Building terrain for a mainly-grass Battlemat table

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    • Building terrain for a mainly-grass Battlemat table

      Hi all. Last week I decided that I wanted 4 - 6 nice looking pieces of terrain for a battlemat I have, with mainly grass on it. It took me a few months to get to this point, which I spend mainly on collecting the needed tools and materials, as well as some online second hand buys. In this report I'll describe the process used and the tools needed to build the terrain. People ofter think it's very easy to create good looking terrain. It's really not that easy, as it requires a pretty staggering amount of tools / materials. Experience hobbyists tend to forget this. And it can be quiet demotivating for starting players to read something is easy to do, and finding out you do not know where to start. So here is the full monty on how the build several pieces of terrain. Enjoy! Feedback is welcome.

      Part one: Ruines
      First I build a set of ruins - by Games Workshop - being the Azyrite Ruines, still available here. After painting the set up I was very impressed by the detail, and I think this is a very affordable set, For 22,50 euro's you get enough elements to build two pieces of ruin terrain. Below you see a picture of half the set. I magnetised the terrain so I can pull the ruins off during a game, so troops can move through them. Ease of use for the win.

      IMG-20181118-WA0014-691x389.jpeg

      What I used in the proces
      • The GW ruines
      • A sharp knife (to cut of the mold lines from the ruines)
      • A small file (to file down the mold lines)
      • White glue (wood glue, the simple, water-based glue)
      • Super glue (the one that glues your fingers together in a second)
      • PV Glue (plastic melting glue; that plumbers use)
      • MDF pressed woon, 8mm
      • A (preferably electric) saw to cut the MDF wood in a shape you like
      • Sand (mix of fine a crude sand, this works best, creates variance)
      • Spray Paint, base coat, brown and black
      • A bit box with bits to glue to the ground, as scenery (this is totally worth it and sets it apart for being standard terrain)
      • Cheap water-based paint (black, white, yellow, blue, red)
      • Several brushes, with at least one semi-sturdy broad nylon brush (20mm x 5 mm end) to highlight the terrain
      • Static Grass
      • Several tufts, with at least one different color grass tuft, and one different color flower tuft
      • Ferro foil (thin metal sheet that you can cut with a scissor)
      • Magnet foil (magnetic foil, used on promotion texts on cars for example)
      • Hobby plyers (various uses; for example: cutting bits to glue to the terrain)
      • Tweezers (sharp pointed ones; to apply tufts)
      • Sanding paper (various purposes; sand of the edge of the wooden base plate; sand of the back of bits that you want to glue to the terrein, so it looks like they are half in the ground)
      • A big flat open container that can hold your whole terrain piece (for sanding / flocking)
      • A cup for water to hold your brush
      • A big plastic plate (to put paint on, to mix paint, to water down your white glue)
      • A working matt (to protect your table)
      • Various paints and washes (to paint bits that you glue to the terrain)
      • Several sheets of (old) paper (to dry your brushes, to wipe off paint before dry-brushing)
      • Pencil (to mark / draw on objects; mainly for measuring)
      Up next: the process of creating the actual terrain piece, step-by-step
      Booooooaaaaaarsssss .... Chaaaaaaaaaaaaaarge !!!

      The post was edited 4 times, last by Pellegrim ().

    • Part one: Ruines - working order / proces

      The Ruins
      1. Unpack the ruins
      2. Clean each part of moldlines, using a hobby knife and small file
      3. Set up various compositions, using your personal preference, and/or the Games Workshop website for examples
      4. Choose a composition you like. In choosing this composition, take into account the 9th Age guidelines for terrain. (Recommended Terrain Feature sizes are between 6×8″ and 6×10″, except for Walls, which are 1×8″, and Impassable Terrain, which is between 6×6″ and 6×8″)
      5. Take out your plastic glue and glue together the parts. Let it dry for 15 min.
      6. Take out your magnetic sheets, super glue and hobby knife.
      7. Place the ruin parts on the magnetic sheet and draw a footprint on the foil with a pencil
      8. Cut out the shape of the footrprints of the magnetic sheet
      9. Super glue the cut magnetic shapes to the footprint of the ruins
      10. Cut away any parts of the magnetic sheet that annoy you
      11. Take your spray paint base coat Black and coat all ruin parts. Let it dry for 10 min.
      12. Take out your cheap paint, black and white, a clean plate and large brush.
      13. Add a little white to some black. You want to go from black to white in four steps, roughly.
      14. Dip in your big brush good, and dry it on paper / cloth (see dry-brushing tutorials online).
      15. Dry brush the ruines fully, covering most parts except the very "deep" parts
      16. Add more white to the mix (this is the middle tone) and do the same, but leave more area black. You should still cover half of all the area this round.
      17. Add even more white to the mix. This is your second last dry brush. The color should be considerably light grey. dry-bursh all area's that would catch light typically. all corners, all accents that stick out. Don't hold back too much. You have a final layer to go.
      18. Add even more white. This should be white or almost white. Dry brush corners and the accents that stick out most, or that you want to make stand out. I did the arcs and the door frames, see the photo in the previous post.
      The Base
      1. Take out your MDF wooden sheet and draw out one or two base plates for the ruins. I divided the ruines into two sets, that can be placed next to each other so they look like one big set.
      2. Cut out the wooden sheet, and sand the edge to make it look smooth
      3. Prime (with spray of brush) the wooden sheet on both side
      4. Place the ruins on the base(s) in your preferred composition and draw a line around is with your pencil
      5. Cut the ferro foil with your scissors to match to pencil lines (can be 0,5" wider on all sides!)
      6. Use the super / power glue to glue the ferro foil down to the base
      7. Take out your bit box and choose bits to apply to the base (skulls, weapons, shields, crates)
      8. Cut / sand down bits so the appear to emerge from the ground (aka looks like they sunk in)
      9. Glue the bits to the base, using either super glue or (much) white glue.
      10. Take out your white glue, a plate and a large brush, and water down some glue on a plate
      11. Brush the base with the white glue, just touching the ferro foil (or stopping right before the ferro foil). Do this is several part or use a certain amount of speed applying the paint, the base might suck up the paint (this is why you prime the wood first)
      12. Put your base in (or hold above) the large flat container, and pour over your mix of sand. Use plenty, and leave it on for 30 seconds after pouring over.
      13. Turn the base, letting the sand fall out. Gently tick the base, so stacked sand comes off.
      14. Leave to dry for at least 10 - 15 minutes. Tick the base, so more stacked sand comes off. Or use a large, dry brush to brush off loose grains
      15. Take out your spay paint (base brown) and richly spray over the sand. This ties down the sand.
      16. OPTIONALLY: prepare a wash, using an official wash that you water down.
      17. Take out your cheap paint, a clean plate and large brush.
      18. Create your base color, but make it a bit lighter.
      19. Dip in your brush, then dry your brush on clean paper (check online tutorials for dry-brushing)
      20. Dry brush the sand all over (and let it dry)
      21. Speckle the area that have no sand (ferro foil) lightly
      22. Create your base color, but make it much lighter.
      23. Dip in your brush, then dry your brush on clean paper (check online tutorials for dry-brushing)
      24. Dry brush the sand lightly (dries really quick)
      25. Speckle the area that have no sand (ferro foil) lightly
      26. Paint the bits you glued onto the base. You use extreme colors; things have been lying on the ground for years, withering away.
      27. Take out your white glue, a plate and a large brush, and water down some glue on a plate. Do not make it too thin; still needs to be glue
      28. Take out the static grass (shake the container before opening) and take out the large container
      29. Apply glue to the base, using pattern. You can roughly do 1/4 of the base per go.
      30. Put the base in the large container and apply static grass (grab chunks of grass, press it on, shake lightly). See online tutorials to apply static grass)
      31. Leave it in the container for 30 seconds
      32. Turn the base and tick it, so loose static grass falls off.
      33. Continue until the base is covered with static grass (as much as you like)
      34. Take out the tweezers, super glue and tufts you like.
      35. Pull the tufts from the plastic with the tweezers
      36. Put a drip on superglue on the back of the tuft and place it on the base.
      Done!
      Booooooaaaaaarsssss .... Chaaaaaaaaaaaaaarge !!!

      The post was edited 3 times, last by Pellegrim ().

    • Part two: An Impassable Rock
      Second part of the terrain project is a piece of impassable terrain; I chose a large rock, sticking out of the ground as if someone down under slammed it through the earths crust. This was my first experience with foam; in this case insulation foam. This was fun to do; and I learned some things that I would do differently in hindsight. See the final result below.

      edff20c6-b3e7-4138-b9b8-1b108927512e.jpg

      What I used in the proces
      • Yellow insulation foam (from a building site, left over; you can use styrofoam, the blue stuff. The white stuff is not very usable)
      • Wall Filler (or any water based paste; I chose one that is used to fill holes in the wall; you need to be able to thin it down with water, as you will use it the "paint" your foam)
      • A sharp, larger knife (to cut of the mold lines from the ruines)
      • A small file (to file down the mold lines)
      • White glue (wood glue, the simple, water-based glue)
      • Super glue (the one that glues your fingers together in a second)
      • MDF pressed woon, 8mm
      • A (preferably electric) saw to cut the MDF wood in a shape you like
      • Sand (mix of fine a crude sand, this works best, creates variance)
      • Spray Paint, base coat, brown and black
      • A bit box with bits to glue to the ground, as scenery (this is totally worth it and sets it apart for being standard terrain)
      • Cheap water-based paint (black, white, yellow, blue, red)
      • Several brushes, with at least one semi-sturdy broad nylon brush (20mm x 5 mm end) to highlight the terrain
      • Static Grass
      • Several tufts, with at least one different color grass tuft, and one different color flower tuft
      • Hobby pliers (various uses; for example: cutting bits to glue to the terrain)
      • Tweezers (sharp pointed ones; to apply tufts)
      • Sanding paper (various purposes; sand of the edge of the wooden base plate; sand of the back of bits that you want to glue to the terrain, so it looks like they are half in the ground)
      • A big flat open container that can hold your whole terrain piece (for sanding / flocking)
      • A cup for water to hold your brush
      • A big plastic plate (to put paint on, to mix paint, to water down your white glue)
      • A working mat (to protect your table)
      • Various paints and washes (to paint bits that you glue to the terrain)
      • Several sheets of (old) paper (to dry your brushes, to wipe off paint before dry-brushing)
      tbc
      Booooooaaaaaarsssss .... Chaaaaaaaaaaaaaarge !!!