Monday, February 3, 2014

Home made River terrain

One of the things our gaming group was lacking in terms of terrain was river sections, so I decided to come up with some pieces on my own.

I wanted it to be very realistic, so I used a material which name could be translated to English as "liquid glass". Once mixed with the reagent, it hardens up over several hours, turning into a clear surface, pretty much as hard as actual glass.




The first step was to cut thick cardboard sections and then apply the texture over which the liquid glass would be spilled. It was made with my proven formula of mixing dirt+water+glue. Once dry, I used drybrush to touch up the parts that were to remain brown, and painted blue of the parts that would receive the liquid glass.


The river rocks were added just prior to applying the liquid glass. No glue was used, the glass itself fixes the rocks in place once dry. A little texture and white paint were then used to create some surface bubbling where the water hits the rocks.


I warn those interested in doing something similar to bear in mind that dealing with such product on boardless pieces of terrain such as these river sections are quite labour intensive. You have to come up with some sort of temporary board on the end of each section to keep the product from draining. I used clay, but there was a lot of cutting and sanding required to remove it completely once the glass was dry.


A couple shots to give an idea of scale:



Having several sections enables us to come up with many different lay outs. Here is an example:


I'm prety happy with these, I think they look beautiful and will be of great use in our games, particularly now that I'm determined to begin playing Napoleonics - such natural terrain elements are always useful on historical gaming.

*End of Transmission*


  1. They came out looking truly fantastic! The pond is especially nice.

    I did something similar but much less elaborate about 35 years ago using artist's mat board, plaster of Paris, plasticene clay for the banks, and multiple coats of polyurethane varnish. They have held up quite well; I still use them for winter rivers/streams.

    The only bad thing I can see is that you probably should have made twice as many. :-)

    Also if you make more, consider making a "ford" segment, and one or two with "rapids', and embedding a small twig or two in the "liquid glass in some sections to represent floating debris.

    1. Thanks, Gonsalvo! I'm already planning more sections, and fords, rapids and debris great ideas!