Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Solferino in Twenty Minutes – making the built-up areas

I need to create four built-up areas that units can be placed in for SOLFERINO IN TWENTY MINUTES. The trouble is that normal 3D buildings would look nice but would make it difficult to place units inside the built-up area.

After some serious thinking about how to create these built-up areas, I have come up with the following idea; to make 4” square boxes with images of Italian buildings printed on the outside. They will give the illusion of being a solid mass of buildings but will permit units to be placed inside the box.

I experimented with some images of Italian buildings that I downloaded from the Internet, and the concept seems to work. However, the Internet has not proved to be a very good source of images of ordinary, rather than famous historical, Italian buildings, and in the end I solved the problem by taking digital photos of suitable model buildings from my collection and using Adobe Photoshop to manipulate them.

The results are very acceptable, and I am now in the process of creating my ‘boxes’ using MS Publisher.


  1. Nice idea! I must mark that one down for stealing in the future.

  2. I hope to have some images of the finished built-up areas on the blog tomorrow ... assuming that the computer printer does not run out of ink and my workload does not stop me from making them.

    As for stealing ideas ... well that is why I publish them on my blog; they are there to be stolen (or borrowed might be a better way of putting it!).

    After all, a good idea shared is a plus for everyone!

  3. Great idea. Will the boxes have lids (with printed rooftops) so that the all-seeing enemy commanders do not know exactly who or what is in the town/village ? You could even extend the idea to wooded areas.

  4. In this case the boxes will have open tops (mainly because the playing pieces are very large and will not otherwise fit inside) but the idea of having a lid on the box is a very interesting way to develop the concept ... particularly - as you say - if it were a wooded area and you wanted to keep something concealed.

  5. Instead of pictures from italian towns, what about using pictures taken from old italian paintings?

  6. An excellent idea, and had I enough time before Salute, it is one that I would use.

    I did find several pictures of the Battle of Solferino, but the town itself was in the background and rather indistinct. I tried to use it on my original prototype, but it ended up looking too dark and unremarkable.


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