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Monday, December 28, 2020

Scatter Terrain for the French & Indian War (or wherever there are woods!)

Natives firing from a well concealed ambush.

As I have jumped big time into the French and Indian War, primarily because of Rebels and Patriots, (paid link) while I'm painting the figures I am also working on some "scatter" terrain to give the ole tabletop the look of a large skirmish game. Since I injured my left knee (a story for another day) I take daily walks with my dogs in the woods near my house. While walking I look at the terrain.

And thanks to my handy-dandy Iphone, I have been able to take some pictures as references for the terrain. Since I live in Alabama now, and I wanted to check my childhood memories of the Appalachian Mountains in Pennsylvania, I sent several pictures to State Forestry Departments and to some of my relatives in Canada to see if the woods looked like where they live. Now I know there is a big difference in time from 1756 to 2020 but the response I received indicated that the woods are pretty much the woods:

Some of the responses were pretty good:

New York: Hey I'm from Alabama too! Remember, we don't talk funny, the New Yorker's do. Great pictures and Roll Tide!

Vermont: Dang! That's a big tree.  

Pennsylvania: Looks like my back yard.

My Uncle John (who lives in Canada): Where's the snow?

Old CD's and DVD's you don't want anymore work good for scatter terrain. I use scatter terrain to (a) make the table look cool and (b) define the terrain; e.g. these are woods with with heavy ground cover or light ground cover.

View from the top.

With figures. 

Before making, if you want your figures to move through the scatter terrain, preposition the terrain with several figures to see if they can easily fit on your piece of terrain.

Overhead shot.

With British Rangers.

My personal favorite.

The materials are just hobby sand, twigs and rocks I find on my walks, a bag of moss from the local hobby store, static grass, tufts and other material I had lying around and the all important white and super glue. Let your imagination run wild.


  1. Very realistic terrain, Neil. Love the out of door photography and figures as well.

    1. Dean,
      Thanks. With my "second" retirement I decided I was going to spend some time making some terrain for the ole tabletop to give it some flavor. With Rebels and Patriot being a "large" skirmish game, it gives me a great opportunity to work on the terrain.

  2. Nicely done. I enjoy the use of twigs, rocks and other outside items in terrain. Not everything needs paint!

    1. Pancerni,
      And I hate painting terrain! Good point.

  3. Great pieces and ideas! Scatter terrain like this really makes a game table. Thanks for posting. ---Nathaniel

    1. Nathanial,
      Thanks. I started 2 more pieces today. Loving it.

  4. Great work Neil, these will decorate your table nicely.
    If you ever want any photos of the Woods o'Wisconsin let me know.