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"Grew Up Where Walls Are Topped With Broken Glass?" Topic

31 Posts

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World War Two on the Land
Science Fiction

1,308 hits since 13 Sep 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Cacique Caribe Inactive Member14 Sep 2018 7:07 p.m. PST

I know I did. Sometimes even nails and other sharp metal.

I never understood why (other than to discourage burglars) until I started watching these guys:


I guess back then we weren't shy about culling the herd of the stupidly and dangerously reckless "genes".

1) How do you represent broken glass and other shards on your terrain walls?
2) How do you adapt your rules to reflect that deterrent?


Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP14 Sep 2018 8:36 p.m. PST

It is telling that these were all guys. Not one chick in the bunch.

Represent broken glass is not relevant to any scale or game I play.

Personal logo DuckanCover Supporting Member of TMP14 Sep 2018 10:02 p.m. PST

If it were really necessary… Some glitter mixed in with clear drying adhesive simply brushed on? Or, sprinkling the glitter on (very sparsely) the still-tacky adhesive? Depending on the scale, salt crystals?

As the previous poster said, not likely, of itself, to have too much of an impact.

I suppose, as an anti-personnel obstacle, it might up the difficulty level involved a little when attempting to scale that brick wall…


Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP14 Sep 2018 11:00 p.m. PST

Vaulting bollards. What a brilliant idea.

How many of those did NOT result in broken ribs, collarbone or back?

Cacique Caribe Inactive Member15 Sep 2018 1:14 a.m. PST

I wonder if the military diorama guys ever used this crushed "glass" stuff:





PS. Nothing says "home" to me more than pictures like this:


bsrlee15 Sep 2018 3:01 a.m. PST

I remember seeing something that might be useful – plastic fake snow, make from clear plastic flakes it is/was much coarser than glitter. Wait until after Xmas for the sales though.

Don Manser15 Sep 2018 3:05 a.m. PST

I'm thinking Plastruct tubing cut to random shapes might work. Not sure if they make it in a dimension that would be small enough. Coffee stirrer straws may also work.

45thdiv Inactive Member15 Sep 2018 3:44 a.m. PST

Well, I lived in La Paz Bolivia in the late 1970's. Walls around the houses were 10+ feet high, thick with broken glass on top.

Cacique Caribe Inactive Member15 Sep 2018 3:49 a.m. PST

Rallynow: "It is telling that these were all guys. Not one chick in the bunch."

These two were among the gifs, for some weird reason. :)

I hope they never try to do any of the stupid ("parkour") high jumping stuff.




Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP15 Sep 2018 6:27 a.m. PST

In all our games a wall is a wall. They come tall or short but we don't worry about any detail beyond that, so don't have any walls of this type I know of.

irishserb15 Sep 2018 6:46 a.m. PST

I only remember seeing it a couple of times over the years, I think more as a form of decoration, though not sure, as it didn't seem to be concentrated enough to function as a deterrent, and the walls were short, only 30 inches tall or so.

If I was building a diorama in larger scales (maybe 1/60 or larger), I would probably clip up some clear colored plastic to create the effect. In smaller (i.e.,most gaming scales) it is a detail that I wouldn't represent.

The Shadow15 Sep 2018 7:31 a.m. PST

On the lower East Side of Manhattan, where I grew up, there were walls between the back yards of the tenement buildings. I imagine that the walls were originally constructed for privacy between the yards. but eventually the back yard, roofs, fire escapes and alleys became an escape route for us teen aged street gangsters running from the cops. We could run and climb faster than the "fuzz" could, so the building superintendents laid concrete laced with broken glass to stop us or slow us down. Barbed wire wouldn't work as we routinely cut it with wire cutters where ever we saw it in our neighborhood, but the broken glass was permanent and it did work!

Cacique Caribe Inactive Member15 Sep 2018 8:36 a.m. PST

Shadow: "but the broken glass was permanent and it did work!"

Indeed, and if they get chipped all that does is produce a brand new sharp edge for cutting more flesh. :)


14Bore15 Sep 2018 8:39 a.m. PST

Makeshift barbwire, I see things like this in largercities On the east coast but in the shall town I am from there are lots on masonry walls and some had pointed odd stones on top but nothing to get cut on just no place to sit on.

Twoball Cane15 Sep 2018 8:39 a.m. PST

New Orleans in the French quarter on the wrought iron…have a lot of Romeo spikes….when a guide pointed them out and why…I saw them everywhere there…. keeps ones daughter pure I guess.

Cacique Caribe Inactive Member15 Sep 2018 10:58 a.m. PST

Twoball Cane

Lol. Same reason most of my family keeps thick thorn bushes (often roses) under the windows of their daughters, as a general deterrent.

And, in combination with a couple of large sharp-eared dogs*, it is a very simple but effective early detection system. The dogs will start barking and charging the moment they hear the first "ouch". :)

Hmm, how does one go about crafting big thorn bushes, I wonder. :)

* Not chihuahuas. Those aren't real dogs back where I'm from.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP15 Sep 2018 11:09 a.m. PST

You know, I spent a of of time in "secure" locations, and I don't remember seeing any. Walls, sure, barbed wire all the time, armed guards sometimes including me, motion sensors and sometimes geese--but no broken glass. I suspect the military was afraid they'd lose too many of their own people. (Actually, I'd be interested in seeing how many we've lost to IEDs vs how many have killed themselves tipping soft drink machines.)

For what it's worth, Dorothy Sayers DOES mention broken glass on walls as a precaution they need to take in Oxford, in a story written and set in the 1930's. They had separate women's colleges--and freshmen.

Mike Target Inactive Member15 Sep 2018 12:33 p.m. PST

I think my parents still have a section of wall with glass on top…

Zephyr115 Sep 2018 1:26 p.m. PST

" Same reason most of my family keeps thick thorn bushes (often roses) under the windows of their daughters, as a general deterrent. "

The plant you want for that purpose is called "Spanish Bayonet"… ;-)

Cacique Caribe Inactive Member15 Sep 2018 1:31 p.m. PST

That's the one my uncle had under some of his windows!


Personal logo The Beast Rampant Supporting Member of TMP15 Sep 2018 3:23 p.m. PST

New Orleans was the first place I thought of- the first place I ever saw such a thing.

Lion in the Stars15 Sep 2018 3:25 p.m. PST

Broken glass on top of the wall is so nekulturniye.

Modeling-wise, I'd use coarse glitter on top of the walls down to 12mm scale. Below that I wouldn't bother. Critical fail causes a wound going over the wall.

As far as home defenses go, well, you put Roses or other nasty spiky plants under all your house windows, not just the daughter's. If your house is on fire, you're not going to care too much about landing on top of one on your way out, but they will sure discourage an uninvited visitor. You also put a Japanese stone lantern under every bush and tree, so that there are no shadows to hide in. If you're really going full-paranoid, you can put gravel for ~10ft around the outside of the house, too.

Personal logo Narratio Supporting Member of TMP15 Sep 2018 7:28 p.m. PST

South London in the 60's. Brick walls around light industry had their walls topped with broken glass. In those days, if you got hurt trying to break into a place, well tough.

Then the politics changes and it was not nice to slice and dice thieves. So, none of them anymore.

Oberlindes Sol LIC15 Sep 2018 7:29 p.m. PST

No. I never saw broken glass on a fence top or balcony rail when I was growing up. I did hear every dog announce the arrival of a stranger to the neighborhood.

When I was a nurseryman, we used to plant pyracantha around people's backyards, usually inset a few feet from the fence line. Then if someone came over the fence, he would have the choice of cuts and mild but painful chemical burns from the pyracantha or going back over the fence.

There were a few times when we planted pyracantha just inside a chain link fence, so that it would grow through the fence, making both climbing and cutting a hole extremely painful propositions.

We always had a set of leather work gloves to bring along for jobs involving pyracantha.

deflatermouse16 Sep 2018 1:01 a.m. PST

I saw glass decorating the tops of walls in West London in the '90's.
And where I lived in Sydney, the walls all had glass on them.
(Central Sydney, George st beside Redfern. Not a place to hang about for no good reason.)
It was to discourage the junkies from coming into our backyard to shoot-up.

Hobhood416 Sep 2018 4:32 a.m. PST

Non affluent areas of East London – all the time in the 60s -70s. 'What are the broken bottles for on the walls dad?' I recall asking around 1969…

Legion 416 Sep 2018 6:57 a.m. PST

I saw it in some of the vills in the ROK.

TodCreasey Supporting Member of TMP16 Sep 2018 8:32 a.m. PST

Around my grandparents neighbours right into the 90s in West London as deflatermouse says

Personal logo COL Scott ret Supporting Member of TMP17 Sep 2018 8:08 a.m. PST

I have also seen them when I was in Honduras. On the nicer homes, right across from a mud hut with no windows. Talk about income inequality- although we didn't have much time on that mission to talk to them there didn't appear to be any enmity between the families.

goragrad17 Sep 2018 3:25 p.m. PST

Not very many walls around homes where I grew up. None that I recal with glass.

Did see some glass top walls when traveling thru the SW US.

Old Wolfman19 Sep 2018 5:31 a.m. PST

And in an old Spencer Tracy movie,"The Seventh Cross",his character injures his hand climbing over a wall topped with broken glass.

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