BATTLETECH 3D Terrain – Woods

I’ve been tinkering a while now, on how to represent woods as 3D terrain in BATTLETECH. To me, this terrain poses the most challenges, like having your miniature be inside a woods hex. Hence, I want my BATTLETECH 3D woods to be as modular and flexible as possible.

The idea was to develop a system to use your trees right on a map sheet and if needed to have an extra base for the woods, in case you’ll play on an empty mapsheet or hexboard.

Furthermore I wanted to differentiate my woods on the boards. Light woods should be light green and heavy woods dark green. I also used different shapes of trees: smaller roundish deciduous trees for light woods and higher pointy needle trees for heavy woods. I’ll use my existing map sheets to define the quantity and configuration of the tiles: ranging from 1 to 4 hexes maximum.  Both should be used together or separately. I also use different colors and shapes for light and heavy woods, respectively.

Battletech 3D terrain woods


I used the hex-print-stamp-thingy I designed and 3D-printed to prepare my outlines on cardboard. Just dip it on a regular stamp cushion and apply it to your base material of choice. Then cut out your hexes using scissors and a craft knife. To get an idea of what hexes and how man of them you’ll need, use your maps as reference.

After the cutting step, I applied one coat of cheap brown acrylic craft paint and left the bases to dry.

Then, I applied the flocking using watered-down PVA glue. In my case, I had a lot of left-over green sawdust from my childhood model railroad days! I used dark green for heavy wood bases and light green for light woods. I added a healthy dose of dried tea to emulated fallen leaves. As a final layer, I added some fine beach sand to tie it all together. Then, leave it to fully dry.

Before applying the flick, I did some tests in my hobby journal.

After drying, there will be some warping, which can easily be fixed, by applying a watered down PVA mix on the bottom of the base. After the top has fully dried, of course. You’ll notice I didn’t apply flock between hexes. This helps to better distinguish the hex faces during game play.

Battletech 3D terrain woods

Rub of any excess and loose material before varnishing your tiles using a matte sealant from the spray can


Next, I tackled the main constituent of this projects: the trees themselves.

I experimented a lot with different bases, but none of them worked to my satisfaction. Until I found these plastic screw hole caps (for a lack of better term) while browsing in my local home improvement store.

I had some small scale trees lying around for years now. I bought them on Aliexpress a long time ago. I think they were meant for Z-scale trains, but looked quite terrible as is. Therefore I went ahead and dipped them all in my old colored sawdust. The tree base I did exactly in the same manner as the wood bases.

After that, let your trees to fully dry until the next steps.

Battletech 3D terrain woods

To harden your trees and bases and ultimately make them more durable, I sprayed alcohol and watered down PVA glue on the bases and the trees and let it dry.

Battletech 3D terrain woods

Optional: shading and undergrowth

Being myself, I couldn’t just leave it there: I wanted to take it to the next level. To my taste, the trees were way too bright. With my Airbrush compressor broken, I grabbed a cheap black paint rattle can and slightly misted the lower parts of the trees. The result looked way better now.

Battletech 3D terrain woods

Finally I applied some diffrent tones of green lichen and flock to the bases using hot glue.

And, with these woods done, I call my first Battletech terrain project completed!


The result doesn’t look too bad at all.

Battletech 3D terrain woods
Battletech 3D terrain woods

If using a mapsheet with woods already drawn on, just place your trees on the appropriate tiles without any base tiles.

And there you have it! Woods terrain to enhance the visual look of your next BATTLETECH games.

In the next tutorial in my BATTLETECH 3D Terrain series, I’ll show you how to build great looking Hills for BATTLETECH.