Welcome to Cold War Gamer, a blog I am using to record my Cold War wargaming projects. These range from fictitious Cold War hot projects to historical conflicts that took place around the globe throughout the Cold War era, all modelled and gamed in 20mm. The blog includes links to various resources useful to the Cold War Gamer.

My current projects include: Central Front; British & Soviet. South African Border War; Angolans and South Africans. Soviet Afghan War; Soviets and Afghans

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Terrain - Modern Supermarket

Part of the look at what makes things modern said you can't really beat a supermarket, probably a German one for the central front and ideally something that fits in with the period.  I picked this one having looked at a lot as it said Modern and at the same time was a manageable size and shape given this was going to be a scratch build.

The first thing I do having decided on the type of building and found a suitable structure to work on is knock up a rough sketch of the building showing its major features and extending it to cover the space not covered by the imagery.  I then draw a scale plan of each of the buildings facades dimensioning the pillars etc against my available plasticard stock and the overall size of the piece I am aiming for.  I then produce a MDF base much as I did for the trees and mark that up with the main wall locations and dimensions. By the end of this work I know the building will look OK and fit the base.

The Building is constructed using foam core, cardboard, plasticard; sheet, rod and strips along with MDF.  The first step in construction is the establishment of the basic shape and structure using foam core cut to the dimensions on the plan then attached to the base and each other using white glue.

The structure is then set aside to dry and each facade is built on to card board or plasticard sheet depending on the construction required.  I do this as constructing the detail is generally easier on a flat surface rather than trying to build direct onto the sides of the structure, it is also relatively easy to adjust.  In this case the Roof side was built onto plasticard sheet because it was easier to attach all the small strips to it, the lower posrtion of the wall and windows was built onto cardboard.  Rough card was used for the concreate walls and plasticard for the window

The rear facade had a drain pipe and gutter attached for which i used plastic rod, the roller door was cut from a sheet of corregated plasticard and the roof was cut from a sheet of molded card that was then mounted on card stock and braced with foam core to hold it in place.  The facades were then glued onto the foam core structure the concreate areas were washed with a dilute solution of wall filler to texture them and the base of all the walls and all the gaps were then filled using the same material

Then it was on to the painting, the trick to painting things white is not to in my book, this one I started from a grey base and washed and dry brushed white, where I over acheived on the white colour I would wash with black grey.  The aim in this was to create a building that looked like it might be white but which had a degree of colour variation and shading, avoiding the deadening effect of painting just white and also acknowledging that buildings are seldom of a uniform colour.

The Ground work was produced by masking the MDF with masking tape cut to shape before gluing sand on using white glue, this produces very sharp edges to the green areas.  The sand was painted brown before being covered with static grass and tufts.  The MDF was painted black grey then washed with increasingly lighter shades of the same.

The building produced was used in action for the first time for the Wissenberg counter attack scenario which we played in August.  Here its used in conjunction with a small car park produced from MDF with foam core walls and some of the very nice Byzantium buildings the main roads are home produced by Mausman from the guild forum and the tracks are some excellent sets produced by Fonzie also from the guild forum, the armour is from the very talented hands of the Guilds Panzerfaust 200



  1. Thanks for sharing. I like how you walk us through your process and talk about the reasons for using the various materials. The piece looks especially good in action.

  2. I like the way you have taken a real building. You have obviously taken time to look at a variety of structures before settling on this one. It really adds to the game table and creates a "modern" build. I think there is something for me to learn and apply in my own endeavours from this approach. Thanks for the inspiration. Cheers Clint.

  3. Awesome, I do like a bit of LiDL. Some of their stuff at Christmas (like Spiced Biscuits) reminds me of being stationed in German with the BAOR and Dad would come home with these and things like Glühwein. Some of the happiest Christmas times were in Münster on the Married patch in the late 80's.

  4. Glad you like them few more Terrain posts to go yet, thanks for the kind comments :)