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"1mm European Urban Terrain" Topic

15 Posts

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785 hits since 16 Aug 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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forwardmarchstudios16 Aug 2019 3:42 p.m. PST


I'm currently in the early phase of a brand new addition to my figure and terrain range. These hexes will allow you to create 1:1 replicas of large cities and towns relatively cheap. I'm starting with horse and musket stuff, but if the system works as well as I think it is going to I'll expand to include modern buildings, focusing on World War Two. I think that you could easily use this scale to game Stalingrad, Warsaw, or Berlin. You might need to get creative with the rules, but the presentation would probably be pretty great.

I also think this will work for aerial war games, although that's not really my thing (if the only cav charges are motorized, I'm at a loss).

Some more info at my blog:


The way I would use these hexes is to slip a hex-grid underneath my terrain panels (which are transparent), thus creating a hex-based hybrid map.

Check out how I do this in 2mm here:

Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP16 Aug 2019 5:53 p.m. PST

I've always wanted cityscapes for 1/2400 scale naval gaming shorelines, and these would be excellent.

My own personal preference is to have the underlying hex structure hidden as well as possible, so I would prefer the hex base to be either super thin, or better, obscured by buildings, walls, fences, hedges, etc. integrated right into the edge. This is how I build my 3mm and 1/1200 structures and farms.

I would also prefer not to have a river molded in, but that's just my opinion.

- Ix

forwardmarchstudios16 Aug 2019 6:02 p.m. PST

That's definitely s way to do it. I prefer non-hex myself. The base here is 2mm, which is a bit larger than I would personally prefer it. I can thin them up to 1 or 1.5mm pretty easily. What I was really testing out is the effect of the dense, jumbled rooftops along with the larger buildings. I'll make the individual buildings available eventually. Then people can just print the things and group them as they wish. For the purpose of ordering them online from a hub, the hexes are much cheaper because they have less handling fees involved.

hindsTMP Supporting Member of TMP16 Aug 2019 6:03 p.m. PST

Unless "1mm" is cast in stone, I'd suggest adjusting the proposed scale to match an existing naval miniatures scale.

So if "3mm" is 1/600, then "1.5mm" would be 1/1200, etc. Note that 1/1200 and 1/2400 aircraft models exist, and some AFVs as well.


forwardmarchstudios16 Aug 2019 6:11 p.m. PST

They can be printed at any size, so the scale is up to the customer. These are 1mm because my regular range is 2mm, and these are half-sized. As such, these are actually 1/1800 scale if printed as they come. So to get 1/2400, you would just print at… 66%? Or 75%? One of the two, haha

mad monkey 116 Aug 2019 7:52 p.m. PST

Nice for a game of Blucher, when using the cards to represent your troops. Make some smaller towns and villages, say one, two or three hex builds.

Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP16 Aug 2019 7:54 p.m. PST

I personally wouldn't worry that much about scale accuracy. Terrain in miniatures games is normally distorted anyway, especially in naval games. I mostly just want a way to jam enough tiny rooftops into the area of the town/city to make it look like a town or city (instead of a village).

- Ix

forwardmarchstudios16 Aug 2019 8:40 p.m. PST

There are roughly 1000 buildings in the picture, plus the palace (which is on a special 4-hex piece). The palace is based on the Louvre and honestly needs a bit of work. First, the Louvre didn't look like that until the 1850s. I was sort of impatient to get a something I could actually judge the project on.

Lieutenant Lockwood17 Aug 2019 7:13 a.m. PST

These towns are right up my alley. I've had some of the Forward March figures printed up at half scale, ie 1mm, and I really like them. I put a couple of bases side-by-side on 1.25" x .75" bases for the ESR 150 yard scale. I'm using the various sized bases, so I can add or delete bases from the bases as needed. And yes, getting the turnbacks right is an issue, but en masse they look really cool. A division frontage is less than a foot, so a 4 x 8 table allows for maneuver and scenarios beyond the usual frontal attack. I'll post pictures one of these days. Best regards..Mark

Mike Petro17 Aug 2019 12:44 p.m. PST

Cut out some squares or rounds(20mm?) here and there to show a garrison and that would be awesome looking.

Garde de Paris17 Aug 2019 1:41 p.m. PST

I have always favored a very simple terrain for 30mm games, as my figures are used for 1:20 (French light and line of 36 figures for battalion of about 720; 1:40 (18 figs = 720); and 1:60 (12 = 720). I can deploy my French line and light at 36 figure battalions; 18 figure, or 12. 12 wide, 3 deep would be about 100 yards.

The frontage of 8 inches (12 figures base on 17mm stands) is about 48.4 mm = 25 yards. I now use "Manilla folder" blocked to show sections of towns that can hold a company or whatever of defenders or attackers.

These would add a nice three-dimension aspect to the towns.

A simple grass-green cloth to cover the table, patches of brow, tan, etc corduroy cloths for ploughed fields; tan masking tape for roads; light blue crepe paper for streams.

I also liked layered poster board, cut in ovoid shapes, and stacked to form hills. An ovoid of dark green poster board with a tree or 2 stuck to it for "forests."

Throw away the streams and roads at the end of the game. Store the rest flat.


forwardmarchstudios18 Aug 2019 6:51 a.m. PST

I have been adding some additional hexes into the collection. There are now some basic road hexes to create avenues through the city. Lots more needed, but the look is already coming closer.

In this picture there are ~50 bases, 2000+ buildings, and it would run about $25 USD to print online.



Hi GdP-

I've tried that myself before with the 2mm stuff. I actually like the look. I put the paper under plexiglass to keep it in place, and I cover the entire map with it. Some terrain then goes on top, and I draw rivers, roads and elevation features on. I call this a "hybrid map." It combines the best features of model terrain with the detail of a map.

You can also see (sort of) the effect that the 1mm city will have by looking at the 2mm village blocks in this picture.


I have been working on a simple set of rules that utilize area control, and I just
realized that I could use this paper map system in those rules. Thanks for bringing this up!

Another advantage of this sort of terrain is that you can write detailed notes onto the plexi-glas. For instance, rules that detail where a stream is passable by infantry, artillery, and cavalry are very realistic, but often not used because they are cumbersome. Here, you can jot the information down directly onto the plexiglas. Similarly, you can write down the defensive bonus for villages next to them, so that not every BUA will have the exact same effect.

Garde de Paris18 Aug 2019 1:38 p.m. PST

A very creative idea! I have only gamed once in the past 4 years, but before I moved to Texas in 2002, we used to game on a 25 foot by 7 foot board. VERY expensive to use Plexiglas!


Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP15 Sep 2019 9:30 a.m. PST

Looks very neat.

Would be great to serve as targets for aerial bomber games using much larger planes.

Could use some WWII, industrial targets too, e.g. aircraft and/or tank factories, fuel storage tanks, airfields, etc., etc..

forwardmarchstudios15 Sep 2019 11:25 a.m. PST

I got a little off track with it after starting a new job, and then getting distracted by some rules I'm working on (that don't involve this terrain). I'll be getting back to it though! I'll be making these available for sale once I have a chance to print some, paint them, and see how they come out. But, I agree that they'll be perfect for World War Two. The idea has always been to create some more modern hexes for just that purpose.

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