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Thread: 3D Ground Targets

  1. #1

    Default 3D Ground Targets

    All of the games that I have played have been simple fur ball fighter duels. Revisiting the game now to play solo and to try bombing, ground attacks and recon. I also have a 3D printer so I thought it might be fun to make some targets. Finished a couple of tanks the other day.
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    Just finished printing a bunch of other vehicles to use. Using 1/200 scale to hopefully create some altitude.
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    Just curious what more experience player think about using these in scenarios.

    I have begun reading the rules on bombing etc.. but any practical hints or tips you can provide that make a more successful bombing, ground attack or recon scenario work?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2


    Those are good looking models, Ken. Well done! The only problem with using 3D models as targets is that they can get in the way of the aircraft bases. Otherwise they look great and attract attention at demonstration games.

  3. #3


    Thanks David! Thought maybe I would just keep a target card handy that I could slip under the vehicle if a base need to cross over it. I think there could be some really neat scenarios. Maybe a convoy attack or artillery position.

    Seems to me that altitude rules are a must for these types of games. Notionally, how “High” is one peg supposed to be? Would be interesting to put other obstacles in play buildings or trees to have to create approach paths. Maybe too “creative” as even if making a low level pass maybe a plane would still be above that level. Just trying to create other challenges for the player manage.

  4. #4


    Nice targets!

    For a low level game, set the altitude per peg to whatever works for you!

    There is no specific height mentioned for a peg, so use 'em however you wish.

    In my 1918 Death Race game, I assigned "height" to each ground contour, and each obstacle, and tasked the pilots with flying around them

    A hill contour was 1 peg, trees 1 peg, buildings 1 peg, church tower 2 pegs, mountains 8 pegs.

    Thus it was possible to fly between mountains, between woods and buildings, or climb and go over them, or go around!

  5. #5


    I've used micro armor (1/295th-1/300) scale vehicles for Origins games quite successfully. And yes, a card to replace the model is needed. Mounting the model (vehicle, ship or installation) on a matching sized card is a good idea too.
    For WW1, I've used bombs, MGs and grenade packs for munitions.
    It is impossible for a man to begin to learn what he thinks he knows. -- Epictetus

  6. #6


    Thanks for the link to your scenario. Looks like great fun and I like the idea of terrain.

  7. #7


    Finished painting the targets. Now have to work on Balloons! Have one printed as seen in picture. Printing another now as I type.
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  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by Von Altvater View Post
    any practical hints or tips you can provide that make a more successful bombing ?
    Here is a board to help making a successful bombing.
    The bombing rule says that no measure ate allowed.
    The board helps to guess the distance between the plane and the target center (red dot).
    The board shows the number of cards (length) separating the front of the plane base from the target centre.

    To be sure to cover the target center (red dot), the bombing must be announced when the base front of the plane is located in the light grey area :
    - in front of the light grey area, the bomb card will fall behind the red dot (half destruction if the card is covered and not the red dot).
    - behind the light grey area, the bomb card will fall ahead of the red dot.
    On the next turn, the plane is moved with a stall card or a straight / turn card.

    Translation from French :
    Décrochage => Stall
    Ligne Droite => Straight

    As instance, a K deck plane at altitude 1 which has planned a straight (or a turn) has to announce the bomb dropping when its base is at a distance of the target center from two cards to three cards.
    Then the straight (or the turn) is played, the plane is moved and the bomb is dropped, as the bombing rule says.

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  9. #9

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    Really like your targets Ken, they look extremely realistic & tempting! A question for you, as I'm new to printing objects, can 3D prints be made as low relief "flats"? I mean, is it possible to have a target with the Z (height) axis decreased, say by 2/3rds?

    Although I don't have a 3D printer (at present), I do create terrain for 3D printers. For some low and gently sloping terrain, I pop it with a slight "vertical exaggeration" x1.5 to get that sense of relief on the large scale / micro-level. If the targets had low relief, then swapping them for a card may not be necessary. I had tried building up layers of card [decoupage?], but I'm all thumbs when cutting at a sine scale. Your printer's ability to create sharp edges, and your painting, really makes the vehicles "pop."

    Oh, yes, the .STL files for terrain are created with the QGIS plugin "DEMto3D" which works very well.

  10. #10


    Hi Ken, love your 3D prints! What is your source for the stl files?

  11. #11


    WGF ground scale is about 1/1000.

    There are advantages in using 1/144 models as ground targets, they look the same as the aircraft.
    There are advantages in using 1/200 or 1/300 models, as they are a compromise between aircraft model scale and ground scale.

    I prefer 2mm 1/1000 for WGF targets. Bridges, towns, rail lines, road convoys...

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  12. #12


    I use 6mm / 1:300 for WGF low level bombing.

    I use 6mm / 1:285 vehicles for WGS low level, 1/700 for shipping and medium level, and 2mm for high level.

  13. #13


    Hi All,
    To answer a couple of your questions...

    Moose - mercí for the bombing diagrams. That helps me a lot.

    Terry - in my opinion, you could make some low relief versions. It’s an interesting idea. I think you could eliminate anything below the lowest widest feature of your model and then from there reduce the vertical aspect of each feature above to just enough to give it some dimension. I say let’s try and see what we get. These are small models and don’t take long to print or much PLA. I post back with an example. By the way - I am working on a series of trenches like this with very little vertical relief which would be able to be combined to zigzag across the plane table.

    Wayne - many great files are on I also have made a ton of items for my other wargames myself using simple tinkercad. A fellow named Bergman has done every possible tank and vehicle you can think of between WWI and II. I have scaled his models from 1/300 to 28mm.

    Zoe - awesome looking table! I think the answer to the correct scale basically is answered by what scale you are going to depict on your table as the height of the pegs used with the planes don’t really add much. So, I think maybe just depends on if you are doing low level or high level bombing as Tim suggest. Really like the idea of the tiles you are using which can be reconfigured to change the table!

  14. #14


    Thanks Ken. I had already downloaded the stl for the tanks when I checked and have contributed a few files to Thingiverse myself (Thunderchild and numerous Other T & T bits). Where did you find the balloon stl?

  15. #15


    Tim - the balloon is also on thingiverse. There are actually two posted. One of them I cannot get to work because the file was posted so small. The one in my picture prints up nicely with some clean up trimming. Search Caquot observation balloon. It’s a great model but does not have the ropes or basket. I have designed the ropes, basket and WOG peg for the ballon. Test printing and perfecting them now. Happy to send you the files for these items when they are done if you want or maybe I can just post them in the files section here.

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