Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Terrain Tips

Cheers Russel for the kind comments and feedback, always welcome :-), regarding the terrain the overall aim was to create a flexible piece of multi use boards as opposed to a static scenic effect. The boards themselves are 18 mm MDF, being based in UK I bought these at B&Q, who will cut the boards to size on the spot for you bless em!. So i went for 2 ft by 3 ft purely based on what fits in the back of the car.... oh the precision of it  all!, yes the board are a wee bit on the heavy size as opposed to say 12 or 6 mm thick, but i was going on the assumption that the extra weight would avoid any warping later on and most importantly that they wouldn't budge or tip with people leaning on them. Sure enough the boards worked fine on both accounts at salute.

We looked at a lot of possible alternatives for sea boards but in the end budget was the governing factor, there are some outstanding products out there and hats off to the quality involved but we simply didn't have the budget for the scale of game we envisaged. So...."Blue Peter" time...... not exactly sticky backed plastic... but almost.

MDF board, pasted over in a 50/ 50 mix of water and PVA glue, you can use just PVA but I find it works better diluted in this case. Then  I use crumpled up thermal blanket, the type used by runners, I bought  load for a pound each off  eBay, simply paste this onto the board with a second coat of PVA / water mix on top and allow to set. two coats of Metal/ Wood general household primer and it should all be sealed in and well bonded ready for painting. On the boards we used household emulsion, again all from B&Q.

The islands were made using 3 mm ply, however warping has been a problem, so if I were to do it again I would be looking at some form of plastic/ acrylic sheet to get around this. the next stage involves using rolled up newspaper to form the folds of the terrain and simply using Parcel tape to secure it all down to the board, the beauty of this system is it is dry with no water, so cutting back hugely on time and mess. With the islands I wanted to go for a pacific theme so the volcanic mountain peaks are simply discarded tree stumps from nearby woods shaped and glued down, again a coat of primer and then painted with emulsion....

highly recommend the tester pots of the Lawrence  Llewellyn Bowen range....

Pearly Princess, Hunky Bunker, Fluffy Bunny, Pinch of Posh and Choco Chick Lit...... yes the names are real.

Hope this has all been of help... hoping to ad a tutorial or two with photo's in the near future as soon as i get time . Cheers Russel and good luck with the demo in New Zealand.


  1. What size was the table and how many Nef's did you have on the table? Thanks

  2. Hi Russel, the table overall measured 12 foot by 6 ft, made up of 3 ft by 2 ft boards, this worked out as one of B&Q's MDF sheets simply quartered, plus they fitted into the boot of the car.

    in terms of numbers , we were looking at about 20 ships a side, which was possible as we decided to to go for a "Kriegspiel" approach with the game, at SELWG, we will be adding a few more.

    From a visual perspective we wanted the impression of fleets in action, but we also wanted to emphasize the sense of scale of the pacific and also the vertical element involved in Aeronef, hence the choice of stands and size of board.

    Squadron sized engagements protecting a convoy say, on a smaller board would work just s well

    Cheers and all the best

  3. Jon saw the game at Salute and thought it was excellent, I'm intending to mount my craft in a similar fashion, what size hex's did you use for the bases and also what size magnets to you use for attachments ? Dougie

  4. Hi Dougie

    Thanks for the support and glad you enjoyed the Salute Demo, regarding the bases, these were produced by Litko games in the states, being 3mm clear perspex, 3 inch face to face hexes with 6mm diameter holes at their centre. These were supplied to order, I decided to opt for the larger sized base to avoid toppling when the stands are extended. Whilst I would'nt recommend fully extending the stands with the larger battleship and carrier models, they re fine with the digs and smaller craft. Being tailored to customers individual requirements means the Litko bases take a little longer to order, but I can highly recommend the finished result.


    Litko now have a UK distributor so if you are this side of the pond as it were you may be able to avoid being stung as i was by the import duty, it's worth a shot. We are also going to be using the Y shaped bases from the star shell packs to mount the aircraft into larger formations, again these will be from Litko.

    With regards to the magnets, I use the small 3mm x 1mm magnets from Hasslefree miniatures to support the small fighters and really small craft.


    Whilst the larger magnets supporting the bigger craft are supplied by Magnetic Displays. Word of warning though these magnets are very strong indeed, to the point some of the larger ones actually ended up tearing the model apart when trying to remove them from the stand. The 10mm x 3mm should be strong enough for most needs, although you may need the larger magnets for the biggest models. Anyway all highly recommended with superb service.


    Hope the above is of use Dougie and if you are around at SELWG and Warfare in Reading do pop over.

    Cheers for now