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25mm Earthworks from TCS

Plank Earthworks, Straight
Product #
Suggested Retail Price
US$4.25 unpainted
US$8.50 painted

Breached Earthworks
Product #
Suggested Retail Price
US$4.25 unpainted
US$8.50 painted

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9 March 2000converted to new format
25 October 1997photos added
5 July 1997page first published

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Items 135 and 135D from Tactical Conflict Systems are "Plank Earthworks (Straight)." The difference that earns the "D" is that product 135B is a "destroyed" earthwork (the center part has been knocked down). Each is a little over 5" long, 1 3/8" wide, and 3/4" high (intended for use with 25mm figures).

White-primed earthworks

Essentially, these are stout wooden barriers with piles of dirt in front of them. You can place these on the tabletop, with your defenders standing behind them. You can use the "destroyed earthworks" for earthworks damaged by artillery fire (you could even replace the terrain item during play, when it becomes damaged), or as a primitive entrance/exit from a long wall of earthworks.

The pieces do not fit seamlessly together, which was probably necessary in order to make sure each looked good as a stand-alone piece. You can sit them very close together, though, which is good enough for the tabletop, I think.


The nature of the molding process seems to leave tiny lips of resin on the edges. It tooks no time at all to clean these up with my fingers and a hobby knife. One of the pieces had a large nub on one end, which I took off with a large file.

I washed the piece in warm soapy water. When it was dry, I primed it with white indoor-outdoor enamel.


I painted the dirt first and the planks second, but if I had it to do over, I'd reverse the sequence.

My newly found dirt technique worked fine here: I applied a base coat of Sand paint, then added a Brown Oxide wash. Quick, easy, it works.

I then painted the planks with a wash of Burnt Umber (specifically, I used an Apple Barrel acrylic color which is a blackish brown, very dark). I got lucky with this, as it gave me exactly what I wanted: brown planks with "weathered" areas (where the white primer shows through). The wash settled beautifully into the scribed detailing on the planks.

All told, it's about 10 minutes worth of painting (with a lot more time waiting for things to dry - hey, go play something!). These pieces are abundantly useful in any game where you want to throw up a line of earthworks - historical, fantasy, and perhaps even science fiction gaming. And if you don't want to paint them, TCS can even sell them to you already painted.

The painted earthworks