Monday, 2 April 2018

Modular rolling terrain

A few of my sand-coated cork tiles
I began to to make some modular rolling terrain from cork bathroom tiles. The design approach was totally unoriginal but I can't find the source now. If someone identifies it I'll publish a link.

The 30cm/1 ft tiles are essentially divided into a nine-sector grid. The contours can be naturalistically wavey as long as they meet square on at the grid points. The concept should be apparent from the pictures.

The unpainted sand coating has caught the light
from this angle.
Cork tiles are thin so the contours are in low relief but that's more convenient for storage and transport. I subsequently invested in quite a lot of Hexon.  The cork tiles and Hexon are both rather too heavy and bulky to transport outside the house without a car. The Hexon is more than adequate for use at home so I didn't pursue this project any further. For club games I use standalone hills. I'm featuring it just out of interest but I've now passed it on to a friend.


  1. People say that Hexon is quite dear, but as I look back on a lifetime of a myriad projects like your cork sections, I have come to realise that the cost of all the failed battlefield projects eclipse the cost of my Hexon by some margin.

    A current project is doing the Hastings 1066 battlefield and the Hexon slope tiles is allowing me to do the long Senlac ridge in a convincing way.

    I think for portability, the fleece cigar mats are the way to go as they are so light and don't crease and can go over things to make hills.

    I have a Fat-Mat, a heavy duty neoprene grassland mat. Light it is not, and things can't be put underneath it because it does not sit nicely on anything other than a flat surface.

    I am presently messing around with a large corkboard pinboard, but it already feels like I should have spent my money on figures or more rulebooks instead :-)

    1. Putting mats over objects to create hills is potentially the most realistic approach but I've never done it for a variety of reasons. Many games involve interactive scenery placement, and rules generally abstract hills, i.e. they have a defined edge which needs to be clearly seen.

  2. Replies
    1. Come to think of it I probably started this project with 'Hit the Dirt' contours for 'Crossfire' in mind, but I went back to standard abstract CF hills.

  3. I have a similar scheme in the pipeline but for naval terrain, using cheap mdf squares from Poundland.

    1. Thanks for the Poundland tip. That sounds like a useful source for MDF.