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.
All 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.
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.
The olive grove follows the same design philosophy as the forest: All trees are removable and magnetised.
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. I 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.
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.
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.
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.
Barren fields and wheat fields:
I made a number of simple barren fields using both corrugated cardboard and poly filler:
One field features some cabbage patches, made with the help of black pepper corns.
Not 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.