Rhine in Flames is the name of the annual fireworks displays that take place at different times at several sections of the Middle Rhine. Brightly lit passenger ships cruise in convoys at night across the river to allow their guests to look at the entire firework as it is ignited. At the event Rhine in Flames in St. Goar and St. Goarshausen the convoy does not move, but the ships are laid during the fireworks between Burg Maus and Rheinfels Castle. Along the riverside will be held wine festivals which are visited each year by hundreds of thousands of spectators. The largest fireworks display in the context of “Rhine in Flames” takes place every year on the second Saturday in August in Koblenz.
The picture above shows you what it looks like. Now you probably think what this has to do with wargaming. To tell the truth nothing… But it has something to do with terrain building. A very good friend of us is turning 50 this year and we and our friends wanted to invite him to St. Goarshausen to see the “Rhine on fire” festival. So we needed something to present to him at his birthday, which shows were we will go for the birthday celebration. Therefore I build a terrain piece showing the rhine on fire festival in 6mm. This is the story how it was build:
Above you see pictures of the base. I used a MDF piece roughly A4 sized and built up the river bed and the hills from Styrodur and Styropor. The rocky pieces are made from cork bark chips. The buildings were individual cut from Styrodur. Everything was glued with a hot glue gun and wood glue like Elmers. the coin is there as a size comparison .
Next I added filler round the cork bark and to fill in spaces between the Styropor pieces.
Then sand and grit was glued on with Elmers wood glue. As can be seen above.
Then I needed ships a lot of them ! Therefore I build some out of styrodur and made moulds to cast some more:
Above you see the process of mouldmaking and casting the ships. The mold were made from thermoplastic plastic. You heat it up in hot water ( see the picture of the pot) it gets very flexible then and you just press the master into the hot plastic and let it cool down. When cool you can pull the master out and fill in green stuff or as in this case grey matter ( another softer 2 component epoxy putty). The grey ships are the casts.
Then I needed the fireworks. I made them from wire and steel wool . The steel wool was soaked in white glue to fix it all together.
The next step was to add woods to the bare hills. This is just clump foliage from Woodland scenics.
Then I fixed the fireworks to the terrain piece and glued the ships on.
Now night ( black primer) came. The complete piece was sprayed with an airbrush in black and successive lighter grey shades to simulate nighttime:
The fireworks were then painted silver. The complete following painting was done by brush.
Next step was to cooler in lighting of the houses the church tower and the castle:
As you can see I also painted in the reflections of the lighting on the river like the lights of the ships , the lighthouse at the harbor and the castle.
Then I painted the fireworks and the reflections of the fireworks:
The last step was to give the river a coat of gloss varnish to simulate the water:
I think it looks a bit like the picture I have shown you at the start of the article. At least I think as a voucher for a weekend at the Rhine it does the trick.
What do you think!?