Saturday 3 March 2012

A village to fight for

Scenery of the Day

The major battles of the Napoleonic era are mostly fought over areas of around 10-20km square, which in central Europe often contains a number of small towns / large villages.

So any good battlefield should have a number of little townships on the table top to represent these.

Looking at the scale of various maps of Central Europe, at a guess I would say that every 5-10km or so, you get a little settlement that is a few acres in size.

So on the tabletop, where 1" = 100m, I probably need few of these sort of settlements spread out along the roads, and sitting on a 5"x7" canvas board seems about right for the scale.

These ones, I knocked up with a few scraps of foamcore, and some corrugated cardboard for the roofs.

Outer walls of the township are foamcore, cut to a 1cm height. Its a great material to work with once it is cut - its the cutting which is a total pain !

Each 'house' has 2 levels, each 30mm high, with a 40x40mm footprint.   A few little scraps of card added to represent the external woodwork.

Same basic pattern for each dwelling. Once the basic foamcore construction has dried, I slapped on a thick coat of 'modelling paste' - which is a gloopy sort of paint about the consistency of toothpaste.

Dries hard after a day or so, and gives a reasonable stucco finish on the walls. Looks a little rough in the close up photo, but it works fine on the tabletop.

There is enough room inside the town to lay out bases of troops, including artillery and cavalry.

For gaming purposes, I use a convention that any unit with it's base sitting over the base of the town counts as being in hard cover in a BUA. Any unit in the outlying area - in base to base contact with the town, counts as being in light cover on the outskirts of the town.

All up, very cheap to make, and fairly easy to work with the foam core. You do need to pay some attention to keeping everything square though, so it can be a fiddly job.

In the next installment, I have some more villages finished now that are even simpler to make .. using little wooden cubes to build the basic structure.

The whole township base does come in under the $2 mark though, so thats good enough for me :)

More simple foamcore buildings HERE, where I have used a smaller 4x4" canvas base to make a little farmyard (light cover)


  1. Very presentable and clearly serviceable for the tabletop. ; most of these rural buildings probably didn't have the greatest day to day maintenance in real life anyway!

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