Military Camp

Medieval Armies DBA Page

DBA Camps

By David Kuijt

Note: all photographs are thumbnails, and are clickable to see the larger original.

What's this all about, then?

Camps in DBA have very few restrictions on their construction or size. They allow the designer a lot of creativity. The following are some pictures of camps I have made, with some brief notes of some of the construction details.

I hope you find it useful, or at least interesting. All the miniatures shown on this page are 15mm scale.


Nubian Camp

Nubian Camp (September 2003)

Dead Egyptian This camp is an idea triggered by one of Angus McBride's illustrations of the Nubians battling New Kingdom Egyptians. The idea is quite simple - a rocky defile being defended by two Nubian bowmen, using a couple of dead Egyptian figures I had left over.

Nubian Archer This camp is mostly a showpiece for my new figure flocking technique. The technique is multi-stage, using plaster, a glue/paint wash, two drybrush steps, and only then some flocking in a standard way (paint glue, shake flock, let dry). It works very nicely, especially for desert terrain.

Another Dead Egyptian Note that this is also the first experiments I've had with my new super-fantastic digital camera -- I've already discovered that I can take a WAAAAAAY more detailed picture than I really need to! There is still some learning going on, though -- note that the focus isn't ideal on the two Nubian figures, although the cliff face between them is in focus very nicely.

Death from Above The cliff face itself is a plaster cast from a "woodland scenics" rubber mold with multiple rough rocky pieces. I braced up the single piece that forms the front by making an L-shaped brace of foamcore, then glued down a piece of cardboard to form the top of the rocky outcrop. I cut an angled piece of foamcore to slope the base of the top archer so that he would be firing slightly down at the invaders. Then I just used my flocking technique:

The only other thing I did here was to paint up a spare Egyptian shield and glue it down as an additional prop on one of the dead guys. The overall effect is very nice, and the work was really quite simple. A lot of fun, and a nice visual impact for very little work.


Ganesha Camp

Ganesha Camp (July 2001)

This camp is based around a purchase I made in the Museum of Art and History in Brussels of an overpriced book and little Ganesha idol. The book I skimmed and then gave away, but the idol (with some appropriate jungle greenery) immediately became the central focus of a Hindu Elephant Army camp. It would also work for Burmese, Tamil, or any other Hindu nation.

Detail The lower (square) base for the idol is a piece of foamcore. I scored the upper surface with a nail to mark borders of flagstones, then painted the flagstones with a number of slightly different colours of stone and off-white tints. The steps are cut out with an exacto knife. The mortar and block lines on the side of the base are simply marked in with pencil.

Detail The three palm trees are available cheaply from a commercial vendor; they are very likely cake-decoration palm trees with flocking added to the leaves. To give them some base and stability I cast simple pewter cones to glue them into; when painted and flocked the cones aren't obvious (especially as here, where they are totally covered with vegetation).

Detail The bulk of the "look" of this camp is provided by the lush vegetation. This is simply a combination of as many types and colours of cheap dried and silk flower vegetation (cut down with nail trimmers), lichen, Woodland Scenics "foliage" in several colours, and so on.

The final touch is overall flocking. After spreading out the glue I carefully sprinkled down fine ballast in three trails from the stairs to give the impression of a well-used path, then dumped flock on the rest and let it dry.

The camp is made by the little idol. If you can't easily get your way to Belgium to buy one, check out the funky science-and-geography type stores that are now popular in malls. I spotted another Ganesha (for significantly cheaper than I paid for it!) in such a store at the West Edmonton Mall in Alberta (Canada) when I was visiting there this summer.


Minoan Camp

Minoan Labyrinth Camp (Oct 2000)

At Historicon in July 2000 I got some beautiful Chariot Minis Minotaurs. They immediately gave me an idea for a camp, and this is it. Of course, I don't have a Minoan army yet, but so what? When I do, I'll have a camp. Except that I immediately sold the camp to David Schlanger, who also doesn't have a Minoan army, but has now put it on his list to acquire since he's already got a camp for it.

Detail The idea for this camp is quite simple. This is the entrance to the famous Labyrinth of King Minos. As such it is really a "fantasy" camp rather than a historical one, but it is proper historical fantasy -- a myth that has come down the ages to us, not made up by modern authors.

angled view Behind the guard Minotaur is the entrance to the Labyrinth. The stylized white bull's horns on the top and the frescoed wall decorations are based upon reconstructions of Minoan architecture from Crete, as are the colours of the wallpainting. The floor of the labyrinth is tiled. Although none of the pictures show it clearly, more doors and passages are implied by the building structure behind him. The walls are made of foamcore. The vegetation is a variety of stuff I've found around; dried flowers and stuff as well as the usual bushes made of moss and grass made of hair.


Russian Camp

Post-Mongol Russian Winter Camp (July 2000)

This camp uses the snow technology experimented with in the Lake Peipus Camp. This is a camp for my Post-Mongol Russian army. The PMR often fought in winter. I've been winter camping, and I wanted a contrast between the dark spruce, the white snow, and the warmth of the fire. The pot-over-fire is by Irregular; the two camp guards are by Essex from the EMED range, and the trees are by TCS.

Hidden archer I wanted to have a bit of a surprise here, so I put an archer in ambush behind the big front spruce. Placed between two large spruce trees, in direct contrast to the open space occupied by the axeman.

Another view This is another view of the archer and the fire, almost directly from the side.

back view This final shot shows all the elements of the camp from the rear. As you can see, the setup is quite simple. A nice camp doesn't have to be complex. One detail I'm pleased with -- note the footprints leading through the snow. I used a very thin blue wash over a gray wash in the footprints, then drybrushed a bit of white to cover up the side-slop in the wash. The whole surface was painted with a coat of dilute white glue to give it a shiny, wet sheen which doesn't come out so well in the pictures, but really makes it look like snow.


Crannog Camp

Pictish Crannog Camp (Jan 2000)

As with the two camps below, this camp was an experiment using the water technology discussed below in the Lake Peipus Camp. This camp was made for Chris Brantley, who dearly wanted a proper Crannog (lake dwelling) for his Picts. Chris suppled the figures and the hut after surveying the various 15mm house manufacturers for one that looked good to him. The figures are Falcon Figs from the Quartermaster; two of their Dark Ages Civilians and one Pict Crossbowman.

Mother and Daughter The hut came with a simple platform, but the platform fit the hut too well. It didn't make sense for there to be no deck in front of the hut. So I built a new larger platform, glued to a piece of cardboard, which was in turn glued to a precut metal sheet the size I wanted (basically a rectangle with truncated front corners). I also glued down posts that would form the basis of a plank walkway leading from the lakeshore to the hut deck. One of the figures was a young girl running; she would work very well running on the plank walkway. Another civilian figure worked very well for her mother, standing on the deck. I used a Falcon Pict crossbowman figure for the defender.

Another view After the poles for the platform and walkway were glued down I painted the cardboard a dark greenish blackish colour and put down a bunch of Liquitex acrylic texture gel to build up the lakeshore. I folded up edges of cardboard and glued them into shape to make a basin into which I could pour the molten plastic "water". After it set I peeled off the cardboard (with some difficulty!), then filed the water edge smooth.

girl running The platform is built up of beams (hibachi skewers), smaller beams (toothpicks) and balsa wood planks. The walkway is half-section toothpics glued into place as crossbeams, then wrapped twice with thread to give the look of rope or withy binding. Over that more balsa planks are glued down. To hide the figure bases, the bases are entirely trimmed off and small holes are cut into the balsawood to fit the foot-plugs that result. A variety of vegetation and mixed green flocking finishes up the picture. All in all I'm quite happy with it. My one concern is the small running girl, whose ankle is quite fragile and broke and had to be reglued.

The building is painted and dipped; I drybrushed the thatch to get better contrast before dipping. Although I'm aware that old thatch is a boring gray, I decided to paint this house with new thatch, only a year or two old. It just didn't look right gray.


Saxon Landing Camp

Saxon Landing Camp (Jan 2000)

This camp was inspired by Essex' new boat range, and the new water technology discussed below in the Lake Peipus Camp. The Essex "Dark Ages" boat is beautiful, and makes an appropriate camp for Vikings, Saxons, Angles, Franks, or anyone else who used lap-strake shipbuilding.

Another view The camp was tremendously simple. Paint the ship, create a sloping beach from scrap wood in the basement, flock the beach, glue down the boat. Then I wrapped a piece of masking tape around the edge to hold in the hot plastic pseudo-water, melted and poured the water.

The first pour didn't work that well (perhaps I didn't have the plastic hot enough?), so I had to remelt it with a heat gun to get something that looked right. Although I worried about peeling the paint off my ship, it didn't happen and everything turned out fine. When the "water" was cooled, I pulled off the masking tape and filed down the edge of the plastic to smooth it. The result is really quite striking, and was very simple to create.


Lake Peipus Camp

Lake Peipus Camp (Oct 1999)

I made this camp for Dave Schlanger, who was entranced by the battle of Lake Peipus, the "battle on the ice". A story about the battle is that some of the Teutonic Order knights fell through the ice. Although the story is probably apocryphal, I thought it would make a very dramatic scene for a camp vignette.

This camp involved a number of experimental techniques. The figures are by Museum (knights and dismounted knight) and Essex (praying monks); the trees by TCS (I think). Both mounted knights required modification. For the one riding on the ice I had to file and clip to remove the base, so it could be riding directly on the ice surface. The knight that has fallen through the ice had the body of his horse chopped in half (at an angle) and then filed down to a flat surface, so it would seem to be sinking into the water (or scrabbling to get out).

Detail of Figures The base of the camp is built up of leather hot-glued down to a metal base. Cast plaster rock outcroppings were then added to supply the shoreline, and styrofoam and Liquitex texture gel used to build up the shore behind the outcroppings.

The "water" is a product by Woodland Scenics; a plastic you melt and pour out. Although it takes some care to use, I recommend it. The knight was glued down to the leather before the "water" was poured around him. I used masking tape to create a lip around the base and prevent the melted "water" from drooling out of position. Once cool, the water was easy to trim and file to a flat surface. Note that the heat of the melted "water" was enough to remelt the hotmelt glue attaching the leather to metal below it; this caused some awkwardness as the leather base attempted to peel up. Some early experiments with the "ice" surface also revealed that it would melt at a lower temperature than the "water", which meant it had to be attached after the water was poured and cool.

The trees were very simple. They come in multiple pieces of different sizes. I spraypainted them with commercial dark green spraypaint then glued them together; the trunks are toothpicks pushed into the styrofoam. They were painted with the snow material (described later), only glopping it on where the branches are exposed from above.

Back View The "ice" is a commercially-available opaque sheet plastic for florescent light fixtures. It was possible to break a hole and nip it to fit the shoreline with plyers and clips, a little at a time. If I was doing this project again I would simply fit the whole sheet to the base, then apply the rock outcroppings on top of the sheet. The look of the ice and water at the hole worked very well.

The biggest problem was actually getting good looking snow. It had to soften the lines of the terrain and have a visible thickness on the trees; it needed to be slightly glossy or shiny ("wet"). After several experiments I ended up using a 50/50 mix of acrylic gesso (commercial artist's canvas prep material; basically a white paint) and Wonderbond (basically white glue). The glue gave bulk and shinyness to the gesso, which was opaque but too thin and with a matte surface.


Aztec Jungle Camp

Aztec Jungle Camp (June, 1999)

Okay, now I have two camps for one army. I had some Aztec bearer figures that really looked excellent, and they didn't fit in with my Aztec Temple. The Osprey on Aztecs and their enemies describes how the Aztec were forced to travel on multiple trails and days to get their huge armies through the rough mountain and jungle terrain of Central America. This triggered the idea of making a camp that shows the bearers carrying supplies down a footpath winding its way down a jungle-clad hillside.

frontal view The rock outcroppings are cast plaster, as in the Teutonic Order camp described below. I gave it a wash of thin brown gluing it down. The hillside is built up with styrofoam and covered with Liquitex texture gel, then painted brown and flocked.

detail: bearers and bananas I wanted to have a very large variety of flora, as appropriate for a jungle scene. The large-leaf plants are modified plastic aquarium plants with the leaves trimmed very small and their edges serrated with sharp scissors. By careful cutting I created three distinct leaf-shapes. The same method was used for the banana palm leaves. Strands of vines and small bushes are bits of Woodland Scenics "foliage", stretched out and glued down.

detail: flowering bush Most of the bushes and small trees are Woodland Scenics lichen. They are trimmed into a tree shape with scissors, then larger interior parts painted brown to become a trunk and branches. By spraypainting some lichen dark green, leaving others unmodified, dipping some clumps (with paint still wet) in a variety of flocking materials, choosing a variety of browns for trunk colours, and painting bright flowers in one, I was able to create a dozen different bushes and trees. I also added one "standard" tree of twisted wire and woodland scenics foliage for greenery.

Aztec Jungle Camp This is an image showing the roughed-out version of the camp, before any of the plants were added. The trunk of the banana tree is visible. The trunk is made of twisted wire covered with masking tape and painted with PVC glue, then painted. After this step I used a brown finepoint pen to detail the trunk a bit, showing growth bands. The broad palm leaves were added in pairs, building up from the bottom with the largest leaves hanging down, then middle-sized ones, and finally smaller leaves pointing up. I rolled one special leaf into a partial tube to simulate the way young palm leaves emerge, at the top. Leaves were glued to the tree with hotmelt glue. As a final touch I had glued a carefully-aligned bundle caraway seeds together to make a bunch of ripe bananas. Note that the bright yellow of storebought bananas is artificial and very temporary; a random bunch of bananas in the wild is either green (unripe) or brown. Since the caraway seed shells were already a varied brown, I left them unpainted.

The figures are Gladiator; three different poses of AZ 37 bearers, and one warrior as escort.


Teutonic Order Camp

Teutonic Order Camp (June 1999)

This camp was designed specifically for the Teutonic Order. The original idea was triggered by reading accounts of the Teutonic Order being abandoned by its subject foot when confronted by Lithuanian forces, forcing the heavily-outnumbered Teutonic Knights to fall back to a defensible position.

In this case the defensible position is a rock outcropping; some Dominican monks that accompanied the Order are praying for success, while a knight who has lost his mount stands ready in case the Lithuanian light horse attack the camp.

The rock outcroppings are cast plaster, using Woodland Scenics rubber moulds (which work very well!). The small trees are lichen carefully trimmed to tree shape, with the center "trunk" painted brown. The small rocks are cat litter (Multi-Cat brand).

The praying monks and dead horse are Essex; the single dismounted knight is Gladiator. The flag is a bit of kitchen-grade aluminum foil.


Arab Camp

Arab Camp (May 1999)

This camp is a multipurpose one, appropriate for Mamelukes, Ottoman Turk, and many other arabic or Muslim armies.

The arab tent and date palm are from BattleZone. I'm not sure if they are available anywhere else; I bought them from Gladiator, and they are listed on the Gladiator website. Go back to my main page for links to their website. The baggage camel and its handler are by AB Miniatures; they are part of their range for the Ottoman Empire fighting Napoleon during his invasion of Egypt. Nothing in the figure is out of place for use any time in the 1200 years before that, however, and it is a beautifully carved figure.

The base is flocked with Woodland Scenics "Ballast", and then a small amount of their "Coarse Turf" applied to give a hint of vegetation.

The camp was quite easy to make, considering how well it turned out.


Aztec Temple

Aztec Temple

This camp was made for my Aztecs. The base is about 5.5" by 3.5". The temple is made of foamcore; it has a carved wooden stele on top of the ritual building, and ten feathered-serpent heads as ornamental stonework. It is covered with decorative murals; the walls of the ritual building portray five dieties or supernatural entities, and the bottom level of the pyramid has murals of the 20 day-signs of the Aztec calendar.

A detailed description of the steps involved in making this camp is given in a separate page on the web here. The page also includes a dozen pictures of the camp, both in process and after it was finished.


Lithuanian Swamp

Lithuanian Camp

This camp was made for my Lithuanian army. It is six-sided with a long straight back edge, sort of like a stopsign cut nearly in half. The front edges are all multiples of 40mm, so it is easy to get legal contact.

The camp is a bit complicated. There is a metal base, a layer of leather, a layer of plastic (overexposed X-ray film), a layer of leather, then decoration and flocking.

Before attaching the top layer of leather I pierced it many times with an awl and made a "shag carpet" by handsewing artificial sinew loops in a pattern to make reeds. Then I hotmelt glued the plastic to the bottom to give the leather some rigidity as I cut a pool and a trough for a slow-moving creek. Then I glued the lower leather piece (and the metal base) to the top piece.

I had noticed half-way through the steps above that the clear hotmelt glue under a plastic surface on the underside of the top leather piece looked like excellent water! So I painted the inside of the trough and pool in a mix of dark browns, threw some snips of green threads and some cat litter in the bottom of the pool and trough, and cut some "lids" of the X-ray film plastic. Then I squooged some hotmelt glue in there and quickly pressed down the lids (burning my fingers a bit. Ooch!)

Snipping the loops of sinew and combing them out gave some nice reeds. Sewing the sinew was way too much work, though; next time I'm going to try some other technology.

The standing Lithuanian is a Gladiator FE29 Lithuanian Axeman. The dead Teutonic Knight and his horse are Essex (CIA3 and CIA8 respectively). All nice figs.

The Axeman Cometh In working with the hotmelt glue I noticed that the gluegun produced fine gossamer trails of glue whenever you moved it from one dab to another, or pulled it away from a dab. This would make excellent "witches hair" lichen hanging from a dead tree. I made a tree by twisting wire as described elsewhere in this page, and dabbed it with woodglue to obscure the wire lines a bit. When dry I used my gluegun to mess it up with a million gossamer trails of thin glue. I snipped these with scissors to separate them a bit, then used a hairdryer to blow hot air on them from above so they would melt, droop and sag convincingly. The tree had previously been sprayed a wood colour; a final coat of gray spraypaint gave it more the look of dead wood and darkened the "witches hair".

The rest was just gluing the tree and figures to the base and flocking the base. I added some bushes to give more variety of flora.


Mongol Camp

Mongol Camp

This camp was part of a Mongol army I sold. Like most of my recent camps, I made it an irregular shape to fit the scene, with a long straight back edge. The front edges are all multiples of 40mm, so it is easy to get legal contact.

The camp is a piece of thick leather on a metal base (for stability, and to allow it to stick to my magnetic drawers). I made a slight rise in the center background (under the bush) by mixing wood glue, a bit of water, and sawdust. It worked quite well, although it is hard to see at the angle of this picture.

The bush is a bit of lichen glued down. Once it was secure I dabbed it with glue and threw some flock on it (slightly darker flock than I use on the base). It looks quite nice, but I think next time I'll use even darker flock, to get a better contrast with the ground. The small rocks and gravel are cat litter. Very inexpensive, very irregular shapes, and glues down nicely.

The yurt is a resin casting by Peter Kershaw; if you are interested in acquiring one, you may get in touch with him by email at theswamp@btinternet.com. Although I painted the binding ropes a tan "rope" colour, the high contrast on the off-white Yurt makes them difficult to see in this image -- they look good in real life, though.

The mounted guard is Gladiator CRK 4. Two horses are Irregular Ani.13 (one of each pose); one is Gladiator from the EQ 9 Nomad Wagon with its yoke surgically removed by exacto knife. The camp servant comes from Museum Miniatures Chinese/Mongol slaves pack.


Nomadic Herd Camp

Nomadic Steppe Camp

This camp is for Mongols or other steppe horse armies.

The camp is a piece of thick leather on a metal base (for stability, and to allow it to stick to my magnetic drawers). I attempted some buildup to make it less flat, but that wasn't too successful, and it is still basically flat. Another view

The mounted guard is Gladiator CRK 4. Two horses are Irregular Ani.13 (one of each pose); two are Gladiator from the EQ 9 Nomad Wagon with their yokes surgically removed by exacto knife.

The background is an image of the Alhambra, in Grenada. My apologies to historical purists! Anyone who has any images of Samarkand or Merv that look 13th century, please give me a pointer. Eventually I'll find a good image of the unsullied steppes of Mongolia or Transoxiana, and I'll retake the picture.


Moorish Gate

Moorish Gate

This camp is for my Army of Grenada, and probably also for my Medieval Spanish when I get them done. The distinctive lobed arch, its alternate red and white colouring, and the merlons on the walls are all typical of Andalusian Spain.

The construction is mostly foam-core. The front gate is a single slab of sculpee. Sculpee is a polymer clay that you can bake in your oven at 275 degrees. It is soft clay before baking; after baking you can drill, carve, and paint it like wood, soft plastic, or hard wax. The merlons and two smaller doors to the wall-walks are cast plaster.

The bulk of the construction work is based upon the foamcore construction technique described here, in one of the sub-pages of Major General Tremorden Rederring's Colonial-era Wargames Page. The Major General's page is a wonderful site with a veritable treasure-trove of ideas for constructing scenery, terrain, buildings, and many other miniatures-gaming miscellania.

Wallwalk Detail The merlons and two smaller doors are cast in plaster, a mass-production technique described in the Lizardman Temple page, a sub-page of Gary James' TerraGenesis webpage. Like the Major General's page, TerraGenesis is absolutely full of cool construction ideas.

The plaster casting technique is relatively simple. First I carved a master door from baked Sculpee. I pressed the carved door into unbaked sculpee several times, leaving an impression. Then I mixed up some plaster and poured it into the impressions. After setting a day, I had three plaster doors. Similarly for the 24 merlons on the top of the walls - I carved a single merlon, pushed it 30 times into soft sculpee, then poured plaster into the impressions.

The top crossbowman is an Essex figure, code CRU 9. The lower crossbowman is a Grumpy PAM 9 pikeman with a crossbow substituted for his pike.

The background is an image of a town high in the Sierra Nevada (Spain's highest mountain range, and border of Grenada in the later middle ages). I printed it out on a colour printer and held it behind the gate - a nice result for relatively simple effort.


Pavilion Camp

Pavilion Camp

This was the first camp I made. The decorated pavilion is based upon the decorated tents with painted blue arches shown in a 14th century French manuscript illustration in the Bibliotheque Nationale. The pavilion is made of single-ply tissue paper stretched over a framework made of balsa wood, thread, glue, and a pin. Time-consuming to make, but rather pretty. I decorated it with a blue felt-tip pen. If I was to do it again I'd probably take the time to use paint because the ink wicked out a little on the tissue paper, even though I'd given it two coats of sealer in advance. The tissue paper has a very good texture, very appropriate for canvas in 15mm.

Detail of Animals

The animals and barrel are from Irregular , which has the best 15mm animals I've seen (and they are very inexpensive). The two human figures are by Essex. The one in front with the flanged spear was originally a swabber from an Essex medieval artillery crew. His swab was turned into a spear by squishing it flat and then trimming it to shape with an exacto knife.

The stakes are whittled out of split toothpicks, set with putty. The whole base is a thinnish (3/8"?) piece of oak, allowing me to drill holes for setting the stakes.

The rope for the mule is a pair of threads twined together and bonded with clear nail polish. The stake it is attached to is the head of a pin.

The smaller tent is also of tissue paper with a balsa-wood frame. It is based upon a number of simple tents shown on a fresco by Simone Martini, c.1328, in the Palazzo Pubblico, Siena.

On an entirely non-DBA note, I have done some research on actual (full-size) late-medieval pavilion construction techniques, and how to make your own single-pole pavilion. An article I wrote on the subject can be found here, if you are interested, as part of a collection of such information webbed by Stephen Bloch ( sbloch@boethius.adelphi.edu ). The whole collection is located here.


Empty Wagon Camp

Empty Wagon Camp

This camp started out being a Hussite camp before I realized that the Hussite army (with two or more war wagons) isn't required to have a camp. I currently use it for Germans, Swiss, and others.

The wagon is entirely scratch-built. Its shape is based upon a 15th century illustration of a fodder wagon as part of an army on the march, shown in the Osprey book on Armies of Medieval Germany 1300-1500. The large timbers are toothpicks, the bed is balsa wood. The vertical struts for the wattle framework are made of fine brass wire sunk into fine holes drilled into the toothpicks. The horizontal withies for the wattle are dental floss, fixed in place with gap-filling cyanoacrylate glue. For whatever reason it seems that dental floss can be glued almost instantly with cyanoacrylate glue; normal bonding time of 15-20 seconds is shortened to a second or so. This has advantages and disadvantages.

The two peasant figures are from Metal Magic, which makes beautiful miniatures (sadly for me, most are from 1100-1300 AD). The figure with the handgonne is by Irregular.

The wheels were especially difficult to make. They involved building up successive layers of tape on the edge of a nail-head of appropriate diameter, soaking the tape in clear nail polish, then pushing thin brass wire through the edge of the tape and gluing in place. I would have bought commercial wheels if possible, but I couldn't find any manufacturer who produces 15mm wheels and would sell them without an expensive wagon attached.

Unlike the pavilion camp, this camp is based upon piece of sole leather attached by contact cement to an appropriate-sized metal sheet.


Turnip Wagon Camp

Turnip Wagon Camp

This camp was intended to double as two DBM baggage elements, so it is based upon two 40mm square metal bases.

The wagon, its driver, and the animals are all by Irregular. The goats and pigs are excellent; the ox and mule are nice also, but the human driver is a little clunky and awkward, with a lumpy face. I removed the barrels and boxes that came with the wagon and put them to other uses, replacing them with the load of turnips you see. One of the barrels is visible in the picture of the pavilion camp above. I also modified the driver, putting a bit of brass rod in his hand as a whip and gluing a strand of thin thread to it. The turnips are black mustard seeds coated with a few layers of clear nail polish and otherwise left natural. The variation in colour is very realistic.

The bearers are all from Essex. I made up the rope for the mule by twining two wheat-coloured sewing threads together, sousing them with clear nail polish, and letting them dry.


Orc Palisade Camp

Orc Palisade Camp

This camp is designed to go with my DBA Orc Army. I use DBA instead of its fantasy variant, HOTT, because I prefer the element types of DBA and a more Tolkeinesque environment where magic is rare, subtle, and not a form of artillery. If fantasy armies aren't to your taste, any number of historical armies used simple palisades for camp fortifications, so just ignore the three orcs wandering around inside.

Orc Camp Back View

The camp is based upon a piece of sole leather contact-cemented to a metal sheet. This allowed me enough depth to drill holes for the palisade timbers. The floor of the tower is balsa wood, as are the Z-shaped reinforcements on the back of the camp gate; all the other wood is toothpicks.

The gate opens and closes; the hinges are made from thin brass wire.

The spear orc and archer orc are from Black Raven Foundry. The barrel-carrying orc was a crewman in the Orc War Machine in the 15mm Battlesystem range by Ral Partha. Since appropriate orc camp figures are rare, I was very happy when he wouldn't fit on the base with the Catapult, and now he is pressed into service in camp.


Dark Ages Palisade

Dark Ages Camp

This camp is for my Dark Ages Roundshield Army that can run as #74 Early Franks, #75a Early Saxons, #75b Middle Anglo-Saxons, and even a bit later (#108 Rus, #113 Anglo-Danish). Simple earthworks with a timber palisade are very appropriate for these armies.

Guarding the Entrance

The base is a piece of cut sheetmetal so it won't shift in transport (I use magnetic-bottom drawers). Glued on that is a piece of leather. The earthworks are built up with leather and spackle. While the spackle was still wet I pushed in the timbers, which are just toothpicks with the ends trimmed with an exacto blade so they are irregular. Once the spackle was dry I painted it with a glue/brown paint mixture to seal the spackle and give it some resistance to damage. I glued down the gate guard figure and flocked it.

The base is very long and thin. Rather than try to show a whole "camp", I decided to portray the edge of a larger fortification. This allowed me to use figures in scale but avoid the problem of having a 12" or larger camp base.

The guard is an Essex figure from their Welsh range, WA1 or WA4.


August 30, 2001. Added the Ganesha camp.

October 3, 2000. Added the Post-Mongol Russian and the Minoan Labyrinth Camps.

January 5, 2000. Added the Crannog and the Saxon Landing Camps.

October 18, 1999. Added the Lake Peipus Camp.

June 10, 1999. Added the second Aztec Camp.

May 27, 1999. Added the Arab Camp.

May 13, 1999. Added the Aztec Temple Camp.

May 4, 1999. Added the Lithuanian (Pripyet Marshes) Camp.

April 16?, 1999. Added the Mongol Camp.

March 31, 1999. Added the Nomadic Steppe Camp.

March 30, 1999. Added the Moorish Gate.

January 5, 1999. Reduced the size of every thumbnail by 1/2 to cut loading time.

December 31, 1998. Added Dark Ages Camp.

Page created: July 12, 1998

The author may be contacted at kuijt@umiacs.umd.edu Please do not use any pictures or text from this page without permission.