Making a Gaming Terrain Table on the Cheap

Warhammer Terrain on the CheapI’ve made quite a few gaming tables over the years. Most of them I built up from wood, making them quite heavy and cumbersome. Sturdy yes, but cumbersome. With some fun Fantasy campaign battles coming up I was looking for a quick way to create a new gaming board. Nothing too sophisticated, but easy to make, move around and store. Here’s how I made a new gaming terrain on the cheap! 

Warhammer Terrain on the CheapInstead of wood I decided to use foam boards. Ideally I would use blue or green foam, but I had to settle with the horrible white polystyrene. I cut six squares and taped of the edges with thick black duct tape. All of this was done in about 30 minutes and oh… keep the vacuum cleaner nearby 🙂 With the base ready in half an hour I had 1 liter of matte wall paint mixed up in a brown and green color. Costs about 15,- Then I mixed it with some fine sand to create my own texture paint. Before applying the texture paint I lightly sprayed the foam board with black spraypaint. This erodes the foam a little bit, getting rid of that flat and dead-give-away polystyrene texture.



image5 Apply a solid coat of texture paint and set it to dry. I have no patience so I let them dry on the radiator in the living room. Ten minutes later I applied a second coating, as a lot of the texture will come off again when drybrushing (and gaming on it). I then drybrushed with a light color green. I applied it in a about 3 passes, gradually building up the color. With some black and yellow spraypaint I accented some spots, and create vague trails/roads. One one tile I added a hill, you can add more that can fit together. You know the drill. For now I kept most tiles flat to allow for easy storage. We’ll add seperate scenic pieces to dress up the board anyway. To finish off I added some woodland scenics flock. Its easy to apply with glue spraypaint.


Warhammer terrain on the cheapAnd there we go, in less than an afternoon’s work I’ve knocked out a gaming board. Admitted its not winning any prizes, but it looks decent and for such a low price and amount of time to put together, Im kind of more happy with it than some of the uber-detailed wooden boards, that you are afraid to move around and damage. Hell, if you’re bored of it just put on a new color coat of texture paint or spray it white to get a snow landscape. The only thing I would’ve recommend doing different is having the black tape overlap on top. It holds paint badly and kind of shows too much. Other than that I would recommend knocking  together a board like this if you have an afternoon and 20,- to spare!




3 thoughts on “Making a Gaming Terrain Table on the Cheap

    • Hi Evan,

      Go ahead and make your own terrain its great fun. Taping the edges is not the most durable option, but gets the job done. This post was about the most simple way to do it, but if you want something that lasts you 10+ years, be sure to check some other tutorials online too for some inspiration


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