Category: Making Stuff

My interest in wargaming includes military history, gaming, and modelling. This part of the website focuses on the last of those.


Making ravines and depressions for Crossfire

Depression 772 Table with lots of ravines and depressions

I’ve had a go at gullies and depressions before. But they look too much like hills. So I decided to have another go modelling just the edge of the depression. Then I took this concept further and modelled a modular ravine system. I featured both of these when I asked, How does my Burmese battlefield look? In this post I share a bit more about how I make these features.

Continue reading »

How does my Burmese battlefield look?

Burma 2812 Village across the Rice Paddies

I am always impressed by Brett Simpson’s Pacific War tables for Crossfire. He inspired me to improve my jungle terrain. More jungle will be useful for Burma, Portuguese Colonial Africa, and Vietnam. I made some steps before we played the Pick up game in Burma, but I wanted to make my tables even better. So I’ve been bolstering my crossfire terrain and now have Pagodas, rice paddies, Bamboo groves, boulder fields, rock fields, palm trees, ravines, depressions, Burmese houses, jungle undergrowth (not featured here), crests (not featured here) and cliffs (not featured here). Some of these I’ve posted about previously,

Continue reading »

Planning my Cool Ruins for Crossfiregrad and Ponyri Station

Warbases Stalingrad Building A-150-B2

I have lots of ruins already, but I’ve mentioned “cool ruins” a couple of times over the last couple of years. Most recently in my 2021 Confessions of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian where I planned to “Buy, build, paint more 3″ x 3″ sectors so I can play both Crossfiregrad and Ponyri Station solely with cool ruins”. So what do I mean by “cool” Ruins? Well Ruins that look the best in my collection (i.e. commercial MDF structures that I’ve enhanced) and that are 3″ sectors. I don’t have enough. I want more of them, lots more of

Continue reading »

Making Bamboo Groves for Wargaming

Bamboo-62 Bamboo groves around Burmese village

I’m already doing the Portuguese Colonial War. Adam got me interested in Burma. Chris and Jamie are talking about Vietnam. So, inspired by Brett Simpson, I thought I’d make some Bamboo groves to extend my on-table jungle.

Continue reading »

Making a ditch and bank for the Italian Wars

Ditch and Bank 43 Swiss attacking Spanish camp

The Spanish surprised their French and Swiss opponents in the Italian Wars by putting arquebusiers behind a ditch and bank. So I thought I should make one. Or, more accurately, make some modular sections of ditch and bank so I can make any shape of fortifications. The modular features are using my Big Bases for use with Big Base DBA and DBA-RRR.

Continue reading »

Dana’s Year 7 Castle Assignment – Lütjenburg Castle in 1:150th scale

Year 7 Castle 3328 Lütjenburg Castle in 1:150th scale

My older daughter (Dana) is in Year 7 and in January she came home with some home work that got me excited … she had to make a castle. And Dana wanted to do a Motte and Bailey Castle. Oh, wow, modeller heaven. We only had two weeks so we got stuck in.

Continue reading »

What to use for Crests in Crossfire – Part 2

Crests2 19 - All sizes

Back in 2014 I blogged about What to use for Crests in Crossfire. To be fair I didn’t really like any of the ideas but the “Long tiny hills” had some merit. So I did a version 2 of them and I’m very happy.

Continue reading »

Home made cemetery in 15mm

Homemade cemetery 416

Decades ago I purchased some lead headstones from Military Miniatures in New Zealand (now defunct). I figured I should do something with them. So here you go … a home made cemetery in 15mm.

Continue reading »

Home made Burmese Pagoda for 14th Army

Burmese Pagoda 78 Finished including flocking

Adam is keen on the 14th Army in the Burma Campaign. Accounts of the campaign feature pagodas (i.e. temples) in the villages. Luckily you can buy roughly 1/100th scale pagodas from pet stores (or Amazon or eBay). Unfortunately, these are all Chinese or Japanese. And it doesn’t take long on google to discover Burmese pagodas are unique. They feature a golden umbrella in a variety of patterns but basically a spire with wider and narrower bands around the spire. Gold of course. And the base is a white dome. Hmm. I can’t buy one, so I’ll make one.

Continue reading »

Making boulder and rock fields for Crossfire

Rocks24 Portuguese Cacadore in the rock field

The Crossfire supplement Hit-the-Dirt introduces Boulder Fields and Rock Fields as Crossfire Terrain for scenarios in the Italian Campaign. My post Types of Terrain Features in Crossfire explains how they are used in the game. In this post I explain how I made mine. Simple but excessive is the summary. Simple because I start with actual rocks. Excessive because I base, paint, and flock.

Continue reading »

Operational Terrain 7 – What size Hex/Square Grid to use?

Grid Size 5 - 4 Inch Hexes

Cards on the table, I should have started with this experiment first. It might be too late, because I’ve been doing a lot of Experimenting on a 4 Inch Hex Grid, but I thought I’d see how my 15mm figures fit into the hex grids (4″ and 5.5″) and square grid (4″) that I’ve already got. The answer … not very well. This is, of course, for my as yet unwritten rules for operational level wargames called Deep Battle.

Continue reading »

Operational Terrain 6 – Tiny Hills to Fit 4 Inch Hexes

Tiny Hills 4 On Table

My Terrain Experiment on a 4 Inch Hex Grid convinced me that my existing hills were too big. I need some tiny hills to fit within 4 inch hexes. The context is that I want to try some operational level wargames on a mat with a 4 inch hex grid. This is for my, as yet unwritten, Deep Battle rule set.

Continue reading »

Top 20 Pages on Balagan

Balagan Site Stats

I started this blog on 21 Feb 2001 and then Migrated Balagan to WordPress on 15 Sep 2013. So, roughly 4.5 years ago. One of the great things about WordPress, compared to the hand crafted HTML site I had before, is that I get statistics on page views. Apparently I’ve had 1,176,779 views since I migrated and 1,125 comments. My biggest day (23 Feb 2018) brought 2,420 views – this was because Reddit got hold of my Academy of Street Fighting: Tactics during the Battle of Stalingrad post. Today is a typical day with 750 views.

Continue reading »

Operational Terrain 5: Railways using Gingham Printed Hard Craft Felt

4Hex039 Gingham Hard Craft Felt Railway Line

Following my Experiment with Felt terrain on Hex Grid, I was unsatisfied with using a grey felt strip for a railway line. So I went looking for a patterned felt that I could use. And I found it: Gingham Printed Hard Craft Felt in Black.

This is all part of my ongoing search for Operational terrain to inform the set of rules I’m thinking about called Deep Battle.

Continue reading »

Operational Terrain 4: Making Felt Rivers, Roads, and Railways for 4 Inch Hexes

4Hex368 Materials for felt linear terrain

In response to my Experiment with River Templates for 4 Inch Hexes, Doctor Phalanx suggested I use 1cm wide felt for rivers and roads. So I gave it a go and added railways into the mix. This is all because of my interest in Operational Games and my, as yet unwritten, Deep Battle rules.

Continue reading »