Saturday, April 19, 2008

Scenery - The 15mm ACW Terrain

Having made a guide earlier in the month to my 15mm ACW buildings, I thought that the beginning of a week off from work would be a perfect time to post my follow-up; a guide to my 15mm ACW scenery!

Of course, this scenery is not limited to 15mm ACW; it would also work for 15mm AWI, and some would work fine for my 15mm WWII collection, but for now, I will show the elements as they are on the table, with the Civil War as their main focus.

First up is my trees. I have two different ways of putting trees on the table. The first is my pin trees. These have had a hole drilled in the trunk and a very thin pin inserted with some glue. These trees are then able to be pushed right down through the felt that covers the table and into the foam underneath. Not only does this do away with the ugly bases, but it also helps keep the felt down nicely. These trees are also used for 25mm set-ups.

For 15mm I also have a second set of trees, which are all mounted as woods. These woods actually start life as pieces of the same felt I used to cover the table. I then hot glue some of my smaller Woodland Scenic trees
down to them. The felt gets a painting of dark green (as well as some dark brown) and then I glue flock to the entire thing. On the underside of each tree I glue a coin to help keep the woods flat. I then lay out the woods and use a little flock when I want to to cover up the edges and make them blend into the table! A little bit of bush around the edges often looks good too, and makes the woods look thicker.

Of course, no battlefield, particularly in North America, would be complete without a LOT of fences. The Civil War, especially in the east, took place more often than not over rolling farmland, and without a lot of fences to set apart fields the battlefield just doesn't look right.

The type of fence I have the most of is snakerail fences. These fences are very common on Civil War battlefields, and indeed I cannot even see that type of fence without immediately imagining men taking cover behind them. I have a good amount of snakerail fencing, which was originally painted a reddish-brown but then got the proper drybrush of grey to make them look accurate. I will be making more of this shortly, and have already made a few new pieces.

The second type of fence that I have is a regular old post-and-rail fence. I made maybe four or five feet of post and rail fence in various length sections. Unlike the snakerail, the post-and-rail fences don't sit flat easily, so each section has a pin (much like the trees) glued along the post to keep them upright and secure. These look particularly good with the wheat fields, as the edge of the wheat is squared off and can fit against the fence nicely.

Speaking of wheat, my wheat fields are made of two types of teddy bear fur. The fur sits up nicely and gives a
good, 3D wheat effect that really elevates the look of the battlefield. I am very happy with how it looks.

The last type of fence that I have is a short bit of white picket fence. These look best when along a road or near a house; they are certainly not the most practical type of fence for farming, but they look awful nice around a garden! These, like the post and rail fences, also have a pin secured in each section that, with a little white paint, is easy to cover up and keeps the fence in place without the need for a base.

I have one last way to divide up fields, and that is my stone walls. Made out of thin strips of cork that are undercoated black, and then given a few drybrushes of grey, the stone walls look rather nice near the road and around fields. I still need to make some rougher stone walls (stacked stone) but these look good for now.

In the shot of the stone wall you can see another field type; namely, a plowed field. This is made with the ever-useful corduroy, which really does look like plowed fields! It has the added bonus of sitting very flat, and really looks good. A buddy of mine donated a few different types of corduroy to best simulate the different shades you see on farmland, and overall it looks very good.

I also have a few other types of plowed fields. These are rubberized fields that sit nice and flat on the table and help break up the terrain nicely.

Surrounding the ones pictures to the left is my last trick for making barriers between fields; my hedges. Unlike the fences, the hedges and bushes are not secured or pinned in place. Instead I used carefully torn clumps of Woodland Scenics foliage (normally used for making trees) of a few different colors simply placed in a line. They are cheap, and they look awful nice for 15mm, both around fields, on the edges of woods, and wherever else you need to break up the green.

Now, not all terrain on a wargames board is perfect for farming. I picked up a
few large stone outcrops when I was last at Fall In for a good price. They are made of large pieces of bark secured to bases, which are then painted (black with a few progressively-lighter grey drybrushes) and flocked. They look good on the table and match well, and look particularly good in the forests, creating an almost Devils Den meets the Round Tops feeling.

The last aspect of my terrain that I have not really done is using flock to disguise edges. Many people have boards that are a veritable carpet of flock, and this flock can be used to really nicely hide the edges of things such as fields. I have not used enough of this yet, but after I stain the table I will likely be using it more.

For the first part of my 15mm Guide, please see 15mm ACW - The Buildings.


General Nuisance said...

If you are in the States, where do you get your fur that you use for your wheat fields?

Author said...

I got it here:

Enjoy, it is great stuff!:)