I make a lot of things that I call “Terrain.” A lot of people look at it and say it’s “Junk.”
Much of my homebrew terrain is made from junk, so that’s okay. I believe in recycling junk into tabletop terrain. It’s actually termed “up-cycling” these days by the Steampunk crowd. But don’t tell them I used it in reference to wargame terrain because it’s usually used to refer to making something brassy and fantastical to wear to a convention.
The reaction to my Junk Terrain is usually hot or cold. Either “Wow, that’s awesome!” or “What the heck is that garbage?” But that’s okay because in the end it was inexpensive to make, fun to create, and function to use on the gaming table.
Heck, there’s even a gaming company out there stealing my idea. Yeah, my idea. It’s my island! Just like Hamish in Braveheart, I’m going to stick with the thought that I’m the one that came up with using garbage to make terrain. However, I know that it’s been a common practice for a long time.
This one I call “The Gear Fence.”
I constantly visit local Goodwill stores in an effort to find interesting materials for making terrain for WARMACHINE. I found a small box of K’Nex parts and decided that they could be used for something although at the time I had no idea what. They laid around for awhile and then one day I was reading my World War II magazine and I decided that I’d make them into something akin to hedgehog obstacles. Basically the idea is that the battlefields of the Iron Kingdoms are littered with parts, and these could easily be transformed into defensive fortifications.
Now, if I had it to do over again, I’d probably make room between the gears to allow medium and large based models. But my original thought that to make it just big enough for a small based model to fit in between the gear fences basically because it was intended to simulate the tank busters and hedgehogs from WWII.
On the gaming table, players decide ahead of playing their game what this piece of terrain does exactly. Sometimes it’s rough terrain. Sometimes it provides cover. Others it is just an obstruction to be completely avoided. Whaetever makes them happy is fine with me.
The entire piece cost me less than a $1 to make, and it was a fun little project. And that’s really what matters in the end.