WarMachine – Building Terrain – Part 2 – More Obstacles

More Warmachine Obstacles

In my previous article on this topic, I covered some basic terrain props you could build for Warmachine.   While I specifically mention Warmachine, you could apply most of this to any table top game and model rail road construction as well. Today, I am going to cover a few more which are also simple and easy to make.  Both taking little time, material and effort.  Today, I will cover trees and coiled wire.

Materials and Tools

Basically the same a previously, re-posted below for sake of convenience.

For materials:

  • Floral Foam or Styrofoam –  Personally I prefer the floral foam.  It is easier to work with and makes less mess when you cut it.  Also be sure and test your material against your spray paint to see if it melts easily.  Also of note, especially regarding floral foam, spray painting the material seems to help reduce the flaking off of the material onto your playing surface.
  • Cardboard
  • Construction Paper
  • Craft Flowers and Plants
  • An old Christmas wreath
  • Spray Paint
  • Wire – I used telephone wire, you can use what you wish but keep in mind your scale
  • Toothpicks, wooden dowel rod
  • Glue – Use common sense to determine what will work.  Adhesive caulking is also nice to have around.

For tools:

  • A Hacksaw Blade – You can wrap duct tape around part of it or you can buy a holder like mine.  You could also use a conventional hacksaw but the “U” shaped holder can get in your way if you are cutting larger pieces of styrofoam.
  • Scissors – for cardboard and paper
  • Wire cutters and pliers
  • Paint brushes

Project – Coiled Wire Fences

One of the nice things about miniature based war games is the the table top can often be used to vary the game.  More often than not, terrain items impact line of sight attacks and mobility.  This is also true for Warmachine.  The “house rules” for barbed wire are that, while it is impassable, it does not interfere with line of sight.

A Barbed Wire Fence about 15" in lenght
A Barbed Wire Fence about 15″ in length

The fence above is constructed as follows:

  • Tightly wrap your wire around a tube about 1″ in diameter
  • Spray paint some heavy cardboard to the color of your choice
  • When the paint is dry, put a few thick blobs of adhesive caulking on the cardboard
  • Set your coiled wire into the caulking blobs
  • While the caulk is still fresh, place craft flowers and plants on the blobs to conceal them
  • Immediately after you place the craft flowers, toss some dirt or play sand on what is still visible of the caulk
  • Carefully set aside and let it harden

You can also make the barrier with floral foam.

Short Coiled Wire Fences
Short Barb Wire Fences

The steps are basically the same except you do not need to glue the wire to the floral foam. You can simply shove either just the ends in (pictured on left), as I did in one if you notice, or shove each loop in (on right). It has been our experience that adding the paper to the bottom allows you to easily handle them without damaging your prop.

Project 2 – Trees and Forest


Possibly the simplest of all the projects.

The steps are easy:

  • Cut your foam
  • Spray paint it
  • Stick a few pieces of wreath material in it

You may have noticed that I used the term trees and forest in the title of this project.  One of the items you must consider when making props is how well they will add to the play of your game.  The two mounds of trees about are about 1″ by 3″ wide and deep and under and inch tall for the base.  They could function as a single tree and mound for your game play.  While rules vary from game to game, an individual tree and mound would usually impede motion and block line of sight.

If you wish to have a scenario where you have a forest of trees, making many more of them would certainly be an option.   While that choice may add to realism and feel, I do not believe that it is as playable or practical.  I suggest cutting some green construction paper the size you wish your forest to be and using it with single tree prop to represent the forest.

Thanks for reading and please leave your thoughts below.  Also keep checking back for I have a few more how-to’s on this topic.  I have a few more simple projects which you can easily complete in a day and I will also add a few that are more involved, mostly because of drying time.