Terrain Essentials

Created by Dave Taylor Miniatures

An Essential Guide to Building Tabletop Terrain

Latest Updates from Our Project:

The Pledge Manager is OPEN!
9 months ago – Wed, May 15, 2019 at 11:19:17 PM

Thank you all so much for your patience. We’ve been working behind the scenes to get as many fulfillment quotes to ensure we could get you the best shipping prices possible. That takes a bit of time and we needed to get it all squared away before we opened up the pledge manager. 

For our campaign Teammates

You should have received your email survey from BackerKit (or you’ll be receiving it very soon) and we ask you to take a look at it straight away. This email links through to the pledge manager where you, as a backer, can do a number of different things:

Adjust your pledge level UP. If you have currently pledged at the $0 or $1 pledge levels and would like to receive any rewards, we ask you to please adjust your pledge level first to one of the $25, $45, $65, $80, or $95 levels. If you don’t adjust your pledge level to one with a reward there’s a very good chance that your shipment will be delayed. Please check out the image below to see the simple, four-step process for adjusting your level (it’s just an example, feel free to pick any level you like).

Fill out our four survey questions. We are interested to hear from you on a couple of different topics, including where you heard about the Kickstarter campaign, what you might like to see from Mel (as far as books go) in the future, and what name you would like to see appear in the Roll of Honour in the PDF version of the book.

Add your Add-Ons. Many of you have already pledged for the Add-Ons during the campaign. It is here that you get to select the specific Add-Ons you want. If you didn’t pledge for Add-Ons during the campaign, you can do it now by selecting them at the Add-On step. This includes additional copies of Terrain Essentials.

Provide your shipping address!We don’t have any shipping addresses at all, and we’ll need yours to be able to send you your book(s) and cards and posters. If you have only pledged for digital content, we won’t need your address. Otherwise, this is a REALLY important part of the process.

Pay for any increases in pledge amount, Add-Ons, and Shipping. All of the things like shipping costs, any Add-Ons, and any increases in your pledge level can now be paid for. You can use a credit or debit card (it doesn’t need to be the same as the one you used during the Kickstarter campaign), and you can now also use Paypal (thank you, BackerKit). 

PLEASE NOTE: Payments made with Paypal will come out of your PP account immediately, while payments made with credit or debit cards will come out of your account when we close the BackerKit pledge manager, currently planned for September 30th, 2019.

For Late Supporters

If you missed the campaign, this is your opportunity to join us as teammates and grab your copies of Terrain Essentials. The pledge manager also functions as a pre-order store, so you can jump in by selecting a pledge level and adding on any Add-Ons you would like (including the campaign-exclusive poster of Mel’s Rules of Terrain Building). Just like our campaign teammates, you can pay with credit or debit card or Paypal. 

You can find the pre-order store here:



Originally, we told you that we were probably looking at $12 for the UK, US, and EU, $20 for Canada, $25 for Oz/NZ, and $30 for everyone else. We have been able to find solutions that allow us to offer the following shipping prices (per book):

• $10 for UK, US, and EU (plus Switzerland and Norway)

• $15 for Canada
• $20 for Oz/NZ
• $25 for the Rest of the World

We’re very excited to be able to offer these numbers.

PLEASE NOTE: If you have selected the $25 PDF level, you may purchase the Colour Reference Card, and the Mel’s Rules Poster as Add-Ons, BUT there is an additional postage charge for each item. If you have selected a pledge level with a physical book, there will be NO additional shipping charge for the Card and/or Poster.

How long will the Pledge Manager be Open for Business?

We’re expecting the pledge manage to be open until late September, when we need to be sending off book quantities to the printers. So, you’ll have a little bit of time, but don’t wait until the last minute. The earlier you complete your survey and get your payments sorted the easier it is for us, our printers, and our fulfillment hubs. We really appreciate your prompt completion of the surveys. 

What will the book look like? 

Mel and I are hitting our rhythm as far as writing and layout discussions go. We’re chatting a couple of times a week and we’re excited about how it’s developing. To celebrate the opening of the pledge manager we wanted to release this sample section of the book to all of you wonderful supporters! It’s important to note that we’re still finalizing a few elements of the layout, and the text still needs to go through final copy-editing, but we think you’ll really enjoy this content. I know I learned a few things for future builds. 

Follow this link to download the Fighting the Warpsample section of Terrain Essentials


Regular Communication

Don’t forget, as well as our regular KS Updates, you can check in with Mel each week during his livestreams on Thursdays (7:30pm UK time), Sundays (9pm UK time), and his weekly Terrain Essentials update vlog, all on his YouTube channel – The Terrain Tutor.

Let’s Crack On!

Work has begun!
10 months ago – Thu, May 02, 2019 at 12:23:39 AM

We're just over two weeks from the end of the Kickstarter campaign and about two weeks away from the opening of the pledge manager, and we're both really excited about where we are at. 

Following the hectic pace of the campaign and all the international travel, Mel and I needed a bit of time to get some proper rest, some deep sleep, and some relaxation. It has taken us almost two weeks to recover, but it did us the world of good. We have emerged refreshed and energized and raring to get stuck in.

The First Pages

Mel has finished the first bit of writing, and taken the first few photos, while I've done the first bit of editing and the first couple of spreads of layout. I have to say, we're thrilled about where we are at, and the process that is evolving. I'm also going to say that Mel really knows his stuff, and I'm chomping at the bit to get stuck in to a bit of terrain building using some of the methods he has described in the Warping section that we'll be revealing to you all in the coming weeks. You can catch an early glimpse of the pages down below (we're still fiddling with the layout a bit, so we have a few slightly different options we're deciding on).

The Pledge Manager

We've had a few people ask when they pledge manager will be open, and the answer to that is mid-May. We still have a couple of quotes for fulfillment that we are waiting on, and we want to be able to set the best prices for you for shipping that we can. We thank you for your patience and understanding on this, soon we'll be ready to open it for you to add your Add-Ons, adjust your pledge levels, and get squared away for shipping. 

When we do open it up, you'll receive an email from BackerKit, we'll make an update announcement here, and we'll be shouting about it on our social media pages too :) 

Weekly Communication

Don't forget that not only does Mel do two livestreams each week - one on Thursday at 7:30pm UK time and one on Sunday at 9pm UK time - but he'll also be putting out a "Terrain Essentials Update" vlog every Sunday too. So make sure you head over to The Terrain Tutor on YouTube, and (if you haven't already) subscribe and click the bell to get notifications and follow Mel's week-by-week progress in writing the book.



What a ride! And now, down to the real work.
10 months ago – Thu, Apr 18, 2019 at 01:33:26 AM

Mel and I (and the rest of our friends and family) would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our teammates who have helped bring this dream to life. Thanks to you, we're going to be able to create a fantastic book that will be incredibly helpful for thousands of people for years to come. 

Thank you all!

What's next?

Mel and I have taken a couple of days to decompress (I'm almost over my jet lag and Mel's back is starting to behave), but we are now back to it. This afternoon we'll have our first post-campaign meeting and nail down details on things like the bookplate, the page planner for the book, preparations and materials needed, and the general rhythm we'll be following. We'll also be finalizing things like the shipping costs over the next couple of weeks - we're still receiving quotes in from various fulfillment houses.

In May, Mel will start the writing in earnest, and I'll be initially focused on getting the BackerKit pledge manager set up and ready to roll. 

The Pledge Manager

For those of you who are new (or relatively new) to Kickstarter, the pledge manager is the place where you get to assign the dollar value that you pledge to the items you would like - including the various add-ons and extra physical copies - as well as settling up for the shipping costs. Whether you have pledged for $1 or for $95, you'll be able to increase your pledge amount and get the book and add-ons that are right for you.

Additionally, the pledge manager also acts as a pre-order store. If you have friends who missed out on the campaign, they will be able to join in and purchase the book (physical and/or PDF) and the campaign add-ons as well. 

If you are receiving this Update as an email, you will also receive an email survey from BackerKit. It is very important that you complete this survey as swiftly as possible so that we make sure that it is as easy as possible to get your books to you once they are ready to ship. 

Communication with us

During the course of the production of the book, if you have any questions or kind words for us, you can either leave a comment on an Update, on the main campaign page, or send a message to the campaign, and we'll get back to you as swiftly as we can. 

We also expect to be putting out two of these Updates per month, AND Mel will be posting a "Progress Vlog" each Sunday. 

And the most direct way to ask a question is to jump in on Mel's weekly Sunday Nighter livestream (9pm UK time) where you can also ask him questions about terrain projects you are working on. 

We are both very excited to bring you the best book on building tabletop terrain that we can!

Thank You!
10 months ago – Mon, Apr 15, 2019 at 02:15:38 AM

The campaign has come to an end, and we are so thankful you have taken this journey with us!

Another amazing day!
10 months ago – Mon, Apr 15, 2019 at 12:05:38 AM

With just over 10 hours to go, we wanted to say another quick “Thank You!” to everyone. We are now well over 5,000 teammates strong, we have the funding to make you all the best terrain book we can, and there’ll be a nice PDF treat for all backers (currently at 32 pages).

Today will be the day for thanking people and companies that have shared the campaign for us. Keep an eye out on The Terrain Tutor Facebook page for those posts full of tags (we discovered last night, after Mel had spent a couple of hours crafting a wonderful post, sadly with more than 50 tags, that FB will simply delete a post with too many).

We’ll keep the rolling stretch goal going throughout the rest of the campaign, and Mel and I have decided another great way to say Thank You is to add TWO ribbon bookmarks to each book once we reach 10 minutes to go in the campaign (whatever point we happen to be at then).

Not long now.

We’ll see you all during the livestream tonight (starting 7pm UK time) for the final send off!

Cheers Dave