Wargaming terrain, mediterranean, olive grove, pine trees, lake, hills, swamp,15mm, 28mm

Remnants of the Past – a collection of mediterranean terrain pieces for 15mm and 28mm

Some years ago I made my first steps into miniature terrain building. Alongside my ever-growing Carthaginian army I also wanted to have some nice terrain pieces for Field of Glory. A system that requires players to have a good selection of terrain that goes well with a specific army. I did not want to go the felt pieces route, so I decided to make a variety of mediterranean pieces: A lake, a group of mediterranean pine trees, an olive grove, several fields, a swamp and a number of hills.

I will present some of my early works and provide some brief notes on how I created the pieces. As I am working on improved versions of these I will, as of now, not provide detailed step-by-step instructions. Some of the photos are of an older make, so please excuse the sometimes less than stellar quality. The pieces will also go up for sale very soon in a new section of the blog, so if you are interested watch this space.

Mediterranean Pine tree forest:

Let us start with a “forest” piece I made. It features four removable mediterranean pine trees and a base covered in rough terrain.

Wargaming Terrain Mediterranean Pine Tree Scenic Base MiniNatur foliage 15mm 28mm
The miniatures to the right are a 28mm Reaper miniature, and two 15mm Numidians by Corvus Belli.

Wargaming Terrain Mediterranean Pine Tree Scenic Base MiniNatur foliage 15mm 28mmAll trees feature MiniNatur foliage nets, are made of sturdy wire (however they are slightly bendable and thus very resilient) covered with a mix of poly filler and acrylic medium. Earlier attempts with home-made clump foliage were not as convincing.

Corvus Belli, 15mm, Caetrati
Caetrati harass the Romans protected by a lush pine forest.

Every tree is slightly different and has a magnetised base. At that time I did not go for a detailed bark texture, something I would like to improve on in future iterations. Check out my Oak tutorial as it will give you an idea how to construct the wire armature. The rocks are made of bark pieces, joined with poly filler.Corvus Belli, Xyston, Scutati, Scutarii, Caetrati, Elephants, 15mm, Freehand

Olive grove:

The olive grove follows the same design philosophy as the forest: All trees are removable and magnetised.

Wargaming Terrain Olive Tree Scenic Base MiniNatur foliage 15mm 28mm

Wargaming Terrain Olive Tree Scenic Base MiniNatur foliage 15mm 28mm
The trees can be removed from the scenic base to allow easy placement of troops. I also made small ‘lids’ for the holes to use the base separately as difficult ground.

The trees are made similar to the pine trees. Again MiniNatur foliage nets depict the characteristic olive leaves. My first attempt with clump foliage did not look very realistic. IMG_1945I also added some poppy seeds to the base. They make good ripened olives. In the future I would like to add a bark texture  to make the trees even more realistic and maybe a little olive press alongside some baskets filled with the fresh harvest.

Anirion Woodelf Wizard, Reaper Miniatures
Anirion is clearly taken by the olive trees and the calm surroundings. Maybe too calm…..

 

Lake with stone oak:

I just could not help myself and had to make a lake. In Field of Glory a lake counts as impassable terrain and does not feature in the terrain selection of my Carthaginians. However, I had some clear epoxy resin, so I gave it a try.

Lake wargamign terrain epoxy resin seamoss oak MiniNatur foliage 15mm 28mm

Lake wargaming terrain epoxy resin 15mm 28mm
If you can spot the fish you may take a dip in the water.

Again the tree is removable for easier storage and transport. The lake features some fish in the water and one fish on land under the tree (a good place for a fisherman if I would have had a suitable figure). The water is tinted resin covered with clear acrylic gel gloss to achieve a subtle wave texture.

IMG_0503

28mm, Tree, Oak, MiniNatur, Silflor

The tree is about 18cm high and made using seamoss and MiniNatur foliage nets, thus it has realistic ramifications. The tree depicted is a stone oak with its characteristic smooth, grey bark. It was my first attempt to make a tree with both wire and seamoss. The oak I made later is thus an improvement  on this design.

Lake Trasimene, 15mm, epoxy resin, water effect, lake, terrain piece
Lake Trasimene 217 BC.

Barren fields and wheat fields:

I made a number of simple barren fields using both corrugated cardboard and poly filler:

Wargaming Terrain Ploughed Field Mediterranean Pine Tree Scenic Base MiniNatur foliage 15mm 28mm
As you can see this field is compatible with one of the pine trees to add more interest.
Wargaming Terrain Ploughed Field Mediterranean Pine Tree Scenic Base MiniNatur foliage 15mm 28mm
Once again the tree can be removed.

One field features some cabbage patches, made with the help of black pepper corns.

IMG_1046_zpsdf55669dHere the lines are made with a fork drawn through polyfiller. I think I like the look of the corrugated cardboard better. I made some variations with the help of clump foliage and static grass.

IMG_2028Not too bad for first attempts, but I strive for making the soil texture much more realistic and add some more variety in terms of vegetation. Have a look at the soil texture on my Carthaginian field camp, as I will go for something similar with future fields.

To add some variety I also created a modular wheat field with a fence. Some modules depict it in a harvested or trampled down state.IMG_8488IMG_8490IMG_8494

The wheat is made from a sisal rope, cut in pieces and then embedded in a mixture of acrylic gel, sand and poly filler. The fence is made out of textured balsa wood. I also made some haystacks out of the sisal rope to add detail. To improve the design I would like to make the gaps between modules smaller and make the fence out of textured pieces of polystyrene.IMG_8492

Corvus Belli Xyston15mm Liby-Phoenician Spearmen Shield Designs Freehand Wheat Field
The peasants long left their fields begrudgingly, expecting the Carthaginian force to fill empty bellies with the fruits of their work.

Hills:

Hills are one of those terrain features that never get old. Each wargamer needs them and each hill can have a unique design. I made a number ranging from small rock outcrops to impressive cliffs. IMG_4169 IMG_7837 IMG_7836IMG_7843IMG_7842IMG_7839IMG_7849

Here the rock is made using bark pieces, joined with poly filler. I really like how they turned out and will only change the soil texture in future versions. I might also add some magnets so that I can place trees without the need to make slots.I also made a rather large piece carving styrofoam. You know the drill: With either an X-acto knife or a hot knife you carve away and come up with a nice rock look.  I will get myself a hot knife in some point, as it is very time-consuming to use the X-acto.IMG_4185 IMG_4181

IMG_0934_zps823fdd4d

A swamp:

The final piece in this collection of terrain is a swamp. The Arno marshes did prove a challenge for Hannibal’s troops, so I thought I might make a swamp for an “Invasion of Italy” scenario.IMG_4188 IMG_4178

The swamp is made very similar to the lake. Epoxy Resin is tinted and poured in the swamp bed. Colour changes are due to both the tint and the swamp bed being drybrushed with different brown shades. In future versions I would add more tree stumps and tall grass, but maybe even some board walks and a swamp body.

Scutati Scutarii 15mm Corvus Belli marshland swamp
Hannibal’s men cross the Arno marshes.

I hope you found something among these terrain creations to inspire you. If you have any questions about techniques or how I made specific details please don’t hesitate and ask below.

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20 thoughts on “Remnants of the Past – a collection of mediterranean terrain pieces for 15mm and 28mm”

  1. These terrain pieces are all fantastic. It seems almost sacrelicious(!) to sell them off. I’d certainly be interest to see tutorials for the replacements, particularly the swamp and both kinds of field. I tried some similar work many years ago using MDF as a base, but after most of them warped, I got discouraged and never really returned to building those types of scenery.

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    1. I had similar issue in the past and now use polystyrene as a base. It needs to be about 2mm to prevent it from being too flimsy, but then you won’t have problems anymore. You can also use it to back styrofoam, so it has a nice outer shell. I made good use of this with my crypt, but will come back to it with the new terrain pieces.
      It does hurt to part, but I have too little space as it is and always feel designs could be improved on. There are only so many hills I really need ;).

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      1. Polystyrene tiles aren’t easy to come by here, so I might try using cork. I picked up some cork tiles awhile back to use as the basis of some scenic projects, and got as far as bringing them home from the hardware store. (Actually, I got Marouda to go, so all I did was thank her and put them away.)

        Actually, what about corflute/corrugated plastic? It’d certainly be a lot lighter, and is also easy to get hold of.

        In any case, I look forward to the tutorials!

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      2. Sorry, I am not sure if I was clear enough, I was referring to what the wargaming community calls Plasticard. You might be able to get it in an architecture supply shop. I got a massive sheet (1.20 by 2 metres) for 10 Dollars from a local plastic manufacturer.

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  2. The Lake Trasimine picture looks like something out of a travel brochure,just beutiful😀 I have a sudden urge to build terrain.

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  3. Ah, plasticard! – HIPS-type Polystyrene rather than the Polystyrene ceiling tiles-type things that they used to talk about in WD back in the day. Hm, architecture supply shops or maybe art supplies might be the way to go, since it’s pretty expensive from hobby stores (Plastruct, Evergreen and the like).

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  4. As ever, your terrain pieces are works of art! I guess my favorite is also the pond and I was immediately thinking if I could come up with a suitable fisherman figure…
    Concerning terrain bases, I also mostly use plasticard, though it is a bit expensive around her. When I go for round bases, I usually use old CDs.
    Recently, I’ve experimented with the ‘mat technique’ (acrylic paste on textile) to make wood bases and roads and it worked like a treat. I’ll put up something on my blog next week or so.

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    1. Thank you Captain. I am flattered that you would see my stuff as art. I always think of it as handicraft ;).
      If you have an idea for a 15mm miniature that would suit let me know.
      I might have a go at CD’s. Cheap, easy to procure and already perfectly round. can you cut or shape the material or will it shatter? Some of my old CD’s did when they were dropped.
      I like the mat technique for entire game table covers. There is also a nice variation were you built your terrain as usual but only use caulking for the rim, so that it conforms to the table.

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  5. Lovely work as usual. I’m always impressed with your work on the trees and I need to get some of those foliage nets and try them out. Also great work on the water effects another area I’ve had trouble with in the past. Looking forward to see the improved versions!

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    1. Thank you very much for your comment. The nets are really good, if costly. I still think they are the best solution on the market if looks are concerned, but they also hold up well on the gaming table. Might take a while to get around doing tutorials on each new piece, but I’ll keep them coming.

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