Scratch Building Small Terrain Features

Lately, I’ve gotten into the mood of doing some scratchbuilding for our 15mm medieval games. I started to build a cog, which I will cover in detail in another blog entry as soon as it looks like something to share. I also made some small terrain features. As we play on a felt mat, our landscape can look a bit bland, especially if a scenario demands few other terrain features. So I decided to build some small bits and pieces to break up the green expanse:

pic1

This was easy and fast: The small spots of grass are mounted on round 25mm bases, the others on spare bits of plasticard. The trees are figs covered with thinned PVA glue, painted and drybrushed.

Recently when taking a walk, we came across a replica of a medieval herb garden. It tells a lot about how much of a wargamer I have become when my imagination immediately conjured up images of such a garden in 15mm! Returning home, I fell upon an old table mat and cut it into stripes to make wattle fencing. I glued those onto a rectangular piece of plasticard and arranged some matchsticks for the framing of the flower beds. After painting and strewing coloured flock into the beds, another bit of scenery was ready:

HerbGarden

On ebay, I acquired a lot of resin dry stone walls to make pastures. When I put them on the table and placed some sheep inside, K. rightly pointed out that there were no gates, so how would the animals get in there in the first place? Well, she’s right were she’s right! After plundering a box of matchsticks and getting my fingers full of PVA glue, I had these:

pic2

My last order from Magister Militium included a pack of 15mm grave stones I used to make a typical english graveyard (or at least something a tourist like me would recognise as such). This was also very easy: Another piece of plasticard as a base, drybrushing the stones in different shades of grey and generous flocking led to a quiet place for contemplating the vanity of all earthly pursuits.

graveyard

Last, I decided to make some archer’s stakes out of toothpicks. At the moment, we don’t have any cavalry in play, but I want to paint up some hobilars, so these might come in handy at some point:

pic3

It’s really fun to make scenery in 15mm. It’s quick work and the results do look nice, if I say so myself. I am looking forward to putting the new stuff on the table!

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7 thoughts on “Scratch Building Small Terrain Features

  1. daggerandbrush February 23, 2014 / 9:38 am

    Cool stuff. The herb garden is an especially good idea. Did you consider making an acrylic gaming mat to get await from the felt?

    • cptshandy February 23, 2014 / 9:50 am

      Thanks! To be honest, I kind of like the felt. I have thought about making a mat, but I am a bit intimidated by the task – it seems to be quite a mess.

    • cptshandy February 24, 2014 / 10:17 pm

      Thanks for the link, that does look nice (and I do read German). I might try both variants, there was also a tutorial in one of the last issues of WS&S. Fortunately, my gaming area is pretty small (80x80cm), this will make it easier to experiment.

  2. grantdyck February 23, 2014 / 4:18 pm

    Great stuff!
    Go for the mat; it will be nicer than the felt. Your garden is my favourite 🙂

    • cptshandy February 23, 2014 / 5:30 pm

      Thanks! Actually, I just told K. how much of a mess making a mat is, and she said: That sound’s like fun, let’s do it! So we will probably try it soon 🙂

    • grantdyck February 23, 2014 / 6:29 pm

      Attaboy! Make sure you get the right acrylic DAP or mastic! Has to be paintable, and will be dry in two hours or less. Have fun 🙂

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