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Author Topic: DIY 2mm/3mm terrain boards  (Read 471 times)

LetsPlayHistory

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on: February 06, 2024, 11:14:19 AM
As there has been some interest in how I built my modular (isomorphic) terrain boards, here's a little guide.

Terraforming
Cut 1cm thick styrofoam boards with a hot blade into A4 size sheets and glued them with white glue onto 1mm thick A4 sized wooden sheets, just to provide a little support and prevent breaking.
Then measured the center point of a number of boards to draw rivers of 4cm width. Used a lighter and a soldiering iron to melt river beds, creeks, ditches, lakes and rolling terrain into the foam. Beware to protect your lungs! And beware that the styrofoam shrinks when heated up, so keep an eye on warping boards. The wood sheets are not strong enough to prevent that. Finally glued on some hills with white glue.


Color coding
Painted all boards in the same brown I use for my miniatures' bases.


By the rivers of Anytown
Glued down bird sand and fine sand into the river beds, creeks and lakes with thinned down white glue.


All roads lead to the same point
Drybrushed the water features with tones of blue and green.
Then marked the edges where the roads meet on each side of the boards and glued them on using fine sand on thinned down white glue.


Isomorphic is key
This creates isomorphic terrain boards which can freely be arrange in any modular fashion. There is only one point where a road runs into the swampy area next to the fortress and not all river boards can be used freely, obviously. Otherwise they all fit together.


The green, green gras
Used thinned down white glue to put on fields with static gras and two colors of fine turf. Later added another color of fine turf for normal gras. I glued on one type of turf at a time, doing two layers as one didn't cover the glue properly, enabling me to put the exess back into the jar.


Where the trees grow old
Glued on hedges, bushes, trees and woods using clump-foliage on plain white glue.


Spray and spume
To fix it all in place, I sprayed all boards with thinned down white glue and dusted it with isopropanol to make sure there were no bubbles and that the glue would properly penetrate into the turf and foliage. Beware that the moisture can make the wood sheets warp!


The sticky white stuff
I masked the river beds with tape, thinned down acrylic "clear water" by AMMO with water and applied it into the lakes, creeks, ditches and rivers using a large syringe. As you can see on the following pictures, though, it didn't self-level, nor turn clear as it should have. I am not sure if it should have been exposed to UV-light while drying, but the package didn't indicate it, so I left them in the dark basement to dry.


A gaze upon the battlefield
Fields and orchards around a large estate.


A fortress city at a swampy river. This could be a proxy for Ratisbon or Mantua.


The creeks run through the hilly countryside.


Besides the milky and bumpy rivers I am very happy about the outcome and flexibility this approach provides. Now I need to figure out how to fix the water features. Hoping that it might just need more time to properly dry and clear up.


Let me know what you think and whether you have experience with building modular terrain boards.

Meet me on LinkedIn, BlueSky, BoardGameGeek, YouTube and Twitch!

Et vive citoyen général Bonaparte!


JudgeDredd

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Reply #1 on: February 07, 2024, 02:18:27 AM
Excellent stuff. Very clever. Well done.

neach-gleidhidh na h-Alba


bob48

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Reply #2 on: February 07, 2024, 06:46:49 AM
As JD says, that is really good for the scale - looks very effective.

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besilarius

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Reply #3 on: February 07, 2024, 06:57:52 PM
Your boards seem very reminiscent of the War plan 5/5 system. 

https://vintagewargaming.blogspot.com/2020/01/warplan-55-campaign-system.html

"These things must be done delicately-- or you hurt the spell."  - The Wicked Witch of the West.
"We've got the torpedo damage temporarily shored up, the fires out and soon will have the ship back on an even keel. But I would suggest, sir, that if you have to take any more torpedoes, you take 'em on the starboard side."   Pops Healy, DCA USS Lexington.


LetsPlayHistory

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Reply #4 on: February 08, 2024, 06:16:47 PM
Thanks, guys!

Yeah, they are by nature reminiscent of any isomorphic maps that can freely be rearranged, think Squad Leader, A Las Barricadas, Conflict of Heroes etctetc

Meet me on LinkedIn, BlueSky, BoardGameGeek, YouTube and Twitch!

Et vive citoyen général Bonaparte!


LetsPlayHistory

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Reply #5 on: February 11, 2024, 10:49:00 AM
Unfortunately, though, the rivers are staying milky ...  :-\

Meet me on LinkedIn, BlueSky, BoardGameGeek, YouTube and Twitch!

Et vive citoyen général Bonaparte!