Take inexpensive materials, do a bit of creative construction, a bit of time, to create fun terrain and, frankly, necessary decoration for the tabletop.
In this case, the large bases used for our Napoleonics games, don't normally require special terrain features. With the exception of bridges. Yes, those normal ones could do, but placing a large base precariously on top and the inaccuracy of placement upon the table affecting the gameplay, suggest much wider examples.
|The 'earth' surface of the bridge is still wet!|
So we need wide and we want cheap so I made some with both criteria satisfied.
|the wide one in the rear, already with a coating of the slurry|
These 'stone bridges' ( I made both wide and "normal" at the same time ) by using pieces of hardboard of appropriate width, placing strips of foamcore on each side. Then came the rather tedious gluing of lentil beans - being the 'stones'. A slurry of plaster was, well.... plastered over all. Once hardened, it was painted and the approach ends flocked.
|both now covered.|
|Painted and in place.|
As you may have noticed, they are flat and not arched over the 'water' but replace one of the river segments. However the lack of this realism is not apparent and makes the construction much simpler!
I needed these new wide bridges for the upcoming big summer game. Lots of water crossings for this one.
|A wood one I made using inexpensive long BBQ matchsticks.|
Oh, for us wargamers and especially we old school guys, the cost of these (other than time - which I needed to fill in any case) was virtually nil. Heck, I have been meaning to use these beans for a task like this for at least ten years!