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Hi folks!
I thought I might give you a walkthrough on how I made my 3D BL terrain.
First off, thanks for all the thumps-ups, and sorry for the so-so quality of the first many pictures. I just got a Nikon Coolpix digital camera for my birthday, so I might go back and redo some of the earlier pictures...
When writing I might take knowledge of some tools, materials or processes for granted! If there´s anything you don´t understand, feel free to ask!
I´ll start off here with what I´ve done so far, and just keep updating this post whenever I get new stuff finished, so here goes!

First, a picture of BL in progress:



And one of the whole thing! That´s every single BL figure painted!



When I started out, my goal was to combine functionality and aesthetics, and for this purpose, I quickly realized that I would have to go to a larger scale, as it was not possible to make "realistic" looking forrests and sloping hills, and still have room for the figures. After a bit of fiddling around, I found that a Settlers hex would be perfect as a template. After doing a couple try outs, a forrest and a hill, I was ready to go mass production!

The first thing was to make the board, for which I used a sheet of thick cardboard of 30x41 inches. This was covered in fine sand, painted green, and then I painted in the hexes! This was long hard work, but when it was finished, I added a bit of flavor colour and the red section lines. The board is a little bit warped, so I might make a new one on thin mdf board or something. (I would also like to have a board for EPIC BL, but it would probably have to be made as two halves, for storage purposes.)

The forrests:



... Were made on thick card, 3-4 mm to prevent warping. (for all you non-terrain makers, warping is what happens when you apply pva glue, the white stuff used for paper and wood, to thin cardboard, and the drying process twists it out of shape!) I bought a box of 100 Heki (german railroad terrain makers) trees, with sizes from 2 to 3 inches. Making sure to leave room enough for a whole unit of BL troopers, trees where glued on, along with a few well placed small garden rocks. fine sand was added, and the whole base was painted the same colour as the gameboard. when this was dry, I added small patches of dark green small flock, and that´s it. I made a lot of one-hex forrests and a few 2 and 3 hex ones.

The hills:



... Were made, again with a card base, and sheets of polystyrene of varying sizes, from 1 to 3 cm, to ensure that all hills would not be the exact same size, as I thought this might look dull. The Settlers hex was drawn up on a sheet of poly, which was cut out. On one side I drew up an area, big enough for a unit, and then the hill was cut into shape. I have tried to make them as round as possible, smoothing the wole hill over with a piece of sandpaper before glueing it to the base. The whole thing was then covered in fine sand, applied with pva glue, then painted green, with a few details, like the dark green flock used on the forrests added.

The rivers:



...Were made on the same thick card as the other pieces. I built up the banks with GW green stuff, which by the way is WAY too expensive for somthing like this. (Any self hardening modelling putty would work, and you might even use cheap kids modelling clay.) I made sure that the banks aligned with the edges of the hexes, so that they would match, when put next to each other. The water part was made with Vallejo water effects, wich I painted onto the hex, and went over with an old rough brush as it dried, sculpting the flow of the water. When this was completely dry, I painted it blue. Darkest in the middle and lighter towards the banks. This was then carefully drybrushed with white, and then given a shiny varnish, for the wet look. The banks and the rest of the hex was then covered in sand and painted up to match the board. I painted the banks in browns to look like wet earth, and added a bit of static grass to look like vegetation.
The fords were simply made like the other river pieces, but with patches of green stuff and sand in the river.
Bridges... The first one I made was more trouble than it was worth, so the later ones were made differently, but the one you see in the above picture was made with sides of foamcard, a piece of cardboard, river banks and water like the standard river pieces.

The ramparts:



...Were made from polystyrene and foamcard, and after making sure that they would hold a unit of infantry on top, and a unit of cavalry on the ground, I took extra special care, to assure that the pieces would fit together as snuggly as possible! They were covered in fine sand and painted and drybrushed in greys, and decorated with some fine grass flock. The stairs have no practical reasons for being there, but I just couldn´t resist...



The strongholds:



...Are very different. The round one is pure cheating, as I just cut the top off some plastic toy and then gave it the sand/paint/flock treatment. The square stronghold is built from scratch, the stonework on the corners are from GW Mordheim buildings, with the battlements on top made from foamcard. The doors on both are GW goblin shields. As you can see, a unit of infantry fits in nicely, and although there is room for cavalry, I probably wouldn´t put them ON, but rather beside the strongholds. I might redo these later, as the sand treatment makes them look a bit worn and crumbling, I think.


The Hill Giants lair:



... Couldn´t have been easier, as it´s just a few small garden stones glued to a hex and given a couple drybrushes, finished off with sand, paint and some static grass.

The summoning circle for the Earth Elemental:



... On the other hand was a bit more involved, perhaps a bit too involved for something that might be on the board for only a round or two! I cut the pentagram shape into a piece of foamcard and surrounded it with more small garden stones, chosen for their proportions. The fires are blobs of Vallejo water effects that were stretched into a fire shape with a toothpick when it was drying up. As the water effects stuff dries, it becomes stringy and more prone to keeping a shape than when it´s wet. The small pool in the middle was cut out, painted and filled with shiny varnish. After painting and drybrushing, it was finished off like all the other pieces.


Next up are the Loremaster landmarks. Again, my primary concern was that functionality and aesthetics walk hand in hand. Specifically, I wanted the pieces to be recognizable from their printed counterparts, and still have room for a unit of figures.

The Cleric´s healing pool:



... I drew up a circle on a hex, and "drew" over it with a hot glue gun, giving the raised circle. The waters are more Vallejo water effects, shaped while drying. After painting, I used some transparent Glitter Glue, containing small flecks of silver for added effect!

The Wizards magic pentacle:



... Was made in the same way. Hot glue gun and a paint job. No glitter stuff on this one though!

The last two were the ones that gave me the most speculation about how to do it. Again I wanted them to look like their printed counterparts and still have room for troops.

The Warriors training camp:



...Was made with strips of balsa wood. I really wanted towers on the corners, but had to give it up for practical reasons (Not enough space!). I made a "box" with rectangular pieces of balsa, and cut the plank look into the wood, rather than fiddling with too many small pieces. I think the solution I made for the corners give "the illusion" of towers ok!
Flagpoles were added using toothpicks and flags were added to theese in thin card, bent into a flowing shape, and then fixed with blops of instant glue.

The Rogues hideout:



...Was a compromise, as I totally disregarded the small fields in the original printed piece, but well!
I cut the buildings out from small scraps of polystyrene and foamcard, added roofs in cardboard and for detailing, I added the chimney and the small inn post/sign. This last bit was the most annoying, as I´m actually not the most patient man alive! and refuse to use tweezers when glueing very small pieces like these... Anyway, small pieces of toothpick were glued to form the post, and the sign was made from a small piece of thin card. I added a few more small details, like the timbering on the buildings, and painted the thing. One last detail, when I sanded the base, I used an instrument, probably the end of a brush, to make tracks in the sand, making it look like wheeltracks.



THAT`S IT FOR NOW, I`LL BE BACK WHEN I FINISH MY MARSHES AND RIDGES:
(All edits are updates and aditions.)
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Zopper Alf
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Excellent, once again you show your impressive skills!
Simon
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Denmark
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He!
Thanks Simon...
 
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Cédric Rothacher
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yep, very very well done - looks great
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Todd Rewoldt
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Loveland
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Man, and I'm too lazy to even paint the mini's laugh

Very cool, nicely done.
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Thanks to you too, Todd and cero!
 
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Jason Robbins
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This terrain is so good that I would like to buy a set.
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Well, thanks, but at the rate I´m going, and with all the other stuff I´ve got going on, mass production is not in the foreseable future!
 
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Mr. Chris
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This is awesome! Just "Awesome!" I consider it a priviledge just to look at these.
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Thanks everybody!
I hope some are inspired to give it a go, and actually, compared to projects I´ve done for, say, Warhammer/40k, Battlelore was relatively quick and easy. The smaller scale is very forgiving, when it comes to detailing, and most of the work, like glueing on sand() or even drybrushing can be easily done. If you´re new to this sort of thing, books like "How to make wargames terrain" from Games Workshop, gives a good, thorough introduction to tools, materials and work processes. I think there´s even a whole lot of sites on the net you can go to have a look, and "Black gobbo", the US GW netzine has lots of interesting articles, if you´re ready to browse through almost hundred backissues.
 
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Michael Mitchell
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great effort! The figures generally seem to fit very nicely on the terrain. That would have been one of my biggest issues....
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themitchells wrote:
great effort! The figures generally seem to fit very nicely on the terrain. That would have been one of my biggest issues....


My biggest issue too, which was the reason for upping the scale a bit.
 
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By the way...
I just received the long and eagerly awaited TIDE OF IRON, and it looks like I´ve got the start of a multi usable terrain system going here. There´s a LOT more terrain on a TOI board, but I´ve got many of the basic terrain pieces done already. So I´ve got somthing fun to do for the summer vacation! Now to make a lot more woods, hill plateaus, roads and (gulp!) buildings...
 
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Will
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Very nice looking
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Mark Bailey
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Beautifully done!!! Question: Where does one typically go to acquire the 3-4mm thick card (for terrain bases) you describe? Craft store? THANKS!!
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markbail2000 wrote:
Beautifully done!!! Question: Where does one typically go to acquire the 3-4mm thick card (for terrain bases) you describe? Craft store? THANKS!!


Hi Mark!
Yup!
Craftstores is the way to go!
The card you get from, say, a cereal box, is too thin and will warp when you glue stuff to it + it will wear faster.
I can´t recommend any store in particular, as the chains you have in the states, and their assortment of goods are not familiar to me...

And thanks to you too!
 
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Brent Lloyd
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jtspecial wrote:
I added the chimney and the small inn post/sign. This last bit was the most annoying, as I´m actually not the most patient man alive!


I respectfully disagree...you are a very patient man to have undertaken a project like this. Well Done! Thanks for all the details on your project, almost makes me want to build a set for myself, but I am not that patient.

Peace
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Thunder wrote:
jtspecial wrote:
I added the chimney and the small inn post/sign. This last bit was the most annoying, as I´m actually not the most patient man alive!


I respectfully disagree...you are a very patient man to have undertaken a project like this. Well Done! Thanks for all the details on your project, almost makes me want to build a set for myself, but I am not that patient.

Peace


He!
And thanks!

It´s true though, I often get so cought up in my work that I forget little practicalities, like glue drying times and such.
 
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Thomas Vilfroy
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What a very nice set you are making!

Alas I wish you were closer - since you obviously have a very nice set.

Sadly I'm not that artistic and alas can be easily overwhelmed by the smell of glue and all.

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Hi Tom!
would you have found my set even nicer if I were a lass ?
Seriously though... Thanks for the comments!
 
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Vangelis Bagiartakis
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Although I played Battlelore only once (and I didn't like it that much) I find the set you built to be really amazing. (it makes me want to play again )

Great Work!
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Stephen Schaefer
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Your rivers don't use real water?!? 2 out of 10!


Just kidding, this is a remarkable effort. Kudos!
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Andrew Hayford
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Orlando
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Amazing work +20 geek points. As an aspiring "chromer" I'll take some of your ideas for use in other games
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Thanks guys!
I´ll soon get around to making new stuff and painting up the expansion minis...
 
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Thomas Vilfroy
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Now if you could just produce some more of those terrain at very reasonable prices for those who are "artistically" challenged!
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