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Building Your Own Afghan Village

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OMalley writes:


Revision Log
11 August 2003page first published

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©1994-2022 Bill Armintrout
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What to do while waiting for the game convention to start? Reader Alamo36t builds terrain! He sends along this report:

With this model I set out to create a modular 1x2 Ft modular terrain that would break down into 1x1's and I could easily transport. My tools and materials were all basic since I sit in New York waiting to attend Historicon - a great distance from my workshop in Florida.

I wanted to create an Afghan village to be used in a variety of scenarios. It has only two buildings because I intend to build more models, with additional buildings that will later fit together and surround this one.

The terrain is roughed out

I used 1-inch blue scoreboard from the Depot [U.S. DIY shop], a foam cutter, quarter-inch foam board for buildings, card for lift-off roofs, two blade tools to carve the sides of the mountain, hot glue gun, Durham's Water Putty, polyurethane stain, white glue, sand (variety) mixed together, paint (water soluble for buildings), can spray for rocky mountain, burnt grass flock, tall grass and coarse underbrush burnt grass (all from Woodland Scenics).

I first assembled the height, width and design of the model, hot-glued it together, made the buildings and set them in place to get a visual of how they would fit, and began carving the sides of the model. I made it so the joints were invisible by overlapping the scoreboard at different levels. It would fit together like a jigsaw puzzle, but in three dimensions. The buildings were 4 long by 2 1/2 wide and 3 inches tall.

The terrain has been sculpted

Once all these steps were done, I mixed up some Durham's putty and used both a flat stick and 2-inch wet brush to coat the whole model. I tried not to make it too thick, for that would destroy the detail. Let dry under a fan for about a night. Once dry, I painted here and there with some white glue, and added a variety of sand I mixed together to get extra variety in the groundwork that later I would drybrush. I let that dry.

The brown stain covers everything, and prevents white cracks later

I used the poly floor-wax stain from Home Depot and stained the whole model. It flows easily into all the cracks and makes the painting easier later. I knew that I wouldn't have bare cracks or crevices. I painted the buildings brown with water-soluble craft-store paint. Let it dry.

Painting has begun

Once dry, I used spray paint. I used light blue, yellow, brown, tan, mustard, gray (dark and light), sage and - finally - white. I used them sparingly and lightly. I didn't just spray it down. I put it here and there, seeking a color balance. Darker at the bottom and lighter at the top. Once dry, I drybrushed with a bone color here and there to bring out the sandy and rocky aspects.

Soon after, I proceeded to paint watered-down glue here and there and spread flock. I used the burnt grass from Woodland Scenics. I later cut tall grass and placed it here and there, and then picked out shrubs and placed them growing out of the rocks sparingly. I used a hot glue gun for this step.

The finished Afghan Village

This model was easy and inexpensive to build. As you can see, there is plenty of cover for troops to fight behind, and I kept a lot of flat surfaces to stand troops on. If you have never done it, I suggest you start small and practice. Try a rock formation without the buildings, to see how it comes out. Pick and choose your methods and once you're sure what it will look like, you can embark on a major project.

Good luck and Remember the Alamo!