Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Finding Terrain for the Post Apocalypse -- Commercial Terrain in 15 and 20mm

One of the things you will find as a Cold War-era gamer (and Twilight: 2000 is firmly a Cold War-era game) is that terrain is tough to come by, and what terrain you can find is difficult to make look "right". You're often reduced to just putting lots of ruins on the table and calling it "done". Now, granted, most cities in Central Europe in Twilight: 2000 look like Berlin in 1945, with the added complication of an elevated rad count, but we can and should try to do better than this.

So what are our options? Well, if you're willing to do the internet legwork, there's plenty out there. Also, this article from the Cold War Gamer blog is very useful in assisting one with improving the look of your table. Now, it's written for "Sunday Drive to the Rhine" games, but there's a lot of stuff for Twilight: 2000 if you're willing to look. I have also written some ideas of my own on the subject, but let's take a look at what is out there commercially, shall we?

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is going to be something of a "living" page, as I want to make sure that as people find stuff, they can let me know and I will review and add it here. So if I missed something, lemme know!

terrains4games

Taken from Spikey Bits blog, Image is of terrains4games product

terrains4games is a Polish outfit that seems to make something of everything. I haven't dealt with them myself, but the stuff they make looks good, and it seems to have quite a good number of reviews. For 20mm, they make the usual collection of ruins, as well as 15mm, but they also make a "Cold War City" that has the ubiquitous apartment blocks one sees throughout Central Europe and would do very well in a Twilight: 2000 game. While the company is in Poland, it's got a nice storefront, and all prices are in USD, making ordering a snap. When I get a chance to pick up something from them, I'll let you know how it goes.

Gamecraft Miniatures

Image taken from GameCraft Miniatures
GameCraft Miniatures is nothing short of prolific. They make it all in 6, 15, 20 and 28mm. I've ordered from them in the past, and I found the process painless and easy. Now if I could just figure out how to fill the big empty space in the factory warehouse I purchased from them? I do have to put it back together again too. Also, I bought a barracks, which looks a lot like some of the barracks I saw at Ft. Knox, and that one looks a bit complicated. My one complaint there? Instructions would be nice. That said, the quality of the work is very good, and I cannot complain as to the workmanship. Any faults in the construction are mine, and I readily admit it. But, if you want to find good, solid buildings to fill your Twilight: 2000 table, this is a darn good place to start. They are based in the US, with an easy to use storefront, so us American gamers have a good source of terrain, but folks in the UK might have some issues with postage costs.

Lancer Miniatures

Taken from Lancer Miniatures website

Lancer Miniatures is the current license holder to the RB Buildings line and these are, in my opinion, some of the nicest terrain to be available in resin out there. I have some older pieces of this line, purchased 2nd hand, and I do rather like them, a lot. Their quality is good, and they paint up rather easily. Just drybrush, paint a bit of detail and off you go. Now, while a lot of it is strictly geared to World War II, with some slight modification as per the aforementioned Cold War Gamer blog article, you can make some of this terrain look really good for your Twilight: 2000 table. The main issue is that due to the size and weight of these pieces, they won't ship outside the UK without discussing the shipping prices with you first. To me, this is more than eminently fair. These pieces are big, and resin is heavy folks, shipping costs, even with a depressed pound, aren't going to be cheap, and many wargaming companies are small outfits, so bravo to Lancer for at least warning folks ahead of time what they might be in for.

I know that much of this line is available through RLBPS, but they're in the process of transitioning their website, so I will let you all know when that is complete so US gamers can avail themselves of some of this line.

Sarissa Precision

Taken from Sarissa Precision's Website

Sarissa is a new, up and coming UK company that right now, is everywhere. I've seen their 15 and 28mm products at more than a few cons, and even some of their 20mm. I have purchased some French telegraph poles for WW-II and I liked them, they went together fast with the clear instructions provided. It's made me want to build some more stuff of theirs. Shipping at 2.50GBP worldwide is pretty awesome for this US-based gamer, and their storefront looks simple with a variety of payment options. Now, for 15 and 28mm gamers, this is a cornucopia of options for Twilight: 2000, but it's a bit limited for 20mm, as most of the "World War Europe" line is meant for Western Europe, but the Eastern Front stuff (minus the Russian Orthodox church) is almost spot on for your average small Polish farming village that you would still find in Twilight: 2000. In short, there's a lot to be had here, so give these folks a look. They also design to order (I have not made use of this, so I cannot comment as to what the final product might be, or how one goes about it?), so don't be afraid to special order...

Ironclad Miniatures

Taken from Ironclad Miniatures

Ironclad Miniatures is a newer UK-based company and I just received a bunch of their terrain for Christmas from my wonderful wife, including some very nice stuff from their Field Positions and Ruins range. The pieces were crisp, without any visible flaws, what bubbles there were were on the underside of the base, and that's fine by me, in short, I liked what I saw. The ranges come in the standard 15, 20, and 28mm scales and if the ones I got are any guide, they look great. The shopping experience looked pretty painless, and the packing survived the rough treatment the mail put the box through.  I would recommend their field positions heartily for a Twilight: 2000 table, as such positions are going to be found everywhere, and the Vietnam defenses range would work well for your average cantonment, and mixing it with the WW2 range would make it look very unique indeed. As for the ruins, you get a lot in the bag they give you, I think what I may do is glue the ruins to a plasticard base, add some bricks from GaleForce 9 and voila, a nice ruined building base or two?

Battlefront



Battlefront's been pushing out quite the terrain range (it's rather prolific) for their Team Yankee rules. And having seen the buildings, they look great, and could be used for Twilight: 2000 with very little need for improvement (Might want to make some look abandoned or burnt out). But they are a bit pricy, to be honest, but that's Battlefront as a whole, IMO. Now that said, they do have a very easy to navigate website, and they do have awesome customer service, and the terrain is very easy to find and get if you're doing 15mm (I would not use this terrain in any other scale), as it's as close as any hobby shop that carries Team Yankee.

Impudent Mortal - (Thanks Michael Brown for the heads up about these guys!)

Image taken from Impudent Mortal
I cannot say I know much about Impudent Mortal, but their stuff looks good for the 15mm Gamer, and their Entry Level terrain packs are very nicely priced for an entire die cut town, which when mixed with the Sarissa Eastern Front stuff, would make a very nice Polish village for Twilight: 2000. They even have a ruined version, and they also have an industrial range for doing games in the ruins of oh, say, Silesia, or perhaps the Ruhr? Shopping looked very simple and they are a US based company, so shipping for those of us on this side of the pond is manageable. They also design to order, they say, so don't let their catalog limit you.

German Railway Buildings- Link is to eBay, the best place to search for them cheap.

Taken from eBay

A lot of the German railway buildings are just dead on for the type of buildings one is going to see in any Central European based Twilight: 2000 game. But, a few things you want to keep in mind. One, these are model railway buildings. They aren't meant to hold up to the rigors of gaming, and they come no frills on the interior. So, they're going to be a bit of work, to put it mildly. Next, they are not cheap at retail, or even on ebay for that matter, but there are bargains to be found if you know where to look and more importantly, how to look. Some of the best search terms to use are "Vollmer", "Faller", "Kibri", and "Pola". Finally, keep in mind HO and N railway scales do not correspond exactly to 15 and 20mm wargaming scales. You might want to make sure that your buildings don't stick out too much like a sore thumb on the table. But, if you can find stuff for a price you're willing to pay, and put in some improvement work, you can get some really nice buildings out of it that will look great on the table.

Hotz Mats

Picture of Piers Brand's Cold War Big Game. Picture taken by Piers Brand, taken from Hotz Website
Hotz puts out some really good stuff for wargamers. They have quite the catalog of mats, roads, and fields to choose from, all in durable felt (I should know, I own a standard green felt one that ate a beer during a WWII game, bit of time on gentle wash and an air dry later, no one ever knew).  Prices, considering the production these mats and other products go through, is pretty reasonable, but yes, 8 weeks can be a long time. But that said, it's very much worth the wait. My Hotz mat has seen a lot of gaming action, and I can highly recommend it. I can also recommend their roads, as I own a gidundus amount of their 6mm roads that I got second hand one Historicon. They wear really, really well, better than my older Geo-Hex roads I was less than pleased with (they never stayed in place). In fact, you can see their 20-28mm roads in the photo above! Their webstore is easy to use, and they have very good communication with their customers.

So, all that said, I would highly recommend their product. They are more than worth taking a look at and they will make a mat to pretty much any standard you like (within reason).


Cigar Box Battle Mats

Picture taken from Cigar Box website

Cigar Box is another maker of some very high quality mats that I have played on, but have never myself owned. I like the fact they seem a bit lighter than Hotz, and they come in a bit more variety, but some of the printed on designs can limit one's "creativity" in setup. Happily, they give some very good advice on how to get around that. 

I keep trying to hunt down their urban mats, but every time I come to Historicon, they seem to be out of the ones I am seeking, but the work they do is nothing short of gorgeous. I haven't ordered from them online, so I really cannot say what their webstore is like, but with a lot of gamers raving in a good way about these mats, you really cannot go wrong giving these a look either. Prices are a bit higher than Hotz, but for US customers, I suspect the shipping might be a bit lower, so it probably balances out.

You could do worse than give these guys a look.

Anyway, that's it for this piece. Let me know what else you'd like to see that would be of interest to Twilight: 2000-themed miniature gaming, and I will write it up. Until next time! 

8 comments:

  1. Another great post with some companies I need to go check for myself! As a note, N Scale is 1:160th, so better suited for the 10/12mm crowd, and HO is 1/87th, so larger than 15mm, and a tad small for 20mm.

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  2. Thanks again. You continue to be a great resource for T2K and wargamming!

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  3. For little bits of scatter terrain I'd recommend Any Scale models: https://www.anyscalemodels.com/

    Cheers,

    Pete.

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  4. Probably don't fit perfectly in the realms of "commercially available" but there are a couple of companies that sell files for 3d priting buildings specifically for the TY setting which work great for TW2k. Perhaps another blog posting on the subject?

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    Replies
    1. Might be worth it, but I am not very conversant with 3D printing.

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  5. I am making my own from resin using Linka molds and scalecast molds. Intended for OO scale 1/76 it would fit perfectly for 20mm and be a bit big for 15mm. I plan on using it for 15 gaming as most rule systems I use are not true 1/100 scale anyways so buildings are more of a representation of a built up block. I am using smooth-on epoxy and I even plan on making some molds using their Oomoo 30 silicone.

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    Replies
    1. Now that is worthy of an article all of it's own!

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