For my first post on this blog I decided to start with something simple. As a few people who know me are aware, I like to play tabletop wargames. My favorite part of tabletop wargaming is building terrain, and it’s something that I feel I’m fairly decent at.
One of the games that I play is called Mordheim, made by Games Workshop. If you don’t know the game, Google it. It’s fun. Over the years I have built up terrain collections then lost them for one reason or another. This time, I plan on keeping my terrain around for a while. I will also post pictures of the terrain I build and explain how I did the pieces so that I can hopefully inspire other people in their terrain building as I was inspired by all the pieces I saw on various other sites. Any questions, comments, and criticisms are welcome.
This is the first piece I built for my new terrain collection. For my games, I like bigger, vertical pieces. I also like spanning several buildings with makeshift bridges so that there is no one way to get to good spots. That way, no one is ever completely safe and no one can dominate a game from a single position. This particular piece is a three story building with a small bell tower(still need to find a good bell to put in it) on the side. It’s made, primarily, of foamcore, balsa wood, thin cardboard, tooth picks, popsicle sticks, and a hardboard base.
This is where I started. I decided on the dimensions of the bottom floor, then I measured and cut out a piece of hardboard a half inch(I went with one inch after this piece) longer and wider than my bottom floor. I then took a pair of pliers and carefully broke off the edges all the way around to give it a rougher, more natural look. I cut out each floor from(mostly) one piece of foamcore and made the floor boards for each floor from craft popsicle sticks. This part is really time intensive but the result can’t be beat by any other way that I have seen. I cut each stick to length and then shave down the top sides to give the sticks a slight beveled look and to really highlight the gaps between “boards” once painted. For the upper floor I first laid down a piece of thin cardboard(recycled from a soda 12 pack) in the rough shape of my floor and laid the popsicle sticks over that. Around the doors, I created door frames from more popsicle sticks, and around each window, I made window frames from square tooth picks.
Here’s a nice top-down shot to show the floor layout and floor boards of the piece. In hindsight, I wish I had made the second floor a bit smaller as the first floor is fairly hard to manipulate minis in, but you live and learn.
I also really wanted a balcony for this piece. I’m kind of mixing genres here but I always liked old westerns where the street was always lined with businesses with balconies where bad guys would line up to shoot the good guys. Balconies provide good elevated areas to shoot from but they also conatain a risk. You get a good view of the table but you are also exposed. I like to mix in risk with reward in my games.
Here is the piece with the door and window frames finished out, and with the balcony railing in place. I decided to create a small gap in the railing to create a risk of falling if any minis get knocked down near the gap. Once again, risk and reward.
Unfortunately I didn’t take and pics of the painting in progress so I’ll have to just skip to the finished piece from here. All of the foamcore was coated with a thin layer of stucco patch with a little water added. Stucco patch is great for texturing. No sand needed, and with just a little water to thin it out, it’s ready to go right out of the container. It was base coated black, the outside was then built up with dry brushing from a very dark red to a highlight of almost fire engine red, while the inside was started with a light tan and dry brushed up to an off white. The roof tiles are thin cardboard cut into small sheets of tiles, that are trimmed to individual lengths and then bent slightly to make them look as non uniform as possible. Again, this is very labor intensive but the result is very satisfying. All wooden pieces were given a dark to light brown drybrush build up. Also, ladders made of bamboo skewers and toothpicks were added to give access to each of the floors. The final step was to give it a couple of heavy coats of clear gloss acrylic followed by a coat of matte to knock the shine down. The gloss is hard and thick so it gives the piece some protection on the tabletop.
All in all, I am happy with this piece though I did learn a few “what not to do’s.”
Here is a list of all materials and where you can find them:
Local hobby super store
Balsa wood sticks
Craft popsicle sticks
Craft square toothpicks
Assorted acrylic paints
Local home improvement super store
Soda 12 packs for thin cardboard