Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Tents - a quick note

Before I get back to the battle set up on my table, a quick note about tents and the small details which seem to make a difference.

As you will have noted in the photos from the previous post, I placed tents both within the American fort and at the British camp.  Not much of a camp without tents actually.  That is why I have made the effort to have many, both in 15mm and 28mm on hand to be used on the tabletop.  Adds much to the visual appeal I feel.  While there have been several companies which have produced them in resin and recently the Perrys/Renedra have produced a set in hard plastic, I have gone the wargamer cheap route and I have created a bunch in wood.  I have been fortunate to find triangular strips of the correct size from construction sites (always a good place to find wood for buildings and bases also).  I cut these to an appropriate size and ta da, tents. 

However, when I did the first ones, I did not sand the edges.  In the following photo you can see how this tent doesn't look quite right as the angles are all sharp and not rounded as if the tent canvas were stretched around a round tent pole.  A subtle change to be sure but if you compare to the following photo, you may notice the more realistic rounded edges. 

Of course, this is only possible if the tents are indeed wood (I add an additional photo of the underside to prove the fact!)  Of course, not many would stare, as I did, at them and at the close distance at which I took the photos but the additional work to sand the corners I feel do make a difference- the sacrifices I do for the hobby! :-)

I have a large number of 15mm tents which I took the time to hand sand the edges to get the good look.  They are now, that we are finally getting some good weather, primered and awaiting an off-white paint, the black area to give the effect of an opening of the canvas and 'stretch marks' which cap off the correct look of a good tent.....

an early version with 'sharp edges'

a later edition of my tents with the more realistic rounded edges to represent the canvas stretched over round tent poles.  The 'stretch marks' are just simple lines of paint.  I did not invest much on these as I found I probably should have done more sanding of the sides.  Their bumpy surface did not allow especially straight lines!
My tents made from solid pieces of wood.  The previous model is shown flipped over.
I highly encourage wargamers to invest in tents, either homemade or purchased, as all games can be enhanced by their presence on the tabletop.


  1. Doug

    Very effective tent models. I've taken notes!


  2. What a simply and brilliant idea. I've taken notes (and etchings) as well.


  3. I would never have guessed they're wood, what a great idea!!! I'll definitely be pinching this idea, soon!!!

  4. Whew, I really thought some anal type wargamer would comment something about the dimensions of the tents, or the angle of the tent flap being incorrect according to the regulations of 1786 or some such.
    For me, any sort of triangle in profile and a length of a man (give or take) is good enough to be used as a tent. White, off-white or a light beige is good as the canvas coloration. Off-white is probably best.

    PS remember boys, a square pole of wood, cut lengthwise from corner to corner produces two lengths of tents when cut into appropriate lengths