Tuesday 12 November 2019

My Terrain of Thought

An old picture of the mark 2 block armies - the interim set. I have used the Town in a Bag buildings on many occasions but will need something a little larger to go with the 30mm collection. I have always liked the style of these buildings so something similar but larger would be ideal for my purposes (and also vaguely American looking although the church is not too bad!).

Now that I have settled on the grid size to use with the ACW collection I am at last in a position to think about suitable terrain. This will be very much from the ground up (not sure if that qualifies as a particularly bad pun….) and includes just about everything – buildings, trees, hedges, walls/fences, hills, roads and rivers. I will also need to consider fieldworks.

In keeping with the whole ‘old school’ look I am planning to tackle as much of  this on a DIY basis if I can. This is really going to take me back to my early days in the hobby and to be honest, I am rather looking forward to it. I am leaning towards using a 2D/3D approach for buildings and woods so that the grid square has stylised 2D images around the perimeter so that troops can be deployed on the inside. This will be important as I want to avoid the huge table footprint that ‘scale’ models have. In effect these areas will be almost cartoon like. Linear obstacles – hedges, fences and walls or barricades (including mealie bags) - can be to scale.

I am rather looking forward to this part of the project as it will give me the opportunity to complement the look of the figures that Old Painter Bob has painted for me. This will mean a homemade and old school look about things so expect to see craft sticks of assorted sized, green scouring cloths, sandpaper, foam board and other odds and ends in use!

This is the second post I have written with the same title as follows:

 - https://awargamingodyssey.blogspot.com/2018/12/my-terrain-of-thought.html

but much of what I was thinking about in respect of the terrain to go with my block armies is equally applicable to my 30mm ACW project (and is equally applicable to my next 'old school' adventure).


Steve J. said...

I saw a game at Colours a few years ago that used simple 2D trees etc, that looked really good in that lovely Old School way. There was something about the whole table that took me back to my formative gaming, where we used anything to hand. So naturally looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

David Crook said...

Hi Steve J,

In a nutshell I think you have captured what it is I am trying to recapture - the sheer thrill of using model soldiers on a table top with the benefit of years of experience. I am thinking that maybe Messrs. Grant, Young, Lawford, Wise, Featherstone et al had the right idea all along....

All the best,


Maudlin Jack Tar said...

I agree with you regarding using buildings that are not to scale - they do take up too much room! 2D sounds interesting and does give a nice Toy Soldier feel to a game.

Ray Rousell said...

I shall look forward to your terrain building exploits!

WSTKS-FM Worldwide said...

You might be able to cobble something together from slightly larger pine blocks, some careful cutting, and basic painting to get a similar "village in a bag" effect for your desired ACW buildings. Pete Duckworth, I think, had an article in Wargames Illustrated 30+ years ago on making SYW villages from solid blocks of pine. Might be worth thinking over and applying some of his ideas to your own project. I bet your could knock out half a dozen such buildings in an afternoon or two.

Best Regards,


David Crook said...

Hi Maudlin Jack Tar,

A few years ago a club put on a grid based Spencer Smith 18th century action using buildings that were 2D profiles but in an 'L' shape so they looked 3D. The table footprint was minimal so it meant that units could deployed in the terrain without having to move things around. It was a really attractive set up and was fully home made using foam core card and model railway brick and roof tile paper. I have also seen similar effects using laser cut MDF Christmas decorations!

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hello Raymondo,

Early days yet but I shall be throwing a few bits and pieces together over the weekend all being well.

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Stokes,

Funny you should mention that as I was thinking about this for when I fight battles 'off the grid' so to speak. I am going to have a mess around with MS Paint and some A4 sized sticky labels. I can draw and colour the designs on the computer, print them off and stick them to whatever block I want to use. It saves painting!

All the best,