New Gaming Board – Part 3

I’ve managed another five tiles for my new board I did get a request to do a how to post on my tiles so this post is it. By necessity this going to be quite a long post, but working on a picture paints a thousand words principle, I’ll try and keep the word count low and use pictures to illustrate how I did things.

A few thoughts before I get started. I can’t take credit for anything here the techniques I used where all found online and YouTube has a wealth of useful videos in particular I recommend watching the Geek Gaming channel but don’t discount they model railway guys as they have some great ideas and techniques. Also, and I can’t stress this enough, leave plenty of drying time between stages or you could well end up with a big wet mess.

So my whole new gaming board is built using the Sally 4th Terra-former range. I won’t spend a lot of time talking about it, needless to say I’m a big fan, if you want to know more I suggest popping along to Sally 4ths website here

  1. So having built my Terra-formers and stuck in the earth magnets the first job is to fill them with polystyrene I got mine from the local DIY store. Sally 4th gave me a handy template to cut the polystyrene to the right size and then I secured it place using No More Nails.

2. These tiles are road and track tiles so I needed to mark them out, a task made much easier as the Terraformers have laser cut slots, that pop out, evenly spaced out around the sides. I used a chefs blow torch to melt the road and tracks into the polystyrene. Be really careful when you this as you only need a low heat, very briefly, linger to long and instead of a track you’ll have a huge crater.

3. The next step is apply texture and fill any gaps (that come from your dodgy cutting). You could probably use a whole range of different products but I chose a home made mixture of brown, flexible, tile grout, sand, PVA glue and some orange brown paint mixed with water into a…. errrr gloop. I applied this gloop with a spatula and some cheap pound land paint brushes (because the paint brushes get ruined very quickly). I tried to sculpt the roads and tracks while the mixture is wet.

4. Once the texturing is full dry (I found this took a couple of days) I then took a brown spray can and gave the edges a couple of coats you could of course paint them with a brush.

5. Next I painted the tiles an orange/brown to fit in with my African dry season theme but obviously you could go with whatever colour you feel fits your chosen theatre of operations. My basic colour was supplied by the local DIY Shop and for the base coat I added a touch of dark brown craft paint. Once the base coat was dry I dry brushed the tiles with the original colour and then the original colour mixed with a sand yellow. The final part of the paint job was to use a red-brown wash to give some shade and depth especially on the roads and tracks

6. Once the paint is dry its time to add the foam flock. I used four different coloured foam flocks, applied using a cooking sieve, and fixed in place using watered down scenery cement from Woodland Scenics. To start I applied neat PVA to areas I wanted the flock to sit on an added my darkest foam flock. Then I sprayed it with a mixture of water and rubbing alcohol as a wetting agent. spray with the watered down scenic cement and then sprinkle on the next darkest foam flock and repeat until your happy. After my final and lightest coloured foam flock layer I added a, yellow, fine turf sawdust flock and some of my darker foam flock as a blending layer. At this point you will look at the whole thing and think ” What the hell have I done? This is a horrible wet mess!” but once it dries out (and this can take several days) it actually looks pretty good. I used browns and yellows but the whole technique would work just as well with various shades of green.

7. Once the foam flock is thoroughly dry (which takes a while as the foam flock acts like a sponge) we can move on to adding patches of static grass. I Used three sizes (2mm.3mm and in yellow and brown colour. I use a static grass applicator which I picked up cheap on eBay I’d love some of the better ones but they can be rather expensive. I started with more PVA glue where I wanted patches of grass and then applied my 2mm dark brown grass with the applicator I then sprayed it with a matt spray varnish. While the spray varnish was still wet I added patches of light brown 3mm grass sprayed that with matt varnish and added more patches of yellow 4mm grass a final spray of varnish was followed up by a light dusting of 2mm brown flock as a blending layer.

8. The final stage was break out my collection self adhesive of grass tufts and bushes and add a few to the the tracks, roads and open spaces to finish the look
And that’s it. All pretty simple really with the right equipment and materials. Next up I’m starting on the high ground tiles so I can have ridge lines, large hills and so on.

6 thoughts on “New Gaming Board – Part 3

  1. Codsticker

    Wonderful work. I considered using the Terraformer product but shipping to Canada killed it for me. You have done great work with it.


    1. I think the Terraformer stuff is great. It’s my first modular gaming board I’m truly happy with. It’s not cheap though to get enough tiles for a modest wargames table, plus a few extras for flexibility, costs a fair amount then there is the cost of your modelling materials on top so I could well imagine the cost of postage outside the UK would be a killer which is a shame.


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