Jungle 3D Hex Map

By John Eckelkamp

This project was a semi-commission. A friend of mine runs the Battletech games at a local convention and I said I would make maps for him. He wanted three pairs of maps with a common theme. Ideally these three pairs could be placed together into one giant map for epic battles. He drew a rough sketch and I got to work. I nailed down the dimensions I will use for all my future Battletech maps so that they can all fit together if wanted. For more on this project, including detailed start to finish photos, see the original forum post at

Model_MG_johne_b06During this project I experimented with textured coatings, gluing loose piles of material in place, commercial wire trees, and using silicone caulk to simulate water. Using templates made of poster board, I used the Hot Wire Scroll Table to easily cut out the complex shapes of each map layer.

Model_MG_johne_b01 Model_MG_johne_b04 Model_MG_johne_b03 Model_MG_johne_b02 Model_MG_johne_b05Here I am preparing to dress the top edge of the exposed rock formations. I will drag the side of the Engraver’s shaft rapidly back and forth along the edge of the tops to melt them and smear around the melted foam to resemble weathered or melted stone. I will then tilt the tool and go around the very top edge to give it a melted bevel.

Model_MG_johne_b07To get some natural-looking texture in my cliff faces, I used the Freehand Router.