Monday, 5 August 2013

Getting entrenched - Building trenches for Flames of War FOW 15mm part 1

On the back of an amazing trip to Normandy, to see the D-Day landings, I'm beginning to model a little of the Atlantic Wall myself. There are some great Flames of War scenarios so I hope my trenches get well used.

I'm hoping to make trenches, bunkers, artillery and AA batteries, but let's start with a simple set of six one foot (30cm) trenches.

I'm basing the trenches on 6mm MDF. After some chats on the ferry home with my gaming mate, it's clear that the trenches must be wide enough for a medium Flames of War base to sit with its longest side parallel to the length of the trench. 

The trench begins with polystyrene strips being glued down with PVA. I used a marker to ensure there's enough room for a Flames of War base - allowing extra for the filler and the wood I'll use for the trench sides. 

I then added the brown window filler to the edges of the board, covering the outer side and top of the polystyrene. Of course I sloped the attackers edge of the section, so hopefully it'll make it look good for skirmishes. On two of the sections I've added exit points, another two have ends that I hope are big enough for a medium base to face out - seems like a good place for an MG42.

On the picture above I've also added kebab skewers on the sloped side, they may end up with barbed wire on them.

Once that was mostly set I put more filler in the trench. Into that I put planks, otherwise known as coffee stirrers. I built up the outside walls with three, the floor has various sections. The filler makes for excellent mud everywhere. The only thing I currently don't like is the thickness of the 'planks'. You can cut them down, I did a couple, but I already have very impressive Stanley knife scars, so I'm
reluctant to do that too much.

Originally I added a number of vertical pieces of 'plank' that held the horizontal 'planks' in place (on the real sections we saw in Normandy). This looked great, but the width of the trench became too narrow for the medium base. Using a wider MDF base would allow for more room in the trench, but the whole thing would take up more room on your gaming board. In the end I removed all of them except at the ends of the sections. 

I hope to sandbag the edges of the trenches - I'm going to get very bored making all then from green stuff! The main consideration there is ensuring the trench sides don't get too high and stop the soldiers (and their arms) seeing outside the trench.


  1. Looking good. Get on and finish them, or do you have a proper job too?

  2. Haha! I'm at full pelt for holiday club at the moment. I did the brown acrylic coat on the outside of the other 5 sections. Then I'm going to make some mega bunkers. I also want to pick your brain on the beach section you made.