Category Archives: World War One

Photo Gallery of the Trench


Way back in Wargames Illustrated 235 (May 2007), Dave Andrews printed rules for a WW1 trench raid.  I read it, I enjoyed it, I obsessed about it and wanted to create my own.  The rules were easy; all you really needed were a deck of cards, some dice, a few figs and photocopies of the trench template provided.  Of course I couldn’t just do that, I had to create my own 3D trench and create a custom deck of cards!  Here is a gallery of several of the 6 inch by 6 inch modular boards I created.

Two trench raiders from the Great War Miniatures line

Trench warning sign is a photo, shrunk down to size and printed on sticker paper.

A side branch to reserve trenches

Water created with Envirotex Lite and a couple of washes of cheap acrylic paint

All in all, there are eight 6 by 6 boards with openings that are roughly the same spot on each of them so that I can create a different 4 foot trench for each game.

Wings of War battlemat

A few years ago I was introduced to Wings of War at a games club.  I enjoyed it and thought it would be cool if there were miniatures involved, and of course soon thereafter miniatures were released and I’ve been hooked ever since.  I’ve played this game with anyone who would sit down with me for more than ten minutes.  For me, one of my best games was an all out brawl with 16 players at a games club I started at the school I was at.  It was great seeing the kids get involved and ask questions about the First World War (there was a First World War?).

Soon enough I wanted to have some sort of playing surface to get shot down on (apparently my luck with dice carries over to cards too).  My initial plan was to get an aerial recon photo and enlarged onto a sheet of foam core.  The price quickly changed that idea.  Next I was going to get a large sheet of foam-core and paint a french landscape across it in a style similar to the cards.  I quickly realized I was not talented enough to pull that off and given the scale I would be painting farms and fields forever.  FFG then released their game mats, which were disappointing as they had the art, but they just enlarged a card or two instead of shrinking it down.  Then I found out it was two separate mats, which made me like them even less…

The New Idea

Looking on the WoW Aerodrome site (  ).  I came across a hand painted map that I could do!  I rushed off to my old employer the Hobby Centre, and purchased a Woodland Scenics mat (RG5132) and this is what I did:

I used a black sharpie marker and marked out farmsteads and roads.

Using a sponge/dry-brushing technique, I varied shades of green/beige/yellow fields with cheap dollar store paint. I filled in roads with some beige paint.

Used a variety of different colours to flesh out my fields. The vinyl mat was scuffed several times, these will dealt with later.
Sprayed paint trench in. I used a light beige textured paint first and I aimed for areas I did not like. Second layer was Tamiya’s dark earth–no real reason I used that colour other than I had it. Drew in trench lines with black sharpie.

Any major area that had the turf scuffed away I tried to colour it in to look like an errant shell landed there.  My final steps will include getting my wife to draw in craters for me.  I hope to play test it out in the next week or so to see how it holds up in combat.  Unfortunately with my experience so far I fear it may be scuffed quite easily, so I will try a dullcoat spray over it to hold it in place…