Sunday, April 19, 2009

Terrain Building Goals

Well now that I have both a gaming table and a basic mat, it’s time to build some scenery. In fact, I need a lot of scenery as the visual aspect of the hobby is what has really drawn me in. As the photo shows, I do have two structures (both 15mm) - a french farm house from JR Miniatures and a partially completed scratch built demolished house. Other than those structures, it’s a pretty sparse landscape so that needs to be addressed. As with any project, a little planning is needed, so lets start with some basics needs:

Scale Flexibility:

I play both 15mm and 6mm scales so where possible, I’d like the terrain to be usable in both scales. I think I can do this with the more topographical terrain elements (roads, hills, rivers, woods and hedges). Obviously, terrain that is more human scaled (buildings and fortifications) needs to be scale specific.

Ease of Setup and Storage:

I’d like all the terrain pieces to be mounted to a fixed base to allow for easy set up and storage. I’ve seen some gamers use loose gravel for roads and rubble. While it provides a high degree of flexibility, it seems very messy and a bit wasteful. With the exception of a few set pieces, no single terrain element should be bigger than 1 square foot.

Inexpensive to Make:

I’m going to try to make all of the terrain pieces out of very basic materials to lower the costs and reflect that my modeling skills are somewhat limited. I do have one advantage on the supply side as I’m also a model railroader so I’ve got a fairly large inventory of scenic supplies.

With the three simple objectives above, I’m going to try and organize my efforts along the following project list:

Roads for under $50.00




Field Fortifications

  • Barbed Wire
  • Mine Fields
  • Trenches

Focus Pieces

This last section is for those “center-piece” terrain sections that serve as objectives for gamers and eye candy. During this year’s Cold Wars I purchased an Italian Monastery kit form Paper Terrain - the paper models look pretty good and you can’t beat the price.

  • Italian Monastery on a hill (who wouldn’t like a Monte Cassino game?)
  • Italian Village
  • Carentan-like French Village

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