View Full Version : Terrain

28-03-2006, 03:07 AM
I\'ve only recently got my game table made. Which is great. But now I\'ve gotta get going on making scenery to put on it! :P

My first terrain set is meant to depict the wilderness areas of my chapter\'s (Storm Bringer\'s) home world. The goal is to build a set that\'ll cover a full 2\' x 3\' area (25% of a 4\' x 6\' table). So far I\'m a bit short of filling a 2\' x 2\' which has been good enough for our recent combat patrol games.

Here\'s what I have:
-2 hills, 100% complete
-2 Forests (L3-4 area terrain) with Scratch built trees! 70%
-1 Broken ground (boulders and scrubb) (L2 area Terrain) 80%

Here\'s what I plan on adding to it:
-1 Large rock formation (~9\" square\'ish)
-1 large combination hill/rock formation (12\" square\'ish)

If I add the above together I only get about 5 of the 6 square feet of terrain I\'m looking for. Should I get started on another forest or two? The two I have only really fill a 6\" x 12\" space each. Or do you guys have any other ideas that would add more diversity to my terrain set?

The type of climate I\'m attempting to depict is a more temperate forest/mountain foot hill kind of look. So tropical is out. I\'m open for suggestions so long as they fit.


PS: If I ever get a digital camera I\'ll show off my stuff... I\'m quite proud of the trees especially. Coincidentaly, they\'re also the thing I\'ve spent the most time on. Two of them are just shy of 12\" tall (hence the L4 designation) with the rest being in the 6-7\" range. The scrubb pieces are just 1-2\" versions of the large trees painted differently and with a different foliage color.

28-03-2006, 04:41 AM
Check these out:



I have some scenery on there in step by step pics for you to see. Also, I recommend making a hill that can be divided into two halves with about a 3\" tall hill with a further 6\" rocky outcropping on top. Then you acn cliff edge the table or have a rocky hill in the centre for the representation of rocky terrain.

I hope I was clear enough!

;):woohoo: ;)

28-03-2006, 05:36 AM
I really like the split hill idea... I\'ve seen one similar in concept that divided into three parts... a half and 2 quarters so that you could place them together as a hill, as two side boundries, or as a side and two corners.

Do you make \"impassable\" terrain that can still accomodate miniatures, since Nids with flesh hooks and, theoretically, jump infantry can still travel through/over them? One of the cliffs in your pictures appears to fit this description.


31-03-2006, 04:36 AM
Yes I do, but rather than planning the piece for use in game I tend to just make whatever I think will look nice, bearing in mind I have a grass roll and a plain table, and I\'m fussy about blending the terrain bases into the game, so I end up with lava pools with static grass around the edge, but I justify this by saying the pool has only this second formes so the grass aint scorched yet...

Basically, I make nice looking terrain because I prefer it to look nicer, and then whilst I\'m building it I usually accomodate for miniatures.

The other factor is I play WHFB so I usually make generic terrain that can be used in both games, hence the hills and rocky areas rather than ruined cityscapes with tank chassis everywhere...

Imagine it...

\'Yorrick, bring the heavy cavalry around the east and prepare the trebuchet... those skaven things will never see it coming... oh wait, dont forget to adjust your aim to avoid that wrecked leman russ...\'


31-03-2006, 04:59 AM
You have a point... but I\'d take a Leman Russ over the books and soda cans I\'ve been using.

Is it just me, or does wrecking a prefectly good tank model seem like a huge waste for a terrain project? The coolest piece of terrain I\'ve seen lately was a wrecked Eldar Titan in a White Dwarf... The price tag on that is beyond my ability to comprehend.

Him: \"Look I got this awesome Titan from Forge World!\"
Me: \"Cool, lets wreck it and use it for terrain.\"
Him: \"I\'ll go get the hammer.\"



01-04-2006, 01:47 AM
Agreed... I hate wasting expensive mini\'s but if you have a club everyone can chip nito the club terrain pool. That can work, under agreement of course. Its like maybe ?4 each of theres 5 of you, so its not so bad to wreck a tank there.

But hey, thats a suggestion.

Generally, foamboard and polystyrene are my allies...

Gaius Julius
01-04-2006, 01:52 AM
jeez i\'d love to have a gaming table, but i just din\'t know where i\'d pu it!! there\'s not enough space in my stupid house??

01-04-2006, 04:26 AM
jeez i\'d love to have a gaming table, but i just din\'t know where i\'d pu it!! there\'s not enough space in my stupid house??

I know the feeling... I had to squeez it in... Plus It has corkboard on the back so I can flip it over and it becomes a work area.

It has also become a plush animal storage facility after my wife vaccumed last... Stuff got piled on it to get it out of the way and it never moved.

The latest US White Dwarf (#315 I think) has a cool foldable board idea that might work for you. I\'m thinking about making a fold up one out of foam insullation board to suppliment my big one so that we can run two games at a time. Looks like we finally got a 4th member of our gaming group so two boards would be a smart thing to have.


02-04-2006, 10:54 AM
well a good way to produce clumps of trees can be found in the Generals Compendium book(just pick it up and skim through it)

another idea is to find a hobby shop that sells plastic tree trunks, then grab some lichen glue chunks tot he trees and voila!(but dont forget to paint the plastic, otherwise it wont look right)

next, look into sheets of cork, it stacks nicely(i think its quite cheap) and looks nice for the smaller rock formations and bases

next, no wilderness scene is complete without ruined temples, ancient building etc, great place are those pillar things found on wedding cakes or wherever, possibly hobby stores for them just cut em up, damage them, whatever

uhhh what else, water, do you do water? or know how? resin is great for it, and GW water effects are great for smaller details in the piece(ripples etc) as well as for bases

cliffs are nice but you need to find a way to make them cliff-like without dominating a table(mine dominates, i was tooe excited to have styrofoam and made a huge cliff...which now stretches about 40\" across my table...hahah oops!)

an easy way i found to chissel rockface is take an exacto/hobby knife and just throw your hand at the styrofoam since rockfaces tend to form in chunks, just swing at the same angle, create a chucnk then change it up

i have more ideas but my post is getting long :)


02-04-2006, 11:47 AM
I work at an Arts and Crafts store and im always finding new easy ways to do terrain.

For trees take a walk through a crafts store fake plants area. I know we carry these long bushy pieces that if snipped of make great bushes or if you snipp off the stimm further down make great jungle like trees.

As for water look in the same area or where they keep the vases and look for the fack water. Its usually a 2 part kit. If you wanna go cheap just use white glue. It dries clear but takes a while to dry. If you add a drop of paint to it and mix it up its no longer clear but can give good lava or muck effects. You can also just paint the surface you want to add water to first then pour the glue over it. When it dries clear you will see the surface you painted below.

Easy to do boulders is just chunk some foam make a pile then hit it with some fleck-stone paint. Bark also works well for boulders. Thick chunks of pine or oak bark then paint it dark with some heavy dry brushing.

For almost any foam based project i like to cover it with latex house paint. Creates a strong cover and fills in all those foam holes.

For blasted areas on your foam walls and such hit it with a splash of WD-40 before you paint and let it set and dry. WD-40 will eat foam and gives good blast or really ruff stone effects.

Im gonna stop now as I too could just ramble on and on.

03-04-2006, 10:38 PM

Here\'s what I have:
-2 hills, 100% complete
-2 Forests (L3-4 area terrain) with Scratch built trees! 90%
-1 Broken ground (boulders and scrubb) (L2 area Terrain) 100%
-1 medium rock outcropping (WYSIWYG L3) 25%
-1 Large Rock outcropping (WYSIWYG L3) 0%

This should fill the required area for a 4\' x 4\' table...

I bought a half sheet of pink foam board (1\") to make the hills. I\'ve barely used an 8th of it so gluing a few layers together and carving out rock outcroppings seems like a good way to use some of it up.

Some other things I\'ve been toying with:

A set of terrain that is a Adeptus Mechanicus Cathedral that has been neglected for a couple centuries. So basicly a massive ruined factory complex. Rusty holding tanks and pipes. Overgrown, half ruined walls and pillars. All centered around a shrine to the machine god.

A modular river with bridge and modular road. Seems that a bridge would make a great bit of terrain about which to center a battle on.



04-04-2006, 02:19 AM
I\'ll give you some really good advice here. Look at model train scenery books. They detail excellent techniques.

Try it!

:woohoo: :woohoo:

04-04-2006, 02:41 AM
Now that\'s something I hadn\'t thought about...

When it came time to sort out how to make the trees I went straight to model railroad sites, but regarding other terrain types it didn\'t occur to me that they would also be a good source of ideas.



04-04-2006, 03:02 AM
For example:

For genuine rocky faces such as those found on cliffs apply a base layer of filler (thickly mixed and very tacky) to your surface for bulk and general shape.

Once this has set, apply a smoother thinner layer of filler and allow it to cure a little, for around half an hour. Take some greaseproof paper, and scrumple it up. Open it out and press it into the filler and leave to set. (Use it greaseproof side on, obviously!)

Once set, remove greaseproof paper. You will have a good surface, random texture. Now, the clever bit.

Get a wire brush, and gently drag it horizontally over the set filler. This distresses it with a weathering look. After all, the wire brush is simply simulating hundreds of years of erosion by wind.

Paint as desired. You\'ll have an awesome rock face if you\'re making cliffs. Try it out on a small box and see for yourself.