I have been busy reworking the boards and am feeling a little better after the effort. The original idea was too uneven and I decided to add a layer of river sand over the original surface. I still feel that a larger grain sand would have been better as the texture isn't as prominent as I wanted but I want to move on to the modular pieces so decided to leave good enough alone (so unlike me...).
I painted the new PVA/sand layer once dry and washed with dark brown ink. I then drybrushed the original color. On came a sparse flock layer to represent Eastern front muddy, dusty Russian steppes. Eventually I will be building a gully board, and maybe a stream. Roads, wheatfields, villages, and forests will be modular overlays. Really very easy, the only time consuming part is the waiting for each step to dry!
The color difference in these pictures is with/without the flash.
I think the main issue with creating a playing surface is that it still has to be just that, playable. I really like the look of those non-modular boards (think Shawn's Terrain) that represent a specific chunk of the real world but can you game on them? I imagine trying to place infantry in and on the terrain would be trouble. As well, you are limited to gaming the same terrain over and over again (unless you have lots of time to make LOTS of terrain).
Placing miniatures can be a challenge. Some terrain features can be easily overcome (removable trees and the like) but rubble and buildings are not so easy. Ultimately, I would like to do some Red Barricade/Stalingrad boards but still have to decide how to make them playable. Perhaps a removable building footprint that can be occupied with infantry?
A comment from 'TT' on the blog entry WFT! got me to thinking about the recent Battlefront figures/models. I did get a letter back from BF regarding their poor EW stuff but it did not address the issue of quality. Instead only promise's to impress me with new Evan Allen sculpts. True, there have been some great looking new sculpts most notably GE742 Schützen Platoon (Afrika) and Matt Bickley's GE832 Gebirgsjager Platoon (in a word - WoW!) but we are still left with VERY poor EW sculpts. Anton Ducrot (who designed the disastrous EW figures) new casualties figures are a contradiction; face detail is good, scale, pose and everything else are not! It is such a shame to EW gamers/collectors that our period suffers the honing for his skills. Battlefront should re-do the EW sculpts. Period.