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Terrain tutorial

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Terrain tutorial

Post by tico on Tue Nov 03, 2015 7:57 pm

Posting this one in case people are interested in a terrain mat tutorial which produces kind of rolling terrain such as the sample below. Most of the tutorials concentrate on using rather thin canvas but after seeing several different examples, I thought that little bit thicker material could work better(?). End result is gently rolling landscape, which might not be optimum for tournament play but it has potential to look pleasant.



So far, the mat has been rather durable, some minor quantities of flock has fallen off, but not in disturbing quantities. I found out that best way to mount the mat is a cork sheet and elevations and pin trees to keep everything in place (that said, I should glue some thin cork layer to my game table at some point). Some loose extra flock works wonders for minor terrain features such as bushes etc.
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Re: Terrain tutorial

Post by Tankred on Fri Nov 06, 2015 11:14 am

Hey that is really great. I am currently working on a very similar gaming table for 15mm. I started with the modular Woods and flocking will take place soon.

I really like the Toscany flavour of your table. !

you did picture a road on the map. Could you please share your ideas what kind of road system makes sense for many different table layouts and games?
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Re: Terrain tutorial

Post by tico on Fri Nov 06, 2015 11:28 am

Tankred wrote:I really like the Toscany flavour of your table. !

Thanks! Well, I had some idea of mediterranean landscape, cannot deny that.

Tankred wrote:you did picture a road on the map. Could you please share your ideas what kind of road system makes sense for many different table layouts and games?

It really depends the purpose of the game mat...

Because I do not do much historical battles - and if I do, they tend to be fraction of the whole, roads are not major feature. What I attempt to do is that there is few enough that it is believable for the area of roughly 4-6sq miles of countryside. Because I detest roads made of tape, or roads that are elevated from the base due to necessity, I have thought that instead of making road overlay, I make ground overlay that you can use to cover existing road if necessary by pinning it to place.

Road network has two T crossings, and roads travel from the edge to the edge in not so straight lines. However they are not symmetric, for and one side or other, the road(s) and crossings are a bit closer to the edge.

So far it has worked well, but the terrain overlays are still in making or at the drawing board...[/quote]


Last edited by tico on Fri Nov 06, 2015 9:06 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : removed quote error)
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Re: Terrain tutorial

Post by Tankred on Mon Nov 09, 2015 10:24 am

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. With 6mm having overlays works fine, since the flock is very flat. Currently I work on a flexible grass mat for 15/28mm and the grass is somewhat thick up to 3mm. Hence an road overlay does not work to good. Nevertheless I believe for your table this is a valid option and I am happy to see the outcome.

I think I will go for some roads on the table, which can be ignored if you don´t need roads.

Instead I go for an elevated river. They never look awesome, but with a flexible piece I have most variants I need for playing specific scenarios.

Your trees have wires in order to stick them to the table? Do you have an styrodur (insulation foam) underconstruction?
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Re: Terrain tutorial

Post by tico on Sun Nov 15, 2015 10:24 pm

Tankred wrote:Thanks for sharing your thoughts. With 6mm having overlays works fine, since the flock is very flat. Currently I work on a flexible grass mat for 15/28mm and the grass is somewhat thick up to 3mm. Hence an road overlay does not work to good. Nevertheless I believe for your table this is a valid option and I am happy to see the outcome.

I think author of blog called Dagger and Brush had an idea to make overlays even in larger scale. Nevertheless, the idea is not to make road overlays, but rather terrain overlays to cover the roads that you wish to ignore (fields, hills, rough ground, meadow, what have you). Smile

Tankred wrote:I think I will go for some roads on the table, which can be ignored if you don´t need roads.

If you don't mind me suggesting, make tracks instead, something that may serve as dried riverbed, or dried stream as well. Perhaps not all of them, but at least one that may serve as such (you will find it useful). An afterthought that I regret but may perhaps yet remedy.

Tankred wrote:Instead I go for an elevated river. They never look awesome, but with a flexible piece I have most variants I need for playing specific scenarios.

I thought it once and in larger scales came up with an idea that if the elevated river is actually placed in a valley, or depression formed by the flexible game mat, it may yet look realistic. Adding some shrubbery along the riversides and nobody can really tell.

Alternatively I thought of cutting the mat in several sections, where rivers would be, and then by separating the mats by the river's width, I could realistic ones around. Still thinking that.

Tankred wrote:Your trees have wires in order to stick them to the table? Do you have an styrodur (insulation foam) underconstruction?

Under construction is cork, the pin-trees stay much better in place. Trees have regular pins glued to them and only the cypresses build on a toothpicks suffer from occasional losses when they get stuck too hard.
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Re: Terrain tutorial

Post by Tankred on Wed Jan 13, 2016 2:47 pm

Hey tico, in the meantime I worked a lot on my mat. I did roads, however I did not do dry riverbeds since I wanted to depict a landscape near Frankfurt which is not dry at all. However, you can have a look here and see, how your recommendations worked.





I went for an overlay for a river and tried to hide this with long grass. I need to rework the material a little bit in order to bend it in the correct direction.
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Re: Terrain tutorial

Post by tico on Sat Jan 23, 2016 3:23 pm

Your terrain looks really nice indeed. Nice to see your progress.

I was wondering if bit of turf, then long grass and a bit wider edges would blend rivers (and other add on terrain features) in even more.
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Re: Terrain tutorial

Post by Tankred on Mon Jan 25, 2016 2:14 pm

Yes, we should give that a try. However the bending on the material if you glue grass or turf on it, is usually the problem. I added a layer of glue on the bottom of the fabric I used. But this was not enough. Still thinking on that problem...
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Re: Terrain tutorial

Post by Jim Webster on Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:25 am

Must admit I like it Very Happy
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Re: Terrain tutorial

Post by GamesPoet on Wed Feb 24, 2016 6:02 pm

Looks wonderful!

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Re: Terrain tutorial

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