Terrain techniques


I came across a new way to create a wild grass look the other day as I was perusing some internet sites recommended by various mailing lists I am on. I will post the link to the site that inspired this when I find it again (it was from an ECW battle – I believe it was here but the page won’t lod as I am writing this). The individual who had created the grass took Teddy Bear Fur*, trimmed it with barber clippers, and then painted it with acrylics. The green base painted fur was then dry brushed with lighter greens and browns to provide contrast and variety. The overall effect was breathtaking in a large scale battle. I thought I’d give it a shot.

The building ruin above was created using Hirst Arts pieces I had left from casting jobs and mounted on MDF (medium density fiberboard). I primed the piece with a flat black spray paint and then dry brushed it with acrylic paints. Once I was happy with this, I took the fur I had, trimmed it down with scissors, painted the first layer of paint in Goblin Green, and then dry brushed it with Vermin Fur. I left part of the fur in its original color to provide variety. I then cut it to shapes I needed to flesh out the piece and glued the fur down with plain Elmer’s Glue (PVA for those who don’t live in the south).

I think the effect is quite nice. I need to do a better job of two things, in my opinion:

  1. making the transitions between pieces smoother,
  2. cutting the grass shorter soo it doesn’t look like the African Veldt.

Anyway, here it is. Comments solicited.

* Ian Armstrong has provided a definition of Teddy Bear Fur for non-US residents. It is reproduced here in full:

Teddy bears and other fluffy toys are caught and skinned to provide us wargamers and model railway enthusiasts with faux grass for making terrain.

Some bears are actually farmed in large factories so that the raw material is thus cheaper ;0)

About the author

Michael Cannon

I have been wargaming as long as I can remember. I met my wife when I was 14 and had been gaming long before that so that should give you an indication as to how long it has been. One of the first games I owned was Anzio by Avalon Hill. I drove over to the hobby shop in the snow to pick it up as I finally had the money to get something! I can remember playing with Airfix figures and Roco tanks back in the 6th grade and before.

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