Bullet Proof Cover: Creating Buildings for Flames of War

Today Joe Saunders has kindly supplied us with a great how to for his awesome terrain.

With the variety of weapons at your disposal in Flames of War, you will probably want some buildings to provide bulletproof cover for all of those flame throwers and petard mortars to attack. Fortunately, creating terrain is not hard to do when you have the basic techniques down. In this article I will take you through the process to create a building for the games table. You can use this as a template to build your own version of it, or you can use the techniques in this article as a starting point to make your own unique collection.


For this building I used the following materials 

Foam Core Board Cat Litter (Clean!) & Sandbox Sand
Hot Glue Gun Static Grass & Lichens for Basing
White Glue Spare Parts from Various Sprues for Details
Insulation Foam (pink or blue) Masking Tape
Craft Knife Pen
Metal Ruler Thin Balsa Wood Strips
Sprue Cutters

Construction Steps:

  1. Cut out a rectangle of foam core board 20cmx10cm measuring it out with the ruler and cutting it out with your knife. This will form the base for the terrain. (Always use a fresh knife blade on foam core.) 

2. Measure out the front and back lower wall sections by cutting 16 cm lengths (1.5cm high and 1.5 cm deep) from the insulation foam. Then cut 2 6 cm sections from the foam (also 1.5cm tall by 1.5cm deep) to form the lower side walls. Cutting insulation foam requires a very sharp knife and straight cuts made at a right angle to the foam. Go slow and use your metal ruler as a guide.

3. Using your foam core and craft knife cut out the upper wall sections. You need 2 sections 16cm long and 1.5 cm high for the front and back and 2 sections 6cm long and 1.5cm high for the sides as. See the picture in step 2 above. (Most foam core boards are 0.5cm thick which is perfect.)

4. At this point you can measure out window and door frames on the lower wall sections. I usually do 1cm square windows and 2cm high by 1 cm wide doors. Since this door is taller than the foam, a 0.5 tall by 1cm wide section will need to be cut from the upper wall section when it is lined up with the bottom.

5. (Optional Step) If you have thin balsa wood strips available you can glue it to the upper wall sections to form a wood veneer on the building. If you do this, you will need to cut it to match the door frames. If you want to add battle damage, cut your wall sections shorter and jagged where bombs have caused damage.

6. Using your hot glue gun, you can now glue the upper walls to the lower walls. The upper front and back walls will be set back flush with the inside of the bottom wall section. On the sides you will do the opposite with the upper walls flush with the front of the lower wall sections. The will ensure everything lines up square (and will give you a ledge on the front and back walls). Next take the walls and hot glue them to the base leaving even clearance round the edge of the base. Cut matchsticks to the width of the doors and windows using your sprue cutters and glue these on to make window frames.

7. (Optional step) If you have created battle damage from step 5, you can use foam pieces to make a rough circle in the damaged area and fill in the gaps with masking tape to make a crater.

8. Cut a piece of balsa wood 6.2 cm wide by 16.2cm long to form the roof. (The extra 0.2 of a cm is needed to help with fitting the removable roof). If you have made battle damage, you may want to cut it into the roof to show where bombs have damaged it.

9. Cut 2 strips of balsa wood about 2cm wide by 16.2 cm long and 2 strips of Balsa wood 2cm wide by 6.2cm long out. (You can shorten these to match any battle damage.) Glue these to the edges of the roof with 1 cm above the roof and 1 cm below the roof. This will form a parapet around the roof and help hold the roof on the model. Refer to the photo in step 11.

10. (Optional Step) Cut match sticks to form any other features you may want to create visual interest. I used them to make exposed rafters and a ladder pattern around the roof parapet. Refer to the photo in step 11.

11. Using your pen score brick work patterns into the lower wall sections. For the upper wall sections, you can score vertical boards into it (especially if you have a wood veneer from Step 5). Score boards into the roof as well.

12. Finish any other small details you may want. I cut spare equipment from leftover sprues I had lying around, and made a chimney by inserting a push pin into the top of a rectangle of insulation foam and glued it to the roof. Be imaginative and try to “tell a story with the components”.

13. Using watered down white glue adhere the kitty litter/sandbox sand mix around the edges of the building to texture the base.

14. When the white glue is dry you can undercoat the building and base with black paint. (Do not use spray paint as most brands will damage the foam.)

15. When the undercoat is dry you can paint the building as you see fit. I used shades of red/brown on the brick and grey and brown on the wood. I always recommend taking black ink and lining in the joints between boards and the brick sections to make them stand out (but this is quite time consuming so is optional).

16. Drybrush the base in shades of grey/brown and other earth tones. Now you can use watered down white glue to add static grass, lichens and any other features you may want.


If you follow these instructions or use them as an inspiration for your own work you should now have a visually interesting piece of terrain for your next game of Flames of War. Remember it is possible to vary these techniques to get a wide variety of terrain. For instance, you can cut triangular gables out on the ends of the building to build a peaked roof

or you could really go to town by combining all of these techniques into a large piece such as this factory.

Remember to have fun and use your imagination, and soon you will have some unique and interesting buildings to attack!