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Author Topic: Getting some fantasy terrain done at last....  (Read 4013 times)

Offline StealthKnightSteg

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Re: Getting some fantasy terrain done at last....
« Reply #25 on: November 09, 2018, 07:57:48 AM »
Wow everything looks so fantastic. Meanwhile I'm over here with my buildings made out of lego and spray painted black.

You spray paint Lego black?  :icon_eek:
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Online The Black Knight

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Re: Getting some fantasy terrain done at last....
« Reply #26 on: November 14, 2018, 05:24:40 PM »
And I’m back!

Sadly work has not progressed on the bushes, as I haven’t been able to locate any latex-based spray glue nearby. I finally caved in and ordered online, but I’m still waiting for it to arrive (grumble). I also didn’t have time to look for the Noch leaves, as I’ve been too swamped with work.
However, I felt compelled to churn out a couple more terrain pieces for the event we’re having on Saturday. The guys usually raid their Malifaux club and borrow scenery from there, but it’s not always certain.

So I decided to finish off a few bits from my old terrain collection, that I felt were worth fixing.



I’ve effectively re-flocked them using three colours of fine turf. Then I’ve added some coarser flock and finally tufts and flowers. I still have to fix the spruces a bit as they have lost most of their flock , but I need the damn glue to do that.

I’ve also dug out a small cromlÍh type structure, that a friend of mine left in my possession.  Earlier this year I did some work on it, mainly by gluing the broken stones back onto their base.



I wasn’t originally going to keep this, but I noticed that the colour of the static grass used on it matched my latest efforts pretty closely. So I decided to give it a super quick facelift, as it would allow me to almost fill out an entire 3x3 Malifaux table, if I got this done in time.

So the first thing was to strengthen the whole structure. As you can see whoever made this, picked corrugated cardboard as a basing material. This was obviously a bad choice, as the base was very warped and the Styrofoam stones were wobbling very alarmingly, whenever it was moved.



Some quick work with a jigsaw produced a snazzy looking MDF base…..after I made the first one too small that is!



After spending 20 minutes wrestling with the absolutely useless hot glue gun (Again! Why do I keep convincing myself it’s a good idea to trust this thing), I finally managed to get the original cardboard base stuck to the wood using an epoxy putty



Next, it was time to make the stones look less silly. From what I could gather, they were made out of expanded polystyrene (the not cool kind used for packaging), smeared with some plaster, painted and covered in static grass. Not how I would go about it definitely!

So after I scrapped off most of the grass I made a textured spackle mix to, make the surface of the stones a bit more interesting. This time I chose white spackle, added in some chinchilla sand and a bit of the coarser sand I use for basing.



Then I added a dollop of black and raw umber acrylic paints, to add colour to the mix and do the base colours in one go.



I applied the mix it with an old brush all over the rocks, adding in a bit of water to make it flow better. While the rocks were drying, I applied some pure filler to the edge of the base, to blend in the old base with the new one and create a little slope.
This was the end result.



I had to leave the whole piece to dry. Later I will add sand and all kinds of flock. The stones will get a solid drybrush and some washes. Maybe then I won’t feel like I’m wasting my time, as so far I remain otherwise unconvinced!

I have only Friday evening to finish this, fingers crossed.

« Last Edit: November 14, 2018, 05:28:43 PM by The Black Knight »
"All right... we'll call it a draw".

My fantasy-themed terrain log

Offline GamesPoet

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Re: Getting some fantasy terrain done at last....
« Reply #27 on: November 14, 2018, 07:16:46 PM »
Uh oh, a sacrificial offering stone in the middle. :icon_eek:
"Not all who wander are lost ... " Tolkien

"The beauty of curiosity and creativity is so much more useful than the passion of fear." me

"... my old suggestion is forget it, take two aspirins and go paint" steveb

Online The Black Knight

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Re: Getting some fantasy terrain done at last....
« Reply #28 on: November 14, 2018, 07:26:45 PM »
It's pretty corny I know, it's how I got it though, that's my line of defense!  :icon_wink:
"All right... we'll call it a draw".

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Online The Black Knight

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Re: Getting some fantasy terrain done at last....
« Reply #29 on: November 21, 2018, 12:43:01 PM »
Hey guys, hereís me again reporting with another update.

So, for  better or for worse the cromlech circle is done! I think it still looks kinda crap but hey! At least itís better than what I was playing on before (YES IT IS). I barely managed to finish it before the event, the glue was setting as I was setting up the tables (felt like running a real event heh).





The stonework was treated to a couple of random washes (using mostly craft acrylic paints - greens, ruddy browns) and then drybrushed with browns, greys and beiges.  Then the usual flocking commenced, trying to blend in the outer rim with the original base. To be honest Iím not that crazy about the overall results. Iím still of the opinion that the surface of the ďrocksĒ looks too much like plaster-covered pieces of Styrofoam. But itís either tearing them all down and starting from scratch, or just dealing with it and moving on. Since I still have a quite a list to go Ė option B has been selected. I might revisit the stones at a later date and add moss, thus hiding most of the unrealistic looking areas. Something along the lines of this:



I do need to experiment with moss first. Anyways I couldnít help but making this ďbefore and afterĒ comparison picture, in order to strengthen my belief in the decision to just leave it be for now!



The event itself was very fun and relaxed. Maybe even a bit TOO relaxed, as I have troubles recalling some key moments from my later games. Might have something to do with how "lubricated" I was towards the end. Also sheds some light on the issue why I placed next-to-last.  Still Malifaux is an absolutely top game, even when you play like a pillock.

On other fronts work has not been progressing as much as Iíd like, mainly due to my inability to locate the small leaves for the bushes. Paradoxically, the harder it is to find them, the more Iím determined to hunt them down. Seems that my addiction to small pieces of plastic and pewter has been replaced with an addiction to small dyed pieces of sponge. Even harder to explain to the outside world I feel!

A bit of work has been done on the house. The roofs are now pretty much finished, apart from filling in a couple of gaps. I googled a lot trying to find out how roof spines in slate-tiled roofs should be finished, but as I couldnít find a definite answer, I just did two rows of tiles and glued them together onto the ridge. The tiles on the little shed were made using offcuts from the larger roof.





I kind of feel like the house is going to be my little ďpassion projectĒ, in the sense that I will put a bit of more work into it, while I try and power through the rest of my to-do list.

Speaking of which, though I didnít get the leaves, the spray glue did finally arrive. Which allowed me to open a whole new can of worms Ė TREES! I feel that this is a tougher subject to discuss properly, so allow me to finish here, as Iíll try finding some reference photographs and explain what Iím trying to do.

Another update coming real soon, cheers for now!

« Last Edit: November 21, 2018, 12:45:26 PM by The Black Knight »
"All right... we'll call it a draw".

My fantasy-themed terrain log

Offline GamesPoet

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Re: Getting some fantasy terrain done at last....
« Reply #30 on: November 21, 2018, 01:56:11 PM »
It seems like the mini-Stonehenge circle with sacrificial altar in the center came out better than it was, so congrats! :::cheers::: :eusa_clap:
"Not all who wander are lost ... " Tolkien

"The beauty of curiosity and creativity is so much more useful than the passion of fear." me

"... my old suggestion is forget it, take two aspirins and go paint" steveb

Online The Black Knight

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Re: Getting some fantasy terrain done at last....
« Reply #31 on: December 18, 2018, 01:11:13 AM »
@ Thanks GamesPoet!

Hey guys, sorry for the absence. I was trying to get a bigger update on the project, but I kept getting side-tracked.

Anyways as I was saying Ė It's time to get some trees done!

Now there are many ways to approach this subject. The easiest way is to obviously go out and just buy some from model railway companies. There is a ton of options, the simplest are the stylized trees made of bottle cleaners, which we all well know:



Very self-explanatory, the bristles of the brush work as branches, you spray the entire thing in glue, dip it into flock and job done. GW used to make these, and I remember always wanting to buy them as a kid.
In fact I did buy a set of conifer trees similar to those and they have been kicking around my gaming tables for the past two decades. And they really do look like they have been kicked, punched and mistreated in all possible ways, since by now they have virtually lost all their flock. Theyíve kind of transformed back into bottle cleaners at this point.


Poor things!

I decided that they can be pressed into service once more, after Iíve replaced the flock they lost. So out comes the Fast Tak spray and some coloured sawdust I had lying about. The sawdust is ancient stuff, but I feel it looks pretty good on conifer trees Ė not so much for deciduous trees (more about that later).

This is how they looked after being sprayed and receiving several solid sprinkles:



I decided to use different colours in order to make them look more natural. After they dried I sealed them using a scenic glue recipe Iíve nicked from some of the youtubers Ė essentially 3:1  PVA glue and water and some washing liquid. I tried securing the flock using hair spray and artists fixative, but for some reason they had a reverse effect from what I was going for and my test tree lost all its ďneedlesĒ. Perhaps itís the solvents in these particular spray cans, that reacted with the spray glue? No idea. Anyways the watered down PVA works okay, although some of the flock is still coming off annoyingly. Perhaps I should do another coat? The glue can leave some white marks if there is too much of it, so I am somewhat hesitant to try it a second time.

Like I said in my original post, Iíve decided to go for individual bases of trees, instead of sticking them all together on one big base. I know this doesnít look as nice, but allows me to use them separately and of course allows units to move through forests. I just went with MDF bases, that I cut myself (since Iím a cheapskate with a jigsaw and didnít feel like buying):



I was really pondering on how to texture them, as I wanted to go for a slightly different and more ďforestyĒ type of ground, to differentiate from the other terrain features Iím doing.
So then I stumbled upon this video: https://youtu.be/ToF1Do_HPag. I wholeheartedly recommend watching it, as this guyís attention to detail puts my measly efforts to shame! The end effect is spectacular, although the amount of work is also pretty staggering. I decided I want to do something similar, but also simpler.

I figured that I would try adding some exposed roots first. You can often see this effect with conifer trees, as they root themselves pretty shallow. I used DAS for sculpting, which is an air-hardening clay, roughly rolling out some of it and pushing it onto the bases. To make the roots stick to the MDF surface, it is necessary to dampen it first by brushing on a bit of water. After I was happy with their general shape, I let it set for 24h.



Next was the groundcover. Like in the film above, I did my muddy groundcover by mixing  filler with various materials to increase volume and add texture. I essentially used chinchilla sand again, but also blended wood fiber (also from the pet store), which I dyed using inks and water first. Three different types of dried moss were also chopped up and thrown into the mix, with a couple drops of raw umber and a bit of green for good measure.



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After all was thoroughly mixed, I applied this messy substance to the bases using a putty-knife.
Hereís how the bases looked after they have dried:



I also should mention that I did paint over them with watered down PVA so that they wouldnít chip. I shouldíve probably roughened the bases first, to help with adhesion, but I didnít think about it really.

Painting up next. Since Iíve already added paint in the mixing process,  this went pretty quickly. I was able to get some pretty good colours using simple glazes with watered down paints. A pretty random mix of craft store black, dark browns, reds and greens to be precise.  I drybrushed the bases using a sandy Vallejo colour. The roots were picked out with Reaper Volcano Brown and highlighted in Reaper Ashen Brown.



I think for a spooky dead forest this wouldíve been enough. But since Iím doing more of a summer theme, I wanted to build up some resemblance of moss patches, by sprinkling the fine turf blends onto selected areas. I also added little twigs (made from dried roots), and a couple of clumps of static grass. I knew most of the base was gonna be obscured anyways, but I was just curious what effect could I get with a little bit more work.



With the bases done, it was time to drill little holes and mount my trees at last! WHEW!!!
And here they are, the first batch of trees all done!!!


The final pic didn't turn so well - I will do a better group shot soon!


They still need a coat of matt varnish, to kill off any glossiness there might be from the various glues etc., but otherwise Iím pretty happy with how they've turned out. Time to get started on the second batch. Gonna need building some deciduous trees from scratch, as I donít have many of those lying around. I have some ideas already.....



« Last Edit: December 18, 2018, 10:29:39 AM by The Black Knight »
"All right... we'll call it a draw".

My fantasy-themed terrain log

Offline Artobans Ghost

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Re: Getting some fantasy terrain done at last....
« Reply #32 on: December 18, 2018, 01:45:08 AM »
Those bases are awesome. Like the reuse of the trees as well.
Iím all for the smaller bases for the trees.
Mathi Alfblut Feb 4,2017
Simple, You gut the bastard with your sword, the viking way.
Questions?

Mathi Alfblut Dec 9,2017
Get a binge of Yule ale, roasted boar and some proper axes and we will ALL be happy again!

GP Aug 8, 2019
Can we just take a hammer to it, smash it into little bits.

Offline GamesPoet

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Re: Getting some fantasy terrain done at last....
« Reply #33 on: December 18, 2018, 03:47:37 AM »
Fancy tree bases! :icon_biggrin: :eusa_clap:
"Not all who wander are lost ... " Tolkien

"The beauty of curiosity and creativity is so much more useful than the passion of fear." me

"... my old suggestion is forget it, take two aspirins and go paint" steveb

Offline Zygmund

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Re: Getting some fantasy terrain done at last....
« Reply #34 on: December 18, 2018, 08:21:31 AM »
They are beautiful!

Thanks for showing how you did them. Inspiring!

-Z
Forget the 6'x4' game, focus on the story beyond that. Because fantasy matters.

Online The Black Knight

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Re: Getting some fantasy terrain done at last....
« Reply #35 on: December 18, 2018, 10:25:54 AM »
Many thanks for the nice words gents! I'm happy to share my process with you, I am pretty much learning as I go  :happy:.

Those bases are awesome. Like the reuse of the trees as well.
Iím all for the smaller bases for the trees.

I do want to make at least 2 bigger bases for the trees to sit in, to mark the outlines of the forests. I can't really decide how to go about it yet. Should I go for the "sunk" bases, with holes cut out? You know that type:



It's going to be a bit of a hassle fitting my irregular bases into individually cut holes. Plus I can just dump whichever trees I want onto a big flat base, making the forest look different each time. But then it can't have too much texture on it, as the smaller bases wouldn't sit flat, which would of course annoy me foreeever  :icon_lol:.
"All right... we'll call it a draw".

My fantasy-themed terrain log

Offline Zygmund

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Re: Getting some fantasy terrain done at last....
« Reply #36 on: December 18, 2018, 10:34:06 AM »
Not sure if this helps, but I'm doing a dozen of individual trees on regular 40mm round bases, and intend to do two or three larger woods bases with sunken base holes for the individual trees. So modular throughout.

I want to do a couple of smaller woods, similar to yours, with two or three trees each. But the larger woods I'll do regular/modular, in order not to 'waste' the trees if I don't want to use the larger woods.

-Z
Forget the 6'x4' game, focus on the story beyond that. Because fantasy matters.

Offline Artobans Ghost

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Re: Getting some fantasy terrain done at last....
« Reply #37 on: December 18, 2018, 10:34:54 AM »
I would suggest doing 2 layers of mdf. Sine your handy with the saw. Make the first base outline with 1/8 mdf. Overlay it with a second piece and trace the same outline, then cut out your bases from the 2nd piece where you want them and use the cutouts to go right into the same holes. Wood glue the two originals back together and you have your template with your tree holes. The base winds up being 1/4Ē thick by you get exactly what you would want. 😺
Mathi Alfblut Feb 4,2017
Simple, You gut the bastard with your sword, the viking way.
Questions?

Mathi Alfblut Dec 9,2017
Get a binge of Yule ale, roasted boar and some proper axes and we will ALL be happy again!

GP Aug 8, 2019
Can we just take a hammer to it, smash it into little bits.

Online The Black Knight

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Re: Getting some fantasy terrain done at last....
« Reply #38 on: December 18, 2018, 11:54:14 AM »
Thanks  a lot for the tips, that's probably how I'll go about making my larger bases :). I do need to produce more trees first, so I can pick an choose which ones go where.

I also have the plastic GW forest. I am intending on using the trees for a different project, but I might paint up the base and use it to make three forests, instead of the planned two.
"All right... we'll call it a draw".

My fantasy-themed terrain log

Offline Midaski

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Re: Getting some fantasy terrain done at last....
« Reply #39 on: December 19, 2018, 08:18:45 PM »

4Ground have or had a product of some wood bases, with two layers of mdf - a shaped bottom layer and then an upper layer with either 2 or 3 60mm circular cut outs for the trees.
Just had a hunt around their website, and I cannot find them - I hope they haven't dropped them.  :icon_sad:


I bought several and have then got extra 60mm plastic round bases from Renedra. So using a couple of set ground covers for the overall bases, I am able to use a variety of 60mm based 'trees' for the scenic effect.

I have two base coverings:
Firstly I have a sort of sand finish, into which I can choose to drop Palm Trees for a desert look, or Cactus for a Wild West board.
Similarly I can swap my other set of bases from Pine, to Deciduous, or Jungle.

The actual 'trees' can obviously lift out if you want to move troops through the woods. The curves on the bases can come together to make larger forests if need.



If you look closely at this picture, you can see the wood bases in use -

https://www.4ground.co.uk/unp-bases/4ground-large-tree-base

https://www.4ground.co.uk/unp-bases/4ground-small-tree-base

Bit late now as you have done your bases, but it might be a good solution to make your efforts simpler to do in the future.
Your skill with actually doing the flocking and basing would be helped by ready-made bases to avoid tricky cut and fits.





 

 
Quote from: Gneisenau
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Metal to Finecast - It is mostly a swap of medium. 

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Offline Warlord

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Re: Getting some fantasy terrain done at last....
« Reply #40 on: January 08, 2019, 10:05:00 AM »
What an awesome thread. Canít believe I didnt see this before!
Quote from: Gneisenau
I hate people who don't paint their armies, hate them with all my guts. Beats me how they value other things over painting, like eating or brushing teeth.

Online The Black Knight

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Re: Getting some fantasy terrain done at last....
« Reply #41 on: January 17, 2019, 03:42:42 PM »
@Midaski
Thanks for the tips about the 4ground stuff. I think itíll be easier for me to just do this myself, but I will keep them in mind.

@Warlord
Thanks a lot and donít worry. The Empire Crafts is a desolate and lonely kingdom ;)

Anyways work hasnít progressed much on anything terrain-related recently and I feel bad. In my defence, I did manage to play some games over the past weeks. This even included a nice 1500 game of greenskins vs skaven, where the nasty ratmen managed to overcome my forces narrowly. Poor gobbos! At least Queek got run down by squig hoppers to his ignominy.

I have to get back to work again though, as me and my buds are embarking on a Real Warhammer CampaginTM pretty soon. Which I am supposedly running. Am I up to the task :Ohmy:?

To get myself going again, I rounded up all the things Iíve managed to complete since November last year and snapped a quick dirty photo:



Itís not as much as Iíd hope to get done, but itís still something. I did manage to add some foliage to the bushes, thus completing the first two points on my checklist Ė huzzazh!

1) Touching up a couple of old pieces that are salvageable
2) Scatter terrain - bushes, rock piles, lone trees
3) Finishing up a merchant house started a looong time ago
4) Re-working a hirst-art house I got from a friend
5) Two forrests with separately based trees
6) A set of ruins from LOTR + some ruin scatter pieces
7) three rocky hills
8) A couple of additional fences/hedges


Iíve also churned out nearly 50% of the trees planned. Now I just need to force myself to get the remainder done, but I also feel like Iím getting nowhere with my painting recently. Why arenít there more hours in a day?

Our first campagin mission requires a couple of objectives to fight over. Itís a raid scenario, where both armies send out scouts to forage for food and supplies, bumping into each other in a village they intended on sacking. I made this quick mock up before work yesterday:



Gotta have them finished by Saturday morning, so thereís bound to be some form of update soon.
As always Ė thanks for reading.

"All right... we'll call it a draw".

My fantasy-themed terrain log

Offline Zygmund

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Re: Getting some fantasy terrain done at last....
« Reply #42 on: January 17, 2019, 03:58:31 PM »
Really like where this is going!

-Z
Forget the 6'x4' game, focus on the story beyond that. Because fantasy matters.

Offline GamesPoet

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Re: Getting some fantasy terrain done at last....
« Reply #43 on: January 17, 2019, 04:52:50 PM »
Good to see the finished items all in the one photo. :icon_cool:
"Not all who wander are lost ... " Tolkien

"The beauty of curiosity and creativity is so much more useful than the passion of fear." me

"... my old suggestion is forget it, take two aspirins and go paint" steveb

Online The Black Knight

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Re: Getting some fantasy terrain done at last....
« Reply #44 on: January 20, 2019, 01:56:15 PM »
Wellp, this is how far I got on the objectives before the game:



Basecoated, washed and drybrushed. Nothing fancy.. As you can see there are only 5 instead of the planned 8, as thankfully my friends assured me they will bring some suitable objectives with them (which they did). I might add some static grass to these at some point, but I'm pretty okay with how they look for now.

The initial game of our campagin was a blast :). Ditching 9th in favour of 8th allowed us to have some fun with special characters. Tyrion and Queek took to the field, as did Snagla Grobspit on my part. I played Gobbos vs High elves, unfortunately a wild animosity roll caused my bunker unit to make a wild charge, thus on turn 2 I've lost my mage, general and BSB. Later I did play the objective game better and managed to go down only 12:8. On the other table the Skaven dispatched their Wood Elf opponents relatively easly, with Queek's Stormvermin cutting a bloody path throughout the battlefield.

Next battle in roughly a month, gotta get working on more terrain!
« Last Edit: January 20, 2019, 02:18:59 PM by The Black Knight »
"All right... we'll call it a draw".

My fantasy-themed terrain log

Offline Naitsabes

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Re: Getting some fantasy terrain done at last....
« Reply #45 on: January 23, 2019, 01:11:27 AM »
Good looking stuff.

Where are the big wheels from on the objective markers? I have a steam tank sitting on blocks and these look like they might fit the bill.
The Empire Road to Volganof Last update 28Sep2019 - Assassins & another building

Online The Black Knight

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Re: Getting some fantasy terrain done at last....
« Reply #46 on: January 23, 2019, 09:22:13 AM »
Thanks mate!

The wheels I bought online, ages ago from an auction. Haven't seen them since. I have a bunch that I'm likely never going to use (they're too big for chariots). I can send you some, PM me and we'll talk :icon_smile:.
"All right... we'll call it a draw".

My fantasy-themed terrain log

Online The Black Knight

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Re: Getting some fantasy terrain done at last....
« Reply #47 on: February 15, 2019, 07:19:59 PM »
Life is keeping me away from toy soldiers and terrain building (sad face) and sadly there is no progress on my quest for a decent gaming table.

I did however create something recently, that involves miniature scenery, which I think might be of interest to ya all.

The brother of my significant other had his 30th birthday recently. As a gift Iíve built him a little LOTR themed diorama (heís a big fan of Gollum). The scene I was trying to emulate was when Gollum was tracking Sam and Frodo through Emyn Muil.



The miniature is GWís obviously, while the main structure of the rocky outcrop was built out of cork. Its surface was chiselled and chipped, and then covered with watered down spackle, to make it more robust. It also helped blending the miniature's base with the cork.



The painting was my usual process of layering various greys and browns Ė only this time I used an airbrush as I was pressed for time. Washes and drybrushes were used to finish off the painting part. Iíve used 5 kinds of different tufts and a mossy blend from gale force 9 to add a bit of vegetation. The tree is made from a piece of desert root that was covered in watered down PVA and painted. I've also constructed a little nest with some static grass and by adding a couple of eggs made of green stuff.











I must say I am very pleased with how the piece turned out. I think the combination of cork and spackle looks pretty darn realistic. I will try to use this technique for my future hills (see, there is a vague link to the actual subject of my blog)! I've also discovered that I love doing dioramas! I will deffinietly have another go at this in the future.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2019, 10:09:25 PM by The Black Knight »
"All right... we'll call it a draw".

My fantasy-themed terrain log

Offline Midaski

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Re: Getting some fantasy terrain done at last....
« Reply #48 on: February 15, 2019, 10:17:08 PM »
Fantastic - just from one mini, some tufts and easy to find general DIY stuff.
Quote from: Gneisenau
Quote
Metal to Finecast - It is mostly a swap of medium. 

You mean they will be using Ouija boards instead of Tarot cards for their business plans from now on?

Offline GamesPoet

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Re: Getting some fantasy terrain done at last....
« Reply #49 on: February 16, 2019, 02:03:13 AM »
Well done! :eusa_clap: :::cheers:::
"Not all who wander are lost ... " Tolkien

"The beauty of curiosity and creativity is so much more useful than the passion of fear." me

"... my old suggestion is forget it, take two aspirins and go paint" steveb