Some Old Terrain

Skeleton Rock

Skeleton Rock

Here’s some terrain I built three or four years ago. I keep it (and the little skellie from Reaper Miniatures that I painted at a Paint ‘n Take at last year’s OshCon) on top of my big four-drawer filing cabinet in my office at work. The skellie stands there and protects the filing cabinet and his rock from all attackers. People come into my office, look at the bony soldier and not-actually-made-of-rock dias, and usually move the both of them over so they can lean on the filing cabinet while they yammer at me (except for Dave, who doesn’t yammer). The poor unholy warrior just stands there, his sword raised in impotent rage.

The piece is mostly all made out of that pink house insulation foam that you see nailed to the outside of houses as they’re building them or putting on new siding. The skull on the rock totem is actually an old plastic Halloween skull ring. There’s also some model railroad talus (small rocks) and some green foam fake shrubbery (on the backside of the rock totems, out of the camera shot).

The main platform was cut with a Wonder Cutter, which is a hot wire foam cutter. It works great, but leaves the edges with a kind of tell-tale signature ‘look’. People who make terrain can tell you cut it with a hot wire foam cutter and then didn’t try to finish the edges to make it look like stone or anything.

The three totems where cut from the foam with an extendable utility knife. I used the tip of the knife to make the striations on the faces of the totems. They actually turned out rather well; maybe I’ll make a mini-tutorial about how to do that some day.

I then painted it all with tempera paints. For the grass area, I added in some painter’s texture, because I hate flock like poison. I can never get it to stick right and it gets all over everything. For the stone areas, it was a dark grey, then a drybrushing of lighter grey, then a drybrushing of white.

What would I do differently? I would finish the edges of the platform. I’d either sand it smooth and paint the edges green like the grass to make into more of a mound or I’d cover the edges with spackle or I’d just chip away at it with a knife… anything to get rid of that hot wire foam cutter look.

I’d also add more detail to the ground. I’d glue kitty litter to the area around the totems and I’d actually paint the talus rocks, instead of just glueing them down and letting them be their own color. I’d also drybrush the grass to give it more visual interest.

I’m planning on making a new version of this terrain piece, using the new techniques that I’ve learned in the last three or four years. When I do, I’ll have to post comparison shots to see if I’ve gotten any better.

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1 Response to “Some Old Terrain”


  1. 1 Sigmar July 26, 2009 at 8:27 am

    I agree with some of your points about what you’d do differently, ie. painting the rocks and adding the litter but I don’t think you need to smooth the edges to “get rid of that hot wire foam cutter look”. I think the look you have achieved gives it a nice unique feel.

    Looking forward to seeing some more terrain and scenery,
    Sigmar


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atom smashing

A gaming blog talking about miniatures games, miniatures painting and collecting, game design and other nerdly delights.


The Statistics – 2013

Minis games played:
• WH40k (1850 pts):
   BT/GK vs Kevin (Eldar/DE) LOST
• WH40k (1500 pts):
   BT vs Jason (D.E.) LOST
• WH40k (1500 pts):
   BT vs Kevin (S.W.) LOST
Minis finished:
 none yet
Terrain finished:
 none yet
Cons attended:
 Fire & Ice
updated 28FEB2013

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