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"Modular Terrain Boards - The Village" Topic

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692 hits since 19 Nov 2020
©1994-2020 Bill Armintrout
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Colonel Chabert19 Nov 2020 6:55 a.m. PST

Hi all,

I thought I'd put up some pictures of my terrain boards starting with a basic one and then the village half-board.

The basic boards are 80cm x 40cm and are made of 12mm MDF cut with remarkable precision by a firm called Debenmo in Germany. I strengthen these on the underside with 20mm aluminium profiles to prevent warping.

I use teddy bear fur for most of the ground cover, cut with an electric shaver and drybrushed green. The roads are done with Polyfilla/spackle.

I used to use a grass mat with the terrain elements placed on top. This gives a lot of flexibility but all the terrain looks like it's floating on the mat. This is a particular problem with roads and, even more so, rivers. Using terrain boards overcomes this but at the cost of losing flexibility. You also end up with a very "square" looking table where all the elements seem to be at right angles to each other. Overall though I prefer this method. Anyway it's been a lot of work and I'm not going back now.

The village/hamlet terrain board is a half size board 40cm x 40cm.

The grey rectangles are generally of a standard size (17cm x 10cm) to take the building bases.

Here with Central European style buildings in 15/18mm.

Now with buildings for ACW.

Now Eastern Front, southern Russia or Ukraine, still in 15mm.

Northern or central Russia.

And finally, in 28mm, a generic "barbarian" settlement for Ancients or Dark Ages.

And a couple of photos of full layouts:

I hope this is of interest.


Colonel Chabert

Thomas O19 Nov 2020 7:27 a.m. PST

Very Nice!

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP19 Nov 2020 7:44 a.m. PST

Nice and very useful!

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP19 Nov 2020 7:44 a.m. PST

Very impressive!!


Sgt Slag19 Nov 2020 8:20 a.m. PST

Beautiful boards! However…

Those metal L-brackets are going to be hazardous to your tabletops. I would suggest vinyl trim: C-shaped, used for wrapping around paneling edges, found at DIY stores; will snap over the edges, can be cut to length to cover the metal entirely, to avoid scratching your tabletops. The L-brackets should prevent warping of the boards, over the long haul, so good idea to install them!

Again, beautiful boards. Cheers!

Decebalus19 Nov 2020 9:24 a.m. PST

I really, really like, what you are doing. Excellent.

Couldnt you use the aluminium profiles to fix the boards together?

How you go beneath the level for rivers? (Thinner MDF!?)

Stew art Supporting Member of TMP19 Nov 2020 9:36 a.m. PST

I think it all looks fantastic! And I think the loss of flexibility is more than made up for with the increase visual appeal, and you also demonstrate that the boards have some flexibility since it's the same board.

really great. thanks for sharing.

question though: If I correct, the trees are also changing through the pictures, how is this accomplished? is there a hole that the trees slot into? do you affix anything to the bottom of the tree?

Wargamorium19 Nov 2020 9:37 a.m. PST

Very nice and inspiring. I would love to see more photos of individual blocks and of the complete terrain.

I don't understand the L shaped brackets? I realise they are there to stop the boards from warping but are they L shaped? Is it to lock into something underneath so as to stabilise them on the table? If not how do you stabilise them to stop them moving on the table?

Excellent work.

Brian Smaller19 Nov 2020 10:59 a.m. PST

I am really impressed with this idea. Consider it stolen.

parttimegamer19 Nov 2020 11:17 a.m. PST

Great work, Colonel!

It really comes together very nicely when you see all of the individual parts combined into one larger gaming table.

Regarding your original problem of terrain pieces "floating" on top of the teddy bear fur mat, I found a really simple solution was to cut your large mat up into lots of smaller, random shaped pieces; this also gets over the problem of the table looking square. You can then move/rotate the pieces and also intersperse them with other bits of terrain, so that the fur butts up to the edge of other terrain pieces.

You've sort of solved those problems anyway by making the individual terrain boards. Neat idea on attaching the aluminium brackets to the back too!

Colonel Chabert19 Nov 2020 1:15 p.m. PST

Hi and thanks for all the comments.

To answer your questions in order;

Sgt Slag, I have a gaming table I made using odd bits and pieces of wood so scratching isn't a problem. I wouldn't put these boards on an unprotected dining table that's for sure.

Decebalus, you are right, for the river I use thinner mdf and thinner profiles. I'll post photos when I have a moment.

Stew art, the boards have holes drilled in them in appropriate places to accept trees. These trees have a pin in them instead of a base. Again I'll post photos, it's clearer that way.

Wargamorium, the L shaped brackets are simply to prevent warping. They serve no other purpose. They are aluminium so very light and are L shaped so as to be rigid. The weight of an MDF board is sufficient to stop it moving around when they are laid out on the table.

Fred Mills19 Nov 2020 7:28 p.m. PST

Stunning work, and able to accommodate 15/18mm and 28mm inserts too? Genius. Maybe the best, most creative terrain boards I have ever seen.

If time permits, please post more, and on the small insert modules too. Terrific stuff.

Personal logo Artilleryman Supporting Member of TMP20 Nov 2020 1:12 a.m. PST

Lovely work. I am inspired and jealous.

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