Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Snow Terrain

Originally appeared on www.talesofmiddleearth.co.uk back in 2016

Materials, Equipment and Paints Used:
Snow Flock
40mm Diameter MDF Discs
Tree Armatures
Pine Tree Models
Ready Made Polyfiller
Thick Cardboard
Coffee Stirring Sticks
PVA Glue
Black Paint
Grey Paints
White Paint
Rhinox Hide
Karak Stone
Gloss Varnish

While they were halted, the wind died down, and the snow slackened until it almost ceased. They tramped on again. But they had not gone more than a furlong when the storm returned with fresh fury. The wind whistled and the snow became a blinding blizzard. Soon even Boromir found it hard to keep going. The hobbits, bent nearly double, toiled along behind the taller folk, but it was plain that they could not go much further, if the snow continued. Frodo's feet felt like lead. Pippin was dragging behind. Even Gimli, as stout as any dwarf could be, was grumbling as he trudged.


One way to add a bit of interest to your gaming boards is to have them covered in snow, a simple way to do this is just to scatter snow flock over your boards then brush it off at the end of your games. This article aims to take things a step further and shows how to create some snow covered terrain that can be used.


If you live near snow you should go out and take a look at how the snow falls over the scenery, or if it is winter and snowed do the same. It hasn't snowed where I live for a few years, so even though it is winter here, I have had to resort to an image search on the internet.

Gaming Boards

The basic snow boards are made in the same way as in Simple Cavern Gaming Boards, except a final heavy dry brush of white as the final stage.  Once the paint has dried, the boards where covered in PVA glued and then snow flock scattered over all the boards.


This article will cover two types of trees, deciduous trees; those that loose their leaves in the winter months, and evergreens; those that keep their leaves.  The trees are based on 40mm MDF Discs.

The evergreen trees are made from model railway pine tree models. These normally come with a twisted metal trunk that will need to be sorted. This was done by covering it in greenstuff and modelling a trunk and having a bark like texture scored onto it.

Once the greenstuff has set it was undercoated in black and then drybrushed in Rhinox Hide and then Karak Stone.

The deciduous trees are made from model railway tree armatures without the foliage glued onto them.  They may need painted and can be done the same way as mentioned above.

The trees are glued on the MDF discs by using a mix of superglue and PVA.  This will give a strong fixing and allow the trees to be quickly held in place.  The superglue is placed on the MDF disc and the PVA to the base of the tree trunks.

Once the glues have set the bases where then covered in polyfiller, this is where the snow has banked up around the base of the trees.

The evergreen trees I used where precovered in white paint to represent snow, if yours do not you can drybrush the tree in white paint. 

The deciduous trees need a little more work. Begin by mixing polyfiller, PVA glue, and snow flock into a thick paste. Using an old brush, apply this mix to the tops of the branches, particularly where the branches join the tree trunk.

Walls and Hedges

The walls and hedges are made in the same was as described in Defend at will with Fences, Walls and Hedges.

The bases where then drybrushed in white paint and then covered in snow flock held in place with PVA glue.  The tops of the walls and hedges where then covered in the snow pasted described in the tree sections above.


You could just use the rivers as described Rivers and Streams, but I thought I would show a different method for you to use when making rivers.

Begin by taking a thick piece of cardboard that is 12" long and 5" wide. Draw a line vertically down the centre of piece. Next at either end of the rectangle, measure some points either side of the centre line, the first 1 1/2" away and then 2 1/2". These will help line up the river sections when they are placed together.  Using the guide marks draw the lines of the river banks.

Next glue coffee stirring sticks in the middle of where the river banks are. These will help prevent warping. Once these have dried in place.  Cover the bank areas in polyfiller.

Once the polyfiller has set, they where painted white.  The river section itself was painted black. Then using an old piece of material a dark grey paint was dabbed into place giving a very patchy finished. Next every lightening greys where painted on in the same manner until a final covering of white was applied. Once the paint has dried, a gloss varnish was applied.  Once the varnish has dried the banks where covered in snow flock.

And that is all there is too making snowy gaming boards.

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