This is part two of my terrain building tutorial. This is where the building gets fun, as it really starts to take shape, and start looking like what it supposed to. While the drying times from the paste can really take forever..... (i have no patience), the following steps really start to move quickly.


Step Five: Base Coat
Here is where I start the painting process of the terrain. For this I simply use a cheap Krylon black primer. Why black? Well, I am into getting this done, and the terrain will have lots of nooks and crannies. I want those little nooks and crannies to be dark and give the terrain some depth, and I do not want to paint them. The Kyrlon black will also not be a jet black, in fact it will look dark grey. This paint also dries very very quickly, so I can start painting almost right away.

Dead Man's Cave.
You can see in this pic one of the little features I have put in, what I am calling Dead Man's cave. It really only fits one model, maybe two. Its just a fun thing I put in for that single model or two that are being overwhelmed to run and hide to.

You can see that I was making sure models are fitting well, and trying to get the visuals for what the final pieces will start to look like.



Step Six: Paint
Now this is very easy and very quick. I am not here to do a masterpiece of every rock and cranny. I took some brown, some green, and some lighter grey. I started with the brown, and just kind of winged it. I blotch out areas, and alternate with the green. then lastly dry brush over it all with the grey.

For rocks, I mostly just heavily dry brushed with the grey making sure I leave some of the black primer visible. I want depth on the rock. On flat parts that are intended to be used by models (notice the flat steps on top of the rocks for models), I also painted in some browns and greens.

The picture above shows what the terrain looks like after painted. It will not look complete until we put more work into the terrain, and we are going to be putting down some basing material down on the flat parts of the area terrain. Some of the paint will show through, but not all.

Step Seven: Basing
Here I took whatever basing material I had. In this case I have quite a bit of crushed walnut, some fine brown gravel, and some fine grey gravel. Just perfect for what I want to use. I spread super glue on this, and just spread it with a toothpick. I then by hand sprinkled the basing material over the areas I was working on. I only base the bottom level of the area terrain, but that is just my preference. For tiered rocky outcroppings, I only used a little bit of basing, to show that models were indeed supposed to use these.

On boulders, I also used the tiniest amount of of basing on the tops and planting areas. This is just to dirty them up, for after I get a lot of planting going.



Step Eight: Planting Materials
The next step is to get the materials you will be needing for planting. I used two different colors of Lichens that were originally bought from a hobby shop. Tammy's Hobby's if you are in the Portland area is an excellent resource for many things.

Another good place to get materials are craft stores. Craft stores carry a wonderful array of things, and often have 50% off sales. They carry dried flowers, twisted branches, silk flowers, plastic grass, and plants. They also carry the lichens as well. Craft stores are wonderful locations to spend some time in. Yes you will be the only guy in there, but do not worry yourself, you will find that there are more women your age there than you think. ( I was in my early 20's when I discovered craft stores for my architectural models I was doing for work).

Now, the branches you see in the picture, as well as the dried flower heads are from my own yard. I have several hydrangeas in the front of my house. Each year after they die back, they leave dried branches that are almost hollow, and their flowers dry up nicely as well. Gardeners just trim these back for new growth each year. I keep some. They really have nicely twisted branches that work wonderful for the trees I am going to make.

As for the green plants. These are plastic originally from a craft store. They sell plastic grass in small 4"x4" squares. Just one square for less than $5 will last you a lifetime. The same goes for anything else you generally will get. You will be only using the very tips of these plastic plants, after all we have scale to consider.

Step Nine: Planting the Trees/ bushes
This part is really easy. Simply take a toothpick and create your hole that you are going to plant in. You want the hole to be slightly smaller than whatever you are going to push through it, that way it remains tight. I put glue on the end of the branch that is going to go into the foam, and glue inside the hole. Push the stick into the hole. I then add a little bit of super glue around the base of each piece. This will ensure that the piece is in there solid and not wobble.

This is also the time I start to add some fallen down branches and trees. A mix of small and large will really add to piece you are working on. Not to mention that they will help create firing lines within the terrain for your models. Do not forget terminator bases, or even dreadnoughts and vehicles, as they will need some room to move through your terrain.

You want the terrain to be usable. Do not make it too crowded to reach into with your models.

Keep planting, and space out your trees to your liking. Usually 2-4 trees per terrain piece is fine, normally along the outside edges of the terrain. This way you are working within the rules of how terrain will be used.

Then to help block some line of sight, I planted the dried flower heads for bushes by the same method used for the trees. This will add a sense of realism to the forested terrain, and its use on the tabletop.

Now I get down to some of the details. I use lichens sparingly along the edges of the rocks or dirt berms. I simply glue them into crevices where ever I want them. I do not want to use the same color I am going to be using for the trees, so I used the light grey lichens on the ground, and a medium green for up in the trees.

Then using the toothpick, make holes for grass clumps. Grass should be planted in small groups of two or three. I simply trim off the tops of the grass, hold them together, add glue, and slide them into their holes. The same goes for other small green plants I am adding to this terrain.

Here are some pics of what the terrain should start to look like.




As always I am sure I missed something in here, and in the next post I will wrap up the terrain building tutorial. Please ask questions if you have them.





2 Comments:

  1. Nice Post! There are many hobbyists that try to create terrain that is not only cool looking but table top efficient. There is nothing worse then having a very cool terrain feature on the table that is absolutly useless. Very frustrating...

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  2. i'm curious as to what kind of "wood" you aquired to create the planting, and was it all purchased at a hobby/crafting store? how much did it cost you (optional question), and most importantly, what colors did you choose for this specific terrain? i'm also curious to know, did you "prep" the wood before using it (wittle, cutting, painted, ect). and lastly, the greens: do you remember the specific name, or did you just go by eye? it seems to look similar to cedar.

    the interigation is because i'm in that stage where i will begin making my own terrain soon, and i work at a store that just throws out huge hunks of styrofoam everyday, and i could stockpile nice amounts within hours. your tutorial has the most accurate terrain i've been invisioning on making, so i'm thrilled to get a response. my friend and i play (soon to be more often) and it's always tau vs IG, so this'll be perfect scenery.

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