Monday, December 10, 2018

Kunersdorf Project - Muhlberg earthworks WIP

The Muhlberg hill at Kunersdorf. Click all pictures to enlarge the view.

With the 260th anniversary of the Battle of Kunersdorf, in the Seven Years War, arriving in 2019 I have been working on creating a table top scenario to refight the battle. One of the great terrain needs is to build the Muhlberg hill that anchored the left flank of the Russian defensive position. The Russian Observation Corps troops occupied the hill and dug in behind a wall of gabions, fascines and cheveau de frises. Accordingly, I will need a lot of earth works pieces to fight this battle.

This weekend I started work on the Muhlberg hill, constructing it out of 2-inch pink foam insulation board that you can purchase at any DIY store. I used a hot wire knife to sculpt the board into a passable looking rise in the ground.

Once the sculpting and terraforming was done, I sprayed a dark brown coat of Krylon paint over the surface and let it dry for an hour or two. Then I followed up with another spray coating of a lighter shade of Krylon brown paint, working from a dark layer to successive layers of lighter brown paint.

The next step was to break out some of my old Howard Hues acrylic paints, notably Geo Hex Brown and do some extensive dry brushing over the surface of the hill. 

Eventually I will lay down some Woodland Scenics green flock and seal it with Dull Kote or watered down PVA glue. I did an experiment with the flock and some static grass, just sprinkling some of each over the surface, without gluing. I find the static grass to be too bright, so I am going to go with the grass colored flock going forward.

View of the rear of the Muhlberg position. The low area behind the position is the Kuh Grund.

My plan is to make some earthworks/gabion modules affixed to a cork board that measures 8-inches by 16-inches, cut from a cork-backed table mat that I bought at Target Stores in their kitchen wares section.

The edges of the cork section will be filed down to achieve a tighter fit to the adjacent module. The boards will also be spray painted with the dark brown undercoat, but then I will glue down the gabions and fascines and then trowel over some wall board paste that is mixed with brown paint. Another name for the paste is Spackle Compound. After that, more dry brushing over the ground part of the module and then it should be nearly finished.

The front elevation of the earthworks.

Front left corner gun position.

Front right corner gun position.

Close up view of the left side of the Muhlberg.

 Stay tuned in the future for more reports on the progress of this terrain project over the next several weeks.


  1. It already looks impressive!

    Best Regards,


  2. Lovely Jim. When I refought the battle it became a death trap for the poor Russians who couldnt handle the mass attack by the Prussians. A very interesting battle though. Best of luck.