Terrain

Terrain with static grass

We continue to add bits of terrain to our wargaming table collection. A little over a year ago we started with rough-looking area terrain tiles and have added pieces along the way. You can check out our method for prepping MDF so it does not warp in a blog post here: link.

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Filling out the “amoeba”

We have a fair bit of the rough  terrain as shown above. To add more variety, we’re making some grassy pieces to use as jungle or open fields. When making a tile piece, we like to use irregular “amoeba” shapes. Hard angles and straight edges do not look good to the eye unless it is in an industrial or town setting. Flowing lines make for a more interesting view.

In addition to an organic outline, we will further break up the piece with sections of slightly different colored grass. If you look at an open field, you’ll see that the grass has different shades depending on the wind , clouds and how even the ground.

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An open field with bright green and olive colored grass. Note the patchy effect with the different heights of grass.

We’ll be using a number of materials. Olive flock and static grass, white glue, bright green flock, static grass, and water. A cigar box is useful for mixing and dumping the materials.

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Some items you’ll need for the project.

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MDF board with olive static grass and sand flock. We’ve s already glued and painted the back to help keep it from warping. Apply the glue in leafy shapes.

This may seem like it’s overly detailed and a lot of effort, but the effect is well worth it. I’m always disappointed by a convention table with beautifully painted figures but bare bones basing and terrain.

In this project, we’ll try to get an effect that breaks up the shape of the tile and makes it more interesting to the eye. We are not necessarily going for realism. I prefer stylized terrain that is bright and colorful. Attempts at natural colors using earth tones can end up being a drab wash that is not very interesting to look at. We’re just trying to avoid a golf course’s putting green with this technique.
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The first step is to prepare the back of the tile by covering it with a watered down glue to fill the pores of the MDF. This will balance the glue and flock on the front of the tile and will help prevent warping. After letting it dry overnight, paint it black or whatever color you like. Another small detail that will save time in the end.

Once that is done, apply the glue in leafy shapes with an old paint brush. Once we’ve put down the first sections, we’ll want to let it set for at least an hour. Otherwise the brighter colored grass will stick to the glue in the olive section.

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Leave a curved edge when adding the next section of grass.

Make sure not to leave a straight line when adding the next color of flock and static grass. It is likely you’ll end up with a straight line running through the grass. You’re probably the only one that will notice it,  but a little extra effort goes a long way in achieving a high sense of personal satisfaction.

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Patchy effect of bright green and olive green grass.

 

 

Here is a finished piece. We’ll let it set overnight, then spray with some Dullcote to fix the flock in place.

 

 

 

 

 

grass_tile_works

Ready for the game board.

Happy gaming!

—The Gaffer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Corvus Cluster is a Warhammer 40K blog that documents our wargaming adventures in the sci-fi universe of Games Workshop.

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