Thursday, August 30, 2012

3d city terrain boards part 1

Okay, so I've tried a range of different ways to make city maps for miniatures games, and while I've liked things (such as papercraft) I've been unsatisfied with them. Particularly the lack of actual depth and texture to printed materials. They can be illustrated in amazing ways, and look really nice, but there is no physical depth and 3D-ness about printed scenery.

I stumbled across something I saw years ago and forgot about. It's cheaper now than it used to be. It's a company that sells scenery that is generated on a computer, then the computer carves the model pieces out of sheets of wood.

Here's a link to what I ordered (City Grounds at the top):

I ordered the City Grounds set of terrain boards, which has concrete sections and road sections that can be laid out in different ways to create urban based battlefields. You can then place scenery objects such as buildings and such on top of it. I didn't buy their building sections, as I've started collecting other sceneries already - that also make use of the computer-carved wood technique (but more on that stuff later, when it arrives).

Anyhow, whenever I'm looking at doing a table, I print out a 'draft' of the table to see how big it is, and check out its layout. I also wanted to know what physical size the roads of the boards would be. So here's my print-out on A4 sheets to see what the layout looks like on my gaming table. It's 3 x 4 which is good, because my table is 3 x 5, so I'll have an extra foot of free space for rolling dice, reading rulebooks, and so forth.

Of course, the real thing is 3D - all of the panel lines are carved into the wood, and there are actual gutters, with roads that are inset into the board, and so forth. I got a piece of spare foamboard and tested a paint scheme on it. I'm probably going to try and paint the concrete sections up like this:

I still might use papercraft for some buildings, for some games, but I think I'm convinced now that textured, painted models of buildings and scenery really do work best and look best when gaming, so that's the direction I'm heading toward now.

Once the tiles arrive in the mail, I'll post some more pictures, to give a better look at what they are actually like, and I'll blog my flocking / painting / etc of them, as I do them up, in case anyone is interested in doing anything similar, or just wants to know more about the kit.