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Field building guide. A callaborative Rate Topic: ***** 7 Votes

#1 User is offline   Sheriff Matt 

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 08:54 AM

Well I just thought I would set out to make a thread for anyone out there thinking about making their own field, or wanting to know what works well for making bunkers and things like that.

First of all I'll start out with woodsball in mind, and how to setup a good woodsball field.

INSURANCE! - When starting out before you even get it in your head that you want to make your own field, you've got to decide whether or not you're going to set it up for public use or just for private use. The difference being, if you're going to open it up for public use then you're going to need insurance. This is not one of those "Well I'll get it eventually." things. YOU NEED INSURANCE. If you're going private than it is not as big of a deal but is still recommended.

These guys offer the lowest premium I have found(if you qualify).
http://www.paintball-apl.com/

Here's another you can check out:
http://www.paintballinsurance.com/

If you don't have anyone employed by your field/store that has more than 3 years experience and a certification, your insurance premiums are going to be pretty high. The policy you get might be kind of limiting as well. This can be a big factor in deciding whether opening a field is right for you. Insurance is expensive but neccesary.

For the insurance application you're pretty much gonna have to have all your stuff together, including a map of the field and pictures of your fill station, chronograph area, signs(posted "Goggles On" "Caution: Paintball Field" etc.), and safety zone(has to be netted off or out of range(300 feet).

They're also going to want to know how many people you'll have every year and how much your going to take in monthly and yearly from:

Entry Fees/Field Fees
Paintball/air sales
Concessions sales
Store sales

You'll also need to look into getting a business license or tax ID number if you wan't anyone to take you seriously. You'll also want to see if your field is zoned for paintball. If you're in a residential area you might have to talk to your neighbors as well and kind of get their blessing.

WAIVERS AND RELEASE FORMS - You've got to have them. Usually the insurance company provides them after you get everything processed but it's also nice just to have them if you're running a private field. Even if you only play with friends. Friends have sued friends before, that's what we learn from judge judy and jerry springer.

Here is a sample waiver/release form:
Release form front

Release form back

COSTS - Initial costs can be pretty high. As far as prices go:

Gas/Fill station (approx. 160 Fills): $300 to start $150/Month
Paintballs(20 cases): Around $700/Month
Insurance: $310/Month or $3700/Year
Netting(8'x300'): $1200/Enough to cover an acre of land or so

Your looking at maybe an initial starting cost of around $5900 Dollars if you pay your insurance premium in full. That doesn't include rental kits. As far as rental kits go there have been a lot of different threads on it, but I do think that tippmanns work the best. You can find field setup kits around on the net(like 10 full kits for 1500 or so) but whatever you go with you're going to need a full set of equipment for each kit(Mask, Marker, Tank, Squeegee, Barrel Sleeve).

If you don't start out with rental kits there are still a few things you NEED to have at your field, either for purchase or rent like:

Barrel sleeves
Paint
Air(Co2 or Compressed air)
Water

That brings me to my next topic:
FOOD - As far as food goes...well you don't NEED it, but it's always nice to have at least some chips available or something. One thing you will need though is water. At least a hose for people to drink out of. People need water though and you can't get stuck with someone getting heat stroke and then think "Oh crud, I wish we had some water around."

Along the same lines as food is trashcans. You're going to make sure you have pleanty of trashcans and places for people to put all their waste.

BATHROOMS - You don't need them, but unless you want people releiving themselves on the field or on your car you gotta think about it.

FIELD PAINT ONLY

As far as field paint goes, it's a good idea to keep it "Field Paint Only" just so you know what's being shot on the field. Another reason is PROFIT. This can be one of your biggest money makers. Field paint can be anything though, I would just offer something quality for the high end players and then some bargain stuff for the people who dont really care.



Now onto actual field construction:

I'll start out with the BOUNDARIES:
Make sure you walk the field A LOT to get a feel for where you want things to be. It's a good idea to put the boundaries at least 150 feet or so from the staging area. I would put the target range and chrono area right next to the field just for convenience sake.

The boundaries need to be clearly defined, either with paintball netting or caution tape or whatever, as long as it is noticeable. You don't want people wondering off the field and gettting lost or hurt. When making the boundaries look at where you plan on making the main bases and bunkers and try and go right up behind them. After you get your field boundaries marked you're going to have to post "GOGGLES ON" signs at every entry/exit point so everyone gets incesantly reminded to keep their goggles on. At the exit points "BARREL SLEEVES ON" signs need to be posted as well.

After you get the boundaries set up you'll need to start thinking about bunker construction.

BUILDING BUNKERS
(this is taken from a post I made earlier this week.)
Definitely need to know what the terrain is like to come up with any sort of design ideas specific to the environment. Although there are some basic things you can do that would be relevant to any style or terrain. As mentioned above, with the main bunkers set as the "Last Defense" or the main base, I would back them up against the boundaries on both sides. This helps to keep the defense manageable, and makes less work for building things.

To start with I would lay out boundaries and figure out where I want bases and bunkers, then I would maybe set up a few "lean to" bunkers which depending on the environment could just be some plywood leaned against trees, or something else that doesn't involve much work and is semi-temporary. Then I would play on the field a few times and get a feel for what needs to be changed and how it needs to be changed.

A lot of the time you won't even have to do any extensive "building" or digging because of the terrain layout. Like on our field there are pleanty of trees and stumps. All I had to do was dig out a little bit and that was it.

Digging is your friend. My preference is to build bunkers that have 3 walls that are maybe three feet high. Then I dig them out so they're tapered out the back. At the deepest they're around 3 feet by a couple feet wide, then they gradually go up to level so nobody falls in them on accident(and makes it easier to slide into or crawl out of).

I found it easier to find areas of natural cover and build on that. Like if you've got 3 trees about 7 feet apart that form a sort of v, rip an 8'x4' plywood board in half so you have 2'x8' and make two walls that form a v. Then dig out 3 feet. Also in a few of the bunkers on our field, in that sort of situation I would cut the board into 2'x4' sections and leave about a 4" gap in the middle of the wall. It seems like suicide but is very handy. On our field I stuck to a one bunker base(one BIG bunker) and used 2 smaller forward bunkers for main defense. Then I made 2-3 more smaller forward bunkers/dug-outs at strategic positions/angles, so you could start up in a forward position and have pleanty of fall back points before you hit the "alamo" stage of the game(if you start getting over run). I also forgot to mention that if you're nailing things make sure you eliminate all protruding nails or screws so no one gets stuck. This is for a smaller forward bunker. You can change it up depending on what's around(like trees and bushs or what not. Basically all you need is a hammer, some nails, some posts, and some 8 foot sections of 1"x12" boards. You'll need 2 or 3 full 8' sections and 4-6 4' sections of the 1by12 depeding on how high you want the walls. The walls pictured would only be approximately 2 feet high, but you could add another foot to that if you want. The top board in the front is angled back slightly so the two front posts will have to be cut a foot shorter than the others. This is so you can nail the top board into the top of the posts and lean it back against the other two support posts for the sides. The two corners are just 2-3 foot sections of the 1by12 cut to cover the corners. What I would do is sort of lean em at a 45 degree angle or so and nail the tops down so you get some cover but can still see out the corners. When digging out the bunkers make sure you stay at least a foot or more away from the walls of the bunker(I like to give it about a foot and a half) just to cut down on the dirt falling back in, and also to give the posts a good bit of solid ground so they don't start falling over after extended periods of use and time. *Note there is about a 2 inch gap between the top board in the front and the bottom boards. Just thought I would it clear that it [i]was[/i] intentional and not just a quick photoshop job(although it was a quick job). I'll try and get some more diagrams up but I hope that helps a little. The same design technique can be applied to the bigger bunkers as well. [img]http://www.clcpollockpines.com/paintball/images/smallerbunkerdiagram.jpg

In this diagram I just tried to give you a few examples of how to use trees to make simple but effective bunkers. You can dig them out or not depending on what your preference is:

Posted Image

The easiest way to make a bunker is just use some 3/4" or even 1/2" plywood and nail it to trees. In the diagram I say 3' by 3' sections of plywood but the dimensions can be whatever you want. Since these bunkers weren't designed with camping in mind they don't have any "windows" or openings to see out of. They are just small enough to where you can snap out of the sides. Some could be designed as "Standing" bunkers with walls high enough to where you can stand behind them or others could be dug out for ducking into on the run.

In one of the examples there's a set of semi-staggered trees with boards nailed at differen't angles. This is a nifty setup that I had implemented on our field that works rather well for a forward bunker if you're looking for an advancement bunker and you know where the enemy is. The angles of the boards would need to be adjusted after you play a few times though to get the feel for what works best.

With the dug out tree bunker, I've found that if you stack up layers of log rounds(1' sections of logs) it works really well to keep the dirt walls in place. You can put down a layer of log rounds then a layer of dirt, then another layer of log rounds etc.


Here is a VERY simple diagram of a three bunker base setup:
Posted Image

Miscelaneous objects work well for bunkers as well. In this diagram I illustrated how you can use plywood or pallets to make a good triangle type bunker that is easy to collapse and move around:

Posted Image

In this diagram the hinges are placed on two edges of the triangle to allow it to fold up flat. It's just as easily made with pallets. All you need are some screws and basic hinges. These bunkers can be made for about 20 dollars each depending on what materials you use.

I also illustrated how you can make use of old used tires. If you can find a good amount of them you can stack them up. Also you may want to consider standing some up on the top row. Old tractor tires(the huge ones) could also be just as easily used if you can find them(and move them).

Here's some more misc object bunkers:

Posted Image

In this one I showed how you can utilize old carpet and some old 50 gallon barrels.

I might put together a quick diagram to illustrate how to place bunkers to best suit defense/attack situations and things like that.

CLEARING PATHS - Make sure you have clear paths on your field for easy access to bunkers. A lot of times when I'm on defense I'll roam between 2 or 3 different bunkers. When the opfor is coming up on you, it sucks to have to look at the ground to make sure you're not going to trip over branches and stuff.

Posted Image

In this diagram I just laid out quickly what your bunkers should look like(the white area represents a cleared path.) It also helps to cut down on the CRUNCH SMASH CRUNCH when you're trying to be stealthy.

Modified old picnic tables work really well too:

Here's what it looks like from behind:
Posted Image

It's dug out a good 3 feet deep.

Here's from the front:
Posted Image

and here's from inside looking out:
Posted Image


That's one of the bunkers we have on our field.

I'll try and add more diagrams as far as boundary placement and trenches and things like that later.

For right now that's about all I can think of for woodsball fields. Later on I'll try and update it and add more. If anyone has anything they think should be added please let me know and I'll try and get it in there.

*As far as speedball fields go, I'm not a huge speedball person so maybe we can get some help with advice for speedball field setup and bunker placement.

This post has been edited by Sheriff Matt: 09 August 2006 - 10:11 PM

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#2 User is offline   UWANNAGO 

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 09:57 AM

Wow,
Thats a lot of info.

Good post I hope this helps control the "how to build a bunker" question craze.
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#3 User is offline   Lit 

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 10:26 AM

This is wonderful, thanks for all of the info!

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#4 User is offline   obiwan 

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 12:21 PM

Wheres your field at.
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#5 User is offline   Sheriff Matt 

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 12:26 PM

obiwan, on Aug 8 2006, 12:21 PM, said:

Wheres your field at.


It's in pollock pines CA
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#6 User is offline   GBones 

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 01:24 PM

see I knew you would take my advice! job well done sheriff.
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#7 User is offline   tacsnipa 

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 02:09 PM

Exellent info, yet again.
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#8 User is offline   StealingYerMail 

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 03:25 PM

Awesome guide. Those picnic table bunkers are awesome looking.

If you have a lot of dug-out areas, you might wanna throw a few planks down in the area that you stand/crouch/whatever in. It'll keep it less muddy and all the players clean. Not sure if you touched on that.
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#9 User is offline   SWATORNOT 

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 03:31 PM

Sheriff Matt, on Aug 8 2006, 01:26 PM, said:


It's in pollock pines CA

All the more reason for me to take a road trip to the great state of California!


Oh, and I am definately pinning this one, fabulous work on it, might want to go back and "clean up" some of the img tags though, but other than that, you have provided a ton of great infor for building bunkers which by itself is very helpful.

:wacko:
<div align="center"><b><a href="http://forum.specialopspaintball.com/index.php?showtopic=79662" target="_blank">How-To: Flatline Barrel</a> <a href="http://forum.specialopspaintball.com/index.php?showtopic=79663" target="_blank">How-To: Polished Internals</a>
<a href="http://forum.specialopspaintball.com/index.php?showtopic=72814&hl=How-To" target="_blank">How-To: Vest Care 101</a> <a href="http://forum.specialopspaintball.com/index.php?showtopic=79660" target="_blank">How-To: Start Your Own Team</a> <a href="http://forum.specialopspaintball.com/index.php?showtopic=79661" target="_blank">How-To: Ghillie Mask</a>
<a href="http://forum.specialopspaintball.com/index.php?showtopic=78548" target="_blank">Silencer Laws</a> <a href="http://forum.specialopspaintball.com/index.php?showforum=61" target="_blank">Forum FAQs</a>
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#10 User is offline   Sheriff Matt 

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 03:55 PM

StealingYerMail, on Aug 9 2006, 03:25 PM, said:

Awesome guide. Those picnic table bunkers are awesome looking.

If you have a lot of dug-out areas, you might wanna throw a few planks down in the area that you stand/crouch/whatever in. It'll keep it less muddy and all the players clean. Not sure if you touched on that.


Yeah, I'm thinking of including that in some of the diagrams. I'll have to update it a bit after I get a good amount of things to update it with. To start the drainage is one thing I forgot to include. Thanks!

MONITOR, on Aug 9 2006, 03:31 PM, said:

Sheriff Matt, on Aug 8 2006, 01:26 PM, said:


It's in pollock pines CA

All the more reason for me to take a road trip to the great state of California!


Oh, and I am definately pinning this one, fabulous work on it, might want to go back and "clean up" some of the img tags though, but other than that, you have provided a ton of great infor for building bunkers which by itself is very helpful.

:(


Thanks!

I cleaned up the img tags, thanks for pointing that out.

We're having a big game(hopefully big) on the 19th of this month!
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#11 User is offline   Sheriff Matt 

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 10:12 PM

**EDIT/UPDATE - It wouldn't let me add more pictures in edit mode so here ya go.

BUNKER IRRIGATION/RETAINING WALLS
Anytime you dig out a bunker, which can sometimes take hours or hard work, you don't want your hard work to get ruined with the first storm. So in order to keep your trenches in top form, I would suggest using a bit of forethought to keep them from filling back in or collecting large amounts of water.

To start with the best way to keep them from filling back in is to construct a retaining wall of sorts. What you can do is get some 2x6's at the hardware store and lay them down on the floor of the bunker/trench. For the actual wall you'll need some braces like rebar or metal fence posts of some sort, then make sure when you're digging to make the walls slanting backwards so they fan out a bit. Then lay your 2x6's accross using the braces to hold them in place.

Posted Image

Now that should keep the dirt from falling back in but what happens when it rains horribly bad and you've got a mini lake? Well to make sure you get some drainage you can dig out your bunkers so that they angle back and taper out so that the water has a channel to flow out of. To keep all the dirt from washing out of the bunker I would put some loose gravel or stones under your 2x6's. If you wanted to get really fancy you could even get yourself some drain pipe systems.

FIELD SIZE AND LAYOUT
When it comes to field size it really depends on what you're working with. I try to keep in mind that it's not a good idea to be able to long ball eachother while you're sitting in both the main bases. That means the main bunkers have to be at least 250-300 feet apart. But in most cases there will be moderate brush and trees that will keep you from doing this in the first place. This is just a rule of thumb I like to keep in mind when thinking about large and small fields. When you're playing woodsball games like capture the flag it's always nice to have some room to maneuver before you engage the enemy.

Beyond that it's all going to be personal preferance as to how big you make your field and where you put the bunkers.

How big should a field be? Well in my opinion for anything smaller than 5 on 5's 2-3 acres will do you well, but 6 on 6 and up would require a little bit more room(just my opinion). I would say a good field size to satisfy both large and small games would be around 3 acres. When you start getting in to 15 on 15 and bigger you're going to need a bit more room, like 5-7 acres. If you've got a lot of brush and trees standing between both bases you can make the field a bit smaller, but if it's all flat land with little in between you're going to want to give it a bit more room.

When I think about designing a field I usually like to think of having a main path or road that goes through the middle of the field and connects the two main bases with several smaller trails that sever the other sections of the field and connect some of the smaller bunkers. This gives you clear routes to each base and also gives you some cool options for scenario games.

Posted Image

As you can imagine this is just a rough design for a field. Depending on what the terrain of your field looks like this design might have to be modified quite a bit. What I was going for though is just a general rule of making both sides equal, keeping a balance of defensive and offensive bunkers on each side. Always try and think of how a bunker could be used both ways when building them because even the best defensive bunker COULD be used against you if you're not in it(yes they can hide on the OTHER side of it just as well as you can hide on the inside of it). Don't make one sides defense impenetrable and one side too easy to take over. Also keep the elevation of the field in mind like if you're putting all the other teams bunkers on the low ground and all of another teams bunkers on the high ground.

If you're going to construct a field with a 3 base design(2 main bases and a middle base for playing middle flag) Make sure you make the middle base of equal distance from both main bases. I usually like to stand in the middle of the field between both main bases and if I can just barely not reach the other base with a normal marker(not flatline) it's just the right distance away, but if I can pelt it then it's too close. Usually that's going to be about 150-175 feet, making the whole field about 350 feet apart or about 1.5 acres.

CLEARING BRUSH - Brush can be good, but too much brush can kill your field. You want to have just enough to give you lots of cover but not so much that you cant see anything until you're 3 feet away from it. Don't be afraid to clear some brush! If you mess up and clear too much, don't worry it'll probably grow back by next year anyway.

SANDBAGS AND TRENCHES - I thought I would add another diagram real quick tonight to cover sandbags and trenches. It's pretty self explanatory.

Posted Image

With trenches you want to keep in mind that they'll probably need to be at least 4 feet deep and 3 feet wide. Trenches make things a lot more interesting but due to the amount of digging probably wouldn't be too practical to use for ALL of your bunkers. I would suggest using a mix of all the different kinds. The trenches would work well as forward or main bunkers because of the low profile and low exposure to offensive forces.

The plywood boards just add a sort of realism that makes it a bit cooler. It also helps to keep things safer so you can run accross the trenches without having to worry about falling in. I would think about having some ground level planks running accross the top of the trenches in a few areas where you can run accross. If you're going to do this then the planks would have to be flush with the ground and the trench would have to be gradually dug out deeper in the spot where there's a "low roof" so you're not running along and WHACK! catch a board in the forehead.


I'll have to add more later when I'm not so tired and more coherant.

Let me know if you guys see anything that looks off or you think should be updated.

This post has been edited by Sheriff Matt: 09 August 2006 - 11:28 PM

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#12 User is offline   happycamper 

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Posted 10 August 2006 - 09:36 AM

so far at my so called field...

i have spend 15 hours a week for the last month and barly have any thing to show for it. i have markers to show the fields edge and all but not alot of bunkers. special trees designted for snipers. other that that its just dense forest
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#13 User is offline   Tenacious221 

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Posted 10 August 2006 - 09:45 AM

When building bunkers out of tires and 50gal drums (anything heavy actually) you'll wanna make sure its not built up too high, and that its not going to fall over on someone.

Most of the time you can lash with rope, or fasten with screws and metal straps, but sometimes you also need to weld (50gal drums)

Just my 0.02

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#14 User is offline   obiwan 

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Posted 10 August 2006 - 01:43 PM

Heres an idea for cindar block an sand bag bunkes you just cement the cinderblocks together and put the sand bags on top.

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#15 User is offline   shadow_772 

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Posted 11 August 2006 - 07:26 PM

Thanks for the info, i will use some of those ideas on my field.
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