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"Period-Specific or General Purpose Terrain?" Topic

21 Posts

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robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP07 Mar 2022 3:12 p.m. PST

A question inspired by looking at some VERY good scratch-built terrain--far better than anything I'll ever make--useful for exactly two campaigns. Is your terrain
(1) built to be exactly right for a particular campaign?
(2) meant to be used for many times and places? Or
(3) mostly generic, but with a few pieces which can only be one army or one time and place?

Me for Option 3, mostly.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Mar 2022 3:41 p.m. PST

Option 3

Scenario has as much to do with this as the nature of the terrain.

Personal logo Dal Gavan Supporting Member of TMP07 Mar 2022 6:46 p.m. PST

Option 3.

The terrain boards, hills, etc, are generic (European and north American), but the buildings, fences, walls, etc, are period and (general) location specific.

Grelber07 Mar 2022 8:01 p.m. PST

Option 3
I try to do buildings that are appropriate for the specific game.
Rock outcroppings and trees tend to be a bit more generic. I do have cake decoration palm trees for all tropical games, conifers for European games, and some N-gauge deciduous trees for my 28mm Iceland Viking games (the Vikings cut down the few larger trees when they arrived, so all that was left was stunty little things).


Thresher0107 Mar 2022 9:15 p.m. PST

Yes, probably 3 for me too.

Thankfully, in Europe, a lot of stuff like buildings can be used for several hundred years.

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP07 Mar 2022 10:06 p.m. PST

I guess (2), mostly generic, for certain values of generic. Rocks, woods, brush, and hills can be used in any setting. My buildings and other things will work in a variety of science fiction settings.

martin goddard Sponsoring Member of TMP08 Mar 2022 2:38 a.m. PST

I have made specific pieces but they end up little used and taking up space.
Specific buildings can create enough "period specificity".

I have scenery templates in green , desert and arid made by S+A scnenics.
Each set gets about 50 games a year of use.

A related matter is that of space.
Bigger figure sizes require bigger scenery pieces(?)

Many gamers have space as the limiter rather thus, more generic stuff is more practical.

I frequently see one off type scenery pieces for sale at show bring and buys.
The Mordor piece, the Arnhem bridge, the Gettysburg ridge and seminary, the grain elevator etc. Lovely but of little general use.

Good topic Robert.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP08 Mar 2022 5:27 a.m. PST

Option 3 – mostly related to birthday gifts (for example, WarHammer terrain)

Mirosav08 Mar 2022 6:21 a.m. PST

Option 3 for reasons of space. At a certain point it becomes difficult to start a new period in 28mm that will require a lot of new terrain.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP08 Mar 2022 7:07 a.m. PST

I'm at #3 as well.

Col Durnford08 Mar 2022 7:19 a.m. PST

Same same on #3. Even building can serve more than one theater. I build a bunch of white painted buildings out of balsa wood. I have two types of roofs, flat for Middle East and red tile/tin for Africa and Cuba.

Decebalus08 Mar 2022 7:31 a.m. PST

Option 3 – but i find it important, that one or more terrain piece tells you, where the battle is taking place.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP08 Mar 2022 3:17 p.m. PST

Interesting. We almost all keep saying (3), but you don't have to look very hard on TMP to find people making beautiful but very period-specific terrain, especially in 28mm.

Martin Rapier09 Mar 2022 7:59 a.m. PST

3. Like many others I make some campaign specific items, but generally a tree is a tree, a hill is a hill, a river is a river, a trench is a trench etc.

I do have an 'Arnhem Bridge' but it does for Nijmegen too:)

The only real differentiator are buildings – I'm got north european, east european, mediterranean, adobe… along with lots of different types of bridges.

But the vast bulk is hills, roads, trees, rough terrain, fields, fortifications etc.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP09 Mar 2022 2:21 p.m. PST

Agreed. One rarely finds a period-specific hill or river. I'd have counted someone for a 1 if his buildings could only be a particular war and nation, and Heaven knows I've seen such.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP09 Mar 2022 2:57 p.m. PST

My Mars hills don't work for Mars, PA. Of course, "period" is different than "milieu". Then again, my Moon terrain mat has been used for a period Dresden and a period Stalingrad …

Milieu and scenario have a lot to do with flexibility. Shinto Temples and traditional Japanese dojos are examples of buildings that fit a lot of locations and time periods.

The Last Conformist11 Mar 2022 4:38 a.m. PST

Option (2) I guess, though some things are more generic than others. Could be (3) for a sufficiently expansive definition of "one time and place".

Captain Pete11 Mar 2022 7:22 p.m. PST

Option 2 for me. Right now I am doing WWII so all my buildings are for that period although in some cases they could represent earlier or later type buildings as well.

I am working on an ongoing Cold War project so may add some more modern type buildings at some point.

As for the terrain itself, mostly roads and maybe a few bridges might need updating for more modern periods for me but the terrain itself would pretty much stay the same.

At some point, I might have some region or historically specific buildings but have not done any at this time.

Borderguy19016 Mar 2022 8:01 a.m. PST

Looking at natural terrain, I would be a #3. But my buildings are very much #2, leaning to #1.

My Wild West buildings are very much out of place for anywhere beyond 1840ish to 1900 America. My 40K terrain leans less towards hard 40K (too many skulls) and more towards generic Sci-Si, though the only sci-fi models I own are 40K. The WW2 buildings I have in 28mm and 15mm can be used for a couple eras, but more modern, say WW1 to present.

In my experience, buildings don't stretch very far, and become fairly period specific.

I do have plans for a a couple campaign/battle specific pieces, but haven't gotten around to building them yet, save a 15mm set of terrain boards for Utah Beach.

Apache 621 Mar 2022 6:42 p.m. PST

I'm at 2, I intentionally try to make everything as 'generic' as possible.
I have buildings that have been used with reasonable effect (good enough for wargames) for WWI, 1920s pulp, WWII, 1990 Cold War Gone Hot, and post apocalyptic.
The buildings are the same, but I will select the buildings and add "things" a horse drawn farm wagon makes the "farm" OK for WWI, a tractor for WWIII for example. Similarly light/power poles, solar panels, AC units on the roof can make a WWII building 'modern.' I have small boxes of additives that allow me to ‘flavor' the buildings: satellite dishes, rooftop AC units, dumpsters (skips for the UK, I think) telephone booths, and porta johns.
Approbiate cars or truck models (in my case usally made by Matchbox) helps set the time: the difference between a Model T truck or a 1990 Ford F-150.
I've put magnets on some buildings to allow me to attach ‘period/regional correct signs: I've got one rather large nice model building that has been a hospital, college, and Congress building depending on what I needed.

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