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How To Build Modular Insertable System Tile Terrain - Step by Step

The base of each board is a cut piece of MDF measuring 450mm square. Along each of the four edges of this board a biscuit scallop is cut out using a biscuit cutter. The position of this cut should have a center point exactly 100mm away from each corner. You should then have a board with eight biscuit slots cuts in to it, two on each of the four edges. A good local builders merchant will be able to produce these boards for you at a minimal additional cost. Finally glue a biscuit in to the "Right" slot on each side, leave the "Left" empty.
Marmox Multi-Board is an under floor insulation material that is highly compacted, but easy to cut with a knife. It comes in a variety of sizes, but the 25mm is the most practical for use with MIST Terrain. Once again a good local builders merchant will be able to exactly cut these large sheets down to the required 450mm square size.
Now is the time to decide if the tile requires any inserts, you can get up to four inserts in to each board. For an insert you will require a 150mm square of MDF that measures 25mm in depth. The reason for the 25mm MDF is so that you can run a long bladed knife along the edge of the insert and in keeping it flat against its side you should be able to cut down at a ninety degrees. Cut around all four side of the insert and completely through the multi-board tile.
After you have positioned and cut through the multi-board, knock out the inserts one at a time. To accurately cut 6mm off these blocks you will require two short lengths of MDF around 300" long and 18mm deep. The width of these pieces doesn't matter, since you are going to place the block in between the two lengths and then take a fine toothed saw along the top of the 18mm MDF to remove 6mm of multi-board.
You will be left with a multi-board block that is 150mm square and 18mm deep. Place this back in to the same hole that it came from and in the same rotation, this reduces the chance of gaps occurring in the tile. Push the block until it is level with bottom of the tile, this should leave you with a 6mm gap in the top of the tile. Check for levels by placing a 150mm square of MDF that is 6mm deep in to the gap, it should sit flush with the top of the multi-board, if its to high cut off more multi-board, if its to low pack the multi-board out until the insert is level.
Repeat for up to four inserts within each tile and then glue the tile on to the 450mm square MDF board with PVA adhesive. Its advisable at this point to tape the corners of the multi-board to the corners of the MDF with painting tape to stop slippage when the glue is drying. The tile will require a good 24 hours drying time.
Now its time to decide what if any features you require on the tile? Think multi-purpose so try to refrain from using features that will make the tile for a specific scale, unless you only use say 25mm figures. Hills can be for any scale, trees are specific so place these on the inserts and then they can be swapped out for different games. Normally hills and rivers are the only features that we sculpt in to the tile, all other features go on to an insert tile.
Rivers are achieved by cutting the base multi-board tile with a "Hot Craft Wire Cutter" before it is glued to the MDF board, always start and end equally across the center point of the edge of the board 225mm from the edge. Mark on the multi-board 50mm from either side of center, giving a river of 100m. From this point the river can reduce in width or expand in width but always finish back on the edge with a 100mm width. This allows multiple river tiles to line up when they are located together, see the Samurai Game Board.
Hills are sculpted out of scrap multi-board, for taller hills glue multi-board tiles on top of each other. Large hills that have a flat expanse on their top could have an insert cut in to them, follow the procedure in point 3 above but cut in to the hill tile instead of the base tile. Finish sculpting the hill with a "Hot Craft Wire Cutter" and flexible filler to get the final desired finish.
The tile is then sealed with an acrylic varnish. When this as dried paint the tile with a base colour paint, mid-brown is good. Exposed stone work on hills or river banks require a black base coat, with a dry brush of mid-grey when dry. Seal again with a matt acrylic varnish and allow to dry. For grassed areas apply another coat of matt acrylic varnish to the desired areas and flock with static grass. For broken areas apply PVA glue and scatter a mixture of sand and gravel. Do the same for riverbeds but the finish with a covering of liquid water.
The insert tiles of 150mm square should have features modeled on to them, these include buildings, trees, walls, bushes and hills. These features can be of various scales, this allows the same tile to be then used for different game systems. Remember to make a simple plain flat grassed insert tile for each insert, then the tile can be used as if there were no inserts present.
Placing four inserts symmetrically on a tile and painting it all black with a mid-grey dry brush makes it a town tile. Rivers within these tiles should be walled to create docks and canals.
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