Quick and Easy 28mm Warehouses from Ertl Building Kits
It was four days before our annual zombie extravaganza that I came across a bag of Ertl farm building parts at my local resale shop. I got home started assembling them, ending up with two nearly complete buildings. Great -- but I needed more for our zombie game.
The wider of the two appeared to be a red version of the white building. The set is currently available on Amazon.
The smaller building in the bag was similar, but it has a steeper roof and no sliding doors.
These buildings were all too big to be used for 28mm wargaming, so I decided to split each into two separate buildings.
I added enough greebles from my bits boxes to make buildings that would be suitable for modern, post-apocalyptic, or sci-fi settings. In the photos below you'll see faux LEGO parts, contact lens soaking-case pieces (round grills) and some chicken fence sections from a cheap toy. I also used some long plastic rod on the roofs of the smaller buildings to make it possible for figures to stand on their steeper roofs.
The doors are one-sided corrugated cardboard.
The two buildings below are constructed mainly from stock Ertl building sections. They are based on pieces of vinyl floor tile and attached with a hot glue gun. Vinyl tile sections are about $1 each and are really easy to score and break. If you aren't going to do anything special with the adhesive on the bottom, just peel off the backing and stick on a sheet of paper to cover it up.
Note that except for the three-sided shed, I did not glue on any of the roofs.
For the next two buildings, I used more vinyl floor tiles to build side walls, since I had used up all the Ertl walls. The adhesive sides came in handy, as I used positioned them facing out, then peeled off the backing and pressed on sections of single-sided corrugated cardboard. The first was done up as a two-stall repair building.
For the second I only made one extra wall and left one side open for the three-sided shed you often see in industrial outbuildings.
I had originally intended to paint them all black and drybrush the rest of the colors, but I needed to get them done quickly, so I used lots spray paint instead. Krylon Camouflage sprays are great for this. Interior walls and roofs got sprayed with dark or light grey. I did some very light weathering on the roofs with black washes on the roofs, as well as some red, brown, gray and tan drybrushing here and there.
The green building was sprayed with camo green then drybrushed with light green. I used the same camo green spray to add some grime to the floors.
The large brown warehouse was sprayed with dark brown then drybrushed with tan. After painting, the sliding doors were added. They open and close!
The large warehouse with corrugated sides was sprayed black and drybrushed.
The three-sided machine shed was sprayed gray and drybrushed lighter grey and red.
Here's a Group shot of all of them next to the Walthers HO-scale engine shed that I converted to 28mm last year.
They were all finished in time for our Zombie apocalypse game last week, though a few players remarked on the smell of spray paint that lingered on the newly finished terrain pieces.
Overall, I'm super happy with these buildings. If purchased new, Ertl buildings are significantly more expensive than resale, but still cheaper than O-scale buildings. Also, they have a nice industrial look that the popular Plasticville O-scale kits do not. With a bit of work, the set I linked to at the top of the post could provide you with three or four complete buildings!
As always, don't hesitate to post questions or comments at the end of this post.
-- Karl, Chicago Skirmish Wargames club member