Scenery – Getting Started – UK

Home Forums Historical Bolt Action Scenery – Getting Started – UK

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
  • Author
  • #182231
    Nigel Heather

    I have two armies, still need to finish building and painting them.  I find choosing and buying figures and vehicles easy but am bewildered to the point of standstill when it comes to scenery.

    I have even been to war game shows but found the sheer range and number of sellers daunting, especially as you can’t seem to go to one place and say “I’ll have one of your lovely started sets please, here is my hard-earned cash”.

    No it is buy some hedges from here, walls over there, flock from them, they do great churches but if you want houses go to them and barns over there, polystyrene – try your builders merchants, roads – well depends on what you want.

    And then there is the “naaw, you don’t want to do that, you want to build them yourself”.

    I just find it all way too much.

    So any secrets, any suggestions, particularly “here is a good starter set for summer Russia (insert scenario of choice)”.



    • This topic was modified 3 years, 8 months ago by Nigel Heather.
    Jacob Carter

    Probably not helpful, but I think it really depends on how quick you want a terrain piece.  From what I’ve seen, buildings from 4ground are great because they are pre painted and just need some assembly.

    But, if you don’t mind putting a lot of work into a piece, making your own is incredibly rewarding since you’ll have a very unique piece.

    Here’s a couple of pieces I’ve put together; the plane comes from an Airfix model set, the trees from Woodland scenic, the building from Warlord, and the fence is custom built out of bulsa wood (can be chained with other pieces to make it longer)

    Jacob Carter

    I’ll add that unless you have a massive amount of patience don’t try to make stonewalls by hand!  A 3” piece took me about 6 hours to shape before I decided just to buy a set.

    Nigel Heather

    Thanks for the replies.  I’m not opposed to making stuff, my problem is just how daunting the scale is – not knowing what to build.

    I really want a “here is a good list of staple items to get you going”.

    And the price – I’ll be at a show and see a tree or a section of wall for a £5 and think “wow, so twenty each will be £200 and I’ve not even got started”.




    Jacob Carter

    Well my suggestion would be to make some stand-in hedgerows to start, then get two large pieces that can double as hard cover and LOS breaking.  After that you’ve got enough for some decent games until you expand.

    For building basic hedgerows you can get a coconut fiber welcome mat, cut it into strips, then paint it green with some cheap spray paint.  Doesn’t look the best, but it’s a good starting point and you can make enough to absolutely cover a board in about 2 hours.

    As for large pieces the ruined house Warlord sells works pretty good and is highly modifiable.

    Just focus on scenery that actually provides cover first before getting decorative stuff like trees and scatter terrain.

    Emiliano Morado

    Warlord sells the following mdf and platic kits that are ready to start a themed table. I recommend buying 2 -3 of each kit to fill up a table but there are some like the El alamein kit that really give you what you need for the desert rail station.These kits are made by Sarissa, TTcombat and Warlord Games, Renedra, Tabletop workshop. If you don’t have a play mat there are a large variety available. While I want you to support Warlord Games I reallly want you to have the look you are envisioning of a bombed out city, bocage,airfields,city warfare, you name it you can do it.

    For Plastic and mdf kits consider the following. You can use these for European countryside, wreck villages, River crossings, tank wars, City warfare and more. If you have a specific theme in mind you will want to stay with the Sarissa and TT combat sets. Both are very easy to assemble and make the table pop. I completely understand the apprehension in buying in $200 and not having what you need so I hope this helps

    802010004 Ruined Farmhouse
    802010005 Ruined Hamlet (farmhouse x 3)
    802010006 Church
    WG-TER-38 Stone Walls, get 2 kits
    WG-TER-39 Anti-Tank Obstacles
    WG-TER-46 Wrecked House
    WG-TER-40 Stone Bridge
    842010001 Flak Bunker
    842010002 Coastal Defence Bunker
    TTSCX-BTA-001 Bolt Action Rural Village Set
    993010001 Large Farm Animals
    993010002 Small Farm Animals
    EIEIO Farmyard Animals
    402010001 Bolt Action Battlefield Accessories
    WG-TER-47 Barbed Wire
    402010002 Bolt Action Battlefield Debris
    REN-BARN Ramshackle Barn
    REN-CHURCH Weatherboard American Church
    Tabletop Workshop
    28MEDCOTT Cottage
    28MEDCHAP Medieval Chapel
    28MEDMERC Merchant’s House
    28MEDTOWN Townhouse


    K013 Far East Scenery Set
    N122 El Alamein Railways Station Set
    B049 Mountain Village Set
    J026 Dark Age Village Scenery Set
    S150 Sci Fi Scenery Set
    T066 Mediterranean Scenery Set
    TT01 Terrain Tile System Pack (TT01)
    i010 Factory Scenery Set
    N149 European Timber Frame Scenery Set
    N150 Destroyed European Townhouse Scenery Set
    N151 European Street Scenery Set
    N152 Storage Shelter Scenery Set
    TTSCW-WAR-056 Farm Scenery Set
    TTSCX-BTA-002 Stalingrad Tank Factory
    TTSCX-BTA-003 Stalingrad Industrial Set
    TTSCX-BTA-004 Stalingrad Red Star Railway
    TTSCX-BTA-005 Stalingrad Pavlovs House
    TTSCX-BTA-006 Stalingrad Theatre
    TTSCX-BTA-007 Stalingrad Ruins
    MGTC127 Campsite
    MGTC130 Village Square
    MGTC131 Market
    MGTC116 Temple
    MGTC117 Guard Barracks



    general rule of thumb for a 4 x 6′ board at the club where I play is make a board that looks like a land mark that would be fought over… be it cross roads, a small village with a church, a river crossing etc

    to do that you’ll want 7′ of river with at least 1 bridge and 2 crossings (you want a couple of bends in the river)

    about the same in roads if not a bit more

    a large building (church /town hall/ railway station)

    3-6 smaller buildings (houses)

    3 -4 fields or fences / hedges to make fields about 1 foot – 18″ area

    2 -4 markers for forests (and a few trees to go on the markers to show they are a forrest) again about 18″ in area

    scatter terrain – by this we mean broken fences, shell craters, coal shacks, random house furniture… stuff to break up LoS / give light cover to infantry crossing open ground


    Building up your scenery collection is typically a life long endeavour, but Nat’s list is a great starting point.

    I make some of my own pieces, but most of mine comes from Last Valley (Andy), who makes loads of good pieces, very cheap for what you get. He does loads of the shows, but obviously they won’t be happening any time soon. You can get hold of him on Facebook, look at loads of photos of his stuff, then let him know what you want building.

    ive recently bought a large set of dirt tracks  for my Pacific Theatre games, from Fat Frank on e-bay. Amazing quality at a very cheap price. Can’t vouch for any of his other stuff, but shows you don’t have to pay the Earth for ready built terrain.

    Sadurian Mike

    There are as many terrain tips out there as there are gamers, so you need to find what works for you. Remember also that what works in photos of tables doesn’t necessarily work in gaming. An example is creating cornfields with door mats or ‘teddy bear fur’. It looks spectacular until you start putting units onto it, at which point you generally have units floating above the field in their hoverbelts. Similarly, that lovingly-crafted hillside with clinging vegetation and scree slope looks amazing until you try to position figures on it, and see them tumble away for lack of horizontal standing space.

    My point is that you must choose between practicality and aesthetics, and find the point between them that you are comfortable with. That should be your starting point for buying or creating terrain, and you will probably have some rather workmanlike pieces until you manage to collect alternatives.

    On that note; cheap and easy hedgerows can be made by cutting green scouring pads, sticking a small base to them and dragging a highlight colour or two over the hedge or sticking on some scatter. They are remarkably effective.

    (Not my hedges, but included for illustration).

    Witch Racer

    Just a suggestion for roads.  I use Wills OO scenic series materials pack SSMP210 Crazy paving.  I sand the back to remove moulding makes and paint black and on the patterned side paint a stone colour and apply some washes.  That gives me the option of a stone or tarmac road.  Each pack has 4, 76mm x 134mm sheets.  They take up very little space and give me a chose of two road types.  Just get some green, Brown or sand coloured cloth for your playing area and use what suit you.  Just remember the scenery police will not be knocking on your door to till you that you can’t do it  that way.  Its a game ENJOY IT.


    If you haven’t already encountered him, check out Mel’s YouTube channel – The Terrain Tutor.

    Hes got some great videos if you fancy making your own.


    Hi it can be a little overwhelming.    Here’s my tip…Google.

    Hedges …pan scourers yes….but try to get Eager Beaver scourers they are  massive. An inch thick.

    Houses …..mdf pretty cut or foam if you want DIY.

    Trees …scenics are great at tree skeletons that you bend into shape and add clump foliage.

    But don’t forget a battle mat we use Deep Cut…

    But look around…get onto the web and see what you like…if you want some Russian insperation  have a look at out Stalingrad Glasgow Warhogs blog. If you look at Essen on the blog you will see the hedges we did from the EB scourers…super thick.

    But most of all have fun…


    Here is the link to the Essen page with the hedges…  These are just large scourers on top of (hot glued) blue foam – with flock.

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.