Terrain projects

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Terrain projects

Post by McSheehy on Sat Mar 26, 2011 4:50 pm

Over the last few months or so I’ve had it in my head to make another set of modular game board tiles, but this time for Warhammer (and if I work things out right for Lord of the Rings as well).

The first time I made a modular board I made a bunch of 12”x12” squares out of floral foam (a very porous material commonly used in making fake floral arrangements) for a Warhammer 40,000 Imperial city. It served reasonably well as a base and allowed me to create elements of real depth, such as a river and crater strewn areas representing bombarded locations. I enjoyed the project and it did rather well though it got beaten up over time. Nate ended up with half of it while I kept the other half. I need to do a good deal of touch up work... but I just haven't been in the mood to work on anything 40K related for quite some time.

Anyways I want to bring some of that over to Fantasy. So I picked up a six pack of ¾” x 14 ½” x 48” sheets of white insulation foam (none of the hardware and DIY type stores anywhere near my home carry any of the other denser and less porous forms of foam like the blue or pink). That will give me several planks to work with. And I will of course glue them onto either sections of plywood or masonite (whichever I may have readily available) cut to fit the foam planks for the added support (especially since the planks are so thin).

The general goal for these first sheets is to make the board relatively generic so that it can fit both Warhammer and Lord of the Rings, and so that it can accompany my three main Warhammer armies (Empire, Dwarves, and Orcs & Goblins) without being to specifically linked to any of them. I also want to be able to add sections to it later with more specialized features (ex. a dug up graveyard, a lake near a mountain side, etc.).

Though there are a few things I’m planning with these first pieces. One is a river running the length of one of the planks. The other is an area that will be set up for a village/small town. There will of course also be areas meant for woods and some hills.

Now I’m planning to make some features removable (like buildings and bridges… and maybe even the woods to a degree) so that some elements could be swapped out for others (ex. a group of Empire buildings could be switched out for a group of Dwarven ones or maybe even Orc huts) or just not used if players don’t wish to used them. The plan is to have it so that the removable features are pinned into the terrain boards rather than on their own bases (that way the features should hopefully look more natural with the rest of the board).

So far I've finished off 3 of the simpler planks (woods and hills).
Some photos:
The first plank:

The first 2 together:

All 3:

In retrospect the plank with the 2 woods and the hill in the center was kind of a bad idea as the damn thing is too full and might make moving unit bases for Fantasy or even War of the Ring a bit of a pain. I'll try not to do that again for the simpler planks.

And for shits and giggles the board filled with extra odds and ends (loose trees, rock piles, hedges, barrows, a mountain corner, and a wizard's home):

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Re: Terrain projects

Post by KingdomCome on Sat Mar 26, 2011 5:18 pm

Very nice! Movement would be a pain on that plank with the hill, but it still looks great. What was the total project time?
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Re: Terrain projects

Post by ShadowMaster on Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:42 am

Pink and Blue foam is used for cold insulation, so you just can't find it down here.

The permanent woods and hill limit your game options too much as they can't be placed.

The old 40k board on 12x12 was more modular and allowed for many different builds. Here you are not getting those options.
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Re: Terrain projects

Post by McSheehy on Sun Mar 27, 2011 8:23 pm

KingdomCome wrote:Very nice! Movement would be a pain on that plank with the hill, but it still looks great. What was the total project time?
You know... I'm not sure.
It did take about roughly a day for each piece and much of that went into drying times for glue, sand, and paint.
Good thing for the movement is that the trees removable... though I think I need to upgrade it to a thicker and longer brass rod (or something similar), and long enough to go all the way through the sheet of foam (right now the dual paperclip pins I'm using aren't all that great... not heavy enough and nor did I make them long enough... but it's a fixable mistake).

ShadowMaster (it's Bill right... sorry I'm bad with names):
I'm aware of the flaws you mentioned... this has become more of a make due project now.
Pink foam I wrote off long ago, but I used to be able to find the blue foam... but not anymore (or the only way is really thin)
Anyways it's now only a semi-modular board unfortuantely. I had wanted to make one out of several 12"X12" square but the white foam doesn't cut worth a damn with most means. Had I realized that when I was picking it up I would have stuck with using the floral foam which while extremely porous cuts just fine with most tools. The real trick then would have been covering it with a good coating of spackle and then the shell sand I use as a base.

But thems the brakes so I'm going to try to make it as neat and interesting as I can even though I couldn't make it anywhere near as felxible as I wanted to.

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Re: Terrain projects

Post by DarkAngel_Cesar on Sun Mar 27, 2011 8:33 pm

Good work as always Keith.


--Cesar

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Re: Terrain projects

Post by ShadowMaster on Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:59 am

Don't get me wrong Keith - I'm sure it will work great.

It's just not on the same level as your 40k board from the square. That thing was awesome. The toxic river was great.
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Re: Terrain projects

Post by McSheehy on Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:13 pm

Hey no problem.
I just felt it prudent to explain that it wasn't a sudden spark or insanity (or stupidity) where I decided that a far less flexible board would be a great idea.
Nope, just simply a case of a poor material purchase that I didn't recognize until I got it home and tried to cut the planks up.
Thankfully I started out with the one for the river which was correctable instead of trying to cut the planks in half or trying to trim the extra inches off the sides.

As I said now its about make the most out it that I can and some time later on making a better more flexible one.
(Hey I enjoy making terrain... actually at times I think I actually enjoy all the hobby aspects of the games more than the gaming itself).

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Re: Terrain projects

Post by McSheehy on Wed Mar 30, 2011 6:27 pm

I think I'm going to readjust the board with the 2 woods and hill by removing the larger section of woods (i.e. I'll add sand to where the trees go and repaint and flock the area to look like the rest of the board). That should work well by leaving a are large open section on that end. I can then move the trees to another plank (I wanted to do up one where there was a large wood in the center anyways).

And as to terrain work for the past few days I made up this piece of ruins for Lord of the Rings:

I hated how thin the plastic walls were so I cut out foam board pieces to fit and glued them onto the back (I tried to hid the gaps using spackle).
And here the front portion is again with the my Fellowship:

Though I'm not sure how well it would work with War of the Ring... I hadn't though to cut up sections of card the size of the unit bases to make sure you could fit some inside.

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