I did end up spending about £24 on this, but I got significantly more for my money than I would have done if I'd been a fool and bought that GW kit. I ended up shelling out for a litre tin of mid-brown emulsion paint that's a close match for Vallejo Earth, 500 ml of sand base from an art shop and 300 ml of matte medium to make it go further (and I still have some left for making hills and suchlike, too). Flock was free, courtesy of our glorious host, and I still have half the tub left there as well.
I'm still sulking, though - partly because I didn't need QUITE that much paint (I was startled while calculating how much I'd need and misplaced the decimal point - at least I have enough for every terrain making project I'm likely to do, ever, and then some) and partly because while I was buying the paint I found an even more Frugal option that would have saved me a fair bit of time and money.
Homebase, bless them, sell a mid-brown textured spray paint at about £7.50 for a 400ml can. Having already bought and applied the sand base and matte medium, I didn't get the chance to play about with it, but I suspect two cans ought to be more than enough for a 4'x4' board... so if you want to texture and paint a board in one easy step and spend £10 less than I did, that might be the way to go. I think my Frugal Year might be turning into a "do as I say, not as I do" enterprise...
Trees! Made by our gracious host Dave's method, entirely out of stuff I found in the cupboard, where it had lingered for several years, unused and unremembered - thick card, florists' wire, Milliput, Windsor and Newton brown/black inks and the last of the matte medium (and some water). The only thing I bought new for these was the lichen - two bags of Landscape Scenics stuff, of which I still have about two-thirds of a bag left. Not sure what I'm going to do with that - maybe moss on the buildings when I get around to doing those, or a 10mm forest for Hordes of the Things.
River! I gave the entire board a wash of that W&N ink + matte medium + water mix to bring the texture back out after I'd emulsioned it, and the river is just PVA (we have a lot of PVA glue) layered over that. I'm not a hundred per cent happy with it, but not sure what to do about it either. I'm not going to just paint it blue (for the same reason that my treetrunks aren't plain brown), I know that much.
Game! Yes, I haven't forgotten about that essential 'spend less, game more' mission, even if I do spend half my time waffling about ephemera like 'emotional investment' - there is a point to all this scrimping and saving and building and painting, after all. Shiny's Warmachine army has finally arrived in strength and we played a couple of games yesterday afternoon to celebrate. I shan't bend anyone's ear about them here, but keep your eyes on my personal blog if you're interested.