So, yesterday, in the 100 degree fahrenheit heat, I worked on some new terrain pieces. I did a bit of jig sawing, a bit more sanding, some gluing, and spraying of paint to get six new longer 'profile' hills made from a varying number of shaped pieces of 1/2" plywood. I also sawed, sanded, and painted a new 'pass' hill - one very big hill with two smaller elevations to create a pass. I now have two passes.
Still need to do a lot to finish these pieces but progress is always good. Eventually these pieces will be ready for gaming. They were inspired by a posting on the Major General's scenery page, hills made with crumpled brown construction paper. I just wanted greater durability since the inspiring hills were pretty much one time use.
March 26, 2017
Yeah, it has been a while since I posted to this page - longer than I'd realized. However, yesterday I made more progress on scenery.
And, by the way, there has been a LOT of progress on the scenery front, just not recorded here. Yet.
Before getting to the yesterday project, most of the progress has been on the flavor pieces, different colored grasses or other textures so that my base terrain cloth and hills can represent different environments. Yesterday, at a closing craft store's 80% off sale, I scored some items that will really help in developing some more flavor pieces - large sheets of suitably short grass, six of them, that I will change into other, more natural colors than the golf course green they are now (using floral sprays that aren't quite as 'brutal' as regular spray paint, perhaps), a few pieces of longer grass that I'll probably chop up into much smaller pieces to use to make jungle terrain - and use the same painting process to achieve color variations.
And speaking of jungle terrain, I bought six bags of six 'balls' each of green balls that have stuff glued to them, greeneries, and then wrapped in some green string. I will use these along with some large and off white colored preserved 'twigs', some pretty thick, to create trunks, planting them in groups of three and being careful to vary the heights a bit. Then I will use another item I got at the sale to 'drape' those balls to give them a more uneven tree shape and then add appropriate 'leaf' texture on top of that to create some at least six jungle pieces - maybe adding some of that long grass to the bases along with other elements. Probably also vary the colors of the trunks - and try adding some lianas or other vines and I might even get brave enough to try some 'buttressing' on the larger trunks.
The main scenery event yesterday didn't involve the purchases at all. I've been accumulating Noch Scene Master fir trees that come 9 to a box until I finally had 8 boxes, or 72 trees. A few weeks back I acquired some wood bases from a craft store, 24 of them so I can 'plant' the trees three to a base. Well, I sanded one side of those bases, creating a beveled edge so they'll blend better on the table, not such sharp, straight angled edges. Then I painted the other side primer red brown color. After that dried, I started to process of gluing the trees to the bases. And found the way Noch hot glues the bases for display in the retail boxes added a bit of work, used needle nose pliers to pull off the often bright blue glue (color absorbed from the box) so it wouldn't ever show through the scenery. Then I glued the trees to the bases. That was a chore. The trees aren't dead level, close enough for general but a pain to glue. Only got half of the trees glued to half of the bases rather than all of them I'd hoped to. But at least half or done, the other I hope to get done today.
Then it is a matter of sanding the bases, spread down a thick coat of wood or white glue and then spread clean playground sand onto the base. Let it dry, shake of the excess. And then the first coat of paint is a thick layer of chocolate brown. Then comes the other seven layers of color to blend into my terrain. And a final heavy coating of a matte sealer to help better preserve the trees.
Having another 72 evergreen trees, when finished, will be a nice addition to my scenery. And I'll add at least 36 more trees of a different tree type to get some variety. I won't be replacing my Woodland Scenics evergreens but they'll be relegated a lower status. They just don't have the visual appeal I want and, even worse, they are not table top durable - break way too easily. But they are built and add variety so I'll keep using them.
Oh, those photos below - all of those hills have long since been finished to blend in with my terrain. There are more to add that I plan to keep more in the brown class, except the bottom edges to match to the terrain cloth. Those will be for my old west set up. And I will be building some mesas to use with my old west games.
With all that I have in process or have most, if not all, of the material to create what I'm planning on, I'm getting close to being pretty much done with terrain building. Unless I think of something else I need for some particular scenario.
One more note, my table is no long 5' x 12' but 4' x 12' with two planned wings to reach to 16' total length, one wing to be on a folding hinge and the other wing to be on an adjustable height stand to allow creating, say, a seaport at a lower level than the base table height.
Some of what is discussed above can be found on the main posting thread on this blog. Sorry, no photos yet of the new tree bases.
Original Post in 2012
I want my tables to look GOOD - besides, I've never been on a flat battlefield yet. And I've been on a lot of them. Fortunately, not in battle despite having once worn a uniform to serve. And lately I've settled on my basic "formula" for terrain. Okay, granted, some periods may look a little out of place on the terrain but I decided to have a core set of terrain to use for all periods with "flavor" pieces. Otherwise the wife was going to send me packing for taking up too much of the homestead for gaming!