Saturday, May 21, 2011

Terrain Project: Ruined Building

I spent some time yesterday and today working on a ruined building for my WWII project. I used a method similar to one shown on Tim's Wargaming Stuff blog, only where he used wood, I used foam core. But the idea for this totally came from Tim's blog, and I want to give him credit.

First, following Tim's technique, I printed a Dave Graffam "World War Ruins" model on card stock, and cut out the wall and floor parts I wanted to use. Then I traced the card stock print-outs onto pieces of foam core and cut them out as well. My cutting of the foam core was not perfect, so the printed images and the foam core did not always match exactly. But it seemed to turn out okay for a ruin (I think one would have to be much more careful if doing a "clean" building this way). I then glued the print-outs to the foam core.

I wanted the two walls to have a flush corner. To make this work, I had to cut down the floors slightly to match the space lost due to wall overlap. Then I used a hot glue gun to put the pieces all together.

This left an unsightly joint on the outside corner, so I did a "Microsoft Picture It" editing job on one of the corner layers that comes with the Graffam model which I then cut out, trimmed to size and glued onto the outside corner.

Finally I painted the foam core grey along the edges and on any spots in the walls (e.g. window areas and wall edges) where the print cut and the foam core cut did not match exactly.

All in all, I'm fairly satisfied with the final result, especially considering it was a first try. This is an inexpensive way to go for building terrain, and I could probably make enough of these by November to have a small village as part of my terrain pool for a Platoon Forward campaign.


  1. That turned out pretty darned good. I am impressed anyway. I was looking into getting some printable building terrain, now it looks like a pretty viable option.

  2. Very nice and great effects - well done!

    I like Platoon Forward, but am somewhat distracted by Dark Ages gaming at the moment :-)

  3. Looking at the picture I would never have thought the brickwork was printed, you've done a fantastic job! The external corner edge looks good even though its just mask the bad joint. Great post!!!

  4. All: Thanks guys!

    Jagatai: I think the paper building terrain has a very favorable cost-to-appearance ratio. I've had mixed results with past attempts using card stock alone -- ruined walls that look too thin, structures bowing when the weather's humid, etc. But Tim's idea of mounting it on something sturdier gets rid of these problems.

  5. I had my wife look at this too, as she is much craftier than me, and she said that it looked like a good idea too; so, you got the Mona seal of approval, not the easiest of accomplishments. When I start making terrain, it will, in fact, be her handiwork, but inspired by yours.

  6. Geordie: Thanks! Welcome to Two Up, One Back!

    Jagatai: Tell Mona I'm flattered!

  7. I played in a WW2, Face of Battle skirmish game this weekend with some really nice looking resin ruins. It also had some colour paper barns that suffered as the Bard said from weather's humidity, had thin walls and looked a bit out of place..

    Thanks for informing us about Tim's technique. This looks like it will fit into my budget.

  8. This looks great, I did something similar a while ago using Dave's Sniper Wall which worked out well for a first attempt. I think I'm sold on the whole card stock approach now; the time/cost savings speak volumes.


Two Up, One Back

"The dominant (though not the only) tactical formation for the infantry in both attack and defense remained 'two up, one back.' This was a product of the triangular organization that the infantry used from platoon to division level. Triangular units had three main 'maneuver' elements (weapons units did not count as 'maneuver' elements). Rifle platoons had three squads; rifle companies three rifle platoons; battalions, three rifle companies; and so forth. This encouraged commanders to place two of their maneuver units forward while keeping back the third so that it could relieve or reinforce a frontline unit."

--John Sayen, U.S. Army Infantry Divisions 1944-45 (28)