Friday, October 08, 2010

Make your own River...

I needed quite a bit of river for the Barrosa game, more than the club has. I had all the kit in a box from back when I was going to do some for my old wargames table (now long since gone, sad!) so it seemed like a good opportunity to churn them out.

I'd picked up the technique from a gaming forum several years back, frankly I'm amazed I remembered the technique. It turned out really simple and quick.

So first off buy yourself some 2mm craft foam in navy blue; there are many stockists, I think I got mine in an arts & crafts store in Leeds, but of course online is an easy option: Such as Here

Then cut into riverine sections as suits your tastes. I think these are about 3 inches wide; make sure the ends are all the same width!

Now mix up a wash of blue water, mostly water, but a little pigment. Splash liberally all over the foam. It'll be wet so have paper down!

Don't let it dry, whilst wet add one drop of white paint (or for dirtier water, maybe use green or brown...)

Then spread this around unevenly, being careful to generally follow the flow of the river. Your looking to get an impression of movement.

As it's still wet it will blend quite nicely, but it will also need a good few hours to dry. Producing about ten feet of this required less than half an hours painting.

And here are the results:

Not too bad, though I think I should have used a little green or brown in them too.

So, this used three or four quid of foam, some cheap acrylic paint from the art shop and took about an hour to do. Well within anyones capabilities to do. Perfectionists may want to add banks some how, but for normal club use I think these would do just nicely.

I reckon you could use the same technique with different colours to do roads as well.


  1. This sounds simple enough even for my clumsy paws . . . Thanks for the mini tutorial, sir.

    -- Jeff

  2. Thanks for sharing your project. I'd never thought of using those foam sheets that I've seen at the craft stores. It also appears to be good at holding its shape after cutting - no curling around the edges. Great idea. Dean

  3. Very interesting tutorial. Even looks simple enough for me to try.

  4. Good tutorial. I'll definately have to give this a go. The pre painted stuff if SO expensive its always good to see how easy it is to do it yourself.