Saturday, April 9, 2011

Battleground Finished!

Using the Toposolitario papercraft terrain and cargo containers, I was able to finish my battleground in just one and a half days!

The terrain and cargo containers have been made to compliment each other, so the overall effect is a shipyard or cargo hold area - which I think fits in pretty well with the possible scenarios for MERCS. Here are the completed pics:

Considering the effort to outcome ratio, it's awesome. I printed out all the PDFs at work, and spent around $20 on materials ($5 foamboard on special!, $6 cardboard, $3 clear self-adhesive book-cover, $4 double-sided sticky-tape) which I got all from a local art-shop. Everything all up took less than one and a half days to put together.

Cargo Containers
I made 24 cargo containers, all lined with cardboard so that they would be able to support the weight of metal minis. The cargo containers are based on the same 5 amazing designs, with 6 different colors to choose applied to them (check out the PDFs here). Since I made so many, the possible combinations for gameplay layout seem endless. Here's the breakdown of my process:
1) Cut all 24 stencils, using a hobby knife, metal ruler and cutting board - I tried it with scissors first, but using the knife was a LOT faster and my cuts were cleaner.
2) I cut 24 cardboard liners for inside the cargo containers for some strength (there's no way the paper stencils alone would be able to hold metal minis on top of them), again using the hobby knife. This took a bit of trial and error in terms of measurements and getting the papercraft cargo stencils to fit over the cardboard boxes I cut.
3) I fixed all the papercraft cargo containers to their cardboard liners - this was better done with sticky-tape, as I found the glue curled the paper that the stencils were printed on.

I stuck the terrain to a solid foamboard, then covered the entire surface in clear self-adhesive book-cover (which I needed my wife's help to do). This is to prevent the paper tiles from fraying - without some kind of protection, moving minis around the board would've degraded the surface.
Note that again I used double-sided sticky tape, as I found that glue dampened and curled the paper.
If you look at the design of the terrain surface you'll see it's a repeating pattern - you can extend its size by just repeating the sequence of terrain tiles again. I think that's REALLY awesome - props to the creator!
For the 2'x3' gameboard I made, I actually had to shave off some of the edges - so I didn't need to take advantage of the repetitive design.

With the left-over materials, I'll probably look at crafting some low-walls (for cover) and bridges (to plank across cargo containers) to add some extra depth to my battleground. I'll get to back to terrain a little later though, it's about time I got stuck into painting my MERCS!

So for now, that's my battleground complete - easy, cheap and quick all thanks to Toposolitario!

Sync out.


  1. That terrain looks really cool I am gonna have to check that site out.

  2. Thank you for building and sharing the photos SYNC... a very good implementation!

    I actually use heavy weight paper (from 120gr/m2 to 160gr/m2) for the Ikuebes and they keep on top even the heavier minis, so it is much faster.

    For the floor i didn't glue them on a board... I keep the pieces togheter not cutting all white borders after printing but only up and left and gluing the next boards to the uncut white borders... so I get a cheap (I print at work too) fast to glue board that y can roll and store almost everywhere... when playing I lay on top a heavy transparent foil I use to play regular boardgames...

    Anyway... very good work! thank you for using my designs!


  3. Thanks Topo!

    It is such an honor to have you read my site, and even post a comment!

    Thank you VERY much for providing your designs as a resource to the whole wargaming community - they are wonderful designs, are a pleasure to work with and look absolutely amazing!

    Thank you Topo for sharing your hard work with everyone, so that we can all have amazing looking table tops. :)

  4. Sync. Ref my other comment about how you did your terrain - nevermind - I found it :) Great work.