Monday, 7 October 2013

Building the card terrain for my WW2 city board

My first piece of 1/72 scale model railway card terrain has arrived so it's time to make a start on assembling it. The pack was the Water Tower and Sand House from Metcalfe. I have no idea what the buildings are used for by railways I just bought them because they looked the simplest to assemble, plus you get two buildings for £9.25.

How the buildings arrived

Opening up the packet I found some thick card sheets with the pieces punched out ready to use. (You have to cut through the card in a couple of places to free them completely.) There's also an acetate sheet for the windows and another to represent the water in the tower. Lastly there are the instruction sheets which have clear diagrams to help with the assembly. The first thing I have to say is READ THE INSTRUCTIONS. There are a few places where you can get confused if you haven't read things carefully.

The contents of the pack

I decided to start with the water tower as it looked the easiest of the two. I punched out the pieces and cut up the acetate sheet to get the windows. I thought about leaving the 'glass' out as the board is supposed to be a bombed out city but decided to leave it in for now. I can always cut bits of it out to resemble broken windows if I want to later.

There are inner and outer walls for the building which give it a nice 3D look. You glue the windows to the back inner wall and then glue the inner walls to the outer.

One of the nice things about the kit is the thought that's gone into making it. For example the card punched out of the outer walls is used to reinforce the interior of the building and to keep it square. They obviously thought about this as the card fits perfectly with no cutting to size.

As you can see from the above photo the walls of the building are quite thick with the two layers of card. This makes the whole thing very robust, nothing at all like paper craft terrain. You could put a house brick on top of it and it wouldn't even buckle.

There's lots of nice little touches like mouldings around the top of the building which give the whole thing a lift. Once the building was finished I moved on to the water tank. The process is much the same but with a few more fiddly bits but nothing complex you just have to carefully read the instructions and you'll be fine.

The finished model looks pretty good. It needs a base to really set it off but I'll do that later. I'll have a go at the sand house tomorrow and see how that goes.


  1. That looks really good! I have a couple of the Metcalfe buildings and am rather pleased with them!

  2. Those look great. I wish I had seen this about 5 months ago.

    1. Thanks, I only found them by accident. Never thought of looking at model railway stuff before.


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