SixMillBuilders Interlocking MDF Roads for 100mm Hexes

I thought I’d share some of the ideas of Willem from SixMil Builders on terrain for hex mats/tables. In particular his interlocking MDF roads. He also makes 6mm buildings to match.

SixMillBuilders-Normandy-Table-3

SixMillBuilders-Normandy-Table-3


Interlocking Roads

Willem uses Hexon II Terrain Boards. These are 100mm hexes.

Single Hexon II Tile

Single Hexon II Tile

Willem designed his own road system. The roads are 40mm wide and 2mm high and are placed in the centre of the hexes. Crossroads are at a 60° angle – they are for hexes after all. The magic thing about the roads is the segments interlock. The interlocking system is a great help keeping the road “continuous”.

SixMillBuilders-Normandy-Table-2

SixMillBuilders-Normandy-Table-2

The interlocking roads were custom-made by Warbases. Willem sent them some “crude drawing showing all dimensions” and Warbases did the rest. They are laser cut in 2mm MDF. Warning: This was a custom job so you will not find the roads on the Warbases website.

Willem admits the roads lack on the visual side. “I know it’s just a piece of wood that doesn’t look like a road”. However, here are some ideas to improve the look:

  • Paint them
  • Zip texture them
  • Get Warbases to texture the surface e.g. inscribe with cobblestones

Zip-texture is an old model railroad term. This technique would work to make them look like dirt roads:

  1. Paint surface with thick layer of sticky paint
  2. When still wet cover with whatever material that you fancy (sand – real dirt – sawdust – whatever that sticks to the paint – Willem once used a dead bug and it was a great conversation piece)
  3. Let dry (long enough)
  4. When dry remove loose stuff
  5. Spray with mat varnish. Goes fast and has the advantage that whatever you put in there looks really “embedded” not just glued on it.

Wellem painted some of the “road” segments blue on one side. This mean they could be used as a road or flipped over for use as a canal or a waterway.

SixMillBuilders-Normandy-Table-4

SixMillBuilders-Normandy-Table-4

I don’t know about you but the interlocking aspects reminds me of kid’s wooden train tracks.

Wood Train Tracks

Wood Train Tracks


Buildings

Willem puts his 6mm buildings on the hexsides to get them out of the way.

All buildings are placed with opposite corners on the spots where the hexes converge so their basic dimensions are always ±3cm wide and 5cm (or a multiple) long (Kallistra has 10cm side to side). Placing them in this manner brings the long side of the building perpendicular to the roads which are placed through the middle of the hex. This means some restrictions in designing the buildings but I can live with that. If buildings are placed on opposite sides of the road (4cm wide) the hex is completely covered and the result is a neat street.

There are three advantages to this approach:

  • Four units can fit into a hex
  • Given LoS and LoF measured from centre to centre of the hex is clear and doesn’t require undue discussion
  • Players no longer “relocate” the buildings.
SixMillBuilders-Normandy-Table-1

SixMillBuilders-Normandy-Table-1

Note: SixMil Builders is a printing service for 1/300th scale buildings. So he prints Willem his own buildings.

SixMillBuilders - Normandy Village - Town Houses 2

SixMillBuilders – Normandy Village – Town Houses 2

SixMillBuilders - Stalingrad - Pavlovs House

SixMillBuilders – Stalingrad – Pavlovs House

5 comments to SixMillBuilders Interlocking MDF Roads for 100mm Hexes

  • Richard (doctorphalanx)

    Very useful ideas – thanks for sharing.

    Sticking some patches of felt to the bottom of the roads will keep them in place.

    Richard

  • Fantastic ideas here. I’ve had some custom bases done with Warbases before, but never considered this. Brilliant!

  • Andrés F.

    Are those troops clinging to the rooftops in the first picture? It looks odd 😛

    • Steven Thomas

      They are indeed. Representing, I guess, occupying the building. Willem seems to put a ridge around the edge of his buildings to facilitate this. Another option would be hollow buildings.

  • The disadvantage of affixing felt to the bottom of the pieces, is that the ability to use them as roads or rivers (by painting the reverse side blue would be eliminated. It might be better to use something like blue-tac instead, as it comes off easily and leaves no stain.

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