Axis And Allies.

As a newcomer to both the world of Axis and Allies, and miniature model making, I have decided to keep a diary of my work in progress, so as to help provide ideas to other newcomers, and so that I can easily look back on how I achieved certain effects.

When I first decided to make 3D terrain, there were 3 things I needed to decide.

I very quickly decided that 4" hex bases were the way to go, through various forums, seeing what other people had done, and deciding that I wanted enough room on the bases for terrain and vehichles. The one problem I was unsure of was was it 4" from corner to corner, or side to side. In the end I found a template on the internet (here), and printed it out

I then cut this out in cardboard, but decided that if I wanted to make a lot of hexes, I would probably need a more solid template.

My original idea was to use a thin sheet of metal cut to the printed template, with a hole in the center for easily adding a "line-of-fire" dot to each hex. However I didn't know how I'd obtain one. I discussed this with my father-in-law, and he mentioned doing it in glass. I wasn't keen on this as I thought it could easily break. Then I though about using a sheet of plexiglass. Not only was it a solid template, but it had the added bonus of being transparent, so I could easily see the object beneath it.
My father-in-law came to the rescue for the first time, saying he had some plexiglass lying around, so I gave him a copy of the hex template that I'd taken from the internet, and he cut the template below for me.

The next issue was to decide what material to use for the base.
It had to be cheap.
It had to be durable.
It had to be light (and easy to store a large number of).
I had to decide how thick I wanted the material to be (An issue I still have to solve, when I start creating Water hexes).
I had read on the internet that many people had used foam insulation, and other people had used mats. I really wanted the versitility of individual hexes, so that I could create my own maps, as well as the original base maps, so that ruled out using a mat, and meant whatever material I found had to be easy to cut. I couldn't work out if the foam insulation was the same as what I found in the hardware store. So cue father-in-law saves the day #2. I decided (as he know about these things) to ask him if he knew what to use.
During the discussion, we went into his workshop, and he showed me some rolled up linolium from their old kitchen floor. It was 170cm x 120cm, and very thin (about 3mm). It was sand coloured (so I can use that side for desert terrain) on one side, and white on the other. We tried spray painting the white site, and it seemed to stick. Then he showed me how easy it was to cut. I was sold. It met all my criteria, and on top of that, he would give it to me free (saved him having to take it to the dump), AND he can easily get me more if and when I need it. I thanked him, and gratefully took the "cutting" home.
The next day or two went by, and all I really managed to do was try and measure out how many hexes I could get from my lino. As well as working out from the 2 sides of each of the four base maps, how many of each type of terrain I would need, as well as what it needed to look like.

(I might list the terrain breakdown here later.)

I then finally took the plunge and decided to cut a few hexes from the lino, to test various products and gue methods to see what gave the best results.
Below are a few of the results.

I used both a stanley knife and scissors to cut the linolium.

I used a pen to draw around the template, safe in the knowledge that I could wipe it off once I was finished (Note the line-of-fire dot in the center).

The reverse side of the lino. The hexes seem uneven, and indeed at the moment, they are. This is because the lino had been rolled up for so long.
The lino easily bends, and can be bent flat. I think I'll probably put a heavy weight on them for a few nights, to see if that helps too.

A close up of the back (originally the top of the lino) to show the "Desert terrain" effect.

For my first trial, I wanted to use two colours of spray paint (plastic coating) and whilst wet, add flock to the paint.
In the foreground, dark green (gloss), and in the background black (mat).

After the flock has been added and dried off, this was the result from the green undercoat.

and this is the result from the black undercoat. Clearly darker in texture.

I wanted to experiment with different textures, and materials. I decided to glue some sand directly onto a hex, to see what it looked like, I used spray glue.
It didn't work, instead I then sprayed the sand with the green undercoat paint. With this result.

I then tried adding my "green sand" to a hex, using a black undercoat. This was the result.
It looks very dark, and might possibly be the base for marshland, as I don't know how to approach this yet
(Maybe a mix of blue and green sand, possibly with a blue undercoat).

I'm happy with the results so far, so it's time to move onto the next project....
... roads.

I found this spray in the hardware store, and whilst it's a fair bit more expensive,
because it's speckled, I thought it looked very road like. So I thought I'd give it a go.

I masked off the road, using tape, then added my textured spraypaint.

Once dry, I put sand along the road (I didn't want to use tape incase it took the paint off then sprayed an undercoat, immediately removing the sand from the road, I then flocked the rest of the hex.
If any of the sand stuck to the road, it only added to the effect.

I think the result is pretty good. I don't know if the road itself is wide enough (anyone got a scale tips?)

A selection of hexes.

Next up, I'll be cutting out more hexes, and flocking them. I bought 3 different types of flock.
After that, I'll have to think about other terrain types. How to tackle streams, water, hills, and towns.