Quick Hint #12

Making Fields

Fields of one sort or another are a common site on many a wargames table whatever the scale. Often these are represented by no more than a piece of brown card or an area lined with hedges. This needn’t be the case as making attractive fields is an easy, quick and cheap process.

Fields come in a number of states depending upon the crops and time of year but most people picture them as either bare and furrowed or think with crops. Both of which are easy to reproduce.

Crop Laden Fields

These are by far the simplest to model, especially at a smaller scale (20mm and below). Just get on down to the local DIY store and pick up a door mat (the bristly type) which are usually available for around £5. These can then be cut up into field shapes with a sharp knife (cutting from the back is easiest). The advantage of these is that they are durable and have enough weight not to be moved easily when lying on your gaming table. Depending upon your field sizes one mat will produce enough fields for a good size gaming table.

For added realism your fields can be sprayed an alternative colour (don’t try to paint them with a brush or the paint will clump) or you can use a sharp pair of scissors or a knife to cut tracks through the fields.

Plowed Fields

These are almost as simple to make and can look impressive on any table top and can be made in one of two ways.

First is good old corrugated cardboard. What you need to find is the type that only has a card backing rather than the more common sandwiched type. Once again cut this to size to match your desired field coverage. This will then need to painted to match your desired soil colour. One of the problems with using card is that it will often curl and tends to be easily moved whilst gaming. This can be alleviated by gluing your field to a backing of some sort (I would recommend thin MDF) but this adds to the weight and cost.

The second and (in my opinion) preferable option is corduroy. This can be purchased in a range of colours and cord width from most fabric shops. Alternatively you may be able to find some suitable old clothes being sold at a car boot fair. Try and go for a brown colour unless you feel like getting down and dirty with some fabric dye. This can then be cut to size and laid out on your tabletop for a very quick and effective field. The advantages of using corduroy is that it tends not to move around on the tabletop and is easy to store, you can simply roll it up when you have finished.

If you are feeling adventurous and want to give your plowed fields some added realism, glue some static grass along the ridges. A whole host of colours can be used depending on crop type and will really bring your fields to life.

About Jarec

Long term Wargamer and dice hugger. My preferences tend towards Fantasy and Sci-Fi but I have a strong interest in the WWII and Vietnam gaming eras.
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