Now for the trash parts. I suspect that most people receive a number of these fake credit cards in their junk mail. The sender include them to catch those folks who feel through the envelope before throwing out junk mail. It takes at least a few seconds to realize this is not a real credit card. I recycle as much as I can so I go through and remove these cards, they might jam up the recycling machines. The other critical part is a used dryer sheet, the kind one puts in with laundry when run through a dryer to prevent static buildup and to soften the laundry. Once run through a few times, all the encapsulated chemicals have been released leaving a strong peice of fabric behind.
The sheet was simply cut into quarter, each just slightly larger then the fake card.
The sheet quarter is simply secured as a cover over the card with some Duck-tape. The dryer sheet will provide the tooth to a surface so that later work does not simply pop off the card.
Now flipping the card right side up again, white glue (PVA) is used to stiffen the secures the upper surface. This is a technique which is gaining popularity with model railroad fans. It is know as "glue shell". It is not limited to such a minimal items, but can be used to form hills, cliffs and even mountains. I use a small peice of card as a squeegee to forces the glue through the fibers of the sheet and to spread it across the entire surface. Spreading the glue over the edge and onto the exposed sheet on the bottom side will assure a good grip. This can be messy, a sheet of waxed paper with prevent the card from becoming a permanent part of you work bench.
Once the glue has dried, it can be painted with a soil colored paint.
I usually paint terrain with several different colors to avoid a too uniform color coat. Once the paint has dried next step is to coat this surface with adhesive.
With the glue in place, the base is covered with coffee.
To simulate the rows of dirt often built up in gardens additional stripes of glue were added over which more coffee can be sprinkled. The rows need not be straight or very even. Few people take such care in laying out a garden patch.
Additional glue and coffee can be added until the contour is to your liking.
To help root the garden patch to the surrounding terrain some scatter grass can be added to the edges of the garden. This can also be use to breakup the very straight edges of the base card. At this point several crops types could be added to the rows. A blob of glue and a pinch of medium ground scatter, such as that sold be Woodland Scenics, can make a convincing garden patch.
Here we see some vegetable patches. Note that the patch on the left is not as convincing as the color of the crop is too close to that of the surrounding grass. The contrast of the other two examples is much more convincing. One could also enhance the effect by making each row a different color. This would give the effect of a home garden.
In the example that follows, we will use the plants formed from the Christmas tree as explained below.
The only item one really needs to buy is the plant stacks themselves. These I made from a small cheep artificial Christmas tree. This one cost my $ 0.99 USD at a closeout store called "Big Lots".
This type of decoration can be unwound to liberate long pipe cleaner like parts. These are about a centimeter in diameter and made short lengths of plastic ribbon wound between a pair of wires.
The material can cut into small lengths about the height of a man. Do not attempt to cut the sections to the exact same length as this looks less natural.
Next I trim the tops and stems a bit.
I used Tacky Glue (PVA) to secure the plants. If one works quickly after the last build up of the coffee into the rows a pits can be pressed into the rows for each plant to accept the glue. Coating the stems part of the way up with glue also helps to secure them to the base.
Here we see the terrain in use in a typical table top wargame. Some terrain items do not need to be large to clearly convey their subject. I think this credit card size field works well in suggesting an agricultural area.
The scale of the crops is clearer in this photo of a column of Her Majesty’s 1st Chinese Regiment moving past the field.
To see more terrain items is use, check out the Battles page.
You may click on the following to return to the Master Terrain page.
You may click on the following to return to the Victorian Science Fiction page.
I hope to be able to add more latter.
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