How to Make Terrain for a War Game

Written by tami mason
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How to Make Terrain for a War Game
Scenery adds realism when marching your army into battle. (miniature model army image by Jon Barnes from

War gaming is a tabletop game, where players use miniature figures to represent armies and fight battles. The armies and scenarios can be anything from re-creations of famous historical battles, to fantasy wars between goblins and elves. Scenery plays an important part in war gaming because it can affect play. For example, moving through a forest or swamp will slow the army. Buying ready-made scenery can be a costly business, so consider making your own. There are several ways to create simple but effective scenery.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Pipe cleaners
  • Green flock
  • PVA glue
  • Figure bases or pennies
  • Scissors
  • Craft knife
  • Styrofoam
  • Course sandpaper
  • Paint and paintbrushes

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  1. 1

    Glue together five or six pipe cleaners (the more you use, the bigger the hedge). Paint PVA glue onto the "hedge" and sprinkle green flock over the entire thing so it is completely covered. You can make the hedges as big or small as you desire.

  2. 2

    Twist together five or six pipe cleaners at one end. This will be the tree trunk. Glue this end to a figure base, or you can use a penny as the base. (Cover the penny in flock to make it blend in with the rest of the scenery.)

  3. 3

    Form loops with the other ends of the pipe cleaners. When you have all the pipe cleaners looped, use scissors to cut each loop --- leaving you with a main trunk and spiky branches sticking out. As in Step 1, apply glue and cover in green flock.

  1. 1

    Use a craft knife to carve hill shapes out of the styrofoam. When you have the basic shape, use sandpaper to create smooth slopes.

  2. 2

    Paint the hill green with a paintbrush. Cover with glue and sprinkle flock over the "hill" for that grassy look.

  3. 3

    Cut out smaller, rounder shapes to create rocks and boulders out of the styrofoam. Paint the rock, starting with a dark base coat, and highlighting with lighter grey shades. Consider adding tiny spots of flock to create a mossy look.

  1. 1

    Cut a piece of styrofoam into a long trench shape with craft knife. Carve out the centre of this shape, leaving a bottom, rather than cutting out a hole.

  2. 2

    Paint the trench, using dark muddy colours for the centre of the trench. You can also add rocks as in Section 2.

  3. 3

    Glue green flock around the base of the styrofoam and around the top edges of the trench to complete the look.

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