For many years I have used odd bits of felt, masking tape etc to represent many terrain features but I came to realise that the bits of terrain I had actually made or bought (hills, walls, bridges, trees, buildings) both lasted forever and got used endlessly. I therefore decided to tackle my river deficit, in particular in the context of my Hexon terrain.
I've already got some large 1' and 2' river sections I made out of MDF years ago, and they have featured in a number of games, but I wanted something a bit more subtle to use as streams or small rivers both on gridded and ungridded tables.
This is what I ended up with, a selection of curvy stream sections. The curves correspond with the Hexon hex edges but would obviously do as meandering watercourses in other settings. Keen eyed readers will notice that the water bits are reflective, but what is less apparent is that although they look very blue, they are also transparent, so will reflect the colour of the underlying terrain (green, brown etc).
The edges are just thin lines of static grass stuck on with PVA. Again there is some slight transparency so the underlying terrain colour shows through.
The blue hint comes from a thin wash of aubergine blue/green on the base. I first saw green river sections at COW many years ago, and it is much better reflection of weedy/deep water than pure blue. The paint also adds a bit of roughness to the bottom which stops it sliding around. The overall effect is that you get the base terrain colour shaded a greeny blue coming through as the water colour.
I was very pleased with how these turned out, so rarely a game goes by when they don't get used. My main regret is that I haven't got the mix of different lengths quite right. The 1' sections are fine for a normal table, but for more intricate hex sets, I need more of the shorter sections, so I may end up cutting some of the longer ones up.