Friday, May 24, 2013

Urban Terrain Ideas - Help Needed

As I can see the finish line approaching of my CSIR scenarios, I find I need to expand my terrain setups. Particularly for the later scenarios featuring the attacks on Shelesnoje, Gorlovka and Nikitovka that need urban and industrial settings.

A little searching on Google revealed the following images that based on the descriptions of the fighting seemed apt. These were pulled from a Russian site that the text with them reported that these images were taken by Italian troops.

I would give credit where I pulled these, but I somehow lost the source. The description of the cities of the Donets Basin spoke of everything being gray by the dust of the mines. Piles of refuse from the mines forming pyramids within the cities. Factories and industry surrounded by mud huts and shacks with few modern looking buildings except the few show piece buildings that were built for "cultural" reasons by the communist party.

More of Google's help gave some nice pictures of the attack on Gorlovka by the Italians. These I have found on a number of sites as well as in several books that I have found.

I have a couple of items that I want to try to build. All of my stuff is for 15mm or 6mm. The first is some mining type stuff. Looking for HO scale mining stuff, I could not figure out anything close to what I wanted. Also some of what I did find was very expensive. Anyway, here is what I was looking to build:

This picture is from GoogleMaps and is a Rock processing facility just a 1/4 of a mile from my office building. They blast once a week and I can feel my office shake when they do this. The rock is actually part of Stone Mountain, the largest Confederate Memorial in the United States. My guess is that it is probably the largest Confederate Memorial in the world, but you never know. Anyway, I was thinking of making something like this for my table. Any suggestions?

After that, I need some factory looking places. There are plenty of HO scale and 15mm scale items to get this moving. However, if I was to scratch build some, what materials should I use? Foam core seems too thick for 15mm buildings. Definitely not for 6mm. Is Cardstock the way to go or Balsa? Anything else I should look at?

So far, I have what I need for a rural village. I have a bunch of nice thatched roofed buildings from Ebay. The seller aylafred has some nice stuff. If you contact him, he will get the items painted as per the pictures on Ebay for very reasonable prices. Take a look. He had a Coal Storage thing that I want but it seems to not be on the current for sale list. Also there was a factory with a broken chimney that would be useful too. Anyone know of a source for cheap, tall, round industrial chimneys?


  1. If you're doing 15mm then i would go with cheap' model RR stuff for the buildings. Scout ebay or specials at train shops. The piles of slag are easy to do. You could even use an old plastic container, invert it, and cover it with something to coat with fine model RR ballast. All the tubing and belts and what not could be straws and wire. To cover a 4 X 6 table will take a lot of work though.

  2. Yes. It is a project that I need to do but dread to. Then again, if I make the gigantic pile o' rubble, there won't be much room for other buildings. :) Probably not the way I would want to go.

  3. You can get resin chimneys from Bachmann UK for model railways in OO and N, N probably being closer to 15mm though still a bit small so a big chimney in N becomes a medium chimney in 15mm. I remember looking at one at a model railway show and being very impressed. On the other side of the pond Walthers are probably your best bet as they seem to carry everything for model railways.

    N would be too small for buildings and HO too big but not by that much especially as the scale of some real factories looks a bit whacked anyway so a Walther's cornerstone kit or two might do you nicely (blithely recommending something I have never seen).

    A lot of equipment is quite scale neutral which helps a lot.

  4. While the kits won't be cheap HO scale building kits will be your best option for the industrial buildings. The houses look like single story row houses and you may be able to find them through war gaming sources.