Tuesday 19 April 2016

Terrain Boards Continued - Side 1

Now, the ongoing saga of the quest to find the mystical Terrain Board continues....

With the failure of the first attempt to make up terrain tiles which I attempted earlier in MoreTerrain Board Trials, I looked at the Heroic Maps 'Frost Ruins' download and decided that as the 4' x 4' board that the downloaded sheets created was only really a one set up layout and that tiles would not be interchangeable, I was as well making up a 4' x 4' board rather than the tiles.

With this in mind and the useful suggestion from TamsinP that I should make the 'tiles' double sided I purchased another download 'tile set', this time trying a different vendor, namely PWork, and plumped for their Battleboard City Ruins set to use for a double sided board set.

A threesome of  2' x 4' 9mm MDF boards were also duly purchased and a can of spray adhesive which would be quicker, less messy hopefully and less prone to any warping or curling, though significantly dearer than more traditional glues.

I also made sure I had spare ink for my printer and an ample stock of 110grm card stock.

Perversely, I started on the City Ruins side of the boards and duly printed off 40 or so A4 sheets that comprise the set and proceeded to trim to suit and stick them to the boards.

The set does not quite cover the 6' x 4' board area so I intentionally left a 30mm border around the boards.

This Pwork tile set again only goes together in one layout, being a download version of their game mat. Unlike the Heroic Games dowload which includes a grided and ungrided version on the layout along with a full size graphic which you can play with if you have the appropriate software, the PWork file is a straight forward pdf card set. Each sheet printed, forms a part of the whole 'mat' area with no overlaps, again unlike the Heroic Maps file. 

It was quickly apparent though that the individual sheets do have a margin of error across the sheets. This error is marginal but significant enough to warrant having to try each sheet prior to gluing and despite careful trimming, adjacent sheets are slightly different sizes and often don't quite line up with their neighbours. Slightly irritating. This I suspect may be more down to pdf graphic creep than any irregularity on the part of PWork but is an issue which should be noted by anyone thinking of utilising the download sets. Initial layout and trial fitting is essential and sheets will require slight trimming to fit.

Two Thirds done
The whole thing went together fairly quickly once in the groove of things and once all sheets were stuck down and reasonably dried, that it was then that the individual boards were once again seperated with the use of a sharp knife run down the board gaps.

Once all stuck and seperated I had decided to trim the board edges with a suitable hard wearing tape, both for the aesthetic look of the boards and also to add a bit of protection to the board edges.

The full 6' x 4' area took approximately the best part of a day to assemble and also took a whole can of spray adhesive to stick everything down.

From a cost point of view, the purchase of one of PWorks pre-made game mats will range from circa £48 to £58 depending on material of the map. The approx cost of material to make up this Heath Robinson version of the mat works out to be approximately £35 including glue, card and ink, but excluding the boards themselves (as the mat needs something for it to be put on). Add to this the time to assemble and the cost of the bought mat looks to be fairly reasonable and other mats from the various suppliers look to be of similar costs. I aim to cover the boards with a light coat (probably sprayed) of matt varnish to protect the surfaces and this will slightly add to the finished 'cost'.

A fun enough project in it's execution, which I will run to it's conclusion, but I think for a play area without any multi layout use I will not be making up any others in this fashion, but would plump for the mat versions instead.

So having printed off the full set of the Heroic Maps Frost Ruins tile set I had to purchase additional adhesive so haven't completed the reverse side as yet.

Frost Ruins sheets laid out to check size
Laying out the Frost Ruins sheets, which have significant overlaps, the overall area provided is significantly bigger than the advertised area, namely 53" x 53"  a full 3" bigger each way.

The surplus sheets which will not be cut and stuck to the boards, will be used to make up loose 'blocks' to match the terrain boards. These will be used to provide a some raised areas to add a bit of variety to the terrain layouts.

I will post the completed results to the reverse side once completed in a week or two.


  1. Nice job, beautiful looking terrain!

  2. I agree - a nice looking table.


  3. I've got to say that is really rather effective, nice job Sir.

  4. Excellent table and a useful report!

  5. Thanks all, so far so good. T'other side will follow soon.

  6. Great job done! It looks excellent to me!



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