Category Archives: Terrain

Practical scenic backdrops for gaming table “Dead Zones”

Some of you may recall from an earlier post an early ‘test’ at creating a backdrop for one of my fantasy city terrain boards. Link to post.

Here is a pic.

Fantasy Town City Wargames terrain print your own battle maps
Started playing around with making a scenic backdrop. Getting there…

The effort composed simply of Photoshopping some matching Dave Graffam art with some perspective artwork found online in order to achieve a sense of continuation from the ‘playable’ board. As you can see from the photo this works quite well and deserved further exploration.

However, it did have one draw back – backdrop or not aside, when placing terrain against a ‘dead table end’ like this does create a lot of dead space around that set terrain (i.e. you have a full depth building jutting against a wall where only the frontage is going to be useful in game terms).

Model Railway enthusiasts conquered this issues aeons ago for the same reasons with ‘low relief’ terrain/models. In effect, cut the terrain in half.

So with that in mind, combining the previous efforts with Photoshop and slicing a number of pre-built Graffam models in half, I made a panel that both compliments the terrain on the board and still plays an active, yet less intrusive, part in the game space. Pretty pleased with the result.

Dave Graffam Paper Model Terrain Dave Graffam Paper Model Terrain Continue reading Practical scenic backdrops for gaming table “Dead Zones”

DIY Gaming Mats revisited – tiles and all.

(Picture heavy post). A good while ago I posted about a fairly successful jaunt into the DIY game mat arena. I was well please with the results. More recently I posted about a similar experiment, also using Pixartprinting when they ran a juicy special offer, but this time on Flag material.

The results on that occasion were less “Wow” and more “Nae Bad” (Scot dialect for okay). Subsequently Vinyl printing at Pixartprinting came around again so I thought I’d have another run at it.

Aside from a couple of standard “roll ’em out and use ’em” mats (images below) I thought I’d try something a bit more ‘flexible’ as well this time. Gaming tiles.

Not a new idea by any means – I’ve made many homespun ones before as will many of you. They work well but the print quality is always going to be restricted by the quality of your printer. Likewise durability by the stock you can print on to. I used to have a great colour laser which was great for this type of printing but it died a few years ago. The inkjet that replaced it, while a good machine, wasn’t so suitable for this purpose. Add to that, some stock that I used wasn’t totally ‘official’ and colour fade to a pinkish hue  not long after printing (and all the work involved with trimming and mounting on to foamcore). Imagine how annoying the same result had on carefully built card building models! Grrr.

On the left, a double tile using the vinyl printing, on the right, one I made earlier using my own printer. In this case it is clear that this is one of the printed stock that suffered from the discolouration I mention above.

So, a few of the images below will at first appearance look odd. Big vinyl sheets with randomly dotted terrain on it (see the coastal set). These were laid out in Photoshop before going off to print to minimise the amount of cutting required and to get as much bang for your buck (i.e. you don’t send off thirty 12″x12″ bits of art to print but one big sheet).

For example. here’s a screenshot of the artwork that went off to print for the City tiles. One big file. One big sheet.

With the coastal one I was looking to get from the big sheet a 3’x3′ plain ‘water’ mat (hence the appearance of pirate and viking ships!). The actual coastal areas and land areas were to be sliced into individual tiles to be used either in conjunction with the ‘water’ or in their own right.

Worked out well.

The City banner, whilst it ‘looks’ like a laid out ready-to-use mat, was always intended for slicing. Which you can see in the later pics. The reason for that was – if the slicing proved problematic then I’d at least be left with a City mat that could be used. The cutting and subsequent mounting was not a problem though.

Print ‘n Play Mats: Red Desert/Planet

Continue reading DIY Gaming Mats revisited – tiles and all.

Waving the Flag for DIY wargame mats. Or Not?

I touched on this in an earlier post but thought the subject deserved a little more dedicated attention and pictures.

Vinyl printing for mat and tiles have worked. I also tried Flag material when Pixelartprint ran a sale on that medium a while ago. I’m sharing the results here by way of a comparison and my view that they are ‘not as effective’ as vinyl printing was.

Flag Material Wargame Mat: Desert

Flag Material Wargame Mat: Frostgrave Themed Winter Mat

I won’t be bothering with Flag material again for this type of application. As previously mentioned they are: Continue reading Waving the Flag for DIY wargame mats. Or Not?

More Terrain Mat experiments, Prang and Desert Felt…eh?

Warning – image heavy post here. Illustrating a few things here (but kinda got snap-happy on this post to be honest).

In the pics below:

Terrain Mat (Flag Material)
Following the success of some Vinyl Terrain Mat printing via PixartPrinting, a subsequent sale came along for printed Flag Fabric. This made me think of what I’d read about Cigar Box cloth mats and some others that manufacturers were starting to produce.

Well, I had various art files floating around and thought I’d take a punt as it was only a few pounds to get these printed and shipped from Italy. The desert terrain mat in the pictures below are one of the ‘mats’.

Terrain mat flag material felt fields 15mm Prang vs Rogue Star Motley Crew of Spacefarers and TroublemakersI’ll maybe do a longer post about this in due course should I take pics of the other two “Flags” (one was Heroic Maps Frost Ruins and the other a larger town layout based of Dave Graffam art) but in brief, here are the conclusions;

  • cheap
  • light-weight, perhaps too light, but light enough that hills etc can be placed with some effect underneath
  • slightly transparent, which also means a loss in vibrancy of colour and saturation
  • as you can see from some of the closer images, there is a pattern to the fabric but to be honest, this is not really visible in situ and not really a deal breaker for me

Over all – a bit mixed. Not as overwhelming successful as the vinyl mats but certainly usable.

The Prang make an appearance
I had promised photos of these guys to Gavin at 15mm.co.uk/Ion Age sometime ago. They’ve been done for a while but not photographed. These are not the ‘mini’ photos – they were handy while messing with the table – but they featured quite effectively I think in this desert environment. Proper pics to follow GBS, and Eli, promise. I think they turned out quite well. Continue reading More Terrain Mat experiments, Prang and Desert Felt…eh?

Men in Black meet Bond meet Zombicide meet Yakuza

I’d painted up these fine gentlemen from Rebel Minis a few months ago. What are they? Take your pick from;

  • Men-in-Black
  • Mr Smiths (the Matrix)
  • 70’s Gangsters (or Reservoir Dogs)
  • Yakuza
  • Government agents

Link to Rebel Minis site

15mm gangsters yakuza pulp modern men-in-black miniaturesIn other words, quite useful for any kind of sinister type in a modern period. Having said that, not entirely sure WHERE I was going to use them! (Fistful of Kung Fu in 15mm?) Continue reading Men in Black meet Bond meet Zombicide meet Yakuza

Gamer Confessions: Those bloody (Kickstarter) buses…

If you back a Kickstarter you hope its going to be fulfilled. Even better when it’s on time. But I wasn’t prepared for them all arriving at the same blinking time! I’m sure their creators have conspired to have delivery of pledges all to fall in the same space of a few weeks.

Here is the confession – what I’ve received in the course of the last few weeks, why I fell for it in the first place and what I thought of the goodies when they arrived.

Scoring
Summary Verdict:
 High is good.
Guilt Burden: Low is good.

Zombicide: Black Plague
First off a real chunk of gaming-goodness arrived – Zombicide Black Plague in it’s entirety (Base game + expansion and add-ons). In short, nigh on two hundred 28mm miniatures (no, I’m not going to count them).
Summary Verdict: Awesome. I was hopeful for good quality (for plastic) miniatures and was suitably pleased. 9/10
Guilt Burden: Massively intimidating number of miniatures to paint – and that’s just the cool player characters and big monsters. 10/10

Dungeon Forge – In my pocket
At the price point, I couldn’t resist this neat little dungeon crawl set of terrain and miniatures from Spain. Very nice in the flesh. Scales great with 15mm. Already painting it up. Considering returning for more dungeon furnishings. Quite a lot of painting to get it game ready.
Summary Verdict: Awesome. Heroquest in miniature. 9/10
Guilt Burden: Quite a lot of painting to get it game ready, but nothing taxing. 6/10

Heroines in Sensible Shoes
Big fan or Oathsworn so had to jump on this one. Great character sculpts for any number of skirmish game systems. I did resist jumping on to the second Kickstarter more recently due to bouts of leadenitus (guilt derived from amassing too much lead miniatures).
Summary Verdict: Always great miniatures from Oathsworn. 10/10
Guilt Burden: Modest number of 12 miniatures – but they demand a ‘good’ paint job. 6/10 Continue reading Gamer Confessions: Those bloody (Kickstarter) buses…