Making Isengard - Making the Terrain Modules

060331%20Isengard%20Terrain%2004.jpgIsengard consists of a serises of terrain boards 2' by 2' (around 600mm x 600mm). These are square boards with a wooden frame for protection. Just using polystyrene foam is a lot quicker, but the corners quickly get damaged unless there is some form of protection. Foam is also subject to warping caused by the shrinking of glue and paint as it dries.


Making the Terrain Modules

On these pages watch the progress to see how Isengard is coming together. It is to be constructed for 1/72nd scale (25mm:6ft) miniatures for use with the Lord of the Rings Battlegame by Games Workshop.

It had to be playable for wargaming and able to be transported in 1 car (not 3 cars like Minas Tirith). Thus it had to be made quite robust.

The modules started with an MDF base. To this were added a frame of pine vertical sides. These sides protect the polystyrene foam, especially on the corners.

A slab of polystyrene foam was inserted into the frame, being glued in place with liquid nails. You must be careful to choose a glue that does not dissolve the polystyrene foam.

The foam I had was higher than the vertical sides, so I used a hot wire cutter to trim the foam back and shape the contours on it.

When I was happy with the contours, the foam was given a coating of Agnew's Water Putty for strength and texture. This is a powder that is mixed 3 parts powder to 1 part water. It is like plaster or fillers such as Polyfilla or Spakfilla but dries in several hours rather than a day and seems just a little tougher.

It is also a pale yellow colour so it is easier to see the texture rather than the alternatives which are white. The actual colour is closer to the picture at left rather than those above. This could be used for desert terrain without too much extra painting if you wish.

Above. Liquid Nails was used to glue the polystyrene foam blocks into the terrain frames.

Above. After carving the contours in the foam, a coating of Woodmason's Filler is added. You could use plaster, or fillers such as Polyfilla or Spakfilla. This adds strength and texture.