Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Building Wargame Terrain by Tony Harwood hits the shelves!

Well not really, you have to order direct from Tony!
I realize that a number of people have already reviewed Tony’s book, but I try not to be shy about throwing my hat in the ring and I have deliberately avoided reading anyone else’s reviews. I may be a bit gentler with this book than with my other books as its numbered and signed! I might have to acquire a second copy so I have one that can take a beating and I think this book will be taking a beating as it is definitely a solid scratchbuilding resource.
In my hands is a paperback book with an orange cover although the image I used shows a black and white picture on the cover that has been replaced with a color shot instead. A good choice the color shot goes much better with the cover now.  What you don’t see in the pictures is the 98 interior pages printed on a heavy weight gloss paper! This book is meant to last! If you ever wanted to recreate some of those buildings you see in the White Dwarf Magazine or any of the wargame magazines for that matter, then this is the place to start. The book starts off simple and builds towards more complex structures as you move through the book. If you are new to scratchbuilding this is an effective style that develops skills early in the book with simple projects that build confidence as you tackle the more complex structures by the end of the book. There are techniques in here for the advanced modeler as well, while the style lends itself to the beginner there is plenty to keep the advanced modeler interested.
Tony has a very readable style and the book is well layed out. I would have prefered some larger in progress pictures but the larger the pictures are the bigger the book  has to become so I understand that there is a trade off to be made especially when you are self-publishing. In the end there are just enough larger pictures of finished pieces to refer to if you become stuck at some point. It is unlikely that you will get “stuck” Tony’s step by step instruction will see to that.
Again the book is geared towards establishing the basics and building from there. I did feel like there were to many fence project variations and some of those variations didn’t really deserve their own space in the book. I think two fence projects, with some variations shown at the end of each of the sections would have been plenty. One of my favorite projects in the book, the 15mm Normandy Café, suffers badly from the small pictures. This is easily the most detailed piece in the book and in a smaller scale. There is only a single large picture of it and a couple of larger in progress shots would have really helped this project. The small pictures just do not capture what is going on and even the step by step sequence is a little vague in spots. You can certainly figure out what to do and how to do it, it just lacks the clarity of the other projects. As an example one section on adding imperfections to the roof is so brief I almost missed it and a little more depth on how to apply the technique would have been greatly appreciated.
I think my very favorite piece is the 28mm Small Stone Warehouse. This is a neat little structure built up stone by stone. It could be expanded with very little effort or even serve as the entry way into a larger structure. I think this building is the best example of how to in the book.
I do feel that this is a must have book for your shelf. With the techniques and explanations that Tony goes into you can recreate just about any building you set your mind to. There is a sub-title on this book "Dampfpanserwagon Guide No. 1", let’s hope that means there will be future volumes! This one is going to sit on my reference shelf above my workbench right next to my copy of Ray Porter’s Model Buildings Masterclass (very out of print).
So head directly over to Tony's page and order your copy now! I mean do it right now, you can't live without this book! Building Wargame Terrain


  1. Hi Kris,

    Thank you for the review and I will take your various points into account when I write book two.


  2. Replies
    1. It is, now go buy it you don't need to eat this week. ;)

  3. Even if I'm a clumsy talentless hack like Ray!

    1. Absoloutly, Tony's book is that good. Although I would keep a supply of bandages nearby.