Operational Terrain 8 – Monopoly Buildings to Fit 4 Inch Hexes

I’ve been doing some more musing on Operational level wargaming for my draft Deep Battle rule set. My Experiment on a 4 Inch Hex Grid forced me to get Tiny Hills to Fit the 4 Inch Hexes. Now I’m doing the same thing with buildings. In fact I’m using Monopoly buildings which are more like 3-5mm in equivalent figure scale, so much smaller than my normal 15mm.


What went before

I mostly used my existing 15mm terrain for my Experiment on a 4 Inch Hex Grid. That meant a single 3″ x 3″ (75mm x 75mm) building sector in a 4 inch hex to represent a city. These ruins fit the hexes okay but with no room to spare. So I used more or less flat ruins to allow me to plonk troops on top. It works. It just looks terrible. Perhaps terrible is overstated. Lets go with unrepresentative.

Hexes-22 Using 15mm ruins as cities
Hexes-22 Using 15mm ruins as cities

What Monopoly buildings to get

I wanted buildings that could comfortably fit inside a hex. So I got a mix of buildings from Standard Monopoly and Monopoly City. They were quite cheap from eBay. My collection includes:

  • 32 Standard Monopoly Houses
  • 12 Standard Monopoly Hotels with Chimney
  • 12 Standard Monopoly Hotels with no Chimney
  • 6 Monopoly City Power Stations
  • 5 Monopoly City Schools
  • 5 Monopoly City Industrial Buildings 2 Block
  • 5 Monopoly City Industrial Buildings 1 Block

Standard Monopoly hotels and houses are fine for my purposes, and I could have stopped there, but I found the Monopoly City buildings a gold mine for this project. I got the power stations, industrial buildings and schools as they are big, impressive and look kind of industrial / Soviet.

monopoly-100 Unpainted collection in a basket
monopoly-100 Unpainted collection in a basket

Basing the Monopoly buildings

I put the Monopoly buildings either on 40mm x 20mm small bases and on 40mm x 40mm large bases. A large base fits a Power Station and another building (e.g. 1 block industrial building) or two (e.g. houses). I think I’ll use these for major cities in the game. A small base fits either three houses, two hotels, a 2 block industrial building, or a single school. I’ll use these for minor cities in the game.

monopoly-103 Unpainted city on road
monopoly-103 Unpainted city on road
monopoly-102 Unpainted city on a railway line
monopoly-102 Unpainted city on a railway line
monopoly-101 Unpainted city on rail and road junction
monopoly-101 Unpainted city on rail and road junction

Painting the Monopoly buildings

I painted them in my standard “brick ruin” style:

  1. Undercoat in Black
  2. Only for ground:
    1. Paint “Flat Earth” Dulux 80YR14140 Extra Deep W45
  3. Only for brick and brick dust:
    1. Paint Dulux Monarch – this is quite a violent shade
    2. Dry brush Dulux Brick Red
    3. Dry brush Dulux Toasted Terracotta
  4. Apply everywhere:
    1. Dry brush “Dark Sand” Dulux 23YY48254 Medium W45
    2. Dry brush “Pale Sand” Dulux 40YY75216 Light W45

That comes out a dusty brick kind of look.

monopoly-106 Painted Industrial city in foreground with Power Station and 1-block-Industrial Building
monopoly-106 Painted Industrial city in foreground with Power Station and 1-block-Industrial Building
monopoly-105 Three painted cities on a road
monopoly-105 Three painted cities on a road
monopoly-107 Painted school building and houses
monopoly-107 Painted school building and houses
monopoly-111 Painted cities near a road junction
monopoly-111 Painted cities near a road junction
monopoly-110 Painted Industrial city with Power Station, Houses, Hotels, and School Building
monopoly-110 Painted Industrial city with Power Station, Houses, Hotels, and School Building
monopoly-109 Painted Industrial city with Power Station and 1-block-Industrial Building plus 2-block-Industrial Building
monopoly-109 Painted Industrial city with Power Station and 1-block-Industrial Building plus 2-block-Industrial Building
monopoly-108 Painted school building and houses
monopoly-108 Painted school building and houses

Conclusions and observations

I reckon they look good but will Monopoly buildings work for Deep Battle? Technically they will work, for sure. In fact players can use whatever they want for Deep Battle. The rules don’t care.

But the players will care and I’ve found wargamers to be remarkably opinionated. So will Monopoly buildings work for Deep Battle gamers? I think so.

On the plus side the Monopoly building sectors look much better than the previous 15mm ruins. They actually suggest cities rather than being a pile of rubble. Restricting myself to only one building sector in a hex allows room for troops, troops that can be beside the buildings rather than on top.

On the down side the Monopoly buildings are completely out of scale with my 15mm figures. That isn’t so outrageous given I’ve already gone for Tiny Hills, 1 cm wide roads, rivers and railway lines. So now the majority of the terrain is tiny (the trees are the only exception). I don’t want to collect small figures, so I’m going to continue my experiments with 15mm figures and tiny terrain. We’ll see if that ends up bugging me.

5 thoughts on “Operational Terrain 8 – Monopoly Buildings to Fit 4 Inch Hexes”

  1. I always use sub scale terrain, so typically 6mm terrain with 15mm figures. As long as the trees aren’t shorter than the figures, it looks OK. It matters less with buildings.

    Reply
  2. Steven: I think this is a very sensible option. I’ve long been planning similar projects for a number of high level games, i.e. ultra low relief terrain which will allow unit bases to sit on top. My latest idea is to create forests from a flat area of clump foliage but I’m still looking for a flexible (rubbery?) base medium that will bend over contours.

    Richard

    Reply
  3. Hi Steven, Monopoly buildings, what a great idea. The buildings look very good, especially the paint scheme, which is pretty spot on. They fit in with the other pieces well, too, except for the trees, as you say, but they work for now, for sure. The only things that jar, for me, are the river sections. They’re just so, well, blue.

    Reply
  4. Monopoly is a good source. Back before I discovered Historical Miniature gaming (1960-1969) I was a diplomacy player. Before e-mails and cell phones we used snail mail and each game took months, To keep up my interest I had 6 games set upon a 12’x 6’table in my basement(It later became my Miniatures gaming table). I sent to the manufacturer of Monopoly (was it Milton Bradley – I forget) and bought hundreds of artillery guns and ships in lead to be painted up in the colors of all the nations it looked so much better than wood blocks. I have them to this day. By the way they only cost $0.01 a piece!

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