Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Been awhile since my last post, and I bet you are wondering, with all of the different ways you can go about designating and marking a road, what is a good way to make one? If you were observant, you already saw a sneak peek at one of my roads in the "Fields" entry. It is simple, but maybe slightly expensive.

At Orchard Supply Hardware (or most hardware stores), you can find this special grip tape that is applied to the edge of each step in a stairway. I don't have a picture, but imagine a roll of the stuff. Anyway, just ask to get a couple feet it, and along with it you will need the following things:
  • Some bass wood
  • A hobby knife
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Paint
  • PVA White Glue
  • Static Grass
What I did was to get 6 feet worth of the material and cut it into 6 foot-long pieces. These were then sprayed black, as mine were gray. After the primer dries, you can trim the pieces to the exact shape you want. I believe mine was just wide enough to fit a FoW large base. After trimming it, get your bass wood and cut it to the exact same dimensions of the material you trimmed. Then comes the tricky part: peeling the backing off the material to stick to the bass wood. I recommend having the material facing down on the table (with the sticky part facing up) and positioning the wood over it to get an accurate join.

Now that you have your road piece together, simply drybrush an earthy color (edges too), and after the paint drys, water down the PVA glue to apply the static grass over the areas you put the glue.

From here you can make any variety of road pieces you want, be it shorter straight pieces, curves, angles, intersections, etc. The only reason why I say to have six foot-long pieces is that your road will stretch across a Citadel battlemat, which is virtually a staple amongst wargamers.

Here's some pictures of making the road:

Material before being sprayed...

...and after
Joined pieces, one completed, and one ready to paint
Same pieces, with other peice painted.
4 separate pieces demonstrating the 4 steps.

Next time I will show how I make my forests.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Alright, onto fields. You can thank Citadel's How to Make Wargames Terrain for this one, as I just borrowed this idea from it. Like I said before, it is pretty simple, but I had never considered it before.

You will need:
  • One doormat
  • A box cutter knife
  • A ruler
  • A pen or pencil
Yes, a doormat. Sounded pretty obvious, but I facepalmed for not thinking of it beforehand. The kind of doormat you are looking for is the one with all of the hard bristles on it. The can be found at any hardware store, or stores like Wal-Mart as well. The stock and amount may change depending on what stores are nearby, but I got a yellow mat at Wal-Mart, and a brown one at Home Depot. The yellow one can pass as straw, and the brown could be wheat. The different colors could represent the same crop in different seasons, or different crops altogether, so you could use multiple colors. Another cool thing about using a doormat is that the rubber bottom will hold all of the fibers in place, so there is no mess.

As you can see, you'll want a mat with as much empty space possible to get the most bang for your buck. I actually bought the same yellow mat as the one that is pictured, because I was desperate, but I was able to squeeze a good amount of field out of it. Anyway, on to the planing step.

Take a good look at your mat and get a good idea of where the empty space is and where there are designs, pictures, etc. The reason being is that you are going to turn this mat upside down and draw the dimensions of your field on the back and cut it out. If you don' t want to leave it up to your eye, you could use your ruler as a straight edge to make a mark on the side of the mat that you can continue to the underside. Whichever way you decide to do it, you need to decide on the size and shape of your field. Your mat could very well decide this for you, but I was lucky to make my fields a standard dimension of 5" by 6". They aren't too big or too small, keep the size I was looking for, and store well. In fact, I was lucky to discover that they fit four to a stack inside a pencil box I found at Target.

You might discover that you cut out your fields, only to have leftover space. Not enough to make another field, but useful for something. I would recommend cutting out angled pieces to connect the fields together. I made 45 degree pieces, more than  I would ever need, but there to make the fields conform to roadways, for example.

So there you go. The hardest part will be finding the right mat, but from there you should be able to make as many fields as you want. In the next post I will discuss how to make roads. You will never guess what I used to make them!