Terrain Essentials

Created by Dave Taylor Miniatures

An Essential Guide to Building Tabletop Terrain

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Thank you for your patience!
about 1 year ago – Fri, Aug 16, 2019 at 02:33:11 AM

It has been a little while since our last update on the progress of the book. Mel and I have had shifting schedules (as often happens over the summer break when you've got kids), which has meant our meetings have been less frequent. We are, however, pleased to say that we're over the hump on the writing aspect of the book. Mel has delivered about 60% of the pages, including the most lengthy (text-wise) sections covering the tools, materials, and practical techniques!

The rest of his efforts are now concentrated on what we refer to as "the builds", where the theory espoused in the first half of the book is put into practice. Mel's already well into this section too, but I only get to see the text once he's doubly happy with it. 

Another special bit of news is that Mel has signed all of the bookplates (as you can see in the photo above), and has started his planning for the Basing PDF, where we'll be working with The Army Painter team to make sure all of the suggestions are accessible to everyone.

So, we're on track with the production of the book, Mel's well ahead on the signing, and plans are afoot for the Basing PDF. Additionally, Mel has just posted up a video tackling a subject close to his heart. It's a good video, a positive one, that you have all had a hand in...

...check it out HERE.

Until next time!



Supporting our friends!
about 1 year ago – Thu, Jul 11, 2019 at 02:53:30 AM

During our campaign earlier this year, we had a lot of great friends in the tabletop wargaming industry provide support by sharing the news of Terrain Essentials far and wide. We are only too happy now to share some of their news with all of our wonderful supporters!

Battle Systems - Fantasy Wargames Terrain

The guys at Battle Systems have been making cool stuff for several years now, and their SIXTH Kickstarter project is running at the moment. Their incredibly detailed, fantasy terrain system is currently well past the funding goal, but they have quite a few stretch goals up their sleeves! Mel, has also been working on a video tutorial for taking some of the Battle Systems cardboard terrain and adding weathering and texture to it in a way that makes it pop even more. We'll post about that again this weekend once the tutorial goes live.

You can check out the Battle Systems Kickstarter HERE.


Gary Krieger, the man behind the very popular "News and Rumors" blog Faeit212, is launching a Kickstarter this Friday (July 12th) to fund his game The Genesys Project

The Genesys Project is a unit-based skirmish wargame that actually encourages you to create your own factions. Not just bringing together whatever models you want to use, but a system that allows you to adjust and adapt and create new species and unit classes and see them develop from game to game. Six years of work and effort from over 900 playtesters have created something quite special.

For more information on The Genesys Project, please visit the website HERE.

Edit: Please note that I (Dave) am involved in The Genesys Project, helping Gary with the graphics, and putting the books together and getting them printed. 

And The Signing Begins!
over 1 year ago – Fri, Jun 14, 2019 at 01:56:34 AM

Recently Mel received the box of custom bookplates from a local printers. Over 5,000 of them! And true to his word, Mel has already started on them, tackling 300 or so over the last two days. At this rate we’ll have them all sorted well before the book returns from the printers!

Additionally, we’ve seen even more of you completing your surveys from BackerKit, which is wonderful. Only about 650 more of you to go.

If you haven’t received your survey yet, follow this link: https://terrain-essentials.backerkit.com/ and enter your email address and the survey will be resent. If you don’t fill out your survey, you can’t receive your rewards.

Thanks, everyone, for your support. We’re working hard to bring you the best terrain tutorial book on the market!

Cheers Dave and Mel

Great work so far!
over 1 year ago – Fri, May 24, 2019 at 09:04:37 PM

Thank you to the more than 4,400 people who have already filled out their pledge manager survey! We are almost at 80% completion, which is very close to where BackerKit projected we would be.

This also means there are close to 1,200 people who have not filled out their survey yet.

If you have not filled out your survey

Please follow the link in the email you should have received over the last week from BackerKit (it might be hiding in your Spam folder or your Promotions folder) and jump in to answering the questions, selecting your add-ons, and leaving your shipping address.

If you can’t find the pledge manager email from BackerKit

We all know that technology isn’t 100% reliable, so it’s possible your email is lost in the ether somewhere. If this is the case, you can always click on the following link to take you to a handy survey recovery page. Enter the email address associated with your Kickstarter account and BackerKit will send you a fresh email. Instructions for upping your pledge level can be found in Update #30.


If you missed out on the Kickstarter campaign and would love to pre-order Terrain Essentials

Life moves pretty fast, and it can be easy to miss things we really wanted to become involved in. Fear not, because you can always place a pre-order for Terrain Essentials(and any of the add-ons from the campaign) by clicking on this link to the BackerKit Pre-Order Store:


Nice and simple. As always, if you have any questions you can leave a comment here, or send us a message here on Kickstarter too.

Mel’s Writing Progress Vlog

Don’t forget that Mel is putting together a weekly progress vlog so that you can follow along with his challenges and triumphs. You can check them out on his YouTube channel – The Terrain Tutor:


Thanks again for all of your support!



The Pledge Manager is OPEN!
over 1 year 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!