Saturday, January 22, 2011

My first terrain pieces

I was never too much into miniature wargaming, so I had never tried to make any kind of terrain piece (I also play tabletop RPGs but in that case I avoid miniatures as much as possible). This has been changing since I came to know games such as Song of Blades and Heroes and Forge of War. As I play mostly with paper miniatures, I decided to build some simple terrain pieces that would suit them, using different paper types and, eventually, a few other materials.

The first pieces I made were a forest patch (about 6"x4"), a small piece of elevated terrain (to be used as impassable terrain providing partial cover) and a lake. They were made with green suede paper, brown light cardstock, and blue cellophane film. The bases are made of thin green EVA foam. I also used some green sawdust (modeling grass) and small bits of epoxy for the stones.
The trees were built by cutting three pieces of cardstock, scoring them in the middle and glueing the parts so that they make a sort of "Y"-profile beam, about 3"-4" high. I then cut out each of the "sides" of the tree, so that it gets some asymmetry. Lastly, I glue a bunch of irregularly-shaped pieces of paper. I've had success using something that is known here as "silk paper" but I'm not sure if it's the same in other countries. It's a thin and somewhat transparent kind of paper. I've also tried using crépon paper, which has a texture that reminds of leaves but glue stains it, so I'll avoid it in the next trees.
The lake was built as a sandwich of EVA foam and cellophane film. From bottom to top, we have: brown cardstock, cellophane, EVA, cellophane, EVA, suede paper. After everything was glued and dry, I used scissors to cut the external borders so that they would follow the shape of the lake. The use of two layers of cellophane separated by the foam adds some nice depth effect to the final piece. When placed on the table, it really looks like a deep pool.

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