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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Military/History Related Hobbies > Maps and Topography

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Maps and Topography Information and links to maps and map resources.

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  #1  
Old 30 Jun 11, 23:02
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Question Terrian Model Kits/Display's

I'm curious does anybody on here have experience with with creating terrain model kits/displays? I ask as for ROTC next year this will be something I'm expected to do, and I'm taking the summer to walk myself through the process of how to do so. But any advice on these would be great!
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  #2  
Old 01 Jul 11, 10:46
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What exactly are you going to build and what scale?

This is from last year:

http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...ad.php?t=93809
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  #3  
Old 01 Jul 11, 13:09
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Are you looking for what Freightshaker posted or simply sand-table quality?
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Old 01 Jul 11, 15:13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golani View Post
Are you looking for what Freightshaker posted or simply sand-table quality?
Just military sand table quality where I can map a tactical or operational situation.

Specifically in regards to using these symbols,

http://armyrotc.missouri.edu/pdfs-do...n_modelkit.doc

To create something like this,

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=...:0&tx=19&ty=54

http://osd.dtic.mil/photos/Nov1998/9...6207H-006.html

Hope that helps to steer things in the right direction.
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Old 01 Jul 11, 16:45
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So it's quite simple then

Step one should be choosing a scale level and sticking to it.

Every unit has materials to construct a sand table, but if you're missing them improvising shouldn't be too problematic, just work with the standard keys (say, white=road, blue=stream, etc.) and improvise with salt, food coloring and so on.

Be sure to wet the ground before shaping it and stick to the scale (!) don't follow the tendency to blow out the more "major" sites, the plan should be kept in perspective.

After finishing stretch cords above the sand table at pre-planed intervals, these will function as your 'grid' and help people grasp distances.

Are these what you're looking for?
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Old 01 Jul 11, 23:40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golani View Post
So it's quite simple then

Step one should be choosing a scale level and sticking to it.

Every unit has materials to construct a sand table, but if you're missing them improvising shouldn't be too problematic, just work with the standard keys (say, white=road, blue=stream, etc.) and improvise with salt, food coloring and so on.

Be sure to wet the ground before shaping it and stick to the scale (!) don't follow the tendency to blow out the more "major" sites, the plan should be kept in perspective.

After finishing stretch cords above the sand table at pre-planed intervals, these will function as your 'grid' and help people grasp distances.

Are these what you're looking for?
Thanks for the advice Golani I'll heed it well!

I figure the biggest thing I'll have a hard time with is the modelling the terrain it's self and creating the grid in a way that is accurate and can be understood.
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Old 20 Jul 11, 12:09
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Golani has some great tips. If you go to a dollar store or walmart, find some bamboo skewers to use with a thread or string to build the grid over your terrain surface. these skewers are generally 12" in length so they will keep your grid far enough off the surface to allow you to place/move icon markers. And as Golani said STICK TO SCALE! good luck and take pictures, we'd like to see how you faired.
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Old 24 Jul 11, 14:53
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For sand tables the additional terrain items can be:

Roofing felt (aka tar paper) for roads (waterproof and long strips cut to a bit wider than needed and weighted down with some sand on the edges.

Toothpicks and lichen or other vegitation for trees.

Use card stock or plastic stock to make houses and buildings. Blocks of wood work well too.

Blue tinted plexiglas or acetate in a thin stiff sheet or strip for rivers and lakes.

If you build a sand table with sufficently raised edges you can simply use 4d finish nails and mason's line for the grid. That shows up better than string will being floroesent orange, red or, yellow.

Big trees the size of the one freightshaker had in that thread are best constructed enmasse and cheap by:

1. Cut pieces of bailing wire / rebar tie wire twice the length of the tree's height plus a couple of inches. Then bend this over into a U shape.

2. Cut up some sisal or hemp rope into lengths roughly a bit more than the width of the tree. Unravel these pieces and put them in the U of the wire spread like tree branches.

3. Twist the wires together over their full length using lockwire pliars, pliars, a drill etc.

4. Spray paint or dip the resulting "tree" in black or dark brown paint.

5. Get a paper or plastic bag full of variously, finely chipped styofoam, sawdust, flocking (like the hobby stores sell), etc., painted the proper color of foliage.

6. Dip the "tree in a bucket of cheap semi-gloss or flat varnish. The cheapest stuff you can get.

7. Put the tree in the bag with the bottom edge sticking out where you can hold it and hold the bag shut. Shake vigorously.

8. Trim the tree to the look you want.

I can make 50 to 100 trees like that in an afternoon.
I guess it depends on how you do things. I tend towards construction supplies.

Last edited by T. A. Gardner; 24 Jul 11 at 15:01..
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Old 11 Mar 13, 20:44
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Terrain models

I was going to suggest enlarging a single grid square to about 1 metre square, and plotting several copies on a wide format plotter. Cut out each contour line, creating a stack of paper rings. Glue the rings to 1/4" foam core boards and assemble the grid square on a piece of plywood.

You will have the actual map accuratly reproduced in 3D. Apply plastic toy soldiers, diorama trees and Monopoly game houses to your heart's content.

I have seen a large "sand table" of a particular piece of the CFB Valcartier training area, built with cotton batting and chicken wire on plywood. When you looked at through binocular with sitting in a chair on a 4' folding table, it looked remarkably realistic.
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Old 20 Mar 13, 12:15
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Kevin, how up to speed are you on reading topographical maps?

The reason that I ask this is because if you understand how to 'read' them; the terrain model will be much easier to construct.
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Old 13 Apr 13, 07:52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nichols View Post
Kevin, how up to speed are you on reading topographical maps?

The reason that I ask this is because if you understand how to 'read' them; the terrain model will be much easier to construct.
Considering the nearly 2 years ago he posted this thread he stated he was in ROTC, I'd assume he is pretty up to speed on map reading.

Also, some of the replies to this thread are amazing. For a military terrain kit you need yarn, nails, some rocks, note-cards, and a large enough area. Remember you've got to hump this stuff around with you, either in a ruck or in you vehicle load plan. It should fit in a 7.62 ammo can or a .50 can.
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