Tuesday, 31 May 2011

TMTerrain Newsletter followers

Just a quick post for all our customers who get our monthly newsletter.
Last month I mentioned we were planning this new blog and it was likely that it would take over from the Newsletter.
We thought it would be a good time to confirm that this is the case- we will no longer be doing the newsletter. This blog will be able to keep everyone up to date with new releases far quicker and more accurately than the newsletter ever could.
To be sure you get the regular updates posted here make yourself a follower of the this blog. You will then be informed everytime we post an article. All you have to do is go to the follower section on the right of the blog, click on follow and then follow the instructions from there.

There has been no more information on more new releases since my  posts last week although here are a couple of tasters from First Legion's workbench:

Rome Vinette
Mounted crusader
German medic

Stug Factory

A recent commission from a collector involved making a display for his 54mm German tanks. He had been inspired by an article in a model making magazine of a German repair shop with a  couple of Stug III 's in it.The brief , then, was to make a 2ft x 2ft diorama set inside a German bombed out tank repair shop. It had to look like the building had been badly damaged and we were able to look inside because a wall and half the ceiling had fallen in due to the damage. 

the empty repair shop

The shell of the building was straight forward to make- a square brick building with a big metal door at the far end. The challenges in this diorama was the detail. I needed to try to make it look like a working repair shop but leaving enough space to put the tanks and figures in.
I bought alot of bits and pieces from Verlinden. They are 1/35th scale so strictly a little small for the 1/30th scale figures but by choosing carefully what I got the difference in scale is hard to spot. Verlinden do some very nice bits of machinery along with barrels and bottles that all help to make the scene.
examples of Verlinden machinery.

In the UK, Verlinden kits are available from:
There is a big range so take your time. They also do 1/48th scale stuff which works well with 28mm figures (a bit big but OK)
populated repair shop
 You can see there is a fair amount of metal work in the diorama. Most of it is made from plastic strips from Evergreen. They do all sorts of profiles and shapes so makes it alot easier to make convincing metal work than without them. The gantry work was added once the walls were finished and the structure was made from I beams and rectangular support rods from the Evergreen range. Cutting them to shape and gluing together with plastic kit glue the whole thing becomes very strong and certainly gives the impression of a strong metal structure.
The walk way was from my spares box so but was just the right size- the moral of the story- never throw anything away!


The boiler was fun to make. The parts came from:
These are well worth a look as they have loads of useful detailing pieces for all scale of model making.
 The top and bottom are plastic elliptical heads with plastic tube for the main body. I just cut the tube to length and glued the heads to top and bottom and I found myself with a tank. Adding some pipework and other details soon makes the tank a good looking boiler.

Once all the detail modelling was finished then I had to paint it all. It is an industrial working building so I used lots of greys and browns with splashes of colour supplied by posters and bits of equipment painted in bright reds and yellows.
Once all the basic painting was done, I love to go over it all and weather it with streaks of oil and grime. I find this final stage is what often brings a diorama to life. I think it did it for this commission as well. Of course the final touch is when the figures and tanks arrive and that pleasure is always left to my customer!

This reminded me of another German repair shop I made a year or two ago. This was, again in 54mm but was very much an improvised shop-

improvised workshop
 If I can find more photos then I will post a detailed account of this commission at a later date

Saturday, 28 May 2011

TMTerrain- a history!

Time for a bit of self indulgence so please bear with me!
I was talking to a customer this week who asked me how many jobs I had done and it got me thinking.
Mark and I (Mark Thornley and David Marshall- that is where the TM comes from) started TMterrain on the 15th April 2002- that was when the first job was booked in. Yesterday I booked in my 682nd job!
We started off as a part time business for 18 months and then from September 2003 we have been full time. I can't believe it has been that long- I have never been in a job that long before.I am amazed we have done that many jobs.  They of course vary from painting just a couple of figures right up to massive town layouts
part of 8'x6' layout of York during the English Civil War
28mm Walled town
28mm Victorian London

54mm Normandy church-  so big I couldn't get it all in the picture!
Hopefully over that time we have built up a reputation for high quality bespoke terrain making for the wargamer and toy soldier collector. I guess if we can be doing it for so long we must be doing something right.

The company started off just in the wargaming market with plans to explore the railway hobby and the really grand aim of getting into TV and movies! Well, we have never made it into the railway hobby but we did make the TV with a layout for an episode of Lewis. If I work out how to do it I will have to try and put a clip of it on the blog one day.
Although we haven't got into railways, we have developed our presence in the 54mmtoy soldier collecting hobby. We started to sell John Jenkins Samurai buildings about 4 years ago and over a period of about 8 months John persuaded us to start stocking his new line of 54mm French Indian figures. We gave it a go and went to our first London Toy soldier show in March 2007 (or 8) and have never looked back. We now import and sell figures from John Jenkins, First Legion and Collectors Showcase to collectors all over the UK.
First Legion 95th Rifles- a future release
John Jenkins limber

Collectors Showcase SDKFZ7

I also do a large proportion of my model making in this scale. The types of jobs vary from small 6" square diorama bases up to massive buildings that need a van to ship!
54mm ruined building dio

54mm Hotel Hartenstein- 4' wide and 2' tall!

Although the company is nearly 10 years old, Mark and I have been in the wargaming hobby for years going round various shows with display and participation games. My particular highlight was an Indian Mutiny participation game that we put on years ago. I think we got photos into wargames illustrated with it but I have no idea which one- it must be nearly 20 years ago (gulp!).
We have been missing from wargaming shows over the last couple of years but I hope to start bringing games to a few shows every year so we can have a good time and to promote what we do. We were at Salute this year with the amazing looking English Civil War game

English Civil War game
We will be at Partizan on Sunday with it so come along and have a chat.
The London Toy soldier show sees us with a stand 30feet long now and we fill it with toy soldiers all on terrain boards and dioramas- it looks spectacular.
Anyway, that is a brief history of us. I hope it wasn't to self indugent. Hopefully, we can be around for another 10 years at least- as long as my eyes hold up!
John Jenkins Sudan layout

54mm normandy layout

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

John Jenkins competition

There should have been a new WW1 plane released this month but due to one or two issues with it, the model has been withdrawn until September. To fill the void, John has done a competition with the prize being one of these new tri planes:

All you have to do is match the pilots with the planes that they flew in the war. The first few are done for you. Once you have the answers send them to John himself at: 
Here is the list of pilots:

Manfred Von Richthofen…………… Fokker Dr1
Lothar Von Richthofen…………...… Fokker Dr1
Lt. Josef Jacobs………..…………… Fokker Dr1
Billy Bishop…………………..……… Nieuport 17
Capt. Arthur Brown ..........................Sopwith Camel
Lt. Donald R. Maclaren………..……Sopwith Camel
Oblt. Hermann Goring……………....
Maj. W. G. Barker…….……………..
Ltn. Friedrich Kempf…………………
Ltn. Charles Nungesser….…………..
Oblt. D. R. Ernst Udet………………..
Capitano Francesco Baracca……….
Ltn. Hans Weiss………….…………..
Capt. J. T. B. McCudden.……………
Ltn. Erich Lowenhardt………………..
Capt. Albert Ball…………..………….

Finally just add a caption to this picture:

The winner will be announced in Sptember when the modified model will be released.

Good luck.


Yesterday, I posted pictures of the English Civil War game that I was commissioned to build. The table was covered in some beautiful looking trees. They will be familiar to Toy Soldier collectors as they come from JG Miniatures- a very well known supplier of diorama pieces for the 54mm collector. I don't think he is well known in the wargaming world so I thought I would highlight his trees.
small oak tree

JG sells types of trees, for example the picture on the left is of a small oak tree that stands about 8" tall. There weere alot of this type of tree on the ECW layout. They make a very good large tree for 28mm games.
His range also includes birch trees, hawthorne, fruit and fur trees to name a few.

Winter Birch Tree
The great advantage with them is how they look- they look so real and really add to the look of the table. They are designed for collectors who display their figures and not really for the rough and tumble world of wargaming so you do have to look after them. They are supplied in individual boxes or sleeves so keep them in there when not using them and you should be OK.

Fur Tree
Birch Tree

These are certainly not the cheapest trees on the market but they are well worth the money if you want your trees to make an impression.
If you want to see them in the flesh then the game is at Partizan this Sunday and there are alot of Oak and birch trees dotted around.

John Jenkins new releases

John Jenkins has announcedhis new releases for next month. We will be getting them for the London Show on the 25th June so you will be able to see them there. They are of course up to his usual standard.The most interesting piece is an armoured car from the Spanish Civil War- very unusual but looks great:

The Spanish Civil war sees another release with a T26 tank commander: The T26 is in stock now

We also get the red baron's brother, Lothar-Siegfried Freiherr Von Richtofen  away from his plane:

The Tichonderoga range is boosted again with another 42nd Highland Grenadier:
The Quebec range is also not neglected with another set of two French infantrymen marching:
 They all look great as usual from John. My favourite is most definitely the armoured car. I really hope we see lots more of these interesting vehicles.
You can find full details of price at the John Jenkins new release page on our web site.
Don't go away you JJD fans as there are details following of a competition to win one of his planes.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

ECW Salute table

As the Partizan show is here this Sunday and we will be bringing the ECW game that was at Salute on the day I thought it would be an opportunity to give it a bit of back ground and post lots of pictures of it.

I was commissioned to make the board later last summer but the story began just before when my customer won an ebay auction!
He did well and won an old set of city walls scratch built by the great Ian Weekly. These were nearly 30 years old so I was asked to tidy them up and paint them in a sand stone finish as you can see in the above picture. I was thrilled to be asked as Ian's work inspired me to start model making and to work on one of his pieces was a real honour.
panoramic view taken at Salute

 As all wargamers know, projects can 'grow' and this is what happened here- before we knew it, the walls were surrounded by picturesque English countryside.

 The table ended up being 14 feet long and 6 feet wide. The only completely level piece of ground is in the town and the rolling landscape is full of hedges, roads, fields, water, trees and buildings. It was a delight to make and the results were spectacular.

Finally, before more photos a bit more information  about the layout:
city walls- repainted Ian Weekly
trees- JG miniatures (more details to follow tomorrow)
buildings inside city- PMC (I think)
church and windmill- Grand Manner
Manor house and watermill- scratch built by TM
everything else scratch built by TM

Royalists painted by Artmaster (who won the best painted army award at Salute)


Manor House