Wargame Terrain: Grav Train

I always wanted a gravity train for my miniatures, but the MDF versions that I saw were quite expensive. So, I decided to build my own out of foam board. I had thought about making these with either wheels or on a track of sorts to raise them slightly off the ground. I struck this idea down in order to save time. I may add something down the line, but for now I’m okay with the look of the designs. The decision to not add the raising elements did make stacking the finished pieces easier and also opened the door to using the pieces as something other than train cars (bridge sections between buildings, etc.).

The build is really quick and easy, so I’ll show most of this through pictures rather than text.



Foam Board (regular, not Reddi board)

Plastic Grating (can find in any craft section)


Cardboard detail pieces (I bought the board game Down Force and used the remains of the token punch board to cut out the train designs)

BBQ skewers for detail

Cheap Paints (I used Apple Barrel: Orange, Yellow, Red, Copper, Gunmetal, and White for touch ups. I used Black and Neon Green (not Apple Barrel) for computer panels)

Wood Stain for weathering


Wood Stain
This is the stain that I used on my 3D Walls. It is the Antique Walnut color. I think it was like $12 on Amazon or something. Not sure it is worth it unless you are going to build a lot of stuff to use this one. I have gotten a lot of mileage out of it.


The basic structure is just a rectangle with cover surrounding the edges. The cover is the same standard 3/4″ that I normally use.


The ends of the car have one larger opening for moving between cars. I put two entry points on each side to allow for a variety of set ups.


Cabin WIP
Here is the cabin unit with the cardboard design and BBQ skewers applied. I kept the skewers running along the regular cars to give a consistent look. You can see that on the car stacked underneath the cabin.


I was going to built a roof for the cabin, but I wanted to save time and I could not think of a good design that would be quick to build.


The caboose of the train before detail was added. I also built a large tank and a coal car addition to place on the train. I will cover those in a later post.


All stacked up after priming with an old white spray paint I had.


The full set with the base of the coal car, tank, and two skips in the back.


Grating WIP
The construction supervisor oversees the application of paint. Truthfully, I should have painted the bottom of this black before applying the grating. You can see in the final product that the white below was never covered up. Oh well…


I glued the grating down and painted it with the Gunmetal and then Copper.


Detail WIP
I purposefully kept the train colors bright to contrast with most of the other terrain I have built. So, I went with orange, yellow, and red. All of which require multiple coats to get good coverage. So much for time savings.


Pre Weathering
Pre-weathered cars and the caboose in the middle.
Inside the cabin after it was weathered and the computer panels were painted up.


Featured Image
The featured image repeated here to once again show the final product in action.


So there you have it. As of today, I am 90% finished with my big terrain build. The next few weeks will most likely show case that. I still have a skiff and a pile of modular ruins to paint up, but everything else is done and ready to start using in game. Turn 12 is split into multiple parts and this train and some of the new terrain elements will begin to showcase in that mission.

I did have to come up with some rules for vehicles and trains to work into the game. So far, they seem to be working out well.


6 thoughts on “Wargame Terrain: Grav Train

    1. You’ll see it in action pretty soon, well soon once I get back to game posts. I have a few more terrain based ones to showcase. I haven’t decided if I’m going to do a full series of terrain posts from my big build or sprinkle them in between campaign games. Leaning towards just knocking out all the terrain ones first, but I am pretty excited to show this thing off in some games.


    1. That is a good idea and one that I had thought about, but ultimately I decided I had put in the amount of time on the piece that I was willing to spend. I wish I had gotten right the first time, but to be honest, the white underneath bothers me less and less the more I look at it. Thanks for reading and the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

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