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3D Modeling the Berlin Wall

It’s time for some terrain for one of my favorite “what-if” scenarios, Cold War—HOT!

Perhaps it’s because I was born in the early 80s, the Cold War has always been of extreme interest to me. By the time I was really old enough to understand what it meant, it was no longer a thing. As I grew up, and my interest in all things military piqued, it was only natural that I’d be attracted to the period.

Sadly, the number of miniature wargames that focused on that time period were always small scale, and/or used uncommon rules sets that made finding another player difficulty. Perhaps it was because the logical conclusion to any “Cold War—HOT!” scenario was nuclear annihilation, but it was oddly a time period that never took off. Which is really odd to me as to the sheer amount of models (and profit!) that could be made for such a game.

That all being said, there are a group of players that have soldiered on in that period, and now with Battlefront’s 15mm scale “Team Yankee”, more attention is finally shining on this long neglected miniature wargaming time period.

One of the more popular scales for this period is 20mm, due to the common availability of 1/72 and 1/76 scale model kits, so that and the aforementioned 15mm is what we’ll concentrate on for this era.

So our first piece of terrain can only be one thing, the most iconic visual image of the Cold War—the Berlin Wall.



We’ll aim for later in the era, as earlier iterations of the wall were much less visually distinct.

I found two resources for wall sizes, the first one at the National Cold War Exhibition page and the below image (click to take to original—and giant infographic), though they only kind of agree.


From those sources, I took that the height of the wall was around  12 feet tall (3.5 meters) and each section was about 22 feet across (6.7 meters). The thickness of the wall was a bit tougher, as it tapers towards the top, where a concrete sewer pipe as attaches.



So now we have our (rough) dimensions, we can start breaking down for scale. As always, these dimensions are guidelines are are to give us the feel of the object as opposed to a perfect scale replica. I added the, well, I’m not sure what they are—sub section marks I guess that are called out in the infographic at 1.2 meters apart. These marks will also need to modeled (at the larger scales, at least), and they’ll pose some unique challenges in TinkerCAD, but totally do-able.


The sub-section marks are very apperent here.
The wall falling into disrepair, you can see the bricks underneath slowly being exposed to the elements. A fantastic future project.
Another view of the wall, showing the sub-section marks and sewer-pipe top.

Finally, the wall offers some splendid opportunity for free-hand painting and weathering, with plenty of real world references!

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