Making Wargaming Terrain: Streams

I am experimenting with using my 6mm terrain with 15mm figures on a DBA/HOTT sized table. The trouble is I’ve only got a small collection of 6mm terrain and this is from old Military Miniatures range crafted by Mark Strachan. I like the terrain, and the paint job by Gordon Roach, but Military Miniatures morphed into BattleFront and they no longer sell this stuff. So I decided to supplement my collection by making my own.

The photo shows a homemade stream section to a commercial one. You can see differences between them in the photo but on the table they aren’t noticeable.

Home made and painted stream section (left) versus commercial (right)

Homemade Streams 7 Left home made - Right commercial

Homemade Streams 7 Left home made – Right commercial

I describe the method below. Mine are to match existing 6mm pieces but the same process applies for other scales.

Method

Step 1. Cut MDF to shape

Firstly I cut out some shapes from 2mm MDF. I made the stream sections roughly 18mm wide. Long sections were 150mm in length but I made some variations (see below). I bevelled the edges with a craft knife.

Homemade Streams 1 mdf

Homemade Streams 1 mdf

Step 2. Shape stream banks

Next I built up the banks with mlliput. You could also use Green Stuff. Both have the advantage that they set rigid.

Homemade Streams 2 mdf miliput

Homemade Streams 2 mdf miliput

Step 3. Glue Sand to Banks

A bit of diluted PVA glue and some sand went onto the banks of the stream.

Homemade Streams 3 mdf miliput sand

Homemade Streams 3 mdf miliput sand

Step 4. Paint

Lastly I painted. I use the Black Undercoat Method so started with a black base layer. The water has a base coat of Coat D’arms 207 Dark Blue. I then painted patches of lighter shades the same 207 Dark blue mixed with white; then I repeated that with even smaller patches of an even whiter shade. The banks were painted with Coat D’arms 230 Camouflage Green.

Homemade Streams 4 painted

Homemade Streams 4 painted

Step 5. Varnish

I sprayed the painted sections with a matt varnish. Then I painted the water part of the feature with a gloss varnish.

Shapes

I did a variety of shapes including a few more or less straight sections, two Y sections, two short straight sections, some short curves and a ford.

Homemade Streams 6 variety of shapes

Homemade Streams 6 variety of shapes

Bridges

I got some stand alone bridges from Timecast (37/009-6mm scale Rural Stone Bridges). These are very nice but need building up to butt up against my roads and streams which are based on 2mm MDF. So I put the bridges on 2mm MDF as well. I also had to narrow the stream to match mine (the Timecast rivers are much wider).

Here is the Timecast bridge modified to fit home made streams and roads.

Homemade Streams 5 stream and bridge

Homemade Streams 5 stream and bridge

The stone of the bridge is painted in Coat D’arms 221 Horse Tone Dun then has a dry brush of Vallejo 007 Pale Sand. The road, including that part of the road crossing the bridge, is painted in the same way as the earth style I use for flocking.

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