Dioramas: Buildings & Ruins
Ruined buildings and city scenes.
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Cavity Walls - Used in most countries?
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United Kingdom
Joined: February 25, 2007
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Posted: Tuesday, November 06, 2007 - 01:45 AM UTC

One for the European members amongst us.

Here in the UK houses are constructed with a cavity wall, a layer of outer bricks for the external part of the building and bricks/blocks for the main internal walls.
Leaving a gap by which moisture etc. from rain cannot reach the internal walls and allows the outer to dry through airflow etc.

So if one was modelling a bomb damaged building the broken section of it should show this if you wanted to be 100% accurate.

Is this the case for building construction in other countries? Specifically the Second World War era in Europe/Russia. By that I mean building existing in that time period, built before the war etc.

Indeed was this the case for UK building before this time or is it a post war development?


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New York, United States
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Posted: Tuesday, November 06, 2007 - 02:14 AM UTC
It's Standard on this side of the pond as well. Usually a single outer layer then a Double or more on the inside
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Scotland, United Kingdom
Joined: November 26, 2006
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Posted: Tuesday, November 06, 2007 - 05:15 AM UTC
Courtesy of our old friend Wikipedia: -

The cavity wall method of construction was introduced into the United Kingdom during the 19th century and gained widespread use from the 1920s. In some early examples stones were used to tie the two leaves of the cavity wall together. Initially cavity widths were extremely narrow and were primarily implemented to prevent the passage of moisture into the interior of the building. The widespread introduction of insulation into the cavity began in the 1970s with it becoming compulsory in building regulations during the 1990s

Hope this helps.
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United Kingdom
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Posted: Tuesday, November 06, 2007 - 05:43 AM UTC
Thanks Stuart

An Architect on a CAD forum I'm a member of also suggested this link which is great but only gives UK details as far as I can make out.

What I want to know is if I model a ruined or damaged building in Russia, France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Italy and any of the other countries during World War Two should I show a cavity?

Most models I've seen do not show one, but is this correct ?

If I was doing a London Blitz scene then I'd probably try to represent it but what about such places as Stalingrad, Warsaw, etc. ?

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Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Joined: October 14, 2005
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Posted: Tuesday, November 06, 2007 - 01:26 PM UTC
As Stuart mentions, Cavity walling was in use before 1900,
I found in some old bricklayers books mention of Hohlmauern (in German) 1884 and
in a later Dutch book -1916- Spouwmuur as possible construction for walls
That does not mean its use was widespread.
In towns , most houses were old, one to fivehundred years is possible, they had solid
walls, so had churches that could be ages older.
In the more modern quarters at the outskirts of towns, there were more chances to find
cavity walling but not in rural areas, where brick was seldom used (only in area's near rivers).
They used natural stone found in the fields or quarries in the area.
In France for instance farmhouses in many areas had walls of about
40 to 50 cm (20") thick of which the construction was nearly a cavity wall,
meaning an outer and an inner layer of stone , but filled with small stones,
chalk, sand etc.
So it completely depends where you would place your scene.

Ron Perry
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United Kingdom
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Posted: Tuesday, November 06, 2007 - 09:32 PM UTC
Hi Ron

Thanks for taking the time to reply

I take your point about construction can be more a case of what is to hand than what we regard as "standard".

I havn't tried making any buildings yet and I guess for most people making up a plaster of paris wall, scribing in brickwork etc. is enough without trying to create the look of a cavity existing as well.

I've looked at what is commercial available in resin, plaster and vac formed, whist all good, the modeller in me wants to create his own, but with only limited time to work on these things and the figures and AFV's taking up most of it I may well buy most items.

Miniart seems to take a good stab at producing buildings with particular countries in mind, architectural features making the difference. I just wish they were not quite so "damaged" in most cases. Although saying that some of their recent releases are complete buildings, French Farmhouse for example.

Verlinden do some nice ones but a bit too much for my funds.

Thanks again