Setting the Scene Volume 2, subtitled Creating a Wargames Layout for the Mediterranean, is fundamentally a series of wargaming terrain building projects. These are all presented in a stage by stage format, with full instructions and plenty of photographic support. A 148-page, full colour softback book, this is a book written by a wargamer who makes his own terrain for those with an interest in doing the same.
After a brief introduction, the author launches straight into how to create suitably timeless terrain for the Mediterranean region. He begins by outlining the main materials needed to undertake the majority of the projects shown, illustrated with a plethora of good quality photographs. The first actual project is a simple starting point, creating a terrain mat and flexible roads.
The next section deals with the creation of mountain terrain, with a personalised guide provided in text form, complimented by photographs of the work in progress stages.
This pattern continues, with the next project focussing upon creating bridges to span some of the gaps left in the terrain, or placed on the tabletop as an objective or scenic feature.
The remaining projects are more of the same, growing gradually to populate the table with generic items such as buildings (intact and ruined versions), olive and cypress groves, walls and terrain clutter and items to decorate the streets of an average town or village. Along the way, the author describes creating items from scratch or making the most out of commercially available models.
A change of tack allows the author to explore the painting of figures for the Napoleonic and World War Two period, with stage by stage instructions, photographs with images of the paints used and ideas on wet palettes, etc. Roughly the same approach is taken with creating World War Two vehicles, adding the ‘extras’ to portray them as they were.
This is a very well written and laid out book, with plenty of good quality text and linked photographs. All the projects are explained in simple and a pleasingly personalised fashion. More importantly, all the materials used are readily available and the techniques are not beyond the most basic beginner. All in all, a great addition to the books available on the topic, and a good example for those looking to publish similar ones.