Thursday, May 23, 2013

Building 6mm Terrain Boards in under 72 hours, Part 1

When Mike and I began working on this project, we had about three and a half days to get it done before this year's RayCon (Which I hope to be blogging about during the event itself).  If that is the case you, the readership of this blog, must be asking, then why does the title say less then 72 hours?  There is a quite simple explanation for this: 1.  being housemates, Mike and I have had to "deal" with having guest over this week and 2.  we discovered a computer game "Wargame: European Escalation"and have been playing a little to much of it.

The strange benefit of playing so much of Wargame: EE is that their maps are very detailed and perfect to use as templates for building terrain.

Mike wanted the initial batch of terrain boards to be useable from the Second World War and the Cold War and set in Europe.

Day 1 (Tuesday) :

Setting out around lunch time, we drove to various locations around Kingston picking up the supplies needed.  A discovery at our local arts supply store yielded the base on which we set out the build the boards.  For a very fair price, you can purchase wood painting panels, which just so happen to be perfect for terrain boards as they come in a variety of sizes and are all framed, no more fear of the dreaded MDF warp.

Mike begins by mapping everything out onto the wood.  He had pre-planned before hand, but lack of 2 foot by 2 foot panels forced him to change it up slightly.

A 1 foot by 1 foot terrain panel that Mike did up earlier this month as a tester.

By end of the first day of work we managed to cut out the rivers, glue stockcard on the bottom and use drywall compound (aka smegma) to create the rivers.  We also started work on the Autobahn panels.

Day 2 (Wednesday) :

Around lunchtime on Wednesday we got to work again, getting good work done on the Autobahn.  The day ended with a game of spaceships that was canceled by the horrible weather we have had in the evenings and nights.  Believing that the thunderstorm could be weathered out under our gazebo, Peter, Rob and Mike had a nasty surprise and were last seen dashing into the house with all forms of gaming stuff.

The unfortunate Peter falls asleep while Mike is working on the boards.

Day 3 (Thursday) :

It was really only until today that we realized that we really needed to kick things into top gear and crank out the remaining 60% percent of construction and 100% of the painting.

We set to work in the early afternoon and by working as efficiently as possible, we managed to get the entirety of the construction done around 7:30.

Adding the fields, dirt roads and base for the forests, we soldiered on.  Now we are forced to play the waiting game as the drywall compound and acrylic paint used to seal the foam dries.

The boards are really beginning to take shape.

The project begins to spread around the backyard.

Hopefully we can post up tomorrow in triumph, having stayed up into the wee hours finishing the boards.


  1. Wow, I was looking at these panels online and they really are an excellent solution as a base for terrain boards. I was curious though, what do you mean by cut into the panels to make rivers. I use a two part epoxy for water, and I am not sure how this would work with these panels.


  2. I cut through the surface wood of the panel (leaving a hole where the river would be) and then glued stock card to the underside. Using plaster I shaped the banks and the surface of the water and painted once dried.