This work in progress post is about a wargaming terrain piece I’m working on. It will be the remains of a contemporary or futuristic city house.
I started by sketching the piece on paper, taking measurements to see how it plays with actual miniatures. I made it large enough to house ten miniatures, eight of them next to the walls, in proper hard cover. Shooting positions were planned so that none of the miniatures would be completely obstructed from acting. I made the floorplans on sketch paper to check the space the miniatures would require. I also accounted for room to actually handle the miniatures. The tactical side of things was important: I didn’t want a too effective cover piece in my games, so I left the other side of the model entirely open, perfect for flanking.
The piece is constructed entirely of foamcore, like the base. There are three pieces, each supporting the others – the assembly feels quite strong. I cut small holes into the joints and pushed short lengths (about 1,5 cm or < 0,5″) of cocktail sticks in to support both pieces of the joint. The sticks push effortlessly into the foam. The second floor was a little trickier, as the supports had to be placed at a 45 degree angles so that I could push the floor in in one move, moving diagonally into the corner. The joints were glued with PVA.
The one thing I forgot was a way to access the upper level. I figured I’d add a balsa-based ladder, because a stairwell would’ve taken a lot of space and been rather more difficult to construct, but I forgot to account for space for the ladder when cutting the base. I guess they will be free-standing, then, or come with a base of their own.
I am also a little worried about how I’m going to support the upper floor, because although solid, miniatures weight quite a bit. I could add a small supporting wall to the short side quite easily, just barely fitting on the base, but that would make using the piece a little more difficult, and complicate painting a lot. Another option is some kind of pillar or triangular support pieces between the second floor and the walls. Actually, thinking about it, I think I’m going for the triangulars and see if they’re adequate. Least fiddly, easiest to make and least in the way.
Next I’m going to add the support pieces beneath the second floor and seal all of the “broken” ends with putty – that is, everything except the doorway and the intact window openings. The base is going to be covered with card tiles to give the appearance of a floor, and obviously there needs to be debris. I don’t know about the exterior wall decorations yet, though, need to look at some examples to get ideas for that.