Home Forums Terrain and Scenery Terrain Vs Figures

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    Avatar photoDeleted User

    I’ve always been a prolific figure painter (note: prolific, not necessarily good). Terrain has been something I’d buy, grudgingly & generally not well create or, best option, use that of one of my pal’s who is a Master Builder of wargaming terrain.

    In the last several months, I’ve developed an appetite for creating my own terrain. I’ve purchased a dremel & a jigsaw (no more coping saw, thank goodness). My shed is filling with extraneous salvaged & bought bits & pieces including several sheets of MDF of various thicknesses. Additionally, I’ve immersed myself in Youtube terrain building videos (several really good chaps post: thank you Terrain Tutor in particular) and have built quite a bit.

    First, I re-conditioned my European hills (they’re less blocky & I’ve used two different & contrasting types of flock, as recommended by the TT). My desert terrain benefitted from the building of low hills, sand dunes & many terrained bases to hold my cheap plastic palms (suitably washed & inked to a point where they look OK). I also built a well & several Sudanese buildings (& the famous Nile paddle wheeler).

    I’m currently working on lengths of bocage. Who knew hair spray would hold flock to wire wool? When they’re done I will turn to making the Nile for my desert layout.

    Between re-conditioning or replacing old bits (I have a WW2-era collection of wrecked buildings that needs attention) & building new stuff, I have literally years of hobby-fun in front of me.


    Anyone else a “terrain-junky”?



    Avatar photoMartinR

    I wouldn’t say I was a junkie, but I generally like to make my own terrain (apart from trees). It lasts forever and gets used endlessly, so is worth a bit of effort.

    Recent items include some 15mm bunkers, some field fortifications, a load of river sections based on clear plastic and some custom fields for my Hexon terrain.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    Avatar photoPaul

    Yeah, I far prefer making terrain to painting figures. Like MartinR, I buy trees though (except for jungle trees and palms; thats what fish tank ornaments are for).
    I always think that the terrain is more important in making a game visually appealing than the figures. Yes, I do paint all my figures to my no-better-than-average-at-best ability, but I would rather have speed painted figures fighting it out across a terrain-dense table than have masterpieces fighting it out across a dining room table with a pile of books for a hill and a single tree in the middle.

    Those are brave men knocking at our door. Let's go kill them!

    Avatar photoNorm S

    I have set a goal for 2017 to improve my terrain and I am pleased with how some of that is going. I think once you do  one thing and see the results, it is does draw you into doing more.

    Avatar photoShaun Travers

    I am not fond of painting figures but if i could ever get into doing stuff other than playing, terrain would be it. I think I could easily become a make your own terrain-junky and make tons of terrain. It looks both interesting and fun – a hobby in itself!

    Avatar photoMike

    I am a world builder before gamer and for me the look of the world is paramount.
    Here is a section of my 6mm sci-fi Junker Town.

    There are still things I will add to it, and as yet I have not used it in a game.

    Avatar photoDeleted User



    Avatar photoirishserb

    Making terrain is the most important part of the hobby.

    Avatar photoPrivate Snafu

    I like making terrain.  I also like pre-painted buildings.


    Avatar photoThuseld

    I enjoy making terrain, but I enjoy it more if it is really simple and cheap to make. I don’t really care for time consuming, expensive stuff.

    I also don’t have a huge amount of space and don’t have a work shop or anything, so can’t really do massive terrain building projects. My terrain pieces tend to be small, scatter terrain so I can store them well.

    Avatar photoJames Manto

    I like a busy table to help immerse me in the game. Here’s a couple of views of the village in the middle of last night’s game:

    IMG_20170729_234142.jpg by Hotlead2009[/url], on Flickr

    IMG_20170729_234130.jpg by Hotlead2009[/url], on Flickr

    I want to add some grazing livestock and vegetable patches and chickens in the yards just to make it look more real.

    Time, money and effort spent on terrain is never wasted. Mediocre figures on a good table will have a bigger ‘wow’ factor than top quality figures on a ‘meh’ table. Don’t believe me? go check out the next DBA or 40K tournament. Some beautiful troops on absolutely shit tables. As a result the games look BORING!

    Avatar photoJames Manto

    I also feel that terrain should be set out in a natural way and not just scattered about. the 40K tournament card ruins scattered around is just silly. They should be collected together as a ruined urban area. Trees and brush grow along rivers.

    I find that just building a nice natural looking table will often help me determine the scenario.

    Avatar photoDarkest Star Games

    I’m with James, and everyone above.  I don’t like to play on a table where a couple of felt patches are thrown out and called “terrain”.  I want my games to look like they’re lived in.  I appreciate a fine table and well laid out game, I rally do.  The photos Mike and Piers keeps putting up are great examples.  I also think there should be civilians on the gaming table where there should be civilians… though most rules do not cover such things.


    Anyhoo, you’re on a rill Ochoin, keep it up!

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    Avatar photoThuseld


    Every time I see a Battlegroup game from Piers I know I am going to be drooling over the table for a long time!

    Avatar photo6mmwargaming

    I also prefer making terrain to painting figures. I probably have way too much, and most of my opponents use my terrain (or I’ve sold them some of my creations!) I also like to make sure that I have enough terrain for a period before I play.

    My garage has draws and boxes full of materials, mdf, cardboard, blue foam, string, plastic sprues and leftovers and so on

    My 6mm Wargaming site https://6mm.wargaming.info

    Avatar photoRhoderic

    I’m massively a terrain junkie, not necessarily in a healthy way (because being a junkie is normally healthy, right?). I can’t stop buying new terrain-making materials, even when I don’t really need them because I already have other, alternative materials that will do just as well. Why have one type of material for modelling foliage when I can have ten? Why have five varieties of plastic plant when I can have twenty? I keep experimenting with these materials, figuring out new ways of making the same terrain. Discovering a new material to collect often makes me giddy with excitement.

    I don’t always shun ready-made terrain (but I do shun ready-painted, unless I’m going to paint over it). I’ve spent quite a lot of money (by my modest standards) on Ainsty sci-fi crates and chemical refinery pieces, for instance. It’s all a means to an end, but the bottom line is that I find most (affordable) ready-made terrain too imperfect for me for some reason or another, so in many cases I’d rather make it myself, or at least put some work into embellishing a ready-made piece. That last bit goes especially for laser-cut structures, which tend to be in dire need of additional embellishments to make them appear properly three-dimensional.


    I am a world builder before gamer and for me the look of the world is paramount.

    This statement captures my mindset perfectly.


    I also feel that terrain should be set out in a natural way and not just scattered about. the 40K tournament card ruins scattered around is just silly. They should be collected together as a ruined urban area. Trees and brush grow along rivers. I find that just building a nice natural looking table will often help me determine the scenario.

    This, too. And the ruins should not be magically clean of rubble and debris unless people have made it that way, and they should be in connection to roads, and roads should typically run either perpendicular or parallel to rivers, and be lined with vegetation, and buildings should be clustered especially at crossroads or river crossings, and so on, and so on. It’s about recognising all the interconnectedness of how the world works.

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