Unless I’m forgetting something from years ago, this homemade miniatures wargaming terrain for Star Wars: Legion (paid link) and Star Wars Miniatures Battles is the first gaming terrain that we’ve ever actually made ourselves.
Ok, I take that back. I think I did cut up a Tide detergent box back in the early 1980s to make several dozen movable mantlets that were propped up by white glue and toothpicks. But those tiny arrow blockers weren’t even painted, so my lead soldiers went into battle behind an anachronistic wall of brilliant orange, yellow and blue.
By this time in our lives, I wish we could say that we’re experienced modelers who are able to scratch-build amazing wargaming terrain from the ground up. Maybe we’ll get there now that we have more time to dabble in it, but that’s not us quite yet. So for our first adult foray into terrain building, we took inspiration from something we interact with every day: our kitchen recycling bin.
For a couple of months, any plastic container that looked intriguingly architectural was fished out and transferred to a designated cardboard box in the garage. We also tossed in a few other inexpensive plastic bits and pieces that we discovered at Home Depot and the local thrift store.
By using pre-molded plastic items that already looked like miniature manmade structures, we hoped we could create some quick and dirty terrain pieces without having to do a whole lot of actual “modeling.” And it’s amazing what you can find when you’re looking for those properties. Single-serve yogurt containers suddenly resembled tiny cooling towers. A takeout noodle bowl looked like an inverted industrial turbine. Electrical switch boxes became draconian-looking bunkers. And so forth.
When time came to actually fish out a selection of pieces to work on, we must have had Star Wars: Legion and Star Wars Miniatures Battles on the brain. Once a couple of Imperial-looking items came out of the box, it just made sense to go with that theme and try to create an entire Galactic Empire power station or communications outpost.
As I mention in the video above, overall I think the experiment was at least partially successful and we certainly learned a lot in the process. While we’re not going to win any awards from our first attempts at wargaming terrain, we were definitely able to repurpose discarded plastic containers into usable terrain for games of Star Wars: Legion and Star Wars Miniatures Battles, as well as virtually any other science fiction themed skirmish wargame.
If you’re interested in creating Star Wars wargaming terrain from no-cost or low-cost plastic bits, check out the video above. Maybe you’ll get a few ideas that you can build on for your own Star Wars tabletop miniatures games.