January 20, 2014

Lost in the Bogs

Since my recent game of SAGA at home I have been building some terrain. During the game we talked about eventually recreating the Battle of Hastings but that we would need some boggy terrain for it. I had been thinking about creating some so a while. Most swamp terrain for wargames is based on the american bayou rather than bogs or marshes. I think the swamp terrain is fine but often it looks more like a pool than anything else. With that in mind I set about a test piece creating a bog somewhat similar to that I used to live near.The dominant thing I remember was the broken nature of the ground with thin but deep cracks everywhere. The ground was actually higher than the dry areas around it as the water it contained caused it to swell. Heather was the dominant plant at least in terms of coverage. There was not really much water pooled everywhere but this was due to the fact that the bog was worked and drained in the main places I could access.

I tried to incorporate all of the above in the piece you see here. I used a CD as a base asI don't currently have better basing material. Using wood on this would have made it way too tall in the end. The CD is a perfect thinness for basing and I have used them fairly often before. I put some air drying modelling clay on top of this. I sculpted it with some texture tools I have made. This gives a nice rough texture to the clay and visually separates it from the normal sand flocked surface. It also serves to raise the surface gently. Painting was simple, a layer of black and then some dark browns over the top. I added a few pools to the piece to indicate that it is a water feature. These aren't finished yet but I used a high quality gloss varnish to fill them. It is a slow process as I can only add a very thin layer at a time. For finishing the piece I added various plants. In the light of the photograph these are quite bright but generally they don't look quite so stark. A few grass tufts to break up the flock worked perfectly and with that the piece was finished.

I am happy with how it came out. I would like to get one or two other plants to add to the piece. Maybe a flower tuft or something in that direction. I can't really use a plant similar to heather despite the fact that I have figured out how to make them. It wold be impossible to move miniatures onto the piece with them there and making them removable would be too much of a headache.


  1. Looks very like moorland. Kent doesn't really look like that. Sorry, being pedantic.

    1. I have never been to Kent. Having seen a lot of the Peak district and the Irish midlands though I would say this is a decent interpretation.


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