.Dropped by Hobbycraft on Friday evening to pick up another Airfix (JB Models) Land Rover for my government forces. Taking a look around their crafts section for terrain ideas I came across A4 Magnetic Foam Sheets.
The grey sheets took my eye as they looked like a sunbaked metalled road surface. At 69p each and currently 3 for 2, I bought three to try out and saturday morning spent half an hour or so cutting them up to create country lane sections for my tabletop.
I decided the lanes should be 6cm wide, just enough for two Land Rovers or a single Chieftain. So, for only £1.38, I managed to get six 20cm(8") x 6cm straight sections, four 10cm x 4cm tracks/farm entrance sections, the 'S' bend and a load of smaller 30-90 degree turns.
The magnetic foam sheet is only a few mm's thick, and conforms easily to the contours of the table. It cuts easily, even free-hand - but make sure you have a sharp blade.
The 'roads' look OK as is, but need a little weathering, muddy tractor tracks etc. If I could be bothered (and I'm not just now - too much else to do), I think they could be enhanced by basing on wider 3mm mdf and texturing them into the roadside scenery.
I'm going back to Hobbycraft next week to buy some more grey magentic foam sheets. I want to make a dedicated T-Junction and a crossroads, but I also want to explore some urban applications.
Following on from cutting out the road sections yesterday, I started on making hedges from rubberised horsehair. Cutting the horsehair into strips with a pair of Heather's upholstery sissors (ssshhh!), then 'plucking' them into more realistic shapes. A single two foot square block, 2" deep, bought from a local upholstery company for £2, made 6 feet of hedgerow with lots of 'plucked' scraps for further trees and bushes.
The hedgerow sections will be mounted on textured bases whilst some sections will be given more character by interspersing farm gates, runs of drystone wall etc between lengths of hedgerow. At the moment I'm wondering if I should worry about flocking the hedges? As they stand, au nautural, I think they make good late autumn/winter beech hedgerow and help give the Winter of '79 tabletop that feel of desolate, frosty fields in the middle of a civil war.
Don't worry, I'm going to replace or at least tone-down that summer green mat with tan/brown heavy corduroy 'ploughed' and stubble fields. If I can get some 8" x 8" sheets of 3mm mdf or 1/16 ply I'll have a go creating my own winterised fields with brown 'paintable' silicon (mastic) sealant.