Monday, 31 March 2014

South East Asian Hooches

With the unscheduled offer of a Vietnam game on Sunday, I had to get some extra scenery together. Here is a quick guide to super-cheap 15mm hooches.
  1. Collect a heap of pill boxes (poundstore drugs are excellent for this).
  2. Wrap them solid with masking tape.
  3. Add ends from thick cardboard, cork or foamboard. I used leftover scraps of foamboard this time, but will use cork is future. These will support the roof, so cut them to your preferred angle. I like to make hooches with very wide angled roofs to suggest a lack of sophistication.
  4. Wrap the whole thing in masking tape again.
  5. OPTIONAL STEP: Glue buildings to bases. I used gorilla glue and then put wood filler around the edge to simulate earth.
  6. Cut roofs from thin card, allowing a small amount of gable on every side. PVA them on. If you tie them on with elastic bands (make sure this is from gable to gable!), they will begin to sag realistically.
  7. Give the walls a quick coat of textured paint – alternatively, you could use thinned grouting.
  8. Add half-matchsticks above the doors, and quartered matchsticks below any windows.
  9. Cut a cheap hand towel or microfibre car rag (my favourite) to a size slightly larger than the roof. Glue on with PVA. As the glue starts to go tacky, pour more PVA on top and stroke the loops downwards to simulate thatch
  10. When it is all dry, paint everything dark brown.
  11. When that is dry, drybrush the walls brown-grey or drab, and the roofs your favourite thatch colour. Add doors and windows as wanted.

All told, these probably took about four-five hours of attention, tops. They also cost all of sweet nothing to produce. The most expensive element was probably the plasticard for the bases. The important thing is to let them dry properly (over and over again). I definitely recommend this simple method for anyone who wants to increase their South-East Asian terrain collection. Painted a little differently and with varying angles of roof they could make peasant buildings from almost anywhere across Eurasia.

Next time I add to the village, I will use cocktail sticks to break up the outsides of the buildings, and use cork for the gables, as mentioned above. I will also try my hand at making some elevated buildings too. Nothing says Vietnam so much as harried men looking for weapons caches under the porch of a hooch on stilts.

As for Sunday's game, the outnumbered Americans and their claymore mines showed the value of superior training, annihilating the NVA who tried to seize their bridge. The captain's platoon were destroyed in the open due to an unlucky movement roll, and the others were worn away as they tenaciously held on under heavy fire - even driving away two casevac choppers with a mix of RPG and machine gun fire. The final result was a military draw, but a massive political victory for the Free World, with a 17-52 split in points. 
The set up, around Tu Hah.

Another view.

The two Tu Hah bridges.

NVA platoon 3 springs an ambush as it approaches the District Chief's mansion

Heavy opening NVA casualties as claymores and M60s open up.

The human wave! falls a little short of its objective.

Brave Communist martyrs mine the bridge under heavy fire.

The remnants of the captain's platoon after a round of US fire...

1 Platoon fall back, shattered.

The enormous US base of fire between the bridges.

Lieutenant Truc Ngoi sacrifices himself to blow the bridge.

The company's weapons platoon ambushes the casevac detail!

Cheated of a helicopter, the RPG blows up the mansion instead!

Lieutenant Sweeney's platoon protect the LZ.

The defenders of the injured.