With the release of the latest Frostgrave supplement “the Wildwoods“, and the launch of our campaign into the vast Wilderness. 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
The materials used for this project are pretty straight-forward:
- thin cardboard; like from a cereal box
- kitchen paper; it will soak less liquids than tissues
- 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
I wanted to give my tent a more organic look. For the original tent (see above picture) I used a block of styrofaom, coated it with glue and some tissue paper on it. The paintjob wasn’t great either.
This time, I wanted to up my game.
A 5x4cm footprint for the tent, with 3cm long sides side panes, 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)
Cut gently into the surface of the fold line with an exacto-knife (pic3). This will create crisp edges after folding the cardboard.
Afterwards, bend the sides of the tent gently into shape (pic4).
After gluing the upper edge together (with tacky glue or PVA), add some strips of tape to keep the framework of the tent in shape (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, like an abundance of glue or Mod Podge, use some baking paper to work on. It’s non-adhesive surface keeps your 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”.
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. Then leave it dry for a moment.
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 terrain. (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. That will look off… 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 use a primer based on a mix of Mod Podge and some colour. Normally I’d use my “free shadow” black mix. But this time I wanted to have some 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.