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"Advice on building a city board wanted" Topic

17 Posts

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FusilierDan Supporting Member of TMP03 Feb 2017 7:01 p.m. PST

I'm looking to build a city board for some gangster type games. Thoughts and opinons on how to assemble it are welcome. It will be for 28mm figures. Needs to be moble as will have to take it to the hobby shop to play. I'm thinking 4'x3'.

Currently I have 2 houses and a shop from 4ground and about a 4 buildings from Plasticville.

Other thoughts, should each building have it's own sidewalk as a base? Should the roads be seperate or part of the main board?


SamNaz03 Feb 2017 7:15 p.m. PST

Maybe use a cigar box battle mat? Easy to transport, and would take care of the road/sidewalk issue.


ChrisBrantley03 Feb 2017 7:25 p.m. PST

If you're set on a 3d street/sidewalk set-up, I'd suggest planning out your street grid and then cutting out your blocks from thin plywood, plastic sheet or matboard as used to create borders in picture frames. Then decide where to place your buildings on top of the blocks. Empty spots can be decorated and used as empty lots, junk piles, urban gardens, playgrounds, carparks, areas under construction, etc.

If you don't fix the buildings permanently to the block "bases", you can move them around and create different set-ups and challenges for each game.

It will also be easier to store the buildings if they're not fixed to odd-sized bases…and the "block" bases can be just stacked flat.

As for roads, if you have a gaming cloth or table cover that's the color of cement or asphalt, you could just put down your block pieces and voila, you've got instant roads (albeit with out center and curb markings or crosswalks). Of course those could be added with paint, etc. to your table covering, but that limits your future layout options.

If you're not limited by the desire for 3d, there are some great urban game cloths out there by Hotz, Cigar Box and others, with roads, sidewalks, marketings, etc. Lay it out, plop down your buildings and you're good to go.

Whemever103 Feb 2017 7:45 p.m. PST

It's easy to add a park or cemetery with a piece of green felt and a few trees and rocks.

Personal logo Jlundberg Supporting Member of TMP03 Feb 2017 8:38 p.m. PST

Not the best pictures. The board itself does not take that much space since I did not include hills. The boards themselves were designed to be interchangeable other than having the port section at one end

Twoball Cane03 Feb 2017 9:58 p.m. PST

I'll second the cigar box battlemats. Love them.

GROSSMAN Supporting Member of TMP03 Feb 2017 10:41 p.m. PST

I would just use grey felt, that's what I used for my Stalingrad kit.


Toaster03 Feb 2017 10:59 p.m. PST

Check out Matakishis Tea House if you haven't already.
A good example of the sidewalks attached to the building method. I just drop mine on a black cloth but I'm thinking of painting some baseboards with blackboard paint so I can use chalk to add road markings that can change to suit whatever layout I come up with.


Pedrobear03 Feb 2017 11:58 p.m. PST

I would use Zombicide tiles or similar as a base.

Mako1104 Feb 2017 5:18 a.m. PST

Lots of good advice, and videos on Youtube, that I've run across while researching other projects.

Definitely worth a few hours checking those out.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP04 Feb 2017 7:02 a.m. PST

Strongly advise building by the block--or half-block--and doing the roads separately. This gives you maximum flexibility, and American urban blocks are usually of identical dimensions.

Personal logo Dye4minis Supporting Member of TMP04 Feb 2017 8:38 a.m. PST

European towns can have many different surfaces for streets today. Some fishscale brick, "H" looking paving stones, asphalt, lots of concrete, brick, etc. Many streets do not run at 90 degree angles, but rather, at odd angles. Round-abouts can be found everywhere as by function, can do away with traffic light and stop signs on secondary roads.

European cities have a mix of old and modern building styles, often on the same street, so don't be reluctant to use those buildings from 16 thru early-mid 20th century in your collection with those of today, side by side. Trees are managed in Germany and because of selective planting, there is plenty of timber for today and the future. Nothing looks better on the tabletop than very nice looking trees planted to enhance the scenes (IMHO).

Don't forget monuments and fountains in public squares and indie the centers of roundabouts honoring some local here or action.

Best of luck with the project!


Personal logo The Virtual Armchair General Sponsoring Member of TMP04 Feb 2017 9:33 a.m. PST

Fusilier Dan!

Street sections representing multiple types (concrete, OLD concrete, asphalt, brick, etc) are available inexpensively in 25/28mm as part of "Mean Streets," not to mention twenty 10" Block Sections, as PDF's for inexpensive printing and easy assembly.

Call my bluff by following this link

Scroll down to see the currently available Block Sections, including architecturally accurate recreations of several of the most famous Beer Wars sites.

Already designed and soon to be released additional Blocks include the Hawthorne Inn, General Hospital, the new First National Bank Tower (22" tall), and four more of Slums/Tenements.

Feather weight, even when properly backed with the recommended foam core, and imminently portable, there is enough to fill a
9' x 5" table without a single repetition of street or building.

The PDF's are inexpensive, and it's free to go see for yourself!


CAPTAIN BEEFHEART04 Feb 2017 6:28 p.m. PST

My sidewalks are foam core. First I measured and traced each building (easy since they were all the same size) and extended the base to the desired sidewalk size. The foam core was cut out and the building sized center was cut as well. The result looks like a picture frame.

If you want to use the sidewalk, just drop the building in the center of the frame/sidewalk. The sidewalk stays put without glue and the buildings are easier to store.

I used various gray tones from tube acrylic and drew the lines with pen. A lighter shade was painted along the cracks to give a little depth and sealed with clear flat.

Accessories like fire hydrants, phone booths, benches etc. are available from model railroad shops.

FusilierDan Supporting Member of TMP05 Feb 2017 6:01 p.m. PST

Thanks for all the ideas. I could spend a day on Matakishis Tea House. I like the idea of black chaulk board for roads.
TVAG if I hadn't already invested in the other building I would go that way. Sounds like I shoudl just lay down a cloth and set things out and go from there.

Thanks again.

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