kind of setting pretty much guaranteed I would become a history and wargaming addict!

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