Re-Scaping

In my last but one post (I’ll Put a Hex on You…), I discussed my plans regarding re-purposing my Heroscape hex terrain to make it less ‘cartoon-y’ looking. I have decided to christen this “Re-Scaping” because…I can.

Now, I am aware that not everyone is as familiar with Heroscape as myself, so I thought I’d do a quick history bit first. It was originally published/released in 2004 by Milton Bradley and was a complete turn-based miniature wargame, which came with 30 pre-painted miniatures. The main difference from other games of this ilk is that it came with interlocking hex tiles, which could be combined in whatever fashion you chose, to create your battlefield. Lego for wargamers, essentially.

Until it was discontinued in 2010, several expansions were released, introducing different coloured tiles to represent different types of terrain, including dungeon, snow and lava field tiles.

At one point, I had a copy of every terrain expansion released, bar the castle set, but various financial issues resulted in me selling off the Volcarren Wasteland (lava-themed), Thaelenk Tundra (snow and ice-themed) and the Battle for the Underdark (Dungeon-themed) sets.

This still left me with a fair amount of tiles of varying types of terrain, which are shown below:

Starting from top left and going clockwise, the green/brown tile is a Grass tile and the grey/brown is a Stone tile, both from the Rise of the Valkyrie base set. Grass tiles are those you get the most of. Next we have a cobbled Road tile, from the Road to the Forgotten Forest set. You get about 20 of these, so not enough to cobble the entirety of Blackwell. The black tile is an Asphalt tile and the light grey is a Concrete tile, both from the Marvel base set The Conflict Begins. I ended up with three of these sets, as The Entertainer was selling them off at £10 a set. The two-tone green tile is a Swamp tile, from The Swarm of the Marro set and the yellow tile is a Sand tile from The Arena of the Planeswalkers set.

Typically, each type of terrain comes in 1-hex, 2-hex, 3-hex and 7-hex tiles, with certain variations, like the 24-hex Grass tiles.

Those who are fully conversant with the game and the sets I have mentioned will have noticed that one type of terrain tile is missing – the cream/brown Sand tile which featured in the base set as well as a few other places.

This is because I took ALL my Sand tiles and with a can of ‘Soft Taupe’ Gloss Acrylic Spray from Wilkinsons (£4.00 for a 400ml can), re-coloured them all. However, whilst the spray gave a nice coverage, it did teach me two important things regarding doing this type of re-colouring. Firstly, don’t apply the spray too thickly, otherwise your interlocking tiles will fit a bit TOO snugly together and it will be a bugger to get them apart and, secondly, the colour of the can’s lid and the sample board showing the spray applied will not match the actual paint that comes out. Both the lid and sample board suggested that ‘soft taupe’ was a browny-grey colour. It is…but it’s not as dark as it appeared, as you can see if the picture below:

The bottom tiles are a light grey concrete tile on the left and a dark grey Road tile on the right. Above them is the ‘soft taupe’ tile, which is a pretty similar colour to the Concrete tile.

After some gnashing of teeth and a bit of compound swearing, I resorted to Plan B – in which the B stands for ‘Burnt Umber’. Utilising a bottle of Docrafts Acrylic of this hue, I grabbed the 24-hex tile that I’d sprayed with ‘Soft Taupe’ and gave it a liberal coating of this, as a test piece.

And do you know what? It came out rather well, as can be seen from the quick scene I set up below, featuring some of my other ‘Re-Scaped’ hexes that had cheap trees from China attached and a Time War Dalek, who is hunting squirrels…

So, as I now have a solution, I just need to give all my ‘Soft Taupe’ sprayed tiles a coat of Burnt Umber and I will have my first set of Re-Scaped tiles, which I think shall be dubbed Mud tiles. Should double up as patches of earth, dirt roads in the countryside or possibly compacted dirt roads in urban environments.

Of course, the comparison with the original Grass tiles now shows that they need Re-Scaping too. Luckily, Wilkinson’s does have at least 3 different shades of cheap green spray paint, so hopefully at least one of them will be a closer match to the colour I want.

I shall finish up with a small piece of good news – it appears I will be attending Salute this year after all, so keep your eyes peeled for the grumpy old crow stalking the aisles and descending upon the Bloggers Meet in a flurry of feathers.

Jez

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17 thoughts on “Re-Scaping

    • Slightly more work than I’d hoped, Andy, but now looks the way I’d intended in the first place. Only another twenty or so tiles to repaint… Luckily, this was the biggest one, so hopefully the rest won’t take as long.

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    • Thanks Simon. They certainly are an improvement on the original. And Salute is “more likely”, rather than “definite” as yet. I have a feeling I shall be more of a tourist, rather than a buyer this time around.

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    • Thanks Harry. Having checked my family tree, it would appear that Adrian is my uncle – who has also been known to dress as cavalier and loiter around Hampton Court (I kid you not – I have photographic evidence). But my test piece has come out rather well, so just need to do all the rest now. What have I let myself in for?

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          • Okay, now my brain gears are spinning. I’m going to be on the hunt for a cool cat with a sword cane, and hopefully a Webley oh, so I can fix that. In the misty fox in my brain I have paranormal branch possibly from Blackwell, following the Allies in the Normandy to deal with what’s not and whosits that have been plaguing the Germans. And Uncle Adrian sounds like just the character to lead them. In miniature form, and in Prince, he’s just the kind of guy that boosts the imagination. Thanks Jez!

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    • Thanks Roger. Yeah, they do sometimes get jammed together, but the addition of a couple of layers of paint meant that it went from snug to almost bloody impossible to get apart. I *may* have snapped at least one tile by using a little too much force. Lucky it was a small one… (oo-er!)

      And Salute is not yet a definite, but is getting more likely. Will you be attending at some point in the future, maybe next year?

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  1. Re purposing Scape terrain is always an attractive thing to do. I curse myself for letting all mine go (yep… everything to and including wave 7, uuugh!). But on the positive side, my daughter`s fiancé does get a lot of use out of it and uses it all the time so I`m not too depressed about it really… but I miss it sooooo much. However, with the amazingly low priced Magic the Gathering/revamped minis game and its cool expansions, I can at least relive the fun, and the new stuff does make such excellent D&D material…. especially as its now cardstock, and goes nicely with other similar terrain. And who doesn’t like the minis themselves.. so ideal for other games. Painted up, there are no duds in the core or the expansions as they all turn into masterpieces with just a little re-work.

    I`m liking your re-scaped tiles Jez. Nice work.

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    • I’d already made a bit of start with my ‘Forest’ tiles, so the recolouring of the tiles was just an extension of that. Combined with the fact that my cheap vinyl gaming tiles have seriously deformed during storage, I needed a replacement. I have a feeling that we may see a modular re-scaped pumpkin patch and possibly a few stands of bamboo tiles Re-purpose, recycle.. Re-Scape!

      And I’ve yet to duccumb to the other expansions. That weird multi-armed huge beastie looks like an ideal Ghostbusters demon, so I am tempted.

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