Home Forums WWII Pavlov’s House

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    Monty Bob

    Pavlov’s House

    There are several laser cut models available for Pavlov’s House, however they tend to be somewhat large and expensive and for me they don’t quite capture the look of the actual building.  So I decided to construct my own model from foam board. Pavlov’s House was the scene of a heroic defense by a small group of Soviet defenders at Stalingrad.

    I designed the building to be smaller than the actual building because I don’t want it consume my entire wargame table.

    I started by collecting as many images as I could find both of the real building and also other people’s models of it for reference. Then I sketched out rough drawing of how I wanted my version to look and it’s approximate dimensions. From the sketch I penciled out the layout of the building onto a large A1 sheet of foam board obtained from an art store.  Foam board is easily cut with a craft knife which makes it very easy to work with.

    The windows were then cut out and my best guess at the rest of the building constructed very quickly just to get look at it.

    While I have constructed it so the floors lift off for model placement, I’m not going to concern myself with interior details – this model is for gaming only. But I do need to put a little effort into the top floor which will be visible because the roof is largely missing.

    I was able to obtain a good fistful of wooded stirring sticks from a local coffee shop simply by asking (though I did invent a tale about needing to help the children with a school project – a little white lie just to avoid that odd look you get when you mention wargames to the unsuspecting).

    The sticks make a quick and convincing floorboard effect and also the roof structure.  The roof tiles were a sheet of tile textured plastic card – a lucky find at my local hobby store.

    You can also see that I have begun the process of texturing the building. The damage to the building is done by attacking the model with a knife – hacking at it particularly around the windows and any smooth surfaces – carving bullet holes, scraping the surface, scoring a few brick areas where plaster is missing etc.  A laborious job but rewarding as you see the building start to take on character.

    Still working on the top level, I painted it using spray cans.  I like to use large cans of matt black and grey and white primer purchased cheaply from Halfords (motor vehicle accessories store), and also brown and tan spray cans from Humbrol (which I use a lot).

    The next job was to cut a good solid base from a sheet of hard board using a jigsaw – and then file down the edges of the base so it blends to the game table.  Again I used the coffee stirrers to construct the collapsed floors.

    The rubble is blocked in using styrofoam carved with an old kitchen knife heated over the stove (when the wife wasn’t about).

    The rubble is coated with filler (household wall filler, stippled with a large paint brush) and I added bricks cut from strips of the foam board (very quick to do – just cut into the edge of the foam board at intervals of approx 4mm – eyeballed – then take ruler and cut off a strip about 2mm deep and the bricks just fall out on the table).

    stick the bricks and broken coffee stirrers into the filler – and then spray paint it redbrown and dry brush.

    The snow is added last with PVA glue and a little dusting of bicarbonate of Soda.



    Just Jack

    Fantastic work there, quite the masterpiece!  And entirely scratch-built, too?  That’s quite a talent you’ve got there.




    Amazing! Can you actually get figures in that? I’d be afraid to wreck it if I put it on the table!

    We get slapped around, but we have a good time!

    Steve Johnson

    Fantastic work there!

    ian pillay

    That’s brilliant. Not sure I would actually use it in case I damaged it moving models in and around it.


    Norm S

    I have looked at Pavlov’s house before for a scenario and also tried to render it (poorly) as a watercolour painting, so I can hugely appreciate the thought and work that has gone into your wonderful model. There was a sister building opposite with tram tracks (I think) going between the two.

    Monty Bob

    I found it hard to get a sense of the street layout. I think the building also overlooks the fountain.  Stalingrad movies are the only references that I can really find.

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