For material I recommend using what you have available and what works for you. The material I used is what worked for me. I'm sure you can find cheaper or better material.
- Pre-Mixed Grout (sandstone)
- Woodland Scenics Realistic Water
- Rust-oleum Gloss Spring Green spray paint
- 1/8" hardboard (from old poster frame back)
- Light brown faux fur
- Liquitex Acrylic Color: Burnt Umber
- Optional: Some sort of green flock for the berm
- Assemble all the material. Make sure you have enough of the material to finish the project.
- Cut the hardboard into a 10" x 10" square. I choose the square shape because I wanted to have multiple rice paddies beside one another.
- Using the grout mix, build up the berms around the outside of the square hardboard. I went 1/2" high and flattened the top to give the impression that people can walk along the berm.
- When the berms are dry (1-2 days), paint the berms and the inside one or two inches of the rice paddy a dark brown. No need to paint the whole board as the middle part will be covered with the faux fur.
- Cut the faux fur into a 8" x 8" square.
- Trim the fur around the outside of the square and then use an electric hair trimmer with the 1/2" comb attachment to cut down the fur to about a 1/2" length. The hair trimmer was only about $20.
- Lay out the fur square flat and spray the fur with the green spray paint until you no longer see any brown fur. I recommend a brighter gloss green color (i.e. Gloss Spring Green by Rust-oleum) for the spray paint. If you miss a bit of brown fur deeper in the fur, that is okay. Most of what you see wargaming should be green.
- When the fur square is dry, glue it into the middle of the hardboard. Make sure the outer edge of the fur square is flat to the hardboard.
- With a small funnel, pour the Realistic Water into the gap between the fur and the berm all around the board. Let dry and repeat the application if not satisfied. It probably won't be perfect. No worries since I don't think it will be very visible when on the table.
- The berm can be left without flock if you want, but I chose to glue small green flock on the berms. I did not glue any flock on the inside of the berm.
That's it, the rice paddy is good to go. There will be some warping, but I think when you lay it on a wargame mat it will sink into the mat slightly and the warping will not be noticed.