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

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Terrain - Modern Utilities and Infrastructure

Part of the Modern landscape is created by a variety of distribution and utility services, these range from petrol for vehicles, electricity distribution and generation, water and water treatment, telephony mobile and fixed, radio and telivision all of which have impacted on the landscape.  This post looks at Power, Water and Petrol with the production of a Water Tower, Petrol Station and a bunch of electricity pylons and telegraph poles.

These pictures provided the inspiration for the Petrol Station and the Water Tower.  Both of which were scratch built.

As can be seen from these pictures the Water Tower is made from some old favourites in the junk modeling world, a Yogurt Pot and the card board centre from a roll of Kitchen Paper. Both of which required fairly significant work to disguise there origins. The initial attempts at this seen in the picture above involved building some detail onto the smooth surfaces with cardboard and plasticard and then trying to change the surface texture using wall filler.  This still left me with a yogurt pot or more accurately creme fresh pot sitting on a less obvious long toilet roll.

In the end the trick proved to be rounding out some of the hard edges under the lid around the top and between the pot and the toilet roll.  which I thought created a more convincing effect.  Bizarly the original inspiration looked more like the yogurt pot on the toilet roll. The guard rail around the top was added using brass rod and wire.

The Water Tower was then painted "white" in Ocher tones and mounted on an MDF base. 

The Garage was built more in line with the techniques described for the other buildings that I have covered in this series of posts.  An MDF Hard board base onto which was mounted the petrol pumps, building and raised flower bed.  The buildings windows were plasticard with frames built from Plastic strip whilst the walls were constructed from molded plastic sheets.  The cover over the refuling area is MDF edged with plasticard and the small walls were built from strips of Foam core covered in wall filler.  The Garage represents a small filling station and was built under scale to keep the foot print down to a manageable size.

The building and pumps were painted "white" in grey tones and the fore court Grey overwashed with lighter tones and finally weathered with Kahki washes.  

The pylons were Hornbys rather expensive offering and whilst not really representative of pylons in Europe do add a distinctively modern flavour to any game, they have been based on MDF and whilst the base has been painted the pylons are not.

The Car park is another MDF Foam core offering with the surface detail just painted on.  I have an intent to do something similar but a little bigger with more features in the parking area.  You can never have too many car parks and they add usefull areas of grey to built up areas.  The Telegraph poles are Dapol and based on coins.

In addition to the major terrain pieces I have a range of what I call micro terrain designed to create a bit of character these range from the tin outhouses/sheds through to wheely bins from hornby mounted on coins to ground dumped containers and a range of small utility huts and roof detail that can sit on or alongside other structures.  The pavements and low ground cover are used to edge roads around built up areas and help to define the extent of the "Urban" space.

Other Posts in this Series:


  1. A very smart set of distinctive terrain features Andy. Nice job. Mind you, our local garage forecourt go nuts should anyone uses a mobile phone so they would have a fit if Saggers and Milans started flying about! Aye Rusty