For about twenty years I have been working on making several major national capital cities for World War Two. Washington, D.C., Berlin, Tokyo, Paris, London and Moscow. Or at least recognizable portions of those cities. I have the Reichstag for Berlin, the Eiffel Tower for Paris, the White House for Washington, D.C., not much for Tokyo yet, but I am nearly finished with Red Square for Moscow, Soviet Union.
My intention is to use it for displaying Soviet military vehicles, and perhaps some limited spy or war gaming. The plan is to spend as little money as possible, and make it easy to store when not in use. It will be mostly paper, cardboard, foam core board and even some scrap wood and plastic.
The model Red Square is scaled to fit on one of my side tables, that are parallel to my main wargame tables, but much smaller at two feet deep and nearly eight feet long. One side of the table is against the concrete basement wall. While Red Square is scaled down to fit that size table but modified a little to still look like it is about HO 1/87 scale.
I searched the Internet and found maps and photos and drawings of Red Square. Looking at different maps and some of the changes that have been made since the 1920s I created a compromise model that will look plausible for the last 100 years. Since the focus will be on the vehicles rather than the buildings they don't have to be perfect.
I found photos of the buildings, downloaded them and resized them to fit my space. I also modified them to be long enough to hide the background of the room and to be made into sort of three dimensional buildings. The large building is at the end of Red Square where the parades start. I test printed each building on "draft" setting on my printer to save ink. You can see the difference between the draft and the actual regular print settings by comparing the bright red building section with the pink building.
I also purchased a roll of wall paper with a sky pattern on it. Craft shops often have this type of product, and so do school supply stores and wallpaper shops. I cut each building out of it's background and used the wallpaper as the sky background for everything.
Since all the buildings are large I printed them over several pages and then taped them together. Then they were cut out from the background. Everything got at least one test print and some buildings got many until they were the right size and proportions. Some buildings were made longer or shorter to fit the space. You can see most of the table in this photo.
This is the GUM department store which is across the square from the Kremlin. I did some test photos to see how the buildings looked with the tanks, and the sky and the pavement. The pavement was originally going to be photos of Red Square pavement but after a lot of work I could not get them to look right. So that plan was abandoned and I used the vinyl mat from Hobby Lobby and Michael's that they sell at Christmas time.
Here is a lower view you can see the concrete wall. This building will actually be on the other side, the part of the table next to the aisle rather than against the wall. I modified the building to make the height a little shorter and the length a bit longer.
The building works well enough for my purposes. I am going to have trees lining the street in front of it and that will help it look more three dimensional.
I used white glue, and repositionable glue sticks to hold things in place. The repositionable glue allows you to peel the paper off and move it like a sticky note. I used little bits of wood for some of the buildings too. I also took scrap wood to make propaganda posters, those were glued in place with white glue.
This is part of the Kremlin wall, one of the towers. The bottom of this building is a cardboard box that I covered with printed building pictures. I made a small shelf at the top so figures could stand there and watch the parade, or the crowd.
This is another one of the Kremlin wall towers. There are about a dozen and each tower is different. I only needed a few of them for the Red Square side of the building.
This overhead view shows 42 Roco T-34/76 tanks on parade. It's a test set up to see how many I can fit. They take up about half of the space in the square. You can see the GUM department store along the bottom of the photo. The little trees I got at Dollar Tree as Christmas trees, with white flocking on them. I soaked them in water for a day or two and the flocking mostly came right off. A quick touch up with some green paint and the rest of the flocking became pine needles.
There should be a sidewalk in front of GUM and the trees should be evenly spaced. That's part of what I need to finish. I also have a few hundred more civilians to paint to place as spectators. They are the cheapest, least expensive figures I could find. They only have about a dozen poses but with a few head swaps, bending arms and such they look fine in a crowd.
Here is the final result of my test. I think Red Square turned out pretty good so far. I am always doing multiple projects at once but I anticipate having this done by the end of the year. Thanks for reading.
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Mike Bunkermeister Creek