Wednesday, 22 February 2012

The Wargames Hut

Here is my solution to many of the woes of being a married wargamer. I have a hut to keep all my toys in and also provide playing space so that I'm not dependent on a hurried 3 hour wargame at my local club.

Mind you it is 17 feet long by 10 feet wide and it's only just big enough to meet my needs. It is fully weather tight, well supplied with electrical points, well lit and well insulated, heated, ventilated, both natural and fan assisted, partially carpeted, and has a phone, ethernet and digital TV ariel. It has a security system as well as 10 double glazed windows complete with venetian blinds. More importantly it has two 6 foot by 4 foot tables with the options of making up to a 10 foot by 6 foot or a 12 foot by 6 foot table using some add-on boards.

It also has enough built in storage space to keep most but not all of my collections. I also have a painting table, room to keep all of my paints, sprays, brushes and glues as well as a computer hooked up to a large screen which is also a TV and DVD player. The only thing the hut does not do for me is make a cup of tea in between moves or allow me to meet the resulting calls of nature. Fortunately the house is at the other end of the garden.

Don't ask me what it cost.

OK I'll tell you anyway. Somewhere in excess of £6k but the only other choice I had was to move house. In Edinburgh the difference in cost between a typical 3 bedroom house and a 4 bedroom house is around £100k so I reckon I made the most cost effective choice.


  1. I've had my own wargames room for nearly a year now. It's fantastic.

    1. Hi Conrad

      It certainly makes a significant difference in that you can set up a game and leave it in situ for as long as need be. It also avoid the perils of a dusting housewife.


  2. Jim,

    Nice stuff.... you could almost start a small club in there ;O)


    1. Hi Darrell

      I have already played a considerable number of solo games as well as a few one against one games. I would think the maximum bodycount for a game would be four with maybe a fifth as an umpire. I hope to hold a series of games over the coming months to test out a rewrite of some genuine 'old school' rules.


  3. Jim,

    Very nice indeed! If I could fit something like this into my garden I am sure that my wife would be only too pleased as it would 'free up' a room for her to fill with her stuff!

    How far is your hut from the house ... and how difficult was it to install the electrical power you needed?

    All the best,


    1. Hi Bob

      The first thing you need to find out is are there any planning restrictions that your council would impose. In my area the biggest drawback was that the hut could not be larger than one quarter of the garden area. My garden is 34 feet by 20 feet therefore the hut became 17 feet by 10 feet.

      The hut is 17 feet from the end of the house and a further 25 feet from the back door so its not far.

      My back garden is on a slight slope giving about a foot height difference from back to front over the length of the hut. I dug this out myself, levelled it, laid a ton and a half of sand and then 21 two foot square concrete slabs in three rows to provide the base of the hut.

      I also had to run a very thick power cable through the house from the electricity meter just inside the front door up into the ceiling void then through that void above the front hall, drilled through a one foot thick structural stone wall to reach the ceiling void above my dining room, through that void to my kitchen and then through some trunking high up above the kitchen cupboards to the wall of the back hall then down to waist height through some more trunking through a bedroom and out the back wall of the house. I think the cable was 30 metres long but it reached with a little to spare.

      From the outside back wall of the house I dug a trench, minimum depth of two feet, to the corner of the hut where the electrics were to be terminated and then laid an armoured cable in a brick jacket.

      After that I had a company build me the shell of the hut, 17 foot by 10 foot in pieces small enough to be carried through the house as there is no other way to access my back garden. I had already taken through the house all the spoil from my levelling as well as sixty or so big bags of sand and twenty odd concrete slabs.

      I then ran all the internal wiring of the hut. A ring main for half a dozen double sockets at skirting board level, light switches at front and back door for the two fluorescent light strips, two separate spurs for electric heaters and a further spur for an extractor fan.

      After that I filled all the voids between the structural members of the hut with 60mm thick insulation foam covered in two layers of silver foil and a further damp proof polythene layer to act as a vapour barrier. Finally the whole lot was covered in tongue and groove weatherboard and gloss varnished.

      I had an electrician check all the wiring for me and connect everything up to the mains.

      That was the point when I had a completly empty hut. Making it into a wargames hut is another story.


  4. Jim

    I'm jealous. Maybe someday....


  5. Hi Jim
    I like this a lot. I have a room in our house referred to by my wife as the "war room" - I suspect more because of the debates it creates between us ( her definition of "mess" and "guddle" coincides neatly with my definitions of "work in progress" and "painting table". All I can fit in is a 6 X 4 board - which isn't nearly big enough for my plans to reach Moscow - even in 15mm and with good weather! If you get a chance it would be nice to see some internal photos of the hut - just to complete my current outbreak of hut-envy!

  6. Hi Ken

    I'll get me camera out this afternoon and take a pic or two for you.

    I'm sure there are others who also need a touch of envy if only to spur their own efforts towards wargaming nirvana (whatever that is).


  7. Cool, Jim! I shall press on with mine :o)

    Regards, Chris