Tag Archives: terrain

It Came from the Lightbox: Shadespire Terrain

I’m glad they finally put out some obstacles for Warhammer Underworlds.  These were basically a single sitting’s worth of work.  I forgot to photograph the throne, but who cares: it’s pretty dumb looking.

I’m happy with how the glowing pyramids came out.

Lo Pan’s Noodle Hut Signage

I was wrapping up progress on Lo Pan’s Noodle Hut (photos for all of the completed-ish Xi Guan stuff will follow at some point soonish) and realized I didn’t have many posters I wanted to slap on it, but that it’d be neat to take the little menu that came with the Fat Yuan Yuan, resize it and fiddle with it, and use that.

Sharing is caring, so here’s a PDF that uses the Lo Pan’s Menu as a base to spin up some Lo Pan’s posters, so menus that would be posted to the sides of buildings, and then some tiny little menus to fold and use as counter scatter.


Deadzone Terrain

Most of this terrain showed up in December of 2013, I think.

I’d dry fitted some of it together to get a feel for it… and left it there.  It’s meant to be modular, but the idea of painting the individual pieces and then snapping them together at game-time just isn’t practical at all.  On top of that, I was shorted connectors in the initial shipment: more showed up with the Wave 1 Mitigation shipment, but by that time I’d been distracted and was working on something else. When Wave 2 showed up, it renewed my motivation.

It’s actually a little disappointing: if I’d filled that Wave 3 survey out now, after having really assembled and painted this stuff, instead of before, I’d have bought a lot more.  Like a lot.  Like definitely enough that it’d get me in trouble with Mrs. Rushputin.

Anyway: everything’s painted and gloss varnished.  I need to weather it (some stains, some rust) before another coat, but the involved part’s done.

This is the full table (same configuration from four directions):

Deadzone Terrain (2) Deadzone Terrain (3) Deadzone Terrain (4) Deadzone Terrain (5)

I shot for a board configuration that was crowded and busy… but left a lot open.  This is a lot more terrain than it looks like Mantic normally puts on their tables: I’ve got two mats (plus the paper one), so I think I could safely smear this across two mats and it’d still be dense enough to play with.

If I’d had more tiles, I’d have tried to get some interleaved walkways.  A walkway at Level 2 going East/West and one at Level 3 going North/South immediately above it is the sort of thing I’d really like to have, but it wasn’t in the cards.

I also tried to make sure that most of the pieces would work for 40K.

Deadzone Terrain (6) Deadzone Terrain (7)

These pieces are the components of the building above: I tried to keep things so they could break down into multiple pieces.

Deadzone Terrain (8)

I also tried to keep the terrain practical.  While I loved the idea of a cargo-crate structure up on scaffolding, it wouldn’t be very playable.  So, I kept it so every square’s accessible.

Deadzone Terrain (1)

Deadzone Terrain (10) Deadzone Terrain (9)

I’m nuts about these towers.  I’d have made more if I had more of those bare frame tiles.

Deadzone Terrain (11)

I thought the Landing Pad would be impractical: the Skyshield Landing Pad kind of is.  I’ve got one in tub around here someone and never use it.  This is a little bit to pack away, but by keeping the little cubicle detached, it’s not that big of a problem.


Deadzone Terrain (13)Deadzone Terrain (12)

Arcane Fulcra!

I’m still rattling around, unsatisfied, with a Necron paint scheme that’s fast but isn’t terrible.  At this point, I’m pretty sure I’m just not going to bother.

As a change of pace, I decided to knock out the Arcane Fulcra I put together back in July, when they came out.

Painting notes follow the picture dump.

Magewrath Throne!

Balewind Vortex!

I tried a lot of weathering here.  For the most part, I think it worked out.  There were definitely some problems with the Throne, though: the verdigris wasn’t thin enough and it definitely obscured some detail.

For what it’s worth, I tried zenithal highlighting on these guys.  I don’t think it shows, though.

– GW Bestial Brown
– GW Shining Gold
– GW Burnished Gold
– Verdigris wash

I mixed GW Goblin Green, VMC Light Turquoise, VMC White, water, rubbing alchol.  No good ratios… just go thin!  I brushed it on heavily and then immediately dabbed the heck out of it with tissues.  I think this bridges a good gap between verdigris-as-stuff-that-pools and verdigris-as-exposure-to-rain, which is sort of what I took away from this.

– GW Tin Bitz
– GW Boltgun Metal
– GW Mithril Silver
– Rust wash

Rust Wash
This is a mix of GW Dark Flesh, GW Blazing Orange, P3 Armor Wash and water.  Again, it’s all eyeballed here.

Natural Rock
– Ceramcoat Charcoal
– Apple Barrel Pewter Grey
– Ceramcoat Quaker Grey
– Wash: 3:2:2:1 – Water : Badab Black : Matte Medium : Devlan Mud

Carved Rock
– P3 Cryx Bane Base
– P3 Cryx Bane Highlight
– P3 Hammerfall Khaki
– Wash: 3:2:2:1 – Water : Devlan Mud : Matte Medium : Thraka Green

In case you haven’t noticed: the 3:2:2:1 wash mix is my special sauce.  It turns the wash into more of a glaze, which makes the colors its washing over richer and more interesting, and cutting the wash 2:1 one color to another produces really neat results.

Also, this is a flip-flop from how I’ve been doing terrain.  With the rest of my stuff, the Cryx-based colors are the natural colors and the more pure grey is for carved rock.

Finally: hot-damn, I’m still totally in love with the Cryx Bane Base / Cryx Bane Highlight / Khaki progression.  It’s such an interesting, natural color.

I did miss a spot while keeping wash even, though: :(

– P3 Meridius Blue
– VMC Light Turquoise
– P3 Arcane Blue
– VMC Light Blue
– Turquoise wash

Turquoise Wash
I really need to figure out how to replicate this, because I plan on using it extensively when I revisit my Tau army.  It’s P3 Turquoise Ink, a lot of water, a lot of matte medium and a little GW Asurmen Blue.

– GW Dark Flesh
– P3 Menoth White Base
– P3 Morrow White
– GW Devlan Mud

Anyway, what do people think?

Dreadstone Blight

Months back, I built my cavern table, and it’s held up really well.  With the addition of some of my 40K terrain, it’s seen a lot of use in the 41st Millennium.  It’s lacked a watchtower for the watchtower scenario, though.

Now, I’ve had a lot of very clever ideas for building a defiled dwarven outpost… and not a blessed one of them has really panned out.  Efforts have ranged from “not very good” to “that looks like a very uncomfortable foam dildo.”  So, I gave up and decided to just use a Dreadstone Blight: not perfect, but close enough.

I asked for, and received one for Christmas.  Earlier this week, I threw it together and painted it up.  I’ve got some thoughts about the kit and then some pictures of the finished product.

For starters: test fit everything.  The pieces curve, right, and lock together in a way that is both ingenious and fairly unforgiving.  In my box, one of the pieces (the one with the skulls on the outside) was warped: not badly, but enough that the entire kit won’t go together.

When assembling it: do not glue the levels together.  Just don’t do it.  If you do, details that are fairly easily seen from outside of the piece will be nearly unreachable.  Glue the walls to their respective floors… but do not glue the floors together until you’re done painting.  I recommend using blu-tack to cover the areas where the pieces will glue together while priming: it’ll keep paint from getting where you need to put glue.

The floors themselves are not sturdy.  The second floor comes in two pieces with something like two contact points between the two.  I ended up gluing some thing plasticard between the two to hold them together better.

While the second floor has enough contact with the wall to hold itself up, the third floor… not as much.    There’s maybe four inches of wall that it touches, on one side.  I ended up using some greenstuff to try to reinforce where the floor contacts the wall…. and I’ve already broken and re-glued it.

It’s a great looking kit, but: be careful, remember you’re going to have to paint it, and do whatever you can to help hold the damn thing together.  You’re going to need it.

Anyway, here’s the finished product.

The stone is my  usual recipe for terrain-quality stone: Ceramcoat Charcoal Grey basecoat followed by a heavy, heavy overbrush of Ceramcoat Hippo Grey and a light drybrush of Ceramcoat Quaker Grey.  It’s stupidly easy and looks beautiful.

The wood is my new go-to recipe for awesome looking wood: GW Khemri Brown with P3 Hammerfall Khaki drybrushed over it, then washed with GW Devlan Mud.

I’m pleased with how the brass came out.  I did what I’ve been doing with brass all this time: GW Bestial Brown basecoat, totally covered with GW Shining Gold, extreme highlighted with GW Burnished Gold and washed with GW Devlan Mud.

Then I weathered it.  I started out working with what I came up with for my Honored Imperium: the same colors as before, but with a bit more GW Hawk Turquoise and GW Ice Blue in it.  Overbrushed around, from top-down.  Then, I added a ton of water, a little matte medium and some rubbing alcohol and washed it in.  Again, trying to get it to work from top-down.  In several places, I’d just wash it heavily and then wipe over it with a tissue.  I’m happy with how it came out.

I didn’t put much effort into the skulls.  P3 Menoth White Base, a drybrush of P3 Morrow White (my preferred white) and a wash: 2:2:2:1 of GW Devlan Mud, matte medium, water and GW Ogryn Flesh applied heavily.

The bloodstain, I’m not sure about, in terms of either execution or color.  It’s a first attempt at something like that, though.  It’s a mix of Tamiya Smoke and GW Baal Red: something like 2:1 brushed on.  I think I’d have liked something thicker… it looks sufficiently like dried blood, but it looks like it’s soaked into the wood and someone’s wiped up what they could.  Maybe that’s okay.  The splattering is… not good, but I guess it’ll have to do.

The  metal here is GW Tin Bitz, followed by GW Boltgun Metal and then GW Mithril Silver highlights.  The whole thing is then messily washed with a mix of P3 Armor Wash, matte medium, rubbing alcohol and GW Blazing Orange.  No clue on the proportions here: just fiddled with until it looked right.  I was untidy with the wash’s application.  Clearly, though, I have a lot to learn about weathering.

Overall, I’m quite happy with the piece.  I’m looking forward to putting it on the table.

Cavern Table

I finished this up about a week and a half ago, but I haven’t had the chance to take pictures of it until now.  (Actually, I snuck into work a mite early so I could set it up in a conference room and take pictures; the lighting in here, while a bit harsh, is probably the most thorough I’m going to get.)

I was really inspired by the Skaven vs. Dwarfs picture near the back of the new Warhammer rulebook.  They’re stabbing it out beneath the mountains of the Old World.  It’s clearly inspired how I’ve been basing my new rats (and slowly re-basing my existing ones).

Also, I’ve had a problem where I’ve lacked good, game-able Fantasy terrain… so I caught the bug to do a table’s worth of “cave” terrain.

There’s a lot of room for improvement here, I think, but it’s a solid start.  I can totally play on all of of this, now, and come back and revise/replace/supplement when I’m not so woefully behind on painting Skaven.

The table consists of:

  • 2x Hills
  • 2x Water Features
  • 2x Stalamite “Forests”
  • 1x Ruin
  • 1x Warpstone Boulder
  • 2x Walls

So, 10 terrain pieces, total.

All are painted the same way I paint my bases: airbrushed on Cryx Bane Base, Cryx Bane Highlight  heavy drybrush, Hammerfall Khaki drybrush.  In the case of terrain that’s styrofoam, I airbrushed on a charcoal craft paint: styrofoam is thirsty, and I’d rather have to suck up cheapie paint rather than P3 paint that I really should know better than to use on terrain.

For stone features, it’s painted the same way we painted the Rapid Fire terrain: Delta Charcoal airbrushed with a heavy drybrush of Delta Hippo Grey and a light drybrush of Delta Rain Grey (or was that Quaker Grey?).

Anyway, in case you haven’t noticed; it only takes three colors and very little time to get some really sharp looking terrain painted up.

All of the texture here comes from ballast glued down with watered-down wood glue which is then sprayed down with more watered-down wood glue.  Basically, it shouldn’t be going anywhere.

The Actual Terrain

These hills are basically the same type of hill Casey and I (and several others) ground out sweatshop-style for Rapid Fire last year.  They’re extremely playable: there’s not a lot of slope, which can be a problem.  I’m not thrilled with how they look (because there appears to be an inverse relationship between appearance and practicality when it comes to hills), so I might replace them with something else (maybe even the Citadel Hills) down the line.

I’ve had a bottle of Water Effects for years, unused (except a little on my Khornate display board), and the Mysterious Terrain rules are something I can’t even dream of trying to avoid… so I needed some water features.
 I cut some MDF with a 45° angle.  Then I built up a lip around the edges of the shape with drywall putty.  I reinforced the putty with a wood glue/water mix and glued down the ballast.  Once painted, I applied the water effects.  
The first feature got little putty “islands” which worked out quite well, I think.  The second one got way too much water effects.  Lesson learned: a few, thin layers goes far enough.  Too much and that stuff stays soft. 
These can either be used as “Rivers” (getting a roll on the terrain) or Marshland.
Speaking of Mysterious Terrain: I’ve got to have “woods,” if only because one of my friends runs a Wood Elf army.   I thought about doing a mushroom forest or something, but 1) mushrooms are disgusting and 2) stalamites were way easier.
The bases are shaped based on the base of the Citadel Woods, with areas for stalagmites where trees would go.  The stalagmites are just pink foam cut and textured with a wire cutter and weighted with nails in the bottom.  If I had to do it again (and I probably will), I’d mount the stalagmites to either bases or wooden disks: something to give them more stability and make the overall result a little more professional looking.
Anyway, the plan is to use these as Forests.
I’ve had parts of an Arcane Ruins set left over from my display board… and I can only have so many forests on the table.  So, I built a ruins feature.  Not the best, I’ll admit, but it’s playable terrain: the menhir aren’t attached to the base, and they’ve got spots indicating where they need to be returned to.
Sensing a theme here?  I want terrain that looks good, but that I can play with.  Nothing makes me crazier than terrain that looks good but makes actually playing the game on/around it miserable.
We can use this for any number of Arcane Architecture types.
Finally, I needed something to use as a Mystical Monument: a couple of weeks ago, we used a 6″x8″ graveyard as an Idol of Gork (or Possibly Mork) (don’t ask) and it was a disaster: these things are supposed to be much smaller.  So, I made a very large hunk of Warpstone that can stand-in for any of those (or use the Warpstone rules from one of the battle reports in the rules).
That put me at eight terrain pieces, which isn’t quite enough.  So, I ordered a pack of the pre-painted Pegaus Stone Wall (Round) walls: I figure three of them can count as an Obstacle when Placing terrain.  (Or two, if that turns out to be too much.)  They’re pre-painted, and showed up Friday, so I haven’t had the chance to do much with them.  I dislike the color, though, so I’m almost certain to clean up their mold lines and repaint them to match the other pieces of stone.
What’s Next
As I’ve said, there’s a lot of room for improvement here:
I can redo the stalagmites and put them on some bases.
I can replace the hills with something less playable but looks sharper.
I could make the Warpstone look more convincing.
I could do better, spookier looking ruins.
I’ve got plans to build some towers; that’s the real lack here.  I’ve got thoughts that involve beating up on a Bastion so it looks like it’s a Dwarven fastness hewn into the side of some stalagmites (and, even better, a Dwarven fastness hewn into the side of some stalagmites that’s been overtaken and befouled by Skaven).  (Maybe one of each.)
All of that will have to wait, though, since I’ve got a LOT of Skaven to paint.  This’ll get me by until I’m not as buried under Clanrats and Skavenslaves.

Painting Progress – 20100610

Not much to report, I’m afraid.

Painting this second quartet of Bloodcrushers has been like pulling teeth, I swear.  It’s been inexplicably hard to motivate myself to work on them.  I’ve had them assembled for over two weeks now… and they’re maybe three-quarters of the way done.

As you can see, the brass is wrapped up, but I’ve got to do pretty much everything else.  I’m hoping I can power through them later this week… just to have them done.  I’ve got 1) objective markers and 2) other stuff to work on!

Because the ‘Crushers were being frustrating, and I really felt the need to accomplish something, I painted up the Ruins of Osgiliath I picked up back when.  This is a pretty solid kit and it painted up ridiculously easily.

Sadly, I’m not posting pictures of it.  Clearly, an upcoming weekend project needs to be “Build a light box;” the color of the picture came out so damn weird, there’s no point in them.  Anyway..

I wanted to do something a little different than the Charcoal Grey -> Medium Grey -> Light Grey scheme I use with pretty much all of my other terrain, so I went with the colors I used on the base for my Dark Heresy character: P3 Cryx Bane Base -> P3 Cryx Bane Highlight -> P3 Hammerfall Khaki.  I think I went a bit too heavy with the khaki highlights, but it still came out pretty well.  It’s a lot brighter and looks older, I think.

For the wood, I did something similar: I used P3 Hammerfall Khaki as a base and highlighted it with Khemri Brown before washing over it with some Devlan Mud.  I’m extremely happy with how that came out.  I like the result enough that I’m half thinking about figuring out an army I can paint this way (more or less).

When I wrapped that up, instead of returning to the Bloodcrushers, I did some gap filling on the marine statue from the Honored Imperium kit; I’ll be doing that with metal and verdigris, so I wanted to clean up the somewhat substantial gaps in the otherwise awesome model.