FRAG War Damaged Buildings

Postby Panzerpaul » Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:33 pm

We posted a number of our recent battleday pictures in the Show Off section and some have asked specifically about how we make war damaged buildings. Here are my comments:

One of my favorite parts of building the FRAG Village was to create buildings with war damage. Most are suppose to replicate that a tank shell has damaged a part of the structure. A couple show more severe damage like a mortar barrage hit. Some of you tankers out there have asked for details on how this was accomplished. Here is a brief outline.

All the buildings are made of 1/2" plywood and covered in either embossed plastic sheet or painted with textured paints (a gritty sand texture to replicate stucco). The only exception was the nearly destroyed bldg found in the American Camp. It started as a 1/18th scale bldg from Ultimate Soldier which is plastic. Some bldgs. have a floor, others are just open. All set upon a 3” concrete foundation pad to make sure that they all set vertical with the earth. Nothing looks worse than a building setting crooked. Windows and doors are usually cast resin with wood casings surrounding. The roof sub-material is 1/8” mahogany boards glued and nailed in place. Inside the buildings I usually glue and nail a ½” square x 12” long piece of wood to reinforce each corner. The walls are glued together using an exterior grade glue called “Liquid Nails”, and the joints are nailed as well.

Virtually all buildings use 1" scale dollhouse bricks, glued onto the ragged cut openings in the 1/2" plywood. This gives an illusion that the entire wall is masonry. I seal around these bricks with paper mache' and color it grey or tan as if it were the mortar holding the bricks in place. The brick area is then sprayed with Testor’s Dullcoat and dabbed with chalks to create a black burned look.

Damaged buildings usually mean debris in the street. This was created by smashing up all kinds of doll house accessories, barrels, boxes and burned wood pieces. The burned wood pieces are made from bass wood and are slightly burned with a plumbers torch, just enough to blacken and to look partially burned up. Some wood in these piles can also be unburned. Mix all this with smashed up miniature bricks. In the case of the last building that will be shown, I found an old real life brick of the proper color and ground it up into small pieces and dust. Using these pieces means saving money on buying the 1" scale model bricks. This last building has the appearance of a lot of debris around it. Rather than actually use that much material, a styrofoam base lies underneath to give it "mass". The junk was then piled on top and secured with diluted white glue. These Styrofoam piles fit around the building in three pieces.

The following pictures are in order that the buildings were constructed.

The building in the village square was made in 2004. We needed one where either a German or American soldier could be a look out (or a sniper). This one has the textured paint and embossed plastic roof material. I made the interior room with fallen beams and destroyed furniture.

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The railroad station with Tiger tank running into it was made in 2006. The Tiger is a gutted Heng Long model. The building is patterned after the harbor master's building at the end of the dock in the city of Ouisteram, assaulted by the Canadians in The Longest Day movie.

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The American Camp has a building that is nearly destroyed. This was the Ultimate Soldier ruins, of which I made a rubber mold of the one end and cast up additional walls. Lots of burned rafters and floor boards were needed for this one.

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The barn came along in 2010. it was patterned after the structure that Kelly leads the Sherman into in Kelly's Heros. We needed a Village building from which to ambush. The front heavy wood doors are blown away at the top so the barrel can stick out slightly. The openings in the back are large enough so you can drive any tank into it, although a KT fits very tight. Backing out proves to be a real challenge, which often leads to being shot a couple times before you can hightail it away. The interior has barrels and lumber stacked here and there and the second floor is layered with real straw (ground up into small pieces). All of this was secured with the diluted white glue mixture.

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My masterpiece so far is the building next to the barn (south end of Village). It was just completed this year. It took way too much time to make, but was worth it, I guess :S . The brick embossed plastic sheet used for the walls had to be cut and fit together around windows and at wall joints. Then the 1" scale bricks proved to be too large to match, so just about all of them were sanded (using a bench sander) to a smaller size and fit in place. I’d guess there were over 500 brick pieces used. The ones used at the top of the chimneys are full size and were stacked to make a recessed top (so one can look down into the chimney). The debris process used is described above. Overall this one looks the best and gives a very realistic illusion.

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FRAG needs about 10 more buildings to complete the Village. Most will go over by the RR tracks, and include one more church. These are not all that hard to make, just takes some patience and a few bucks. Give it a try yourself. It is enjoyable. PP
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Postby Jussek » Tue Oct 11, 2011 12:33 pm

:clap: :clap: :clap:

i'm so impressed, and only i can congratulate all involved in this!

but i've a question... how do you preserve all this work from the bad weather? rain, excess of sun, etc...
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Postby Panther Ausf G » Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:31 pm

Great stuff there. :clap: :clap: :clap:
I like the Kelly's hero's connection. :thumbup:
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Postby Milan3528 » Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:00 pm

great job :clap: :clap: :clap:
I really like :thumbup:
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Postby Panzerpaul » Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:50 pm

Thank you all. Once FRAG got its piece of land and built the hills, etc we had to fence it to keep the kids and thier dirt bikes out. At that time I had been bringing everything from the house to set up for each monthly battle. That was a chore, so we decided to put up the money for a storage shed (about $1000 in material) and built an 8' x 20' x 8' high wood shed. It has rows of shelves inside to hold all the structures, doiramas and static "dead" tanks (6 of them). It is now just about full and we will have to extend it another 8 feet, because I can't seem to stop making buildings. LOL! @)

We have been at this site for 11 years now, and you know.........when there is an empty space that needs something in it, I just have to create. Being a RE developer and having a well equipped workshop at home, does give me an advantage. So does having a well stocked doll house shop only a mile away :P PP
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Postby Jussek » Tue Oct 11, 2011 5:57 pm

ah! i feel a bit dumb now for thinking that all this was permanently on the outside :{

congrats again!
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Postby STEINER » Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:52 pm

Wonderful

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Postby pawloosw » Sun Jul 01, 2018 3:54 pm

Breathtaking... :O :O

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Postby Will01Capri » Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:18 pm

Amazing work.
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Postby square4 » Mon Jul 16, 2018 2:01 pm

Very impressive :clap: :clap:
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Postby Model Builder 4 » Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:30 pm

The details of these miniature masterpieces are superb, it must be awesome battling and driving the tanks around in this environment :thumbup:

Cheers, Lee.
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