Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Terrain for Historicon 2015

Historicon is roughly 3 months away and I'll be putting on 2 linked games, as I've babbled about before on the blog.  The armies and navies are pretty much done but I really want to up the ante on the terrain for this year's con in two ways.  I want to build my own contoured sectional terrain boards and provide all of the terrain details from my own collection.

In past games I've borrowed heavily from Ernie at Architects of War who has been generous with both his time and his massive collection.  The fantastic terrain boards and most of the terrain in the picture is Ernie's and terrain really does make a game.  Ernie has a business to run and with the massive success of All Quiet on the Martian Front, he's got a lot on his hands - by the way AQMF is a really fun game - you should give it a try.  I'm sure Ernie would be happy to provide the terrain but I'd like to see if this year I can reduce my "leach factor".  I also really enjoy making terrain (it's the old model rail roader in me) and it's rare I've got the miniatures all sorted so far out from a con game.

So what do I need to build?  Actually a lot, but lets start from the bottom up:

Sectional Terrain Boards:
Both games will be played on a 6' x 10' surface and I'll be building terrain sections that are 2' x 4' and a few 2' x 2" sections.  In order to get an 6x10 space that will require a minimum of 7 2x4 sections and 1 2x2.  I'll build a few more of each to have a bit of variability.  I've settled on a simple box frame design using 1/4 inch luan plywood as the base and a frame made of stock 1x2 lumber (.75 inches x 1.5 inches).  The basic design is outline here.  The goal is for the boards to be two sided - contoured land on one side and then flat painted "water" on the other.

I'll need to make some hills and that will require some some pieces to place on top the terrain boards - lets assume 6-8 square feet of hills to be scattered about the battlefield.  I've got one large hill but will need to redo the scenting to match how the terrain boards come out.

Forrest Plates:
I really like the Architects of War forrest plates.  They are a neat combination of stock woodland scenics trees and some sculpted resin bases.  My collection has seen heavy table use and, unfortunately, I didn't pack them very well after last year and most of the tree were damaged.  I'll need to make some new ones but will do so in a manner that allows me to remove the trees for transport.

Ernie's boards have built in roads that look fantastic but I'll be going with some flexible roads that are put down on top of the table.  I like using roofing shingles to make the roads - they look good and are very inexpensive.  Here's a tutorial of how I'll make the roads.

Buildings, Fencing, nick knacks:
I've got a nice collection of buildings and fences but can one ever really have enough?  I'll be adding a few items here as time allows including the new Renedra Cross Rail Fencing.  I really like the Renedra products and recommend them highly.

1/600 Scale Terrain:
One of the great things about putting on a naval game is that the terrain requirements are very limited - one just needs a flat surface and a handful of details.  The will be some terrain added to help "channel" the flow of the combatants.  The basic outlines of the terrain pieces can be scene here.  I'll probably add a few more items as time allows.

Most of my hobby time and blog postings will be about my progress (or lack thereof) on the above terrain.  I'll also slip in a few posts about sailing 'cause the weather is getting a lot nicer.

Work will really commence in May as April is pretty full with a work related trip to London next week and then preparations for the Robotics World Championships at the end of April.


Paul O'G said...

Sounds like a great project, looking forward to seeing how it progresses.

Is Ernie running an AQOTMF demo/participation game?

john de terre neuve said...

Sounds interesting Miles. I was curious how is it that you can lay a contoured board down to use the water side up.

I bought a lot of AoW tree plates but they are not really transportable. This system are much more transortable and it is quite similar.

Good luck with it all.


DeanM said...

You certainly have the plan of action down, Miles. With your impressive skills and energy, I can see the projects coming to fruition.