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Preparing for Blitzkrieg Part Three: Rubble without Trouble

“Rubble, Rubble”, as David Bowie nearly once sang and, let’s be honest we know what the man who fell to Earth meant:  there’s never enough of it on our wargames tables.  Well, after making a whole host of new damaged buildings, I wanted more and I wanted it fast and, if I could manage it, I wanted it cheap.  Fortunately for me breaking a couple of ribs meant that I found myself on some whacky pain-killing tablets and my ability to research and write for the Summer Special was somewhat curtailed.  So, with time on my hands I had a look around to see what I could do about said dearth of rubble.

One of the by-products of making a number of MDF buildings was a big pile of useless wooden “Sprues”.  I’m not honestly sure if they are called sprues, but it;’s the off-cuts as can be seen below.

Some of these bits are sizeable enough to serve as bases for areas of rubble which can be put adjacent to buildings. I broke or cut these off from the other bits using a pair of pliers and ended up with this.

Next I wanted to cut a retaining wall which would stand at a 90 degree angle to create a flat edge which could be placed against the building.  I have actually done this before, many years ago when I made similar things for my 15mm collection for I Ain’t Been Shot Mum and what I learnt then was that what looks like a shallow slope is actually quite large, so here I cut the retaining wall sections as low as I dared.  Indeed, looking int he image below you may be inclined to think they were too low.  I certainly did but I held my nerve in the most heroic manner one can when snipping out cardboard…

With these cut from artists mounting board, I now wielded my trusty hot glue gun to put the rear wall in position….

 

…and then add some body to the rubble pile.  This time I used foam board snipped vaguely to shape and again stuck down with hot glue.

With this done, I next mixed up some Polyfilla and sand in about 50:50 ratio.  I used some old powdered filler for this as I wanted to get rid of it and frankly the stuff in the tube is too good (and expensive) for this job.  I applied this with a butter knife.

One that was done I left it for 24 hours in a warm place to dry.  When dry I painted it with PVA and applied a layer of rubble base mix as I had used with the buildings, so largely sharp sand with some cork rubble mixed in.  When that dried, I sprinkled on the top layer mix of more expensive bricks and rubble bits to get this look.

Actually, this is not a bad representation of rubble without any further work, but I applied another coat of PVA to hold everything in place before spraying it black and then painting up with several layers of dry brushing.  I began with bitter chocolate external house paint before going on to Vallejo Saddle Brown followed by Red Leather and then adding white to brush up from there.

That got me to this stage.  I then went over this and repainted any bits of wood brown and then dry brushed selectively with Vallejo Stone Grey.

But hold on!  What is this, there are some different bits appearing from nowhere.  Indeed there are.  At the Lardy Games Day in Exeter last weekend, I was very impressed with some of the new terrain that Charlie Foxtrot Miniatures had brought out without me noticing.  So, upon  my return I trawled their web site only to find these  lovely resin pieces:

Pretty much precisely what I had been scratch building but all ready to purchase off the shelf.  The bricks on these models are a bit bigger than the ones I am using, so I added a few additional small ones with PVA glue before undercoating and adding them to the painting process.  Here we see a mix of my home-made stuff alongside the Charlie Foxtrot Models.

And here’s a comparison up against one of my damaged buildings.  Charlie Foxtrot on the left, my stuff on the right.  In a game setting I’d add further rubble scatter, but I’ve not done so here to allow a better comparison.

Both do the job.  The Charlie Foxtrot ones are £12.75 and can be found here: LINK

They are easier than building your own and do a great job, especially when going round corners.  Their web site tells me that they are suitable for Bolt Action, well let’s just hope they work for Chain of Command.  Who knows..?  Mine are more work, but they are not difficult and cost just about bugger all if you have the ingredients.  Personally I am pleased to have both.

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7 Responses

  1. James Manto says:

    Lovely!

  2. BigLee says:

    It’s amazing what you can come up with when you’re on drugs! Great tutorial. I may have to use that idea.

  3. Jim McCabe says:

    They look very nice Indeed. I hadn’t seen the Charlie Foxtrot ones before. Anyscale Models do a couple rubble likes too
    https://anyscalemodels.com/shop/rubble-pile-right-angle-for-building.html

  4. Tom Ballou says:

    Great looking rubble

  5. David Pike says:

    Thanks Rich, these three articles have inspired me to give the DIY approach a real good stab. A decent sized town in 15mm scale MDF was going to cost me a fortune!

  6. Baron von Wreckedoften says:

    Rubble without a cause.

  7. Marc Renouf says:

    These rubble bits (both the home-made and the resin ones) are fantastic!

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