Sunday, January 30, 2011

Modular river terrain

I've finished my first attempt at making a set of river pieces for 15mm miniatures, using paper and EVA foam.
This set consists of six pieces including two river bends, which can be arranged in a few configurations over the board. The result was far from perfect, but it is still useable. Here are the details of building a single module:

I start by cutting a piece of blue cardstock that will serve as the base of the terrain module. I used some sheets of linen paper that I had around. The texture is nice but in the end, it didn't make much of a difference because of the cellophane. I think that 12x12cm gives very flexible modules, and 5 of them are enough to cross a standard 15mm battlefield for Song of Blades and Heroes or Hordes of the Things.

The next step is cutting two strips of EVA foam and gluing them to some suede paper. Since I wanted my river to be 5cm wide, I cut two 4cm wide strips, so that I could later cut some irregular contours for the river.
I place the strips over the blue cardstock to check if everthing is aligning properly and if all measures are correct. Then I cut a few white paper pieces in wavy shapes and glue them to the cardstock to represent the flow of water.
The next step consists of cutting a strip of blue cellophane film that will be pasted to the cardstock. You want a strip that is narrower and longer than the base -- 9x15cm will be good enough. I use double-sided tape to glue the cellophane to the base, as I find using white glue too messy with the film -- and it takes very long to dry. Here is the arrangement that I use:
Lastly, I spread white glue (PVA) on the back of the river margin pieces, using a brush. The trick is to ensure that there is glue on the whole contour of the pieces, otherwise your river margins may warp upwards.
When gluing the margins on the base, you may want to place them a little off to the outside and then slowly align them. This way you avoid visible smears of glue on the cellophane film. After everything is in place, I wait for the glue to dry and then cut the excess cellophane film.

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