Sunday, July 7, 2024

New Pickett's Charge Video Is Up On YouTube


The center game table with the Emmitsburg Road running down the middle. The 
table on the left is where Cemetery Ridge is located, while the table on the right
is where the Confederate starting point is on Seminary Ridge. By the way,
I don't have the third table in my basement due to lack of space

Click on the pictures to enlarge the view

Here is a short video tour of some of the terrain that I have set up on my home field game table for my Pickett's Charge game at Historicon July 17 - 21st in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I have two 6ft wide by 12ft long tables in my basement, with an aisle between the two parallel tables. My Pickett's Charge game at Historicon will have three 6ft by 18ft tables, running parallel with aisles between the tables.

I have set up a smaller portion of the terrain and troops on my table so that I can assess the amount of spacing that I have for terrain and troop deployments. So what you will see in the video is about half as large as the actual game will be.

The Movie

I have spent most of the past week working on terrain pieces and some vignettes to enhance the overall look of the game table at Historicon. Some of my additions include a large expanse of wheat field that has been freshly cut down and harvested. This fixes the problem of having troop bases stumble over the top of the material that represents the wheat in the field.

The Making of The Wheat Field

The first iteration or generation of my wheat field was made by cutting strips of coir or sisal from a door mat and gluing them down onto a two inch wide base that I made from a cork-backed place mat for one's dining table. I sprinkled some strands of fiber, that I cut off of the door mat, over the rows of wheat to give more texture to its appearance.

The next generation of wheat field was cutting out irregular/circular shapes of door mat material and then basing those pieces on the cork mat with fiber sprinkles. I didn't like that version that much so then I hit on the idea of my third generation.

The third generation wheat field assumes that all of the wheat has been cut and harvested or that it has been trampled down by passing regiments of soldiers. Thus the ground is flat, save for a few clumps of mat fiber that I glued to the board to give it s 3D effect. Then I used spray adhesive on the surface and sprinkled more cut up strands of fiber on top of the glue. I let it dry for a short while and then give it another spritz of spray to seal it.

The two haystacks are resin pieces that Ian Weekley used to make and sell. These had been sitting in my bits box for at least three decades and I finally had a project where I could put them to good use. I painted the haystacks with a light tan color and simply sprayed adhesive on the surface and sprinkled and placed bits of coir fiber that were cut off of the door mat. BTW, I purchased the door mat at Home Depot if you are trying to find a similar mat. My local hardware store (where I always look first) did not have any natural fiber door mats so I reluctantly had to go to the big box store. I like to give my business to the small Mom and Pop hardware store in my town whenever possible.

Lifelike Grass Fields (sort of )

My trip to Home Depot led to me finding a roll of artificial grass that actually kind of sort of looks like real grass. It comes in a roll 5ft by 7ft and looks much better than that Astro-turf style of plastic grass material. I cut out several 12 feet squares of the material and placed it on my game table, then I surrounded the green grass field with pieces of stone or snake rail fences.

Grassy fields of some unknown crop are framed by fences along the Emmitsburg Road.
In the distance notice how the grass and the wheat field complement each other.

Colonel Porter Alexander looks through his field glasses for enemy targets.
This is one of my favorite photos that I snapped recently.

Confederate artillery battery deployed on the artificial grass material that I found
at Home Depot. The field is framed by snake rail fence pieces.

Other Sods and Bods

I am pretty much done and ready to pack and go one week ahead of time. The other day I assembled some casualty dials for the infantry regiments and terrained the tops of the dials. These will accompany individual regiments across the fields so that the players can keep track of the casualties in their units. Each regiments has five stands of six figures. Once a stand is lost then a morale check must be made. So the dials only have to be numbered from zero to six - once there are six casualties the stand is removed and the dial is turned back to zero. I bought the dials from War Bases in the U.K.

I still need to make a few more feet of post and rail fences for the Emmitsburg Road and base a couple of wagons that I have already painted.

Finally, I have a little theatrical Hollywood vignette that will appear on the table top during the game. You will have to wait until the games are played before I reveal further details of what this is.

The last bit of work will be to start tearing down the game table terrain in my basement and put all of the terrain into stackable boxes. I want to use a uniform size plastic container that I can stack and place all of the terrain pieces therein. This is better than putting everything into random sized cardboard boxes and then hoping that I can fit everything into my vehicle. This will make it easy to transport the terrain in my vehicle and also to unload and carry to my Historicon game table.


  1. Like the latest fields, mown hay and grass - very effective

  2. It's really going to be a treat for those lucky enough to play this stunning game.

  3. Beautiful work Jim- all the best Carlo

  4. Excellent display of modelling and wargaming Jim.
    Thanks for sharing.