DyeHard's Wargame Terrain

Back to whence you came

A Large Maize Field

Here, I present a demonstration on how one could make a large agricultural field that will not interfere with the movement of units on the table top. The construction uses items which more often then not end up in the trash. Many of these basic materials and methods are also covered in the Garden Patch how to.

The trash parts include the back of a note pad and discarded fake credit cards. I suspect that most people receive a number of these fake credit cards in their junk mail. Here I lay out the cards on the note pad back to plan the project.

The pad back will supple two larger field with easy. I draw out the edges of the card covered area and the edge of the bases. I put some curves into the base edges to help it visually blend into the table top.

The backer is cut apart and the edges given a beveled edge. I try and vary the angle of the bevel as well to avoid a too uniform look. Some reflection on the nature of farm fields might be helpful at this time. Just as means of transport have changed over the years the nature of farming has also changed. A modern farm field would look very out of place in a medieval setting, for example. As I am modeling a mid to late Nineteenth Century farms I will want my fields to reflect the fact that this is pre mechanized farming. The rows would have been ploughed by a single blade plow drawn by same beast of burden. So, rows will not be too straight or too evenly spaced, but the fields will be roughly rectangular. Also, no one field will extend for too great of distance. The good thing about these conditions, is that this style of farming covers a broad period of history, but to the introduction of gun power.

As the note pad back is made of form of compressed paper, I sealed it with a coat of lacquer. To my dismay some warping still occurred, but it was controlled with the use of weights placed on the bases at various points during the process.

The bases were then covered with a layer of used dryer sheets glued down with white glue (PVA).

The bases were given a quick layer of coffee to represent the exposed soil of the field. A generous portion of watered down white glue (PVA) was brushed over the surface and the coffee rained down from above. Note the use of weights to control warping. Once dry the extra coffee is poured off and the base is tapped from behind to remove any coffee that was not well secured.

After the first layer has dried, the coffee soil was re wetted with dilute white glue (PVA) using an eyedropper to prevent disturbing the existing layer. Once the first layer is well wetter a blend of coffees were rained down from above. By blending several sources of coffee once can provide both a consistent color and a richer depth of color and texture.

Allowing the white glue to dry thoroughly, and pour and tap the extra coffee from the bases. Making sure to collect the leftovers for use latter.

As I intend this to work into my general green terrain, I added a boarder of my custom green flock mix round each field. Again using diluted white glue, I but the glue on with an eyedropper all around the base and a few random spots in the field proper. I figure weed control was pretty difficult to those days. Then pour on the flocking. I cover the whole field in this shot, but that is not necessary, one could be more judicious and controlled by adding just the green that was wanted.

The final field minus the crops. Once dry I give everything a light spray of a fixative to help hold it all in place.

The crops themselves were mounted to the fake credit cards. I decided to cut each card in half to make the moveable crop sections smaller.

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. These were used to cover each of the card sections just as described in the Garden Patch how to.

The sections were given a quick coat of paint to help hide their true nature.

The section were given a layer of coffee and furrows added as explained in the Garden Patch how to.

The crop itself this time is maze, or corn as it is called in the U.S.A. How these were made in explained in more detail in the Garden Patch how to.

But this time we will need quite a pile. Like painting troops, preparing this much maize takes some time, and is best done in shifts.

The crops are each sized and trimmed to fit the scale of the troops. It is also a bit messy. I suggest not doing the trimming in a carpeted room. A nice hard floor make clean up much easier.

The crops are planted one row at a time and secured with tacky glue (PVA).

Once all the section are completely planted with the crops, they can be set atop the field bases. Be consistent about the direction of the rows the crops are planted in. I suggest running them in the direction of the longer side of the sections.

With some planing the crop section can be interchangeable between the different field bases.

Here is a completed maize field, all given a light spray of fixative to hold the scatter in place.

Note that the field base can also be used as a terrain peice on its own. It is simply a field before the crops have sprouted.

The Maize field in Use

Here is a quite demonstration of how the sectional crop system can be used in a wargaming situation. This flexibility will help to justify the work needed to create this type of terrain.

As a unit approaches the field their line of sight is blocked by the crops.

As they push their way through, they are partially hidden within the field.

As they advance they brake through the far side.

On exiting the field, the unit has left its mark. The path could just a easily be filled in with the crop section once the unit is clear. But I assume the troopers are not too careful as they pass and trample the crops into splinters.

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.

Thank you for looking:


Back to whence you came

To head to my Home go to DyeHard's Home Page.

You can write me at:


|Home |What's New |VSF |My Figure Painting|
|LINKA |Models

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.