Terrain Essentials

Created by Dave Taylor Miniatures

An Essential Guide to Building Tabletop Terrain

Latest Updates from Our Project:

September Update #1
7 days ago – Sat, Sep 12, 2020 at 03:30:51 AM

Once again, we thank you all for your patience and support. Your kind words mean so much during these difficult times. 

August was a month of ups and downs. Some great weeks, and some bad weeks, but we have made significant forward progress! As you can see from the chart above, we're now almost done. The final sections (with the exception of the final part of the Trees chapter) are with our editor for final checks. They should be back to me next week for final layout tweaking, while the final text for the Trees chapter is being written this weekend and will be off to the editor on Monday. 

The last step will be to finalize the cover next week and get everything prepped to send off to the printers around the 21st of September. All being well it should be about 6-8 weeks from then to when we get the books to Warlord Games in the UK, and they will start shipping everything out to you all. Of course, this has been one hell of a year, so there might be unforeseen issues. We will continue to keep you all updated as we push ahead. 

Mel has been doing reasonably well in the physical health arena, making sure not to push himself too hard and to focus on recovery. Once the final piece - the feature tree - is completed, we'll have a couple of the add-ons to sort out (basing guide, colour chart, etc) and he'll be returning to the channel. We've been talking over the last couple of weeks, and Mel has a bunch of cool ideas he is keen to start working on. No doubt he'll start talking about those on Facebook soon enough. 

And finally, I thought we'd leave you with a look at a photo I received from Mel last night. A wonderful wire and Milliput tree that is the final build for the Trees chapter. You have no idea how much seeing this final piece almost complete makes my heart sing! 

Again, thank you all for your patience. I'll update everyone once we're off to the printers. Hopefully the updates will be steady from here on out.

Take care and stay safe!



August Update
about 1 month ago – Fri, Aug 07, 2020 at 02:04:30 AM

Hello, everyone! We hope you are taking care and staying safe. 

It has bee four weeks since our last update, and it has been another month of ups and downs. In the last update we mentioned that Mel was going in for a biopsy, and he has now been diagnosed with tuberculosis, although not a strong strain of the disease. This is something that has been going on in the background of the COPD and no doubt had an impact on his recent health. All of the wonderful comments on the last update are definitely appreciated by me and Mel, and those supporting us in our respective locations. 

On the upside, Mel has also had some great days where he has been back in the studio and working well. All of the builds for the Buildings section are now complete, and the builds for the Trees section are about 70% done. Writing continues as well for both sections. We've both been happy to spend some time in recent weeks hobbying together via the magic of video messenger, working, talking about various hobby things, and getting some rhythm back. This has certainly contributed to the increase in the amount of green in the charts above (now labeled with dates for improved context).

In the last update, I hoped for the builds to be complete by now. They aren't, but we are getting close. I anticipate we are a week or two behind where I last hoped, which would push shipping to mid-October. 

On that note, I will be closing the pre-order store next Monday (August 10) and settling up any of the outstanding credit card charges etc. If you haven't filled out your survey, please check your spam folders for the email and jump in there and get it done. 

At the end of August I'll be locking down the shipping addresses so that we can get everything prepared for Warlord Games to ship in October. If you have moved or are going to be moving in the next two months, please head to your BackerKit page and edit your address. If you can't find your page, please message me through Kickstarter and I'll resend your page for you to make the changes. 

Thank you all again for your patience, support, and understanding. We're almost there, thanks to you!

And as a cheeky sneak peek, here's a zoomed in photo from the Fantasy feature build in the Buildings section. 

July Update
2 months ago – Sat, Jul 11, 2020 at 02:20:05 AM

Thank you all for your continued patience and support. 

It has been a month since the last update, and while that month hasn't been the worst of the last eight months, it was pretty close. Just as we seemed to be getting back into a rhythm, Mel "popped a lung". 

Basically, that means that a bubble of air leaked out from his lungs and into his chest cavity, causing pain and discomfort as it rolled around in there, putting pressure on not only his lungs, but his heart too. It was actually discovered when he was rushed to hospital for a suspected heart attack, which turned out to be the air bubble pushing on his heart. Obviously having a respiratory issue during this pandemic has been quite stressful, and despite bed rest and reduced activity, he had a second "pop". CT scans have followed, and next week he'll be going in for another biopsy to check on things. 

Mel and I have been talking and working on other alternatives and have been making progress, despite these issues, but it is certainly stressful for us. When Mel and I embarked on this journey and invited you all to join us, we never pictured anything like what we've had to go through over the last year. We thank you for you patience, and appreciate the incredible frustration that so many of you must be feeling with us and the slow going. Trust me when I say, we are feeling incredibly frustrated too. 

Our current goal is to complete all of the builds and 95% of the text by the end of July, and if we can do that we'll be able to have the book off to the printers in mid-August and then back for distribution to your all late Sept/early October. These are our goals. 

As you know, however, 2020 has not been kind to many of us physically or emotionally, but we know we have made this significant commitment to you all and we'll keep working to make it happen as best we can. 

Thank you!

Mel's return to his Sunday Livestream.
3 months ago – Mon, Jun 15, 2020 at 01:11:30 AM

Hello, everyone!

We hope you are all doing well during these continuing uncertain times. We've had a few rough weeks here and there – with family, health (both physical and mental) concerns – but as ever we continue to out one foot in front of the other and move forward. 

Mel has been absent from his livestreams over the last few weeks, for various reasons, but he will be returning to Sunday livestreaming tomorrow night (9pm British Summer Time/4pm Eastern Daylight Time) on his YouTube Channel HERE, and it is during the livestream that he will be announcing the winners for the Terrain Building Competition. 

We had so many great entries that it was tough to pick out the winners. Everyone put a lot of effort and talent into their pieces, and during the livestream Mel will go through each entry and offer up his thoughts. We really appreciated the way that everyone considered the theme "Lived In".

Thank you all so much for your ongoing patience and support, we hope to have a new update for you all soon. Take care and stay safe!



Some wonderful entries in the competition so far!
4 months ago – Wed, May 27, 2020 at 11:49:36 PM

"Greetings from Isolation - The Lonely State" by Peter

Mel and I would like to thank everyone for their entries so far in our "Lived In" Terrain Building Competition. We have had quite a few entires already, but you still have until the end of the day, this Sunday, May 31st to get your entries in. You can find all the details in our last update (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1560579763/terrain-essentials/posts/2831742) and it is important to note that the entries may be pieces you have built in the past. They do not have to be pieces built in the last few weeks. 

Mel and I will take a look through everything next week and I think Mel will go through and show them off in his Sunday Nighter show (https://www.youtube.com/user/TheTerrainTutor) on June 7th, when we'll also announce the winners!

"A Tavern ready for some adventurers" by Richard.

Where are we at now with Terrain Essentials?

Well, over the last two weeks Mel has sent through all the text and photos for the Water & Snow section, I've my editing and the layout, and the section is now with our professional editor being polished up. Mel has started on the basic builds for the Buildings section, and I have spent the last few days focused on making sure the images are all prepped and ready for the printers. 

Pulling back the curtain to see how the sausage is made

Digital cameras typically deliver photos in a format that is ready for online use. That means the images I receive from Mel are in the RGB format and are sized at 72dpi (or Dots Per Inch). Both of these mean the images are perfect for viewing on a computer screen (or phone or tablet). For printing, however, the images need to be in CMYK format (Cyan-Magenta-Yellow-Black) for the 4-color process printing, AND they need to be at 300dpi. This means that once we're satisfied with where each photo is going to be used, I get to run through each one and make sure they have been edited to match the new format. With close to 200 photos in the first half of the book, it can take a while to make sure I get them ALL done. 

So, we are continuing to move forward and I'm focused on making sure that all the little things are completed while Mel is plowing though the Buildings section. This will mean that from when Mel completes his building and writing (we are projecting five weeks here), we'll only be about another two weeks after that away from sending the book off to the printers. 

Thank you all!

I know we've been saying it a lot, but it still stands. Thank you all so very much for your patience and support through this incredibly rough time for Mel. It is greatly appreciated!


Dave and Mel