Saturday, 12 October 2019

St. Nazaire project - warehouse buildings

In preparation for having a tabletop suitable to represent the WW2 St. Nazaire raid, I need to create quite a few warehouses suitable to represent the dock area. As many of the buildings are unlikely to be reused in other games I need to make them cheaply.

I do have some cardboard packing boxes and attempted to create some with that. The approach almost worked, but the cardboard was just too thick and difficult to work. So I tried some lighter card which worked out much better and a $3 sheet of the card will produce 3 warehouses.

A strip of card is cut out 4" high and 24" long. This is folded to make the walls 8" longways and 4" at the ends. Additional ends were cut out for the roof pitch and glued on. This helps add some stiffness to the structure.
Heavier packing box cardboard is cut to fit inside the building walls. This is glued and also held in position with painters masking tape. Masking tape is also used on the corners to tidy up the end pieces which are stuck on.
A roof is cut and bent to shape.
Packing case cardboard is cut and attached to pack out the second part of the roof.
The top piece of the roof is added.
Now that I have worked out how to build these warehouses. I estimate 30 minutes to build one ready for painting.
The outside is undercoated in grey
The base is painted black for consistency.
Once the undercoat is dry I used cheap poster paint to paint the roof dark grey and walls a red brick colour. Then windows and doors were simply painted. At this point the building colours look very flat, and I forgot to take a photo.

Once the poster paint is dry. The next step involves the use of oil pastels to quickly draw over the flat colours and give the building a look of texture.

Simple lines and scribbles with the pastels are used to give texture. Mistakes can be scuffed out with a finger and drawn over again.
Oil pastels are used rather than the caulk type. 
When complete 2 units can fit nicely inside.
20mm figures to give some scale of the finished warehouse.
I will be mixing up colours and possibly the roof lines to provides variety to the 10 or so buildings required. The cost of card, oil pastels and poster paint will make these buildings approximately $3 per warehouse.


  1. This will be a memorable project! Lots of work but the warehouses look great.

    1. Thanks, there is more work than I originally anticipated, but I am pleased to get going with the buildings.

  2. Excellent work. This is particularly effective. Will look good en masse for St Nazaire and the raid.

    I find myself missing your campaign posts from previous epic LOL

    1. Thank you. The next post is on the ECW campaign which has been delayed due to catching a cold. I have played the game and now need to write up.