Sunday, 16 September 2012

Scratch built terrain

Those of you that have been following my blog for a while, will have noticed a number of references to terrain making, especially buildings. After a lot of planning and preparation, I finally have something to show for my efforts. As a wargamer of many years standing, one of the most important aspects of the hobby for me is the visual. As well as good company and an enjoyable scrap, I like the table to look good and have always been pretty fussy about terrain. One of the things that has often surprised me wandering around the shows, is how unconcerned some gamers are about putting beautifully painted miniatures, that must have taken hundreds (if not thousands) of hours to paint onto a very plain table. There is no arguing with taste and to some, the game is all that matters, but I hope to offer, over the coming months and years, a service providing not only terrain boards, but the buildings and other items that sit upon them.

To start with I want to feature some 20mm buildings, intended for WWII wargaming. Without doubt the doyen of this art was Mick Sewell, who, over a period of years made buildings of excellent quality for wargamers all around the world, including me. Much of what I have learned, comes from him - if I get anywhere near his standard, I will be very satisfied indeed.

To start with, here are a few of the more basic building blocks. Each of these buildings is constructed separately and can be used "unbased" to create the streets shown above. The advantage of this system is flexibility, as the relative positions of the buildings can be varied from game to game.

An alternative, is to place the buildings on a base with extra features such as boundary walling, hedging, fencing etc and other enhancements such as trees and bushes. Below are some examples of this more integrated approach. Visually it does offer more, but of course lacks the flexibility of individual, unbased structures.

Scratch building is, of necessity fairly time consuming. One of the main areas for reducing the amount of time spent on a model, is the tiling. Hand tiling gives a more irregular and to my eye, better look. The roofs on the buildings shown above, which are removable of course, are done using Wills railway modellers plastic sections cut to size over a card and MDF frame. Either method can be provided, according to preference.

If you are interested in having something made, please let me know, providing a rough outline of your requirements. I will get back to you with a quote.

Over the following few weeks I will post more pictures of different styles of buildings - next up will be a couple of small chateaux and some battle damaged modules.