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Building a V1 Rocket Launch Site

Building a V1 Rocket Launch Site
with Joe Saunders

The V-1 rocket included in the Hit the Beach Boxed set is a wonderful model that I feel makes the perfect objective or centrepiece for the game table. In fact, I like it so much I decided to use it as an inspiration for an entire terrain piece that looks right at home in your D-Day themed games. In this article I will detail how I built this terrain so that you can construct something similar for yourself to enhance your games of Flames Of War.

First Some History:
The V-1 Flying Bomb was first used in June of 1944 by Nazi Germany to act as a terror weapon against targets in southern England. It was an early type of guided missile launched from a ramp. Each V-1 would travel using its pulse jet engine from its launch site on the coast of France to its target where it would deliver 1000kgs of explosives. After the Allies landed in Normandy on D-Day they gradually overran the fixed launch sites, largely putting the end to the deadly if somewhat indiscriminate menace of the V-1.

Building the Launch Site:
The launch site shown here was constructed as a centrepiece for gaming so it trades up historical accuracy for playability. However, the model follows the general layout of the real launch sight including the V-1, ramp, concrete blast walls and command bunker.

Hit The Beach (FWBX09) Hit The Beach (FWBX09)
With a thunderous crash another shell smashes into the wall above you, showering your trench with rubble. Looking around, your entire position resembles a cauldron of fire—every roof ablaze, black smoke billowing into the night sky. As the echo of the blast dies away, the crack of rifle fire breaks out, and an ominous clanking and rumbling… Suddenly, out of the flames roars a Tiger tank! Leaping from your trench you run forwards. ‘Bazooka! Bazooka, now!’ Even as the din swallows your shouting, you see a trooper levelling his rocket launcher at the great beast’s tracks. It may not be enough. You are in command. Take control. What are your orders?

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To build the launch site I used the following materials:


  • Foam Core Board
  • Blue Insulation Foam
  • Sheets of Cardboard
  • Joint Compound
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Cat Litter (Clean!) & Sandbox Sand
  • White Glue
  • The V-1 Model from Hit the Beach
  • Scissors


  • Static Grass & Lichens for Basing
  • Craft Knife
  • Spare Parts from Various Sprues for Details 
  • Metal Ruler
  • Masking Tape
  • Sprue Cutters
  • Pen
  • Bamboo Skewers
  • Plastic Glue

Building a V1 Rocket Launch Site

Construction Steps:

Step 1. Build and paint the V-1 Model as per the instructions in the Hit the Beach boxed set. Step 2. Cut out 2 pieces of cardboard. One is roughly 20cm x 40cm with one 18cm x 38cm. Glue these together with the hot glue gun so the smaller one is on top. Using the masking tape go around the edge of the base to build strength and cover the corners of the cardboard. 
 Building a V1 Rocket Launch Site Building a V1 Rocket Launch Site

Step 3. Draw a series of 1cm x 1cm grids on the top sheet of cardboard. Cover an area roughly 4cm x 15cm for the launch ramp and at the bottom of this, an area 16cm x 22cm for the service area. Take a pen and score the edges of the grid into the cardboard to make stone tiles. Step 4. Using your foam core and craft knife (with a fresh blade) cut out the blast wall sections. You need 2 sections 21.5cm long and 2.5 cm high. As in step 2, draw a grid on the outside facing wall sections and score it with your pen to form tiles. At a point 15 cm along each wall score a cut into the foam (on the inside surface) so that the walls can bend outwards without snapping.
 Building a V1 Rocket Launch Site  Building a V1 Rocket Launch Site
Building a V1 Rocket Launch Site

Step 5. Using hot glue attach the blast walls to the base either side of the scored area for the launch ramp.  Make sure to set them wider than the width of the V-1’s wings! Glue the bent-out wall sections to the base in the service area. Use strips of cardboard to form a diagonal surface on the outside of the walls to cover about half of the outside wall surface.  Fix this with hot glue and masking tape. Step 6. Brush watered down white glue on the surface of the base outside of the grid area.  Sprinkle this with the cat litter and sand to texture it. You may want to use the insulation foam to cut some large rocks too.
 Building a V1 Rocket Launch Site Building a V1 Rocket Launch Site

Step 7. Build the launch bunker from strips of foam core.  Cut 2 3cm long strips to form the front and back wall and 2 4cm strips to form the side walls.  Cut a 4x4 square for the roof. Step 8. Use Hot glue to make the bunker from the pieces and coat it with joint compound.  You may want to apply the joint compound to the inside of the blast walls too. To make the sunken entrance to the bunker cut a 1x2cm gap in the top carboard layer to form a dugout.  Use the hot glue to fix the bunker next to this. You can use a couple small strips of foam core to form a rail around the dugout.
 Building a V1 Rocket Launch Site Building a V1 Rocket Launch Site

Step 9. Once the white glue and joint compound are dry, you can prime the model by painting it with black paint.  (Don’t use spray paint it will destroy the foam features.)
Step 10. Now you can paint the model. I dry brushed various shades of brown highlighting up to white on the textured ground and shades of grey up and white on the tiles, command bunker and blast walls. When the paint is dry glue the V-1 on its launch ramp onto the base with white glue.
 Building a V1 Rocket Launch Site Building a V1 Rocket Launch Site

Step 11. Now you can add fine details to the model as you see fit. I used bamboo skewers cut to various lengths to cap the blast walls and build the bunker door frame. I also used spare bits from sprues I had to build windows in the bunker and put various pieces of equipment around the launch site. Using a fine tipped brush and black ink I lined-in the stone tiles on the ground and blast walls. Lastly, I used static grass, lichens, and model plants I had from other projects to finish the project off.
 Building a V1 Rocket Launch Site

If you follow these instructions or use them as an inspiration for your own work you should now have a visually interesting piece of terrain for your next game. You can recreate history! Will the allies capture the V-1 Launch site? Or will the Axis be able to keep launching the dreaded V-1 at England?

Building a V1 Rocket Launch Site
Building a V1 Rocket Launch Site Building a V1 Rocket Launch Site

Last Updated On Thursday, January 23, 2020