Sunday, 26 January 2020

Practical and Simple Wargame Terrain

Earlier this month I blogged about a magazine article I have had published in Miniature Wargames - issue 442, February 2020. I commented on the fact that this was the first of what I hoped would be a short series of tutorials on building simple, practical and robust wargame terrain build from easily sourced and everyday materials. For details see this link.

However I thought it would be interesting if I gave more details as to the reasons for producing such a series.

Following on from my earlier self published books or Dampfpanzerwagon Guides, I had received many positive comments, but a few criticised me for my use of non-standard or specialist products, for example industrial or specialised superglue and high quality green foam (a product designed for the professional model making community). In addition there has been many comments on my preferred basing technique of building my models on small diorama bases with lots of 'clutter' to decorate the base and add some interest.

In these articles, I had decided to cut-back on the specialised products and build robust and strong wargame terrain using nothing but everyday materials - for example cardboard, egg box card and plain card.

As you can read in the article in Miniature Wargames, the simple Storehouse was indeed built from simple materials - cardboard, card and egg box cartons and I can confirm that it is very robust. I have been able to allow my two grandsons to play with all of the models and so far they have held up very well.

In my article/tutorial and in the future articles I have set myself five simple rules or guidelines;

1 - The model should be constructed from simply sourced or everyday materials.

2 - The model should be generic and able to be used in a wide variety of different games or genres.

3 - The model should be robust enough for wargame club use.

4 - The model should be finished to a good standard and resemble the building it represents.

5 - Finally, it should fit into a 6 inch x 6 inch x 6 inch box - for easy storage.

It should be obvious, but just for the record - the models do not have an integrated base or an interior.

I would hope that this model 'ticks' all of the criteria above and that the following articles (so far there are three similar article with John - the editor of MW) will give some inspiration to others who want to produce practical wargame terrain for next-to-nothing cost.

I would be interested to hear from gamers about their views on such a series and also welcome criticism or comments, particularly suggestions for future practical wargame terrain models.



Kev Moon said...

I really enjoyed the article. I think the criteria are very good.

I'd love to see more ancient and medieval buildings in the future.

Michael S/Chgowiz said...

I thought the article was great! I'm in the middle of several builds right now, but once I'm done, I'm going to give your simple terrain a try. It will definitely brighten up my HOTT/DBA table, which is a great place for simple, base-less terrain pieces.

I don't mind base or non-base, personally. If I don't want a base, I just don't add it. If I want a base, I know how to build one. What I come to these articles like yours is for inspiration and picking up new/easy techniques.

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I liked the article too. You mentioned egg box card there as well as here, which is a material I hadn't considered before, and I was wondering what made you recommend it. Is it the texture--looking at some, it does resemble shoddy plasterwork or quickly-applied concrete--or some other quality?



Tony said...

"You mentioned egg box card there as well as here, which is a material I hadn't considered before, and I was wondering what made you recommend it. Is it the texture - looking at some, it does resemble shoddy plaster work or quickly-applied concrete--or some other quality?"

I saw the technique on You Tube;

But similar images can be found by doing a Google image search;

I have used it for wood, stone and rough cast plaster effects. But my main reason for using it in this series was because it is free and easily obtainable.


(Kym) + Warburton + (Classic40K) said...

Hi Tony, great work and I like the idea behind the articles. One thing would maybe (given the popularity of WWII games in particular) be to add a removable roof so figures can be placed inside. I know you don't normally do that but it might push you to some new challenges...? Looking forward to more. Kym.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the answer and the link. I'll have to give that a go.