Travis Searles - Innovation and Integration

Travis Searles - Innovation and Integration

I stumbled across Travis' set on Reddit and was immediately blown away by his repurposing of Terraino for use with his own ideas. He even started building a tavern set before any of my Terraino Tavern videos had come out! Not only that, but Travis also designed a couple of new Terraino pieces. Check out the Terraino Builder Spotlight video for more on them!

He's a fairly new fan to the tabletop rpg genre - DnD specifically - but he's already excelling at making terrain. He's also come up with a great way to quickly add a rock wall texture to Terraino pieces that I know I will be using in the future.

Travis was nice enough to give me an interview in which he gives some insight into his experience building Terraino and terrain in general and also provides some great tips and tricks.

What got you into tabletop crafting?

 I grew up with owning a Nintendo and SNES and really enjoyed video games based around an adventure (Zelda and such).But as I grew older and the games got more advanced I saw their potential, but they still lacked in certain areas that restricted the player. Looking online one day I came across the YouTube channel “Node”. They did mostly gameplay videos. But a few of their videos that stuck out were of them playing DND. They had separated the campaigns into episodes and the story was captivating to the point where once I was caught up I had to wait for the next release. When it did get released I would drop what I was doing to watch it. Looking at what they had built for terrain and how the players were able to interact with anything in that world within their abilities, I knew this was something that I was looking for. I knew about DND growing up, but at the age I was and with nobody around to teach me, I didn't take the time to learn to play. Now that I'm older and more independent I felt obligated to teach myself to play to satisfy my gaming itch.

I started off with whatever I had around the house to build a Castle. I went to a craft store picked up as many trees as I thought needed. Grabbed the dnd starters kit at Walmart, and it escalated from there.

What are your games of choice to use your terrain with?

I strictly play DND. I enjoy it mostly because the game system seems versatile enough for any open world gameplay.

Any adventures you've gotten to run with your Terraino setup?

 I'm working on a campaign now with my wife and one of her friends. The first game we started was in a brothel.

 How did you hear about Terraino?

I was looking for a style that was cheap and good looking. I would watch YouTube videos constantly for good ideas and Terraino seemed like it fit the bill.

What made you take the plunge into building your own Terraino set?

Exactly what it was intended for. It's 3D and good looking, cheap in price, and easy for common people to build. It allows me to be creative with it but not intimidated with the thought that messing up one wall will make the rest look terrible like with the actual buildings people are making.

Any advice you'd give to others building Terraino?

Start off with the basics. Don't feel like all your cuts need to be perfect but try to be as precise as you can. You'll learn from your mistakes, but don't feel like you need to start over each time. Finish one style of walls before you start the next. Make a lot of one thing at a time.The process can be tedious at times, but you'll find the processes get easier the more you dedicate to it. Don't limit this style of terrain to just walls.

Any time you think a tool will help speed up the process, make the tool. I made rollers out of shrink wrap tubes and hot glue to create textures walls.  


Were there any surprises while building your set? Anything harder than you thought it would be? Anything easier? 

I learned how important your grids accuracy must be. The walls however could be slightly off and still work so long as the connectors filled the gaps. I thought using a paper cutter would make the process easier. It did a little bit, but since the foam is thicker than intended for the cutter it can pull the foam and armake an uneven cut. The biggest thing about it is it can be tedious and time consuming. But it pays off in the end. Biggest downfall I've noticed in the product is the durability as expected. But I think one thing I've neglected in my paint is adding pva glue. I also remember hearing that you can use minwax polyurethane spray paint to seal and harden your project without melting it. I haven't tried it. But it came from a reliable source I guarantee.


Any suggestions for future Terraino pieces or sets you would like to see developed?

Angled walls and other terrain other than walls. Maybe Terraino trees or rocks, City street terrain like market square terrain, or Mead hall furniture.  Any new ideas besides tile walls involving the Terraino grid.

Thanks for your time Travis and happy continued crafting!


If you'd like your Terraino set to be considered for a future Builder Spotlight, hit up on the contact page here.

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