26 November 2010

It Would Be a Target-Rich Environment, If We Could SEE Them....

It's been far too long since I updated here.  Sadly, the lack of updates is not because I've been too busy playing games, or painting until my fingers bleed.  No, it's simply that Real Life(©®) keeps getting in my way.  JobKidsWife.  All that important stuff.    The usual story.  *sigh*

Ironically, I was very busy over the Summer (which ended a few months ago, I know) constructing terrainYay!  Here are some pictures of what I managed to accomplish.  Some of this terrain will find its way onto my Sci-Fi table, and some of it will be used on my Colonial/Fantasy/VSF table (for pictures of those games, see my other blog:  Kelroy Was Here

Click the pics to enlarge them.  Please enjoy, and if you feel the least bit inspired by my handiwork, leave a comment at the bottom of the page.
The vinyl flooring I used to make my rivers.
The caulk I used for the river banks.

A river section with the caulk and sand drying on it.
A demonstration of the flexibility of the vinyl flooring.
A selection of river sections, cut and "sanded."
This is what I used to make the rivers wet-looking after I painted them.
A desert watering hole.  This was my first attempt using the Polycrylic clear coat.  I just wanted a test for what it would look like, and how easy it would be to work with.
All my new bright and shiny river sections.  And I mean shiny in the literal sense.  See next picture.
The rivers have a glossy sheen, just like the real stuff!
Fordable sections of river.

A simple plank bridge over a river.
A gently curving riverbank.
A somewhat stagnant swamp.
A 28/32mm and a 15mm scale figure.
A side view to show the thickness of the vinyl tile on edge.
A selection of real rocks on scraps of vinyl flooring.
A finished field of rocks.  These are actually rather heavy to carry from game to game....
A closer view of some of the rocks.
"A Space Marine investigates a cooling fire pit."
Some rocky formations, sculpted with a hot-wire foam cutter.
A couple of hills.  I was trying different techniques:  a multi-level hill that is plainly stepped, and a canyon-type hill.  Both will work for either 15mm or 28mm games.
"Some Human Imperial Infantrymen move cautiously through the canyon."  (15mm.co.uk figures)
Another hill with different types of flock.  Eh, I was experimenting.
"This looks like difficult terrain, sir."
And last but not least, a selection of "middle Eastern" style buildings, made from some simple boxes I found at Hobby Lobby.
"A merciless Legionnaire takes aim."  (28mm Askari)

Here's what the boxes looked like when I bought them.

Here's a representative sample of my terrain, on table.

Game on!
Thanks for looking!


  1. Glad to see you posting again.

    That is some outstanding terrain. I really like the rivers, especially. I have been basing some terrain on vinyl tiles, but mine are more brittle than flexible. I'm going to have to get some flexible vinyl tiles and try your method.

    The canyon-type hills are also a great idea and look very nice, as well as the Rocky formations.

  2. Great job!

    Looks to be a nice slice of fun pie!

  3. The use of boxes for building is inspired.

    Well done and I look forward to seeing more.


  4. Everyone, thanks for the kind words.

    @Luckyjoe: The cheap vinyl tiles are what I used (~$.69 each, I think). They are a little brittle, in that if you dropped one it might break in half; but normal table wear and tear is no problem. They do get heavy in the storage box, though!

  5. Excellent article, thanks for sharing!

  6. Very good article. A couple of questions about the tiles:
    1. Where do you get your flexible vinyl floor tiles? Like other comments, I've only found brittle type.
    2. Doesn't the tiles have a glue backing? If so, how do you remove it?
    3. What do you use to cut the tiles?

  7. @ Chris: Thanks. Here's what I know:
    1. Try Home Depot or Lowe's, look for Armstrong commercial grade vinyl tiles. See http://tinyurl.com/28f4cwq for a sample.
    2. No glue, it's a dry tile.
    3. I score it with a razor blade utility knife, then crack it along the score line. Then I sand the edge with medium grade sandpaper to take the roughness off.

    If you need more info, email me. Maybe this means I should do a whole blog entry on my methods?

  8. I should add, regarding answer #1 above, that you can buy the tiles singly. No way do I need to buy a box of 45 floor tiles!

  9. Holy cow, these look great and you've made it seem easy to boot! Very inspiring, thanks!

  10. Thanks for the info. I'll need to check out Lowes for those tiles.

  11. By the way, you've got a great blog here...we need more updates!