203 : Essling Building Foundations

I planned to have around a dozen building models in my Essling village. I had intended to mount all of them on one of my regular terrain tiles – an extra-density polystyrene tile with a medium-density fibreboard base. However as sturdy as the polystyrene toppers were, I felt that this number of models required a near rock-solid foundation and opted to cut myself a bespoke fibreboard tile to glue the models onto.

The 200mm-square tile laser-cut from 6mm MDF.

The layout of the built-up area meant that a total of seven roadways needed to connect with its edges! I made sure marks were engraved precisely where these should line up with the neighbouring tiles. Making tabletop villages wasn’t just the usual ordeal of trying to get as many building models as possible into the built-up area but also of leaving enough space for the numerous roadways – and to make sure the roads were wide enough to accommodate troop bases!

I also made sure there was a suitable hole in the base to model the village pond. And I included an aperture for an embossed plastic sheet. I could have engraved a paving stone design on the fibreboard but I had had a Ratio N-scale paving stones sheet reserved specifically for the village for so long that it was good to go ahead and use it. Cutting into the wood allowed me to be sure that the plastic sheet would lie level with the surface of the tile by adding some simple padding under the sheet.

Soon I had a 6mm-thick 200mm-square fibreboard terrain tile topper cut on the laser-cutter – with a scattering of holes in the wood for fixing tree models.

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