Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Minimizing the Cost of Armor

This is not about the cost of plate mail in D&D (in b/x it was only 60 gp!), but of tanks and such for WWII, particularly as it relates to 1/32 scale vehicles.

While infantry at this scale are affordable, not that'd I'd want to assemble a 1:1 company, armor is quite a bit different - the cheapest plastic kit I can find is around $10, with some pre-assembled items going for $60 or so. 1/35 vehicles are, to my eye, satisfactory and there are a good many kits available, but these too are pricey.

For gaming at this scale, generally, only a handful of vehicles are required, so that helps some.

Still, it does not alter the fact that my entire gaming budget for the year might only field vehicles for a single scenario from a Skirmish Campaigns book if I'm lucky!

And so, I turned to looking for printable card model PDFs. While searching (and finding a lot, although many looked complicated), I remembered an article in Lone Warrior #168, by Marvin Scott, that described scratchbuilding your own vehicles (among other frugal tips). 

Then, as fate would have it, I stumbled onto some paper modeling sites which led me to some very inspirational card stock vehicles.

Here are 1/35 vehicles made from cereal boxes:

Now, that example is a good deal beyond my ability, but his first examples seem achievable and I happen to like the way they look, especially the King Tiger, which has a toy-like appearance to it:

I'm anxious to give it a try - to make matters simple, I think I'd start with something I already have in 1/32, a T-34, just to get the measurements and angles right.


  1. This is what I call creative work. Working with cardboard and whatnot most of the time, I can really appreciate the details of those models.
    I've seen a video earlier where people used cardboard-built RC vehicles and blew them up with fireworks, this sort of reminds me of that (minus the blowing up).

    1. if they could get them to SHOOT fireworks, they'd have the making of an awesome Little Wars style game!

  2. Here's a forum that includes paper models. I've found it useful for my boat making

    1. Thanks Chris! I went and checked it out and registered so I could view the pictures and downloads. So much information there.

      Which apparently I definitely need, as I have quite the pile of sad looking failed attempts at T-34 hulls growing on my desk!