Modular Terrain Boards – Part 1

Welcome to my modular terrain board project. As I embark on the project I will use this series to record my progress and provide information and tips along the way.


Last year I built some prototype gaming boards, each constructed as a 2’x4′ lightweight wooden frame with a hardboard surface. They are easy to transport and can be bolted together in a number of configurations. In order to make them more interesting, I decided I wanted to construct some kind of modular terrain system that also had to be relatively easy to carry round.

Inital Designs

I have settled for a tile based system built from 1ft sections, each tile will be based on 5.5mm plyboard with short pegs set in from each corner. these pegs will fit into corresponding holes drilled into the boards. This should allow the tiles to slot easily into place and prevent them sliding around. Any contours and features will be carved out of 1″ thick polystyrene which can be bonded to the tiles then sealed and flocked.

The pictures in the gallery below show my initial sketches for the different modules, based on 3 different slopes with the corresponding transitions and corners to join them together. This will make 27 basic modules. After sketching out the different tiles onto a grid, I printed out some slightly larger card tiles which I cut out and used to visualize a few different possible board layouts. One such 6’x4′ design is pictured below.

Next Steps

I have already ordered a number of 1″ thick polystyrene sheets and have a decent amount of  scrap hardboard from a previous DIY project which I can use to make templates. In the next installment I will start on shaping the curves and transitions.