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.
Willem uses Hexon II Terrain Boards. These are 100mm hexes.
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”.
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:
- Paint surface with thick layer of sticky paint
- 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)
- Let dry (long enough)
- When dry remove loose stuff
- 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.
I don’t know about you but the interlocking aspects reminds me of kid’s wooden train tracks.
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.
Note: SixMil Builders is a printing service for 1/300th scale buildings. So he prints Willem his own buildings.