View Full Version : First Terrain Project

06-01-2008, 06:48
First Terrain Project - Simple Wood Base

Hi everyone,

Hope you've all had a good new year so far... I've started using my "Wargames Terrain" book from GW which I got for Christmas. My first project I decided, was to make some simple wood bases using the spare model trees which I found from my bitz box.

I've included the steps I took for you guys and I was hpoing if some of you could give me some feedback on how you think it went. I'm sorry if some of the photos turn out badly, my digicam was hard to focus but the ones I chose should be clear enough for you to see most of the details.

Check it out:

Step One:
The first step was to get some sheets of hardboard (I think) adn cut it using a jigsaw to the right shape. After that I used a coarse file and a mouse-sander to smooth the edges down. I tried to smooth it down quite a bit, to make it look more like a natural rise in terrain elevation.

(Pic 1)

Step Two
The next step was pretty basic, all I did was paint the base green. Once dried, I marked out with a pencil where the trees would be placed. Following the book's instructions, I tried to make enough space for a model to fit through.

(Pic 2)

Step Three
The next step was to dab a small amount of watered-down PVA glue on the areas where I planned to have trees. I used an old paintbrush to spread the glue in circular type shapes about an inch across. I then sprinkeled some brown flock onto these areas. It's important to put more flock then you need on as this provides and even cover. You can always brush excess flock away after. When the glue had dried, I moved onto the nest step.

(Pic 3)

Step Four
Then, I applied more watered-down PVA across the whole base, though not deliberatly over the brown areas. I then covered the glue with a thick layer of green flock. After about one minute of drying, I patted it down gently with my fingers, taking care not to rip it from the base. Although I wanted to keep the brown areas clear of green flock, small amounts were fine and added to the natural look. After the glue dried, I shook the base upside down gently to remove excess flock.

(Pic 4)

Step Five
The final step was to apply some PVA glue to the brown areas and glueing the trees into place. The PVA glue I used didn't do a good job of sticking the trees adn took a while to dry but it has now set strongly. I would be interested to know if a different type of glue worked better.

(Pic 5)

I made a total of two wood bases and have included some additional photos, these with a Saurus warrior for scale.

I'm pretty happy with this result, but what do you guys think? Please, if you have any can you make some suggestions aswell on how to make it better.

Thanx a lot for the feedback.


06-01-2008, 08:38
Looks good for your first terrain proj.
One of the things I have wanted to try was to paint the base brown and then flock it, when the flock wears off all you see is the "dirt".

Bugbait out.

06-01-2008, 15:50
Looks good for your first terrain proj.

Looks a very good gaming standard piece, first one or not. :p

Is that glue that I can see around the tree bases? The only thing I'd say is maybe glue the trees before flocking, that way you can disguise the join by flocking over it. You might find the join stronger aswell, as your gluing direct onto the wood and not onto flock.

PVA will stick plastic to wood, although it does take an age to dry. A hot glue gun would also stick them down, although personally I prefer the PVA option on my pieces as it's less hassle/messy.

I love browsing through the GW terrain book for inspiration. Even though you can find most of the info on the web with some searching, it's nice to have it at hand in one place. :)

06-01-2008, 15:58
The first one is a good one :eek:

I think you'll do well in your terrain-making to come :D

06-01-2008, 16:58
What brand trees are you using there? Are they GW's trees?

07-01-2008, 03:01
Wow guys thanks for the comments!

@Bugbait - good idea, I was thinking about that aswell. The book says texture the base with sand then paint and then put patches of flock on. That looks great though I don't know what it would look if you just base coated it brown.

@Custard - Thanks for the compliment! Nice tip to, I didn't think of that. Yeah the shiny stuff near the bases of the trees is glue :( I did sorta overdo it coz it was taking so long to dry. I don't have a glue-gun so I'm probably going to keep using PVA. I agree, the terrain book rocks, probably a bit expensive though very worthwhile in the end.

@Lorcryst - thanx for your comment, I really appreciate it!

@Codsticker - I bought the trees at a shop called HobbyCo. I forgot what brand they were but they're pine type trees with a predone light green overbrush on the leaves. They were cheap as aswell, about $15 for 25.


One more thing. My next project I was planning to make a large rock cluster. I don't have any high density foam so I decided to just use rocks from the garden. I found about 6 and filed down their bases and fit them together.

Does anyone know how I could glue them together and to the base? They're just regular sandstone rocks, not too big, the base is made from MDF. I have PVA, some superglue and some Alradite. I want to use PVA because it's the easiest to work with and I have loads but will it stick? I know PVA glues sand and gravel very well but does it work with larger sandstone rocks?

Thanx a lot everyone!


Wolf Scout Ewan
07-01-2008, 12:57
PVA will glue anything bud. Go down to your nearest garden centre or builders merchants and ask if they have any slate... usually these places have a bucket of tester stuff... just grab what you need. Make sure u ask first though.

If you need foam you can go speak to places that use polystyrene packaging, its not very high density but is great when you are learning.

08-01-2008, 07:42
Thanx for the tip.

I tried PVA last night, took a while but it dried solit by this morning. My rock cluster looks good now, I just need to flock the base and paint it.

Will be finished soon(ish) then I'll upload some pics.

08-01-2008, 09:35
looking good there chap. Only issue I qwould say is make the trees moveable. It makes gaming over a lot easier, especially as a lot of games are not true LOS based, so moving trees about a "wood template" (my name) is not an issue.

Keep up the good work.

general trooper
25-01-2008, 20:48
Good gaming piece. Looks fine esspecially for a first time, better than me when i first started. good job.

Wolf Scout Ewan
27-01-2008, 17:35
I have another tip... if you buy the gw style trees with the plastic trunks, wire and flock ones you know.

Pull the flocked wire out of the plastic base and glue that on first. Then glue the flocked wire last of all.