Saturday, March 5, 2011

Making the Ambush Alley Battle Box

Ambush Alley Battle Box
I wanted to share with my Wargaming Colleagues how I built my Ambush Alley Battle Box.  I received a lot of complements (Thanks) and many questions on how I built it at Genghis Con.  So let me do a high level play by play with more pictures then words.  Feel free to contact me or just invite me to help if you need assistance coming up with your own ideas about building something like this.  The only set back is the storage of these boards.  I just cleaned out my garage so this board with my Spanish Countryside board will be hung on my Garage wall. 

Foamboard Bldgs

Stucco Texture

To be brief this is what I used for my 3 foot x 3 foot board to use with the very nice set of Modern Rules Ambush Alley.  Ambush Alley is typically played on a 2 x 2 board played one on one.  So a 3 x 3 was perfect for the 4 (USMC) on 2 (Insurgent) scenario I presented at Genghis Con.  I would also like to thank my Nephew Andrew Gurule (CMH Club Member) for his guidance on the terrain and the fire fight he was involved in at this location.  It’s not exactly modeled exactly but the main landmarks are found here.  The Cemetery, Police Station, Road junction and neighborhood were the main points and important to the scenario.  So the action simulated here is from the town of Huisaba near the Syrian Border and not far from the Euphrates. 

Road Build

Building the “Battle Box” took a lot of material to build.  The frame was made with 6” x 1” Pine.  A 3’ x 3’ plywood base was then screwed to the frame.  Then a ¾ inch sheet of Styrofoam was then cut and fitted to the base.  This makes it easy to plant trees and any other terrain items that need to be stuck into the ground and glued.  Then some plaster cloth formed on the foam and finally a thin layer of Hydrocal for texture.  I then used sand and dirt for ground cover and debris.  I think it all came out pretty good.

Roof sets

Cutting and gluing the buildings took the most time.  Again, great tips from Doug W. helped me so much.  Once I cut my first building I started getting into a groove and found I was getting quick with it.  Now these buildings you see are not perfect in any way.  Walls cut a little short, gaps between walls, windows not cut straight, etc., etc.  That is where Spackle came in!  Hiding the imperfections was easy but not necessary.  If you look close you can see a lot of imperfections which I felt brought Character.  The interiors for this combat were not important so not much detail went into interior walls and floors.  I didn’t bother with the roofs until the buildings were glued down and the walls were built.  Those roofs were a challenge.  You don’t know how far off you are with your measurements until you start trying to fit roofs onto the tops of buildings. 

Gap Filling

The other terrain tip was the use of Liquitex Stucco.  I pretty much stucco'd every exterior wall and roof top including the interior of the Box itself.  I love that stuff!

Scene Check

As I was building I kept putting my models down to get an idea of how it would look and provided me ideas for certain parts of the town section and scenario.

Believe it or not because of my job and time and travel it takes I must have completed 90 percent of this in the last 5 days before the convention working almost every evening till midnight.  It was worth every minute.  I was very pleased with the final result.  Well I don’t want to get long winded with all this.  I look forward to putting on a game at our Club Meetings and I am currently waiting for the new edition of Ambush Alley/Force on Force Rule Book which should be released soon.
Ambush Alley!

Ground Cover
Again, any questions or comments feel free to leave them in the comments below.  A few more pictures below.



View of Junction

View from Police Compound

Another View from Police Compound

Finished, wait where is the lid?

Peek into the Battle Box


Shawn Carpenter said...

WOW! I'm bowled over! The WIP shots of this didn't come close to showing how cool it was going to look when complete!

My hat is off to you, sir!!

- Shawn.

Scott McKenzie said...

First of all Awesome!

Second of all thanks for such a detailed tutorial with great tips and techniques for designing such an excellent battle box.

Donogh said...

Amazing work there!
Looks fantastic