Thursday, 30 January 2020

Scene It All Before

Having searched my new house high and low I have to conclude that in some foreign barn there remains a cardboard box that will be forever England. Unfortunately said box contains a proportion of my wargaming scenery. 

To wilfully misquote master Schwarzenneger in Predator - it apparently never made it to the chopper.

This means that having now established myself in the worlds smallest man cave, my first wargaming mission is to replace a load of stream and road tiles - well it is if I'm to get any kind of game onto a table sometime soon.

Fortunately here in the land of kah pet and central heating I can order a veritable cornucopia of scenic goodies via high speed broadband and have it delivered for next to nowt at the mere click of a mouse.   (By the way remind me to tell you how in the early days of the inter web I bought several Series 3 Land Rovers one afternoon by mistake - all via a mere and very careless click of a mouse).

Sitting outside Merinchal post office poncing off their internet and waiting two weeks for a potential delivery at extortionate cost already seems so long ago now.

Ahh happy days.

Anywhoo the packet pictured below duly arrived by drone (unfortunately not the flying sort).

I'm posting about it because I'd not come across the stuff before and initially only ordered the one in case it was crap; a thought the terrain cognoscenti amongst you may also have inadvisably harboured.

It comes on a long length (120cm) of "stiffened" paper and in its 'just out of the packet' state is way too delicate for gaming usage. With that said, stick it down on lengths of 2mm plastic card, spray it with matt varnish as a fixative for all the grit, add a ribbon of that fake water stuff and…


Tah darr! I give you the Insta Stream.

I've done this one as test piece and since I have a need for river bends, fords, etc I've now placed an order for more. If all goes well they will form a conga line of 24cm lengths across my hexed terrain mat and should serve okay for my chosen 6mm and 15mm games.

The products paper backing can be easily cut with scissors by the way, and the river tile in the piccy above is 24cm long and 7.5cm wide, should some sense of scale be required.

Thankfully all my 6mm ECW buildings made it across La Manche in a separate container so that's saved a few quid and a whole lot of painting - as The Current Mrs Broom (or Mrs Glass Half Full as she should be called), was only to keen to point out.

Ruddy optimists and their damned happy go lucky outlook…




  1. I have only ever seen this in the, where it was rolled and declined to unroll, but fixed down to plastic card it looks superb ...... worth losing a box of terrain for 😊

    1. You might be right Norm, the lot that’s vanished wasn’t that inspiring.

  2. That looks to be a very good product JBM, I'll have to consider that for own own small scale project. Just to be clear, have you enhanced it or is that how it comes? I know you varnished it but not clear on the central stream section which looks very realistic.

    KNow what you mean re back to civilisation, well at least so far as order hobby supplies goes, I've been ordering loads of little scenic bags from ebay, cheap and fast as you say.

    How are the 'locals' where you are? I'm struggling with the fact that it's hard to get a stranger to say good morning here, I try each morning when out with the dog but a response is rare, most seem to shuffle past, head down oblivious to anybody else, and after Spain all appear to be somewhat ashen faced. Possibly something to do with winter and the constant grey skies?

    BREXIT night tonight, how sad :(

    1. Hey Lee, good to hear from you mate. The only thing I've added to the product that came out of the bag was the plastic card backing and a dribble of "Aqua Magic" for the stream. It comes straight of a squeezy bottle and needs to be poked where you want it with a brush but it's otherwise dead easy to apply. Needs two coats mind!

      The locals here have been very friendly. When we were moving in our Mini's auto transmission packed up and it had to be towed to a nearby garage. When they found we had no other transport they gave us a courtesy car to use over Christmas and wouldn't take payment for it, nor would they have the courtesy car back until the Mini had been returned to where it came from and was fixed. Cardigan is our biggest nearby town and the vibe there is very laid back too. The formal politeness of France is totally absent and to my shame I've already found myself avoiding peoples eye and only mumbling good morning when it proves entirely unavoidable.

      The weather here is grey and wet, but unlike your experience of Spain that would have been par for the course in La Maziere so I'm not missing anything on that front. Fortunately I don't get seasonal affected disorder. Unfortunately I'm just bloody miserable all year round…lol.

      Day to day living is a doodle compared to France (things can be sorted with a phone call rather than a 60km drive to the prefecture) however I'm missing France far more than I thought I would. The grass is definitely not always greener on the other side of the fence, though as the wife points out repeatedly at least I no longer need a tractor to get it all cut.

      It didn't really factor in our moving plans but I've also contrived to end up as far away as possible from any active wargaming or re enactment groups, so it looks like it'll remain a solo pursuit for the foreseeable future. Hey ho - or c'est la vie as I would have once said.

      Brexit - yeah very very sad. Especially for those of us who are the unreported casualties. Still, I suspect there's a lot of folks who voted leave who are going to have to clean out the loft because granny and grampa are shortly going to need somewhere to live. Lol. That'll teach 'em.

    2. Well, I am very pleased to see that the Interesting stories will continue even after your sudden departure from France.

  3. That is very interesting stuff, and very reasonably priced... goig to be interesting to see how you make curves!

    1. Goddamit Steve - did you have to highlight the one weak spot in my otherwise perfect plan? Lol. Seriously though you raise a valid point. I'm going to try for either an odd angular approach to bends or a chocolate orange segmenty type affair. Realism mashed together with the abstract. I mean what could possibly go wrong with that?

    2. Yeah... I was imagining the chocolate orange approach... 5 or 10' arcs, and then use every other cut opposed...?? Alternatively, just scratch build the bends to match the look of the straight bits?? Either way, I am in need of some extra river myself so am watching the experiment with interest..

  4. That’s worked really well... I like the water effect.
    I’m glad your starting to settle in to your new environment...
    I struggle to find any good side to Brexit... even typing the word out makes me feel like I am swearing in front of my granny...
    Never mind... looking on the bright side....................................................................................................................
    ..................... That is indeed a lovely looking little stream.....;-)

    All the best. Aly.

    Oh! And you are a lot closer to the wargame shows than you were.

    1. Hi Aly - I thought that about the wargaming shows too - but its a three hour drive just to Kidderminster where my son lives so I guess it'll only be shows in the west for me!

  5. The resulting stream looks great! I have not seen this product before so I thank you for advancing its cause.

    1. Hi Jonathan - I think we should consider it a work in progress at the mo. The product can give good results but Steve's enquiry about river bends and my ongoing experiments with same will highlight if it has general use for everyone.

  6. Pity you lost a box but the resultant purchase looks really good for straight lines, maybe lots of canals?
    Glad they're friendly in the peoples republic too!
    Best Iain

    1. Hey Iain, yeah as you can see Im concentrating on straight sections at the moment and while I would agree the overall effect is possibly too linear for most, this stuff is intended for my hexed battle mat and therefore all of the terrain in use is already kind of abstracted in form. On an open table it might lack a certain sinuous nature but on top of the hexes (with other hex shaped terrain) it may be okay. We'll see. Hopefully others might learn from any mistakes I make - hopefully; since I never seem to…LOL.