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Modular tertain


I am absolutely thrilled.

Myself and a friend bought 14 sheets of XPS 250 cm * 60 cm * 3 cm.

We looked into getting it laser cut, no good the material retreats from the cut surface. We looked into water jet cutting. Very powerful, but very slow and hence expensive. We looked into CNC routing, There was a significant kerf and so a lower yield also quite expensive. Finally we found a guy doing CNC hot wire cutting. Perfect.

So now we have 602 hexes 10 cm a side 20 cm point tip to tip. We also have 252 half hexes which are just as useful. They are perfect fits and have precise geometry.

The raw material cost 360 AUD
Transport between the supplier and the cutter 100 AUD
The cutting 264 AUD
That works out to 99 cents for each hex if you count the half hexes

Now we are going to plan out the pieces to make hills, river valleys, roads etc.

Image: 20140925004117


JustinInOz said:

Myself and a friend bought 14 sheets of XPS 250 cm * 60 cm * 3 cm.

I appreciate your ambition!

JustinInOz said:

So now we have 602 hexes

The Good News:
Once they're all complete, you'll have the most versatile modular terrain system ever and you'll be the envy of wargamers worldwide!

The Bad News:
If each hex only takes an hour to complete and you can work on them full-time (40 hours per week), you'll have them done just in time for Christmas! (15 weeks) Wink

Of course, you won't have to finish ALL of the hexes before playing on them. At that size, you probably only need about 50-60 to outfit a table (presuming a 6mm game).

I am curious to see how this all turns out. I've often considered foam hexes for small scale gaming but have always been put off by the amount of work involved. Maybe I'll be inspired!

Do you have a specific game, scale, or time period in mind for this terrain or is this going to be "general all-purpose" battle-scaping?


Tob said:

The Bad News:
If each hex only takes an hour to complete and you can work on them full-time (40 hours per week), you'll have them done just in time for Christmas! (15 weeks) Wink

Do you have a specific game, scale, or time period in mind for this terrain or is this going to be "general all-purpose" battle-scaping?

You are right on the labour. I am kind of thinking some green, some desert and maybe some snow. I don't think that it will take that much time once we get industrial assembly line on it. If we plan it right we will come up with an inventory of cuts to do. Mark up the hexes and then get cutting with a hot wire.

I would like to use the terrain for FOG Renaissance and Fist Full of Tows. I like 15 mm. I think my friend likes 25mm. I know he plays Warhammer 40k.

I need to find out what kind of paint sticks to XPS and what kind of material we can mix with the paint to give it texture.

It was this site that gave me the inspiration to do this in the first place.




JustinInOz said:

I don't think that it will take that much time once we get industrial assembly line on it.

Yeah, you should be able to cut the average time per hex dramatically.

JustinInOz said:

I would like to use the terrain for FOG Renaissance and Fist Full of Tows. I like 15 mm. I think my friend likes 25mm.

That sounds good. 15 and 25mm are close enough - just be sure to make any roads wide enough for 25mm.

JustinInOz said:

I need to find out what kind of paint sticks to XPS and what kind of material we can mix with the paint to give it texture.

Acrylic/latex. Not sure what brands you have down there, but I (and many others here) use inexpensive craft paints like Folk Art, Anita's, and the like. I also use gesso as a primer first.

For speed's sake, you might look into water soluble latex spray paints. I don't use them, but many people here do. Warning: If you use spray paint, it MUST be water soluble or else it will eat your foam. Krylon H2O is a brand here; you probably have an equivalent.

As for texture, I usually glue sand, sawdust, tea, or whatever down first, then paint it, but again many members here mix it into the paint. If you need fine sand, look for chinchilla sand in pet stores.


Thanks for the tips and the info. Particularly the 25mm roads and the filler/texture.

I have an airbrush, so I reckon that will see a bit of use.


JustinInOz said:

I have an airbrush, so I reckon that will see a bit of use.

Excellent. I use Createx Colors in mine. I personally have had an occasional issue watering down craft paints for airbrush, but I honestly can't tell you if this is due to my laziness in mixing, the poor quality of my 'brush, or the "chunkiness" of cheap craft paint. Your mileage may vary, but if you already have some water-based airbrush paints, feel free to use them.

I also like to use ink in my airbrush for shading and effects. I prefer Ranger alcohol based ink just because they have a huge range. I thin with isopropyl alcohol. You can get GREAT implied texture effects by spraying inks over paint. Makes doing large grassy areas easy without flocking.

Get to work! We want to see what you come up with!


Cool project, very ambitious! I suspect I'll learn a lot from this - good luck!


Tob said:

JustinInOz said:

Myself and a friend bought 14 sheets of XPS 250 cm * 60 cm * 3 cm.

The Bad News:
If each hex only takes an hour to complete and you can work on them full-time (40 hours per week), you'll have them done just in time for Christmas! (15 weeks) Wink


Merry Christmas! Best present ever.

Please post WIP pics. The idea of large, hex-based modular terrain has been something I've been considering for some time. I would love to see how it turns out for you.


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