Monday, September 12, 2011

Chaos Waste Terrain

In this next installment of terrain tutorials I will walk you through the simple process for making a table full of Chaos inspired terrain.  Specifically I was tasked with building a long valley for one of our Big WHFB games.  I made enough terrain and some to cover both sides of a 13' table.  I designed this terrain as a series of stepped hills that gave lots of room to mount units and characters.  Perfect for that Skaven of Chaos Dwarf gun line.  You could also make smooth hills or impassable terrain using basically the same techniques and materials..


Large Worktable (the floor would also work).

Polystyrene Foam.  I prefer the denser pink of blue foam.  Unfortunately, I was not able to find this in California, so I had to settle for the standard white beaded styrene.

Yard Stick.  



Liquid Nails.

 Hot Wire Foam Tool.

White Glue .

Sand.  Course (builders sand) and fine (craft sand).    
Ballast and "Spru" Rubble

Watered down matte medium OR watered down PVA glue.

Paint Brushes.  Large flat brushes for dry brushing. 

Assorted Craft Paints.

Woodland Scenics Tall Dead Grass
Clear Matte Spray


Step 1.  Design.  Head to the computer and plan out how to layout the different layers to maximize material usage. I decided that to make multiple hills of different lengths that were 3 layers high for a total height of 3".   All of the terrain I produced used a single full size of 1" thick polystyrene board.

Step 2.  Layout.  With the plan in hand measure and mark the plan onto the polystyrene sheet using a yard stick and a marker. 

Step 3.  Cut Out  Easiest way to rough out the pieces was with a standard kitchen knife.  Hang the board over the edge of the table and use a sawing motion to cut out the pieces.   

Step 4.  Hot Wire Edges. IMPORTANT.  You have to put your finished edges on the each layer BEFORE you glue the layers together.  I just went with a very simple rocky edge that I formed by running the hot wire tool along the edges in an up and down sawing motion.  Also be sure to round of the corners to try to turn reduce the rectangle look of the each layer. 

Step 5.  Glue layers together using Liquid Nails.  Make sure that to remove the protective film on the foam. Once you have the piece glued up place some weight under them and let them dry.  Books work great for this, just be careful not to get any glue on them.

Step 6.  Course Texture.  Apply ballast and "spru" rubble in the corer where each layer meets the one below. 

Step 7. Fine Texture.  Cover each piece with watered down PVA glue and them roll it in sand.  Use both the fine and coarse sand to add variety to the texture.  Given their size I found it easier to do one half of each piece at a time.  After the glue is dry give the whole piece a good coating of watered down Matte Medium and let dry overnight.

Step 8.  Base Coat.  Give each piece a heavy base coat of dark gray.  Remember to be careful if you choose to use spray paint as it will eat through any uncovered portions like the bottom and the back.

Step 9.  Dry Brush.  Using two lighter shades of gray highlight the texture using dry brushing. 

Step 10.  Add dyed horse hair (from Woodland Scenics).  This step will let you add some "life" to your otherwise rocky, dead terrain. 

Step 11.  Clear Matte Spray.  To protect the terrain for the rigours of gaming spray the piece with a clear matte finish.

Here is the finished terrain.

Finished Terrain in Action.


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