Terrain Building and Forming Guide

I created this guide a long, long time ago (Oct 17 2004, 09:30 PM) and posted it on the Privateer Press forums.  Since that time it’s had a few revisions and 2009 saw the most recent update by a PP forumite named aranan.  Special is given to Aranan for the update.

I thought it appropriate that I post it up here in all it’s original (2009) glory for the world to see.  There are some dead links, etc, and if you try to click on any link to PP’s old forums, you need the first part of the address changed to the following:  http://old.privateerpressforums.com/

I’ve also downloaded the entire post from Privateer Press’s original forums found HERE.

Enjoy!

Terraforming F.A.Q.
Most recent update:
Cleaned up links (fixed salvageable ones, removed dead ones, added new ones)

F.A.Q. Word Document available for DL below

This F.A.Q. is in no way meant to be the end all and be all to terraforming. Please ask questions in regards to anything listed below, as well as post comments or questions in the terraforming section of the forums. For more information, visit http://blog.brushthralls.com and http://www.terrainthralls.com, the official unofficial website of Rivet Head Studios and Privateer Press fan terraformers, where new information is updated regularly in regards to modeling and terraforming.

If you wish to add anything or make changes please let me know. Also, if there are words or terms that you think might need to be defined, I’d be happy to create a lexicon of terrain related words. Now, on to the new F.A.Q.!

What are some web-links to modeling I should know about?
http://blog.brushthralls.com: BrushThralls.com is a fan based online resource that promotes painting, modeling, and general hobby advice for all hobbyists of varying skill.
http://www.terrainthralls.com: A group of Privateer/IK fans who create terrain for your favorite games–your battlefield shouldn’t be boring!
http://www.terragenesis.co.uk/: Great looking terrain that is possible on a budget.
David Helber’s pages on http://zeitcom.com/majgen/20scn.html and http://zeitcom.com/majgen/30str.html terrain.
http://www.hirstarts.com/: Molds for casting parts for building your own terrain. Hundreds of molds to choose from and even more tutorials on how to use them.
http://ryan.skow.org/ with galleries, tutorials, and some links.
http://geektactica.blogspot.com/2008/09/how-to-construct-building-on-budget.html: buildings on a budget
http://salmondworks.com/blog/?cat=5
http://www.reapermini.com/TheCraft: A variety of tutorials for painting, sculpting, and yes, terrain making.
[PretiJewel’s Game St. Louis Terrain and Mini site]

Hot wire foam cutters and other terrain tools for purchase. Mostly from http://privateerpressforums.com/index.php?showtopic=46258.
http://woodlandscenics.woodlandscenics.com/index.cfm
http://www.expotools.com/
http://hotwirefoamfactory.com/home.php
http://www.micromark.com/
http://thewarstore.com/styrofoamcutters.html

Cork Buildings:
http://www.matakishi.com/makingcitybuildings.htm to make buildings.

Paper Terrain Links:
http://www.cardfaq.org/faq/
http://www.freepapertoys.com/pt-buildings.html
http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/fpm/archive
http://www.brumbaer.de/Wm/Build/index.html
http://www.fiddlersgreen.net/
http://www.miniaturewargaming.com/index.php/mwg/category/Paper%20Figs%20Terrain/

Purchasable
http://www.worldworksgames.com/
http://www.sjgames.com/heroes/castles/

Flocking/Basing/Grass
Basing refers to the material used to represent grass, bushes, dirt, gravel, etc on miniatures as well as on terrain pieces. Static grass are short pieces of dyed nylon that can be made to stand up once they have been glued down. Flocking is ground up, sponge-like material, used to represent grass and groundcover. Balast, sand, or kitty litter can be used to represent dirt, gravel, and rocks. There are a myriad of varieties as well as color, texture, and size. Search around for what you need.

Where can I buy flocking and static grass?

Check your local hobby store: Michaels, Hobby Lobby, train stores, even YIKES, Games Workshop.[/i]

Snow information
number9’s take on bicarbonate soda

http://www.privateerpressforums.com/index.php?showtopic=51513&st=0&p=846711&#entry846711.
Basically, number9 has had baking soda based models last over 7 years without yellowing.

What terrain is best: freestanding, static, or modular?
Freestanding terrain is best suited to those people who don’t have room for a complete 4’x4′ gaming table. This type of terrain can be any size, and is easily stored on a shelf, in a cabinet, or even in bag for when it is needed. Normally, this type of terrain is made up of separate “pieces” of terrain, like individual trees, or clumps of trees, hills, buildings, etc. In addition, you can rearrange, add, remove, or mix various other pieces of terrain to create a unique and different game board each time. This is the most common, and easiest, type of terrain for beginners to create.

Static terrain is fixed, or permanently connected, to a gaming table. Standard size gaming space for Warmachine is a 4’x4′ square. These tables can be constructed of any number of materials, are usually heavy, and take up a lot of space. Unless you have room and plan to use your terrain table a lot, this type of terrain would not be recommended. Also, newcomers to terraforming may find creating a full sized gaming table daunting.

Modular terrain is a hybrid of the earlier types. It consists of pieces, or tiles, which have terrain features fixed, or permanently connected to them. These tiles can be of any size that is smaller than your game board, though a common size is either 1′ x 1′ or 2′ x 2′. Ideally these should be constructed in such a way that allows you to assemble them in different configurations to allow for variety in games. Modular terrain is the most complex of these systems, as it requires a large amount of pre-planning to ensure that any features which cross tiles (e.g. roads, rivers, hills etc.) are constructed in such a way that they will connect to its neighboring tile, no matter which way round it is.

Either way, it’s up to the individual to decide what he or she wants out of their terrain. Something light and portable, or something larger and more durable -it is up to you. Onikaze and Yeti’s Yell http://www.privateerpressforums.com/index.php?showtopic=78607&st=0 which uses freestanding terrain (rocks, forests) and static terrain (water, hills).

What are the basic materials and tools I need to create terrain?
Several materials and tools are used to make terrain for miniature gaming. Here you will find listed the most common, and most useful items that experienced terrascapers use.

  • White/wood glue
  • Water
  • Play sand or concrete/quickcrete sand (Depends on the texture you want)
  • Latex paint (flat) in varying basecoat colors
  • Craft paint, or more latex paint if you like, for shading and highlighting
  • Flocking, static grass, basalt, gravel, etc for details and grassy areas
  • Cheap brushes- 1/2″, 1″, 2″ or even larger sizes to basecoat your terrain
  • Smaller brushes for detail work and dry-brushing hard to reach areas
  • Pink or blue foam in 1/2″, 1″, or 2″ sizes
  • Utility knife
  • Liquid nails or similar product
  • Sculpting tools
  • Hot knife or hot wire cutter for cutting and shaping foam
  • Styrene, plasticard, etc, to create buildings, bridges, etc, as needed
  • Wood filler, caulking, and spackling which is used to fill gaps and seams
  • MDF (medium density fiberboard) in 1/16″ or 1/8″ thicknesses or similar wood product for modular and free-standing terrain bases
  • Resin for any water scenery you may create

What is the difference between white glue and wood glue when it dries?
White glue, when it dries, remains flexible. Wood glue, however, is meant to dry rigid with no flexing. Thanks for the info foolsfolly!

What are the different kinds of plaster?
http://mysite.verizon.net/res8u4qp/id6.html is a comparison between various types of plaster.

What train scale is best for Warmachine?
Probably S or O. Surprisingly, Wikipedia has an article discussing scales. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miniature_figure_(gaming)#Scales.
See http://privateerpressforums.com/index.php?showtopic=29262 for more information.
http://privateerpressforums.com/index.php?showtopic=56625 chronicles Cerebral Cortex of the Damned’s visit to a train store.
http://privateerpressforums.com/index.php?showtopic=64704
http://privateerpressforums.com/index.php?showtopic=60741
http://privateerpressforums.com/index.php?showtopic=65563
http://privateerpressforums.com/index.php?showtopic=63851
http://privateerpressforums.com/index.php?showtopic=64475

Stained Glass
Mostly from http://privateerpressforums.com/index.php?showtopic=52611:
http://www.hirstarts.com/plans/stained.pdf: Print these onto an overhead transparency sheet. Optional: hit printed side with a spray of gloss varnish.
“Stained glass” paints (Translucent glazes)

Ship Building/Purchasing
http://privateerpressforums.com/index.php?showtopic=40745 on how to construct a ship.
http://privateerpressforums.com/index.php?showtopic=50444 for buying premade ships.

Snitchythedog has written an excellent treatise on his ideas for terrain making. See below:

QUOTE

http://privateerpressforums.com/index.php?showtopic=74441&st=0&p=1194810
These are some guidelines that I have created to help everyone make not only better terrain, but also terrain that are durable. And begin rant.

First: Make no terrain that removes excessive space from the tabletop. For buildings you have two options. Option one is for buildings that do not have an interior. Build them at a slightly reduced scale so they do not occupy too much table space. Option two is to build the building with an interior. This will make the whole building usable instead of just part of the building. Adding a second stories will expand the play area.

For other terrain features make sure that any ridges (such as the banks of rivers) are flat on top and have enough space to stabilize a large base. The sides of stepped hills also need to be able to stabilize a large base. You never know where someone will end their movement.

Rivers make it hard to avoid eating up space on the board. Try to make sure that they do not have any large lakes or features that cannot be used as tabletop.

Second: If the building or terrain feature can be entered, make multiple entrances and exits. If there is only one entrance no one will use it and this becomes a waist of space. The same goes for rivers. Make sure that there are multiple crossing points. If there is only one, this will be the focal point of the game and it limits game play.

Third: When making modular terrain, try to make sure that edges of rivers and features match up. Also try to hide the seams between different sections so they cannot be used as an improvised ruler. Felt painted to match the board will work for this.

Four: This is not strictly necessary but it is one of my pet peeves. Try to use forces perspective when doing interiors. This means do not do a full interior. You cannot play a game, with the interior of the objective building, cluttered full of nice furniture. The way that you make interiors look like they are occupied is to build features within ½ inch of the wall. Wood paneling, clocks, pictures, fireplaces and the works. This will give the interior of the building features that will put the building in context just as much as the exterior.

Five: Reinforce the terrain piece as much as possible. When I am gluing a piece together, I make sure that I have multiple materials overlapping each other with layers of glue in between. Another way to reinforce terrain is to glaze your piece with superglue. This will not work with foam, but with other items, it will harden your surface, and make sure that your basing materials and scratch built parts will not fall apart. The way you do this is to put a dab of liquid superglue on the part to be glazed. Then either blow the superglue or used a can of compressed air to blow the superglue into a thin film. This is another way to layer glues and materials. Use spray sealers on your terrain so they do not chip.

Six: Make sure that your terrain will not chip another piece of terrain that it is set on. Do this by adding felt to the base of your terrain features. You can do this with the underside of a roof so it does not damage the rest of the building.

Seven: If your terrain travels, try to have a dedicated box to carry it in, and use foam or bubble wrap to protect it. I have seen several people who have done wonderful terrain that once it is completed they just throw it back into the box with everything else. If you are going to spend the time to do these works of art, please protect them.

Eight: Make the terrain visual interesting. One way you can do this is to hide “Easter eggsâ€� on the piece. Add little details that people might not see initially. Add animals to the bases of your trees. Add a cat sitting on the roof. Add a cup of coffee sitting on a shelf or stove. Any little detail will increase the overall effect.

Nine: Be consistent. Use the same color paints, the same basing materials, the same color ground cover etc. etc. This makes your terrain uniform. Nothing is worse than having a beautiful desert board with a building with a snowy base sat in the middle.

Ten: Most linear obstacles should be of average height. This means to the waist of a man-sized model. Larger obstacles block line of sight. A whole wall that is too tall will limit game play. If you are making linear obstacles either make them random lengths, or make them an odd size (4 or 5 inches). Either way they are not used as a ruler.

Eleven: If you have a terrain feature that does not allow models to move over the entire feature (like a train engine), try to make up the space with a multi-story building, or scaffolding that can be accessed.

Twelve: Continue with a concept. If you have a chimney or vent on a building exterior, make it lead to something if you can (some things cannot be properly represented on the interior like wind or water mills).

Thirteen: Make something that at least appears to have a purpose. If you have a steam engine, what is it for? What is it attached to? If you have scaffolding what is its purpose?

Fourteen: Allow no ambiguity in your terrain. Is it rough terrain or clear? Is it deep or shallow water? If necessary write the terrain condition on the bottom of the piece to stop any arguments.

Fifteen: Base everything on something hard. How many hills have you seen at your LGS that have been chipped to the foam on the edges? Basing the bottom of terrain gives you two advantages. First it makes it sturdier and second it will stop most dings from other terrain or rough handling.

Sixteen: Try to make terrain that is not specific to only one scenario. If you make Cryx mining rigs, great but find other uses for them too. How many times are you going to play that one scenario?

Seventeen: Paint everything. Unpainted or untreated materials will show through no mater what you do.

Eighteen: Use durable materials. If you find something that you like (say trees). Is there a company that makes them harder? Is there a way to make them stand up to more abuse? Always think durable. This is not a diorama where you can use dry flowers and they will not be touched. This is a war game! Treat it as such.

Nineteen: When kit bashing (again I will use a toy train) make sure that the original model is not readily identifiable. If you have to do major modifications to make it your own, go ahead. Tinker with it.

Twenty: Horde things. My wife hates me for this. Almost anything can and will be useful for terrain at some point. Horde as much as you are allowed or can.

Twenty-one: Keep a scrapbook. Try to sketch all angles of your piece. If a building with an interior, try to sketch the whole thing, every wall, inside and out. It does not have to be fancy. It does not have to be original art (that is what we are making her). It only has to keep you focused on the task at hand.

Twenty-two: Try to work on only one project at a time. It will help you from getting overwhelmed, and keep you going on the task at hand. If you get burned out by all means do a quick smaller project but get back to the big one as soon as possible.

Just some more suggestions. Hope I am not being too preachy here. But I have been doing this for about twenty years now and I think that it will help others.
Snitchy sends.
=================================================================

[Begin old FAQ]

Terraforming F.A.Q.
Most recent update:
Changed the color.

F.A.Q. Word Document available for DL below

This F.A.Q. is in no way meant to be the end all and be all to terraforming. Please ask questions in regards to anything listed below, as well as post comments or questions in the terraforming section of the forums. For more information, visit http://www.brushthralls.com and http://www.terrainthralls.com , the official unofficial website of Rivet Head Studios and Privateer Press fan terraformers, where new information is updated regularly in regards to modeling and terraforming.

If you wish to add anything or make changes please let me know. Also, if there are words or terms that you think might need to be defined, I’d be happy to create a lexicon of terrain related words. Now, on to the new F.A.Q.!

What are some web-links to modeling I should know about?

http://www.brushtrhalls.com

Terrainthralls (A group of Privateer/IK fans who create terrain for your favorite games) @ http://www.terrainthralls.com Your battlefield shouldn’t be boring!

The following URL has a LOT of links to various terrain pages, such as Terra Genesis, etc:
http://forums.privateerpress.com/index.php?showtopic=29570
….and another….probably sith some of the same links as in the above topic:
http://forums.privateerpress.com/index.php?showtopic=72591

Terra Genesis direct link:
http://www.terragenesis.co.uk/


PretiJewel’s Game St. Louis Terrain and Mini site:
http://pretijewel.gamestlouis.com/

Hot wire foam cutters and other terrain tools for purchase. See this thread:
http://forums.privateerpress.com/index.php?showtopic=46258

Paper Terrain Links:
Scale paper modeling F.A.Q. found here:
http://www.cardfaq.org/faq/

FREE
http://www.freepapertoys.com/pt-buildings.html

Wizards of the Coast free paper buildings here:
http://www.mouchain.net/fpm/

Other Sources here:
http://www.miniaturewargaming.com/paper_figures_and_terrain/

http://www.brumbaer.de/Wm/Build/index.html

http://www.fiddlersgreen.net/

Purchasable
http://www.worldworksgames.com/

http://www.sjgames.com/heroes/castles/

Flocking/Basing/Grass
Basing refers to the material used to represent grass, bushes, dirt, gravel, etc on miniatures as well as on terrain pieces. Static grass are short little pieces of hair-like substance that stands up when glued down. Flocking is ground up, sponge-like material, used to represent grass and groundcover. Basalt and basing material represents gravel and rocks. There are a myriad of varieties as well as color, texture, and size. Search around for what you need.

Where can I buy flocking and static grass?
Woodland Scenics makes some here: http://www.woodlandscenics.com/

Life Like Trains makes some as well, found here: http://www.lifelikeproducts.com/

Check your local hobby store: Michaels, Hobby Lobby, train stores, even YIKES, Games Workshop.

Snow linkage
Discussion of what to use for snow on large 4×4 tables.
Number 9 discusses the myth of the YELLOW baking soda.
http://forums.privateerpress.com/index.php?showtopic=51513

QUOTE (number9 @ Aug 26 2005, 01:46 PM)

Odd, this is the second time I’ve addressed this on this forum.

Not sure where this info comes from that you hear, but I’ve been using bicarbonate of soda for snow for quite some time. It looks just as white as the day I applied it 2+ years ago to my Destroyer. I have models 5+ years old based in a similar way with no yellowing of the soda. I am using a box of arm and hammer that took the stink out of a fridge about 7 years ago and its not yellow yet either.

I have found no evidence to support that baking soda left to its own devices will turn yellow within any particular model’s general playing life-span, or in the span of an average player’s attention to the connected game. I have seen no evidence that the mixture I use for my basing will turn yellow within 5-7 years. I expect sunlight will leach the color out of my acrylic pigments before the soda on the bases turns yellow. I can’t speak for what might happen 15+ years from now, but if it turns yellow by then, is it really worth worrying about?

That said, an entire table of the baking soda mixture for snow isn’t the approach I would take. Its great for figs, not so great for gaming tables.

Gaming tables take abuse, get beat up, get dirty, and/or need to be touched up over a couple years of use. Whatever you decide to go with should be durable, easy to retouch/repair, and look convincingly like snow, probably in that order of importance.


What terrain is best: freestanding, static, or modular?
Freestanding terrain is best suited to those people who don’t have room for a complete 4’x4’ gaming table. This type of terrain can be any size, and is easily stored on a shelf, in a cabinet, or even in bag for when it is needed. Normally, this type of terrain is made up of separate “pieces” of terrain, like individual trees, or clumps of trees, hills, buildings, etc. In addition, you can rearrange, add, remove, or mix various other pieces of terrain to create a unique and different game board each time. This is the most common, and easiest, type of terrain for beginners to create.

Static terrain is fixed, or permanently connected, to a gaming table. Standard size gaming space for Warmachine is a 4’x4’ square. These tables can be constructed of any number of materials, are usually heavy, and take up a lot of space. Unless you have room and plan to use your terrain table a lot, this type of terrain would not be recommended. Also, newcomers to terraforming may find creating a full sized gaming table daunting.

Modular terrain is a hybrid of the earlier types. It consists of pieces, or tiles, which have terrain features fixed, or permanently connected to them. These tiles can be of any size that is smaller than your game board, though a common size is either 1′ x 1′ or 2′ x 2′. Ideally these should be constructed in such a way that allows you to assemble them in different configurations to allow for variety in games. Modular terrain is the most complex of these systems, as it requires a large amount of pre-planning to ensure that any features which cross tiles (e.g. roads, rivers, hills etc.) are constructed in such a way that they will connect to its neighboring tile, no matter which way round it is. Follow this link for Foolsfolly’s modular terrain project. http://forums.privateerpress.com/index.php?showtopic=29953A great example of this type of terrain.

Either way, it’s up to the individual to decide what he or she wants out of their terrain. Something light and portable, or something larger and more durable -it is up to you!

What are the basic materials and tools I need to create terrain?
Several materials and tools are used to make terrain for miniature gaming. Here you will find listed the most common, and most useful items that experienced terrascapers use.
· White/wood glue
· Water
· Play sand or concrete/quickcrete sand (Depends on the texture you want)
· Latex paint (flat) in varying basecoat colors
· Craft paint, or more latex paint if you like, for shading and highlighting
· Flocking, static grass, basalt, gravel, etc for details and grassy areas
· Cheap brushes- ½â
€, 1”, 2” or even larger sizes to basecoat your terrain
· Smaller brushes for detail work and dry-brushing hard to reach areas
· Pink or blue foam in ½â
€ 1” or 2” sizes
· Utility knife
· Liquid nails or similar product
· Sculpting tools
· Hot knife or hot wire cutter for cutting and shaping foam
· Styrene, plasticard, etc, to create buildings, bridges, etc, as needed
· Wood filler, caulking, and spackling which is used to fill gaps and seams
· MDF (medium density fiberboard) in 1/16â
€ or 1/8”thicknesses or similar wood product for modular and free-standing terrain bases
· Resin for any water scenery you may create

What train scale is best for Warmachine?
Technically “O” scale is. However, see this thread:
http://forums.privateerpress.com/index.php?showtopic=29262

And, this great thread on a visit to a train store:
http://forums.privateerpress.com/index.php?showtopic=56625

More train links in the forums:
http://forums.privateerpress.com/index.php?showtopic=64704
http://forums.privateerpress.com/index.php?showtopic=60741
http://forums.privateerpress.com/index.php?showtopic=65563
http://forums.privateerpress.com/index.php?showtopic=63851
http://forums.privateerpress.com/index.php?showtopic=64475http://forums.privateerpress.com/index.php?showtopic=56625

What is the difference between white glue and wood glue when it dries?
White glue, when it dries, remains flexible. Wood glue, however, is meant to dry rigid with no flexing. Thanks for the info foolsfolly!

Stained Glass Tutorials
http://forums.privateerpress.com/index.php?showtopic=52611

Snitchythedog has written an excellent treatise on his ideas for terrain making. See below:

QUOTE

Snitchy’s diatribe on terrain.
http://forums.privateerpress.com/index.php?showtopic=74441&st=0&p=1194810&#entry1194810
These are some guidelines that I have created to help everyone make not only better terrain, but also terrain that are durable. And begin rant.

First: Make no terrain that removes excessive space from the tabletop. For buildings you have two options. Option one is for buildings that do not have an interior. Build them at a slightly reduced scale so they do not occupy too much table space. Option two is to build the building with an interior. This will make the whole building usable instead of just part of the building. Adding a second stories will expand the play area.

For other terrain features make sure that any ridges (such as the banks of rivers) are flat on top and have enough space to stabilize a large base. The sides of stepped hills also need to be able to stabilize a large base. You never know where someone will end their movement.

Rivers make it hard to avoid eating up space on the board. Try to make sure that they do not have any large lakes or features that cannot be used as tabletop.

Second: If the building or terrain feature can be entered, make multiple entrances and exits. If there is only one entrance no one will use it and this becomes a waist of space. The same goes for rivers. Make sure that there are multiple crossing points. If there is only one, this will be the focal point of the game and it limits game play.

Third: When making modular terrain, try to make sure that edges of rivers and features match up. Also try to hide the seams between different sections so they cannot be used as an improvised ruler. Felt painted to match the board will work for this.

Four: This is not strictly necessary but it is one of my pet peeves. Try to use forces perspective when doing interiors. This means do not do a full interior. You cannot play a game, with the interior of the objective building, cluttered full of nice furniture. The way that you make interiors look like they are occupied is to build features within ½ inch of the wall. Wood paneling, clocks, pictures, fireplaces and the works. This will give the interior of the building features that will put the building in context just as much as the exterior.

Five: Reinforce the terrain piece as much as possible. When I am gluing a piece together, I make sure that I have multiple materials overlapping each other with layers of glue in between. Another way to reinforce terrain is to glaze your piece with superglue. This will not work with foam, but with other items, it will harden your surface, and make sure that your basing materials and scratch built parts will not fall apart. The way you do this is to put a dab of liquid superglue on the part to be glazed. Then either blow the superglue or used a can of compressed air to blow the superglue into a thin film. This is another way to layer glues and materials. Use spray sealers on your terrain so they do not chip.

Six: Make sure that your terrain will not chip another piece of terrain that it is set on. Do this by adding felt to the base of your terrain features. You can do this with the underside of a roof so it does not damage the rest of the building.

Seven: If your terrain travels, try to have a dedicated box to carry it in, and use foam or bubble wrap to protect it. I have seen several people who have done wonderful terrain that once it is completed they just throw it back into the box with everything else. If you are going to spend the time to do these works of art, please protect them.

Eight: Make the terrain visual interesting. One way you can do this is to hide “Easter eggs” on the piece. Add little details that people might not see initially. Add animals to the bases of your trees. Add a cat sitting on the roof. Add a cup of coffee sitting on a shelf or stove. Any little detail will increase the overall effect.

Nine: Be consistent. Use the same color paints, the same basing materials, the same color ground cover etc. etc. This makes your terrain uniform. Nothing is worse than having a beautiful desert board with a building with a snowy base sat in the middle.

Ten: Most linear obstacles should be of average height. This means to the waist of a man-sized model. Larger obstacles block line of sight. A whole wall that is too tall will limit game play. If you are making linear obstacles either make them random lengths, or make them an odd size (4 or 5 inches). Either way they are not used as a ruler.

Eleven: If you have a terrain feature that does not allow models to move over the entire feature (like a train engine), try to make up the space with a multi-story building, or scaffolding that can be accessed.

Twelve: Continue with a concept. If you have a chimney or vent on a building exterior, make it lead to something if you can (some things cannot be properly represented on the interior like wind or water mills).

Thirteen: Make something that at least appears to have a purpose. If you have a steam engine, what is it for? What is it attached to? If you have scaffolding what is its purpose?

Fourteen: Allow no ambiguity in your terrain. Is it rough terrain or clear? Is it deep or shallow water? If necessary write the terrain condition on the bottom of the piece to stop any arguments.

Fifteen: Base everything on something hard. How many hills have you seen at your LGS that have been chipped to the foam on the edges? Basing the bottom of terrain gives you two advantages. First it makes it sturdier and second it will stop most dings from other terrain or rough handling.

Sixteen: Try to make terrain that is not specific to only one scenario. If you make Cryx mining rigs, great but find other uses for them too. How many times are you going to play that one scenario?

Seventeen: Paint everything. Unpainted or untreated materials will show through no mater what you do.

Eighteen: Use durable materials. If you find something that you like (say trees). Is there a company that makes them harder? Is there a way to make them stand up to more abuse? Always think durable. This is not a diorama where you can use dry flowers and they will not be touched. This is a war game! Treat it as such.

Nineteen: When kit bashing (again I will use a toy train) make sure that the original model is not readily identifiable. If you have to do major modifications to make it your own, go ahead. Tinker with it.

Twenty: Horde things. My wife hates me for this. Almost anything can and will be useful for terrain at some point. Horde as much as you are allowed or can.

Twenty-one: Keep a scrapbook. Try to sketch all angles of your piece. If a building with an interior, try to sketch the whole thing, every wall, inside and out. It does not have to be fancy. It does not have to be original art (that is what we are making her). It only has to keep you focused on the task at hand.

Twenty-two: Try to work on only one project at a time. It will help you from getting overwhelmed, and keep you going on the task at hand. If you get burned out by all means do a quick smaller project but get back to the big one as soon as possible.

Just some more suggestions. Hope I am not being too preachy here. But I have been doing this for about twenty years now and I think that it will help others.
Snitchy sends.

I’m hoping to include a basic how-to on creating terrain in the future and adding it to the F.A.Q.. If you wish to write a how-to for beginners and want it posted here, please email it to me and I’ll get it added up here.

Thanks and enjoy!

terraforming_FAQ.doc ( 61.5K ) : 52

Posted by: Varagon Nov 2 2004, 11:32 AM

The Darker’s Orgoth Temple

The Rise of the Orgoth Temple

http://forums.privateerpress.com/index.php?showtopic=63463

Posted by: axegrrl Mar 16 2005, 10:46 PM

Some of the best-looking rock wall I’ve seen:
http://www.reapermini.com/?nav=The%20Craft&sub=Present&article=19

Posted by: Varagon May 5 2005, 05:37 PM

Link to shipbuilding post with more links further into it.
http://forums.privateerpress.com/index.php?showtopic=40745

Posted by: Przemas Jun 2 2005, 11:57 AM

one of the sites that once really helped me to start terrainmaking:
http://www.terragenesis.co.uk/

Posted by: Skyydragonn Jun 16 2005, 12:52 AM

Somethings i found excedinly useful for rocky texture and for underlaying staic grass can be found in most craft stores. I forget the product name but it’s basically plaster mesh it comes in a roll of about 8ft if i recall right and costs about $6.00 US basically its like premade papier mache using plaster mix, and sets in about 15-20 mins
Use a shallow dish with approx 1″ water cut a dry strip run it through through the water making sure it’s all wet and apply it to your pink foam hill. twisting/folding and shaping as you lay it on. (balling up small pieces also makes for good rocks!)
allow to dry, prime, paint and apply your prefered basing flock!

Secondly is expanding insulation foam (appox$.8-9.00 US)
This stuff is invaluable for making lava formations that are realistic and cool looking *use sparingly as this stuff expands to about 3x’s its original size. also useful for filling large gaps in terrain peices. Once dry this stuff can be cut with a hotwire cutter just as easily as pinkfoam(Razor knives NOT suggested as they tear it up soemthing awful!) i’ve found that by using a thin straw like a coffee stirrer you can make bubble shaped indents by inserting the tip into the foam about 3 minutes after it’s applied and blowing a bubble in it then cutting it away once the foam has set, leaving a nice little crter in it. great stuff. I’ll be posting pics soon of peices made using these two items and other peices soon!

Posted by: Cerebral Cortex of the Damned Jul 29 2005, 10:59 PM

For a comparison of Plasters, here is a great site.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res8u4qp/id6.html

Posted with Permission from Phaze.

Edit: Added http://forums.privateerpress.com/index.php?showtopic=48009&pid=835384&st=0&# to forum post with SKU’s for Excalibur Tan plaster and Merlin’s Magic.

CCotD’

Posted by: Varagon Aug 15 2005, 01:13 PM

Pirate type ship discussion and links to buy and make them:
http://forums.privateerpress.com/index.php?showtopic=50444

Posted by: Baranor Oct 22 2005, 01:47 AM

Mr Hirsthttp://www.hirstarts.com/ makes brilliant molds to use for casting plaster… our gaming group owns six of those molds, we stuck together the cash, and its brilliant stuff. I have made some modular fantasy walls with no effort whatsoever involved, and as soon as we cast some more bricks, I’ll make more buildings. Easy as pie, and definately worth looking into.

Posted by: UliahHafengrim May 25 2006, 09:58 AM

http://ryan.skow.org/city/greentree/ThatchedRoof.html courtesy of snitchy.

He sends, btw.

Posted by: snitchythedog May 25 2006, 10:57 PM

QUOTE (UliahHafengrim @ May 25 2006, 07:58 AM)

http://ryan.skow.org/city/greentree/ThatchedRoof.html courtesy of snitchy.
He sends, btw.


I did not write that. Just found it. It is a great toot though. And yes I do send (old military communications habit).
Snitchy sends.

Posted by: TheBugKing Sep 7 2007, 01:11 PM

A note that most of the links posted here are now broken or point to images that are no longer available. = <sad face>

Posted by: Varagon Sep 26 2007, 06:31 PM

Ok, I’ll have to get off of my lazy arse and fix some of them soon. Sorry, all.

Posted by: Varagon Nov 4 2007, 01:04 AM

Cork buildings
http://www.matakishi.com/makingcitybuildings.htm

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