Friday, July 11, 2014

DIY Rivers

I recently finished a set of rivers for my Flames of War table. I made the rivers out of 1/8” medium density fibreboard, glue, sand, rocks, and a bit of balsa wood. The rivers will add some variety to my Flames of War tables.

I built these rivers in September and just painted them recently. It only took me an hour or so to paint them. I’m not sure why I took so long to finish them. I built them by cutting different shapes from 1/8” MDF with a jigsaw. I used a compound mitre saw to cut a few pieces for angled sections. I then covered the edges with wood glue and sand. I used sand, rock, and some wall filler spackle to create areas for fords.
Lots of places to ford. I dislike terrain that is too restrictive.

You can see the slight warping here.

I painted the rivers by painting them dark blue and then airbrushing the lighter blue colour along the edges. I used a few coats of Triple Thick Varnish (from Michael’s) to create the glossy finish on the water. I used to use Woodland Scenics Water Effects. It gives a great look but it isn’t as durable. The Triple Thick Varnish is very durable but still can get scratches. After some storage the pieces have warped a little and so I will have to paint the bottoms to try and restore the correct shape to them.
Ugh, half-tracks take 2 turns to cross these as they are over 4 inches. I think I would just dismount them... Maybe exploit some calling up transports rules to get back in.

Or just take the bridge. Must build more bridges!

I added lots of fords to the river sections so that they are not too limiting in games. There is nothing worse than not really being able to cross a river in a game. I have one bridge already and need to build another one. In games, rivers can be pretty annoying for my tanks but they do add an extra element to the table without restricting shooting lanes. I often dislike rivers when I am attacking but I really love how water features look.
That bridge is the first piece of terrain I made when returning to wargaming after a 10 year hiatus.
In total, there are 7 and a half feet or so of rivers and one lake. There is plenty to fill up a gaming table but unfortunately I did not build quite enough for two tables!

I hope you enjoyed seeing these. I have tons of terrain I have painted in the last several months that I just haven't gotten around to posting. Check back soon for some more terrain and something non-Flames of War... Thanks for visiting!


  1. Looks very very nice :-D post the other stuff you have done
    *cracks the whip*

    1. Ahaha. Thanks Chris. I've got some posts queued up. I like to spread it out a bit so all the content doesn't come out at the same time. I have some fields, some roads, and some trees that I have finished and some other models that are nearly done.

    2. Yeah I know what you mean :p but looking forward to seeing it, since this is really very solid work :)

  2. Very nice indeed. The airbrushed water is a clever touch and very convincing.

    1. Thanks. I don't know if the water actually looks too realistic, but the airbrushed areas do add the effect of depth. I considered painting them a more realistic brown colour but the blue looks nice and vibrant on the table.

  3. Very cool and sounds like a simple build too.

    1. Yeah, they were pretty easy to make. Very quick. Somehow I dragged out the three hours of work to take 9 months or so...


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