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Building a Wargame Terrain Table

Jeremy Laverty
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Originally posted on our little blog:

This article focuses on how to build a light weight terrain table for your Warmachine, Hordes, Infinity, Warhammer 40k, Dust Warfare games, etc.

4 ft x 4 ft sheet of plywood
4 pieces of 3/4" x 1.5" x 8 ft wood strips
Playground Sand
White Glue
Static Grass

First you lay out the sheet of plywood and the 3/4" x 1.5" strips to create a frame around the outer edge and one centre piece. The wood will come in 8 foot pieces, so you will need to cut them down 4 feet on one end and 3 feet 10" on the sides and center. *This can be done with thicker wood strips. I was going for lightweight, which means there is some flex in the board. You then screw and glue the frame onto the plywood from the top.

I added felt pads to the framing to keep it from sliding and scratching my dining room table.

Next you use an old paint brush and spread glue over the entire surface of the plywood. Mix in a bit of water to thin out the glue so it will go farther and not become too thick. Before it dries, sprinkle a thick layer of playground sand over the glue. I did this in quarters so that the glue doesn't dry too much by the time I got to dumping sand on it. The sand can be purchased at Home Depot or if you have a beach nearby, fill a bucket.

*This is a different table I'm working on, but it shows how I spread out the sand over the glue.

Let the sand and glue mix dry over night while sitting flat. If you lean the table on its side, the glue and sand will drip down the tabletop and dry that way. Once it is dry, apply coats of paint in the colours that you desire. I went with a dark brown base coat with a three stages of lighter brown coats to give it a look of soil. I used dollar store paints which work well, but take a while to spread and dry a bit chalky. They require some effective shading and dry brushing to create depth. Once the paint has dried, then apply the static grass to a thin layer of watered down white glue or woodland scenics Scenic Glue. I used a mesh strainer to allow for an even coating of static grass.

Then, after that has dried, get some terrain on it!

And Some Games!

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