Sunday, November 11, 2012

Zombie City - Cheap Buildings and Roads

An example of my setup so far
Okay guys, so today DVD would like to show you the beginnings of the city for my zombie project. All of the terrain you see above is made from cardboard I’ve been collecting. So far I have a total of 11 buildings put together which are still yet to be textured, painted and finished, and enough roads finished to easily give me enough street layouts for this table twice over with many variations. And the best part, so far I’ve spent under £5 to get to this stage.

Cardboard Buildings

First up are some of the buildings. These are some of the simple cardboard structures I’ve put together. I decided not to have roofs on these, just for ease of use and for storage purposes (which I’ll explain later). Also I have made the window ledges slightly exaggerated; this is because I eventually will be making some barricades which can be placed onto them and in the doorways. They are yet to be finished, but I plan to coat them in something (probably newspaper) to give them some texture before being painted. As for painting, I’ll probably paint them all a same generic grey or something as I don’t want them to represent specific buildings and therefore gain more versatility of use from them. Eventually I may make some signs or something (Like police station, Hospital etc.) which I can attach to, and remove from, each of them, giving me more versatility with them.
Easy Storage
Also, I designed the buildings to stack within one another like Russian dolls, to save on the limited storage space I have left. This is the other reason why I didn’t bother with roofing them.

Next up are the road sections. Again all of these are made from cuts of cardboard, and then covered in black sugar paper (you know the stuff you painted on at school), with the road markings simply painted on.

Cardboard road section

I did this as I thought it would not only save time painting, but reduce much of the warping I would have should I simply had painted them. I also feel the paper itself is of a decent tarmac colour, and to me, the papers texture also kind of resembles tarmac. After that I simply just painted on the road markings with some white emulsion I had lying around.

Various road sections

The roads are technically finished, however I may start to add some little details to them in the future, such as man holes, tire marks etc. For now though I’m going to try and get the buildings finished off soon, get the barricades sorted, then try to find some random stuff to fill my streets with.


  1. I think the "Russian doll" storage solution is 1st rate. keep up the good work.

    1. Cheers clint,
      Even though i've got no space to house some of the setups other gamers use, i had to stop using flat game tiles and build something 3D.

  2. Great Ideas here. May have to still the building one.

    1. Cheers Brummie,
      Go ahead and steal it mate, i took it from somewhere myself! Can't remember where though. I think it was something about a 3D board someone made for the Zombie Plague board game or something.

  3. Hmmm these are pretty good ideas!

    Well done mate!

    You could still have some roofs on. Make them flat, this way you have another level of gaming too.

    1. Thanks Johnny,
      I was debating on adding roofs and may do in the future. The buildings will need a little bit of work though! I made them up fairly quickly without questioning if i would put roofs on in the future, so it's fair to say that they are not exaxtly level!

      Still having roofs on them to hide from my players the location of the last in date pack of bacon in the country is a good idea!

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks David,
      I must admit I've seen this type of thing done before, but for the he life of me remember where.

  5. very neat stuff here. I like it a lot.