Terrain Boards

We have made several terrain boards over the years and we thought we would put together some helpful tips of where to start.

Terrain Boards - The Guide

A terrain board can be simple and flexible with many component panels that when moved around provide different topography each time, such as roads, rivers, streams, fields and hills.

A terrain board can also be a bespoke design, either using a plan of a real battlefield or one which has been created, which always look fantastic but usually have limited uses. (A nice thing to have if you have the space to store various different terrain boards)

But in most cases terrain boards develop from a period in history, a particular battle or even a historical book or novel that the customer has read.

Now before you start rifling through your book collection stop and ask yourself the following questions

Things to consider

  1. What space have you got to play on and move around the table? Always give yourself room to move around the terrain board, and remember if you add height to the board this will reduce the distance that you will be able to reach into the centre of the board.
  2. What storage space have you got? If you want a bespoke terrain board panels that are thick and large consider the practicality when moving them around. ( If your wargames room is in the loft then the terrain panels will need to be small enough to fit through the loft hatch)
  3. If you intend to transport them from your home to the club room or to put a game on at a wargames show, then size is important, what can you fit in the car? Larger panels may need a van to move them around.

What comes next

Now you have decided on the size of the board ( e.g. a 6ft by 4ft terrain board in 6 2ft by 2ft panels). Now its time to decide what features you want on it.

Sketch out the battlefield plan of the layout showing roads, streams/rivers and any other features such as trenches and raised areas. Photocopy maps from reference material can also help to scale the key areas of interest.

If its eye catching terrain you are looking for then the largest panel size possible looks best, fewer joins and more unbroken features as possible. Remember you need to store and move it around some there may be some compromise.

The next two factors are important and have massive influence on each other.

  • Surface Detail - The level of detail you want on the table and the chosen materials that it is made from.
  • Project Budget - Always allow a expense for special features. It is so easy to get carried away with a project then find its way over budget. Have a figure in mind of what you want to spend. Material costs can vary from £200 to £800 than there are labour costs on top of that, remember that great boards takes time to design and sculpt - you have to pay that person for their time.

Other things to consider are time scales. You must allow sufficient time to fulfill the project, for bigger project they take months of planning and alot of hours to create; there is nothing worse than having to work late nights and long days before a show date to get a terrain board completed. 

Contact Us

If you wish to discuss our services further please contact us using the form below and we'd be more than happy to answer any questions you have got and give you a quote if you wish to get a terrain board made by Grandmanner.


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