Thursday, March 8, 2012


Welcome back to more Wargaming Terrain! This post will cover various defenses such as:

  • Dragon's Teeth
  • Barbed Wire
  • Trenches
  • Rommel's Asparagus

You may have noticed that I left out minefields. This is simply because they are a simple variant from the barbed wire/ Dragon's Teeth. Likewise, I did not include bunkers for two reasons.

  1. I have never tackled a bunker yet. This will change in the future.
  2. I want to save it for a D-Day themed post in the future. It will include the bunkers, hedgehogs, seawall, and beach.

Anyway, on with the tutorials. I will hit them one at a time, starting with...

Dragon's Teeth 

The easiest, and most fun, IMO. You will need :

  • Balsa Base
  • Rubber Feet
  • X-Acto knife
  • Spray Primer
  • Pencil & Ruler
  • Earth paint & Gray paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Scenic Cement and Static grass flock

Yes, rubber feet. The kind that you put under small objects to prevent them from sliding on the table. Not just any kind will do though. These are the kind you are looking for.

They are square shaped, and slope on each side to make a smaller square top. These are perfect for the Dragon's Teeth, and even better, are self adhesive, so no glue required! You get nine in a package, so get two so you can have an even number and fill the base evenly. The base, whatever material it is, will be 2" x 8", the same used as FoW bases, but you can make it any size assuming you don't play FoW.

After cutting out your base, mark it with pencil and plan out your arrangement of the teeth. Mine was a linear pattern, alternating up and down slightly as shown.

After doing so, get your spray primer and let it dry. The reason it needs to be primed is because the rubber will not take paint very well. After it dries you can paint the teeth gray and the base the earth color. It is better to paint the earth color last, as accidentally painting some brown on the teeth will look more realistic than gray on the ground. After painting, ink wash it, and flock it with the Scenic Cement and grass after it dries. The end result should look like this:

So there's the Dragon's Teeth. They are very simple to make, and look great when finished.

Barbed Wire

Barbed wire is time consuming and annoying to make by comparison. You will need to measure and pre-cut a lot of balsa wood beforehand if you want to breeze through this one. You'll need:

  • Balsa wood
  • Super glue
  • X-acto knife
  • Pencil & ruler
  • Picture hanging wire
  • Paints & paintbrush
  • Scenic Cement and Static grass flock

Picture hanging wire, up close, does not look barbed. But if you get the right kind, it will have that appearance from afar. You want to pick out a kind that has a cross weave pattern, not just one where it is twisted in one direction.

To start, cut out the same 2" x 8" base as last time. On this base, mark in into four 2" x 2" boxes, to help with spacing. This next part is somewhat labor intensive, but you will need to cut out pieces of balsa to form x's. For mine, I cut of one long piece and two shorter ones that I glued on each side in the middle to form an x, but you would do better to cut out two long pieces and make a notch in the middle to interlock them. I just didn't bother because mine was more like a test piece and I didn't want to take the time for the notches, but in the long run, it will help because there won't be any pieces breaking off. The length of the cut off pieces are 1" each, while the width of the balsa itself is about 1/4" square.

After the x's are formed, sand one side's legs flat so the x can stand, and then glue them onto the lines that you drew earlier. Two will go together on each line. In addition, two each will go on each end as well. I'll just let this diagram explain what I mean:

The red line is where the x's will stand, and the blue circles show that two can be placed on one line. I also have a regular photo that shows this as well.

You may notice that my pencil markings in the photo are different than in the instructions. I honestly cannot explain this. Just pick the method that works best for you to make them evenly spaced apart.

After all of that, you can glue some sand for ground texture if you wish, and then paint the x's a wood color and the ground an earthy color. For those that are curious, the exact paints I use for this are both Vallejo brand. The wood color is Chocolate Brown, and the earthy color is Flat Earth. After the paint dries, use ink wash to darken it. I use Citadel's Badab Black for this.

After that dries, use the Scenic Cement to flock the ground with some static grass. We are almost done here. Remember that picture hanging wire? What you are going to want to do with it is to take an end of it and start wrapping it around your pencil. Do this for a bit to ensure you have enough. Then just cut off  a length aproximately the same length as the base, and lay it on top of one of the x rows. It will easily slot into the x's, and you can just slot the ends of the coil underneath the bottom of the end x's. You should have something like this when you are finished:

I didn't have a picture of the barbed wire by itself, but you can see how it slots over the x's and tucks under at the ends. What is cool about this is that you don't need to glue the wire down, as it is held tightly as is. Just repeat for the other row and you are finished.

Rommel's Asparagus

This is very simple: Just a matter of gluing some dowels upright. You will need:
  • Wooden Base (Same measurements as before, 2" x 8")
  • Dowel (not too thick)
  • Pencil
  • Super Glue
  • Paints and Brushes
  • Scenic Cement
  • Static Grass Flock
  • Filler Putty
  • Sand
To start with, draw the same 2" x 2" boxes on the base, but this time you are going to draw x's within the boxes. Like so:

Basically you are drawing x's only to see where they cross and make a mark there. This is where you will set the dowels. The dowels are 1/8" diameter, and will be about 2" in length when you cut them. Make 4 of these and glue them upright, or, if you have a drill/pin vise, make a small hole to slot them in for strength. Once on, let the glue dry, and then put some more glue around each pole and let dry again. After that, get your filler putty and spread it over the entire base to build up the ground. After the putty dries, use Scenic Cement to sprinkle sand over it. Once that dries, paint the poles with a wood color and the ground in an earthy color, like below.

After the paint dries, ink wash it and let it dry again. Then just use the Scenic Cement a second time to sprinkle the static grass flock where you want it. The final result will look like this:

The hardest part, actually, is finding a place to store them. Luckily, you will only need three of them for the Seize and Hold Flames of War mission. Since they are so easy to make, I recommend doing all three at once, because I made them one at a time over a long time, and they look greatly different from each other.


Trenches are simple, because you are basically just using some balsa triangle stock. You will need:
  • Balsa Triangle Stock
  • Thin, Wide Strip of Balsa
  • Super Glue
  • X-Acto Knife
  • Pencil
  • Paints and Brushes
Take your triangular balsa stock and cut out a length that you want. From there, mark with a pencil and divide it into subsections,  by 2" (to accommodate FoW large bases). For example, a six inch piece would look like this:

 In the middle of each subsection, mark a 1" area, and cut it out. Cut it on each side, and a slight bit down. The piece should look like this afterward:
Now take your thin balsa strip and cut it into strips that stretch across the triangular stock. Cut out smaller pieces to go around the gap you just cut in the main piece.
Now, you just take another strip and lay it over the lines for the subsections. Like so:

And here is a photo that also shows it at this stage:

Just like every other piece, paint the slats a wood color and the slope an earthy color, ink wash, flock, and you're done. Here is a photo of the finished piece, with guns ready to fire:

And here's a view behind the trench piece. It's hard to see the slats though.

With the skills from that basic straight piece, you can make corner pieces, angled pieces, and so on. Your troops will be protected from enemy fire in no time!

Come back next time when I will show how to make fences and stone walls. I know that I am avoiding houses, but that is such a varied topic. I think what I will do is dedicate an entire article to one building. That way I can go into more detail per article.

Be sure to ask any questions you may have regarding these tutorials. I know it was a lot!