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Roads & Fences

Roads from emery paper by Mike Becker

This technique comes from my aircraft carrier modeling days. We used this technique to get different texture on the runways of the carrier decks. This is what I use to make smooth roadways that have not yet been raped by ariel/planetary bombardment. What I am about to explain is perfect for making modular roadways.


  1. Black emery paper (grade is up to you) or Testors black sandpaper (this tends to be pricey but the results are beautiful).

  2. Mat board (thick card found at frame shops)

  3. 5 mm foamcore

  4. Woodland Scenics talus, or rail bed gravel. (you choose the color you most like.)

  5. Elmers white glue, PVA, or Hobby Tack

  6. modeling clay


First you must determine the size of the roadbed. For epic two to five inches is about right, and for 40k ten to fifteen inches is about right. (Two Rhinos should have enough room to sit side by side with room to spare.) Once the size of the roadbed has been determined then take half of that measurement and add it to the roadbed size. Now we know the overall width of the terrain. Now cut the mat board to the overall width of the roadway piece. The length should be from six to eighteen inches.

Now cut the foamcore the size of the roadbed, and glue it to the center of the mat board. This should be done to have an even amount of mat board on either side of the road bed.

Now use the modeling clay to grade the roadbed to the mat board. At this point cut from the emery paper the roadbed size. (A little extra is preferred for mistakes.) Glue the emery paper down to the roadbed. Don't worry about seams because it gives a nice expansion crack look to the road. (Much like the freeway systems in the USA.) This look can be heightened by placing small strips of cereal box card on either side of the seam.

Now we create the shoulder for the road by gluing down the talus or rail bed gravel on either side of the road bed to create the look of a shoulder to the road.

The real perk to this terrain piece is that you don't have to paint it. The black emery paper naturally achieves the asphalt look, and the Woodland Scenics adds the natural shoulder look.

As an after thought in case you want to end the road on the table instead of the table edge, use all the techniques described above but cut the roadbed shorter than the overall length and use the shoulder making technique at the end of the road.

Pre Cut Foam Sheets for Roads by Andy Nelson

There's this pre-cut foam sheeting stuff that comes in assorted colors that can be found in craft stores in America. I dunno what it's called, but 75 cents will get a 11" x 17" sheet about 1/32" thick. The black foam looks exactly like new asphalt. When cut into strips, it becomes excellent roads that can be placed around the game board. I used two long parallel strips of cellophane tape to mask off and paint the center line with some white acrylic craft paint (the same stuff as citadel paint but a lot cheaper). I use this stuff to cover the bottoms of my Battletech miniatures because I got tired of the CLUNK sound they make when placing them on a hard surface and discovered that they make perfect loose roads by accident.

Barbed/Razor Wire by Jon Capps

  1. Cut 3 lengths of wire 1 yard long. The instructions say to use 5 amp fuse wire. I wasn't sure what to look for here in the States, so I just looked around Radio Shack and hobby/craft shops and got the smallest wire I could find. Twist them together at one end and hang them up on something.

  2. Take a cotton reel and make a nick opposite to the nick already in place. Thread the middle wire through the reel and add a weight to the end of the middle wire. Some keys work nicely. Hook the other 2 wires through the 2 nicks on the cotton reel and adjust so that the reel is level and the middle wire has enough weight to hang straight.

  3. Use the cotton reel to wind the 2 outer wires around the middle one. Use one hand to twist the reel and one to hold it. Keep a constant tension on the wires the entire time. Do not over-wind. The instructions say 4-5 turns per centimetre gives the best look, but it's rather a matter of personal taste. Remove the weight and reel. Bind off the end.

Note: I couldn't get this cotton reel method to work, so I did this by hand. I think I was using a larger gauge wire than I was supposed to such that it wouldn't stay in the nicks in the reel, but I still got results that pleased me, although it took a long time to wind the whole length of wire.

  1. With the wire that is still on the spool or card you bought it on, wind it tightly around one end of the prepared wire 2-3 times, move down a centimeter or so, leaving a small loop, wind it round the prepared wire another 2-3 times, move down some more, leaving another small loop. Repeat down the length of the prepared wire. Make sure the twists are as tight as you can make them. Tie off at the end.

  2. Run the prepared wire over a small flame to make the tinning run a little. This will serve to hold the twists in place, and will remove some of the shine of the wire. This happens almost immediately, so don't do this too long, or the tinning will be removed completely, which is not what you want.

  3. You may now add an optional liberally applied coat of matte varnish. This will also help set the twists.

  4. Clip off the loops fairly close to the wire, leaving the twists. You should now have a pretty good representation of barbed/razor wire. I made toothpick posts sticking up from the ends of the barricades from White Dwarf issue 213. Then I wrapped an entire length of razor wire around one of my fingers (before cutting off the loops) to get a coiled effect, and ran it on top of the barricades, securing it to the toothpicks. It was beautiful. Unfortunately the barricades got crushed accidentally, so I'm currently reconstructing them out of foam board.

Rock Walls by Kelly Lewis

I have found a way to make piled rock walls for the cheapest price yet, free. All you do is go to your local stream bed, canal, gravel road, or anyplace small rocks and grit are assorted. There find rocks that are about the size that they come up to your miniatures ankles.

Collect as many as you need. At home cut strips of card board, paint.

The strips I usually make are 1 inch by 4 inches. Then on top of the cardboard hot glue the rocks in place. Glue about three high. And that is it. You can then make as many segments as you wish and reset them easily for each battle. They are a bit heavy for terrain features but hey, they are free.

Concertina Wire by Garren Allard

This type of wire is used to channel an attacker into your fields of fire, breakup his formations, and protect weak points in your line.

Materials Paper clips Window repair mesh (just bought a 3ftx24ft roll of Nylon mesh for $3.20(US)) Spackling Glue - PVA or Super Material for a base


  1. Cut your bases I make mine 1 in x 6 in (for 28/25mm figures), with gentle curves on the sides and end to give it a natural look. Usually out of discarded paneling or thin particle board, although you could use sheet styrene, thick poster board, etc... These material will not be as sturdy as wood, but they are easier to work with.

  2. Fence Stakes Take a pair needle nose pliers and straighten out the paper clips. Next you want to create loops in paper clips so it looks like this _O_O_____ Trim the long end so that when standing up it comes about to waist of a figure. You need 3 of these per base

  3. Fixing the stakes to the base, and painting Drill holes on each base, one on each end and one in the middle. Glue the stakes into the holes with PVA. They don't need to stand up straight, in fact if they are all straight they tend to look a little un-natural. After they dry, take a dab of spackle and put it around the bottom of each stake, to represent the dirt around the bottom of the stake. Add appropriate could cover, ballast, grass etc.. and paint black. Drybrush the ground with light earth tones, and the stakes first with a rust color, then lightly with silver.

  4. Making the wire Take the window screen and cut it like you did in your gun turret project. You need about 12 in per 6 in base. Take your strand and wrap it tightly around a fat magic marker, or a dowel. Slide it off the end and you should have a coil or wire now. Glue the coil to the stakes and drybrush with silver and rust. You may have to the coil down between the stakes also.

When your done, you'll have 6 in sections of concertina wire, just like out of the war movies.

Razorwire Fences by Caitlin

I use plastic fly-net. The sort of net you can put on windows to keep flies out of the house. It is cheap, glues easily and cuts even easier.

Plastic fly-net cut along one of the lines (on both sides) is perfect. The little left-over is just right for razorwire and if you use PVA glue and then roll it around a pencil, it will have that rolled-up razorwire look...

Roads & Fences

The version of fly-net that I use is dark grey and looks great with just a bit of silver drybrushing.

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