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3D Printing meets Terra-Former tiles!

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3D Printing meets Terra-Former tiles!

3D Printing meets Terra-Former tiles!

I like to make modular terrain, with as many pieces that can be re-used for different purposes, different periods, different genres, as like 99.9% of all wargamers, I have limited storage space for miniatures and terrain. This is why I developed the Terra-Former terrain system. Terra-Formers are 12" square, precision laser cut frames with a wide range of profiles for modelling hills, rivers, streams, canals, beaches etc. In fact there are over 30 different tile profiles available in the Terra-Former range.

modular terrain boards

I backed the fantastic Precinct 187 3D printable terrain system from Z1 Design on Kick Starter last year, and since then my 3D printer has been printing building components most days. The set that I like the most is their Docklands. This includes dock edging, warehouse buildings and two boats, including the fishing boat that features in these photographs.

modular terrain boards

The great thing about 3D printing is how easily you can modify the designs to print them for a different figures scale or to crop or resize them. As I already had a large collection of Terra-Former terrain, including harbour sections and sea tiles, I wanted to make my 3D printed harbour compatible with the existing terrain tiles so these could be reused with the new Precinct 187 harbour. The original Dock design has the height of the dock and piers at the same height as their building tiles (approx 55mm) and they have some 'hill' tiles to make steep roads to integrate with the rest of their terrain. This is a great concept, but I wanted my Dock to fit with my modular terrain tiles.

modular terrain boards

In the software that I use to translate the 3D design files into code that the 3D printer understands, I have the ability to crop and resize components. If you cut 36mm off the bottom of the harbour walls and the wooden piers, and stretch them width ways by 101% to make them 6" wide, two of the harbour walls will fit exactly into a Terra-Former Straight Canal Tile.

modular terrain boards

The picture below gives you an overview of the Precinct 187 3D printed scenery with my existing Terra-Former tiles. I also decided that I would use my existing plain urban tiles which are plain tiles with coarse 'wet and dry' paper stuck onto them as a tarmac surface, instead of printing out road tiles. The pavements and the flagstones that are part of the harbour are all 3D printed pieces from the Precinct 187 range.

modular terrain boards

The motorboats were all free designs, downloaded from Thingiverse. The miniatures are from Spectre Miniatures and Nonsense Miniatures and they have all been re-mounted onto Sally 4th Clear bases so that they blend in nicely with all of the different terrain that they might be placed on. I do this with all skirmish figures these days to avoid the rather off look of a figure standing on a road or inside a building surrounded with grass and other foliage.

modular terrain boards

This is a picture of some of the harbour and beach pieces that I had already made from Terra-Formers, set up for an 18th Century pirate game.

modular terrain boards

This is a picture of the same harbour 'dressed' for a WW2 commando raid scenario.

modular terrain boards

The next thing that I am planning to do (apart from 3D printing a stack off the Dockland buildings is to work out how to resize / modify some of the Z1 dock edging to fit on to the Terra-Former canal / quayside corner and external corner boards, which you can see in the photo of the WW2 harbour for even more variety.

If you'd like further information, click the links below:

Terra-Formers - 12" square modular terrain building kits

Clear-bases - Sally 4th crystal clear bases (64 sizes / shapes to chosse from!)

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