Tuesday, April 20, 2010

10mm Buildings

A little while ago I purchased the Battlelands 15mm Normandy Buildings and Ruins produced by Microtactix.  Initially the plan was to scale these up to 30mm and use them for my skirmish games.  This worked, well for the smaller buildings at least.  After a lot of wrangling the church ended up needing close to 10 A4 sheets to create just on it's own!  So these just ended up sitting on my hard drive... until now that is.  Reducing these down to 10mm I found that they fitted 2 original sheets perfect on a single A4 sheet of paper.  So after an afternoon of shrinking, cropping and rotating these pdf's I printed out around 20 sheets with anywhere from two to four buildings per sheet, more than I should need for any reasonable north west Europe scenario.

Gathering all the tools I needed I headed outside:
  • PDF printouts
  • Cardstock
  • Gluesticks
  • Spray Adhesive

Gluing the paper to the cardstock is simple enough, spray the back of your printout and the cardstock with spray adhesive, wait 10-15 seconds and then join the two sticky surfaces.  Most adhesives will still work if you only spray one surface but the bond won't be as strong.

Once all pages have been glued together I stacked them all up and piled as many big heavy books as I could find on them.  Glues differ on cure time so follow what the can says but I prefer to leave them overnight if possible.  What you should end up with is some fairly stiff card that is still fairly easy to cut.

I won't go into the details of how to cut, score, fold and glue a cardstock building as everyone will tell you different things and what works for me may not work for you.  One thing I can say is the first couple buildings you make will take ages and look crap.  The important thing to remember with cardstock buildings is that they're not supposed to look better than real terrain.  They're a cheap, replaceable piece of scenery.  If (when) they get smooshed then you simply sigh and print out another one.

There is one trick to cardstock buildings that makes a huge difference though: edging.  Edging is the process of colouring those white edges you see when you cut out your building.  These really detract from the overall look and they just scream "I'm not real".

When I've cut out my pieces and before I start gluing them together I simply paint the edges with hobby paint.  The colour doesn't need to be perfect and I find darker colours work better at defining the edges than lighter ones do.  There's no real need to be ultra careful here either, any splotches won't get noticed while they're on the table. 

Some edging examples.  The big grey splodge on the left hand side of the building in the second photo below is hardly noticeable on the table, in fact I had to point it out to someone while playing Blitzkrieg Commander.

Edging can take some time, especially on multipart buildings but it is worth it. 


  1. Would you be willing to post these files on a FTP site for others to download.
    Thanks Mike

  2. Wish I could but Microtactix wouldn't be too pleased if I did.

    They're available here on Wargame Vault for around $11.00AUD, pretty good value for 20 odd buildings.