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"Modular Terrain Tile Concept" Topic

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1,699 hits since 26 Aug 2018
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War Monkey26 Aug 2018 7:50 p.m. PST

I was looking for ideas and inspiration for making modular tiles for 15mm games when I stumbled upon two guys using the same techniques of using 12x12 cork board tiles and thin sheets of cork for sidewalks and more.

Tiny Solitary Soldier link


Then at LAF Ockman did this.


They both used only curves and 3-way intersections, My idea was to make 4-way intersections and straight sections coming up with 4 basic tiles that all I have to do is make lots of additional one.


Then I thought about river tiles using the same concept.


I then used 4x4 inch cardboard to represent 12x12 tile to work out this concept and came up with some great ideas.



Sorry the pictures are a little off but you get the idea, I can run a 2x2 foot game up to what ever table size I wish!

Okay so this is still a work in progress I still have some other ideas but in the mean time I'll be heading out to get all the stuff I need as soon as the wallet is full again!

Callsign 2126 Aug 2018 8:39 p.m. PST

Great idea. Just a suggestion, but the roads inside a tile don't have to bend at 90 degrees. As long as they enter and exit at the same point on an edge they can have a more 'natural' looking curves. A plus with this tile method is being able to have the rivers sunk slightly.

War Monkey26 Aug 2018 9:31 p.m. PST

Thanks I'll give the natural curve a try for more of the on the open road look in the country settings, This the reason why I posted the work up on here to get ideas to make this a better project, the sharp 90s were more for city and towns in order to have buildings closer to the corner.

I plan to mount them in time on 1 inch or 2 inch pink board for elevating the roads so the water for rivers tiles can sit lower and that the bridges can have some nice clearance.

dball5326 Aug 2018 11:49 p.m. PST

Hi there, here's a friendly caution about using cork tiles. Yes they are useful and easy to shape, etc, but my experience with them has shown that they warp very easily if your playing surface comes under direct sunlight. Can be slightly annoying, after the heat passes they will probably return to being flat.

Cacique Caribe27 Aug 2018 1:35 a.m. PST


I love those pictures:


And I can't wait to see how yours turn out.

By the way, I'm not sure where "Fjodin" has gone off to, but he also experimented a bit with 12"x12" cork tiles. I think he eventually had to reinforce them with MDF underneath:


And this fella used floor tiles made from cork, which is way more rigid than the regular cork tiles sold for making wall corkboards:


Switching to spray adhesive*, light paint sprays and rubber cement might help reduce any warping issues. But the moment you add fluids (PVA, brushed-on paints, etc) the cork will warp.

I would try with a single test tile first if I were you, and give the finished tile a week or longer before calling it a victory. Do that before going ahead and spending too many hours and bucks on an entirely new terrain setup that might not work for you in the long run.

* You might want to look at the spray adhesive option for flocking:
YouTube link

Cacique Caribe27 Aug 2018 2:53 a.m. PST

By the way, tutorials like this one can be helpful regardless the scale, specially when it comes to maximizing the configuration of the tiles:

YouTube link

It also shows the importance of doing a lot of the cutting and sanding BEFORE gluing the elements onto the tiles. :)


45thdiv27 Aug 2018 3:30 a.m. PST

Very cool idea. Looking forward to your progress.


BaldLea27 Aug 2018 4:52 a.m. PST

I used a similar principle for my sci fi city some years back. I found that some non-road sections were also useful for pedestrianised areas. These also allowed for some areas of more dense terrain because the road sections can seem very open.

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP27 Aug 2018 7:18 a.m. PST

I used to paint PVA onto vinyl floor tile, 2"-square, figure bases, swirling them in sand, for texture. They warped, terribly, 6-12 months later…

Had to re-base the figures on MDF, which does not warp 2+ years later, with the same technique of painting PVA, then swirling them in sand. Caveat emptor! Cheers!

Kropotkin303 Supporting Member of TMP27 Aug 2018 8:14 a.m. PST

I have used 30cm cork floor tiles for terrain boards. I have had warpage when only one side is covered, but have found making the tiles reversible and terraining on both sides seems to minimise the warp.

eg grass on one side and desert on the other.

So you could do different road patterns on each side and get twice the bang for your buck.

Hope your build goes well.

War Monkey27 Aug 2018 9:48 a.m. PST

Wow! lots of great advice and ideas!

@ Dan, Thanks for all those links!

@ Baldlea, Thanks for the link and the photo it's given me some new ideas too!

Again Thanks to all!

If you have more ideas or advice please keep them coming.

BaldLea27 Aug 2018 12:13 p.m. PST

Regarding construction, I used cork tiles with self adhesive vinyl tiles for the footway. They have significant weight when stored as a stack and have not warped after years.

zrunelord27 Aug 2018 12:45 p.m. PST

Some great ideas there, thanks for the links.

Or take this route WM.
TMP link


TMP link

Or mix & match ideas……


War Monkey27 Aug 2018 1:56 p.m. PST

I do want to make some sci-fi terrain tiles. I am wondering if I could do that using the same concept, instead of roads they could be corridors for something industrial or of a ship.

Logain27 Aug 2018 10:12 p.m. PST

Tiny solitary soldiers also has the best modular sci-corridor tiles that i've seen.

Cacique Caribe28 Aug 2018 2:07 a.m. PST

I agree!

It's been in my bucket list for a while now.


War Monkey28 Aug 2018 11:05 a.m. PST

I have forgotten about his sci-fi corridors using the 2 wall approach but I really like his other ones.



Seems they are 5 inch tiles squares covered in 1 inch squares leaving the middle tile on the edge open.

Dr Argent28 Aug 2018 12:34 p.m. PST

Hirst Arts makes silicone molds if you are up to casting plaster.


Cacique Caribe29 Aug 2018 11:29 a.m. PST

And if you need metallic screens …

Here are some 14-mesh* cardstock paper ones, that you could dry brush with a lighter tone:


At the moment the 14 count plastic ones I keep finding are all white or clear. I know there are grays and blacks somewhere because I bought a few years back.

* Meaning 14 perforations per linear inch:

War Monkey29 Aug 2018 8:25 p.m. PST

Thanks Dan,

I have some 14 granny cloth for lack of a better term I had plan to use as mess decking.
I have gone and checked out square 1" bases, HO Scale "Diamond Plate" for decking plate as well and the Hirst Arts mold, is now in my "Projects" list.

I want to do this "City Block" project in conjunction with my "Barge Town" which has been on hold for way to long.

Cacique Caribe29 Aug 2018 9:12 p.m. PST

Yes, do your Barge Town!

I miss those updates:



War Monkey29 Aug 2018 10:48 p.m. PST

OH! I plan too! Even my wife has said something about it.

Cacique Caribe01 Sep 2018 1:57 p.m. PST

And my wife keeps wondering why I have so many unfinished little boats and styrene pieces to make improvised bridges and such. :)


War Monkey01 Sep 2018 10:00 p.m. PST

You too! Huh, Mine keeps asking if I am ever going to get around and actually play a game, we live out in the middle of no where. It takes just over thirty minute just to get to a small town that even has a Wal-Mart and over an hour to get to a game store where they do play.

Plus now I have the time, I don't have the money at the moment but that will be change here soon, I will have the time and the money.

War Monkey02 Sep 2018 5:26 a.m. PST

Just to update some, I'm still working on the idea of a wharf/docks and at some point I want to make beaches/shoreline of sorts, I even have some ideas of swamps and marshes. Plus I'm working in my head ideas of being able to add hills as well.

Zephyr102 Sep 2018 2:27 p.m. PST

Sounds like you'll have the makings of a 3-D Sim City when you're done,too… ;-)

War Monkey02 Sep 2018 9:41 p.m. PST

Well I hope so as a manner of speaking.

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