With the release of the latest Frostgrave supplement “the Wildwoods“, and the launch of our campaign into the Wilderness, a new opportunity for a crafting project arose. While preparing, I went over my collection of camp terrain and found some of it …meh… lacking. Especially my tents. So I decided to experiment on crafting a tent, that could be used as generic wargaming terrain, in modern, fantasy or even sci-fi games.
The traditional triangular tent seems the most appropriate. Leafing through magazines, books and comics, this shape seems the most recurring.
Materials and tools
- thin cardboard; e.g. from a cereal box
- kitchen paper; it will soak less liquids than tissues and often has a nice texture
- tacky glue or PVA glue
- Mod Podge, if you have some. Otherwise use watered down PVA-glue.
- scissors and an exacto-knife
- some tape
shaping the tent
For my original tent (see above picture) I used a piece of styrofaom, coated it with glue and pasted some tissue paper on it. The paintjob wasn’t great either.
This time, I wanted to up my game and give my tent a more organic look.
I cut a 5x4cm footprint from a piece of sturdy, but thin cardboard, with 3cm long sides side panes. This should (hopefully) be appropriate for terrain in a 28mm wargaming (pic1).
I wanted the top edge and the sides to have a little inward bend, indicating the weight of the canvas. The little curb on the upper edge should pull the flat surfaces into shape. (pic2)
Cutting gently into the surface of the fold line with an exacto-knife (pic3) will create crisp edges once the tent gently folded into shape. (pic4).
After gluing the upper edge together (with tacky glue or PVA), some strips of tape will keep the framework of the tent in place (pic5,6,7). They won’t show in the final product.
Having build our crude shape/framework, it is now time to add the “canvas”. Cut a piece of kitchen paper to size. Be sure to check, if your paper is large enough. A 3cm overlap on the short edges should be sufficient.
Tipp: When working with messy materials, for example an abundance of glue or Mod Podge, I use some baking paper to work on. It’s non-adhesive surface keeps my wargaming terrain, in this case our tent, from sticking to the table.
Coat the sides of the framework with glue and carefully fold the kitchen paper over the tent. Water down the glue some more and gently apply the mix with a soft brush on the “canvas”.
! Be carefull not to ripp the wet paper apart.
While doing so, try to bring the canvas into shape. Especially the folds on the short edges. It may take some time, some readjusting and very sticky finger. Leave it dry.
When you are sure, that the canvas will stay in shape, cover it thoroughly with slightly watered down PVA or unwatered Mod Podge. This should give your tent some resilience on your wargaming table. (pic8,9)
After the tent dried properly, you may cut of excess kitchen paper at the edges. Do not cut it of flush with the framework. Otherwise it will look odd… believe me. If you feel extra creative, you may even fold the canvas/paper properly instead of cutting it to size.
adding some paint
As usual, I prime everything with a mix of Mod Podge and some colour. Normally I’d use my “free shadow” black&modpodge-mix. But I wanted to have brighter colours for the tent. (bright in the largest sense of grimdark wargaming). Thus I went for a brown-ish priming and paint the tent in some “earthy” shades.
After some layering and drybrushing, I decided this project is done.