Waaaaaaay back in 2019 I did Salute for the first time (as a trader). I turned up with my provincial stand and did a roaring trade but was determined to have something a bit more impressive for the following year. I immediately purchased a much larger banner and reconfigured my tabletop cabinets with display space. Then Covid hit and Salute 2020 was postponed, postponed and postponed again. Now (despite soaring Covid ccases and 1000 deaths per week the media isn't talking about...) it looks like Salute 2020 will be going ahead in a few weeks' time. Of course in the intervening time my ranges have grown somewhat in size! As a result I need to completely review my layout, which I have been doing with the help of a little white card model- set design training coming in handy!
One thing I was keen to preserve was having a fully-terrained display. After polling supporters on Faceache I decided I wouldn't terrain every shelf of my cabinet (instead keeping plain, black shelves to show up the miniatures with no distractions) but to go with one landscaped diorama box that would help show the character/flavour of the world of The Woods. This box would sit between my low-level figure racking and the tabletop unit and give me some extra display space.
Earlier this year my wife and I revisited Puzzlewood in the Forest of Dean, a beautiful forest setting with the unique features of Scowles- natural cave networks which have been quarried for iron and have then collapsed, resulting in a winding network of mossy rock pillars and gloriously gnarled trees. I have long wanted to do a Puzzlewood board for gaming. The necessarily long and narrow nature of the display I felt would lend itself to this kind of deep forest scene.
I based the foam on a sheet of HIPS (plasticard) so I could lift it in and out of the box whilst working on the scene. This would also provide a nice, smooth surface for me to paint the water on to.
When dry I gave the whole scene a blast with various browns and greens using an airbrush. I wanted a general mossy, damp feel to the terrain, most of which would be covered with scatter materials later on. Whilst waiting for it to dry I painted the back of the box with gesso, brushing some green paint into it to create a streaky background suggestive of further greenery with light filtering through it. Again, much of this would be covered by foliage.
The last stage was to add signage to either side of the display. It's all well and good for it to look pretty but ultimately it needs to be getting me sales too!