Zenithal Highlighting on 3d Printed Terrain

I believe that my Ender 3 is printing better than it ever has and I am printing terrain as much as I can.At the same time, I’d love to have several painted buildings for a small town when playing fantasy war games.Zenithal highlighting will help me reach that goal.

Zenithal highlighting is primering a model with an airbrush, or in my case, rattle can spray paint using varying shades. What I do is spray the entire model in black paint. Second, I then spray a grey from the side with a slight down angle. 

Lastly, I use a white and spray directly from the top.

When I paint the terrain, I use thinned down paint. In so doing, the pre-shaded highlights I did with the zenithal technique makes the dark areas darker and the lighter areas lighter, requiring only one layer of paint to get a good look. You can see how it turns out in the images below.

The building shown below come from Black Scroll Games found HERE.

Drybrushing is Your Friend: Completed Ruined Pillars From Advanced Terrain

I completed a set of ruined pillars tonight using some simple drybrushing techniques.

The pillars come from Advanced Terrain who had a Kickstarter back in 2010, I believe, and even though the store is closed, I was able to order some of the ruined pillars as seen above.Advanced Terrain who had a Kickstarter back in 2010, I believe, and even though the store is closed, I was able to order some of the ruined pillars as seen above.

The pillars and other terrain sets are rubber, and are molded after Hirst Arts terrain.  It’s some of my favorite terrain.

I will be using this stuff for Recruits this weekend when I do my Hell Dorado and Relic Knights events.

Although I didn’t paint these, they came from the Kickstarter painted.  This is what my other set looks like:Kickstarter painted.  This is what my other set looks like:

Ruined Walls

This is some great terrain and Patrick ever opens his shop up again, I’ll be buying some more.

Creative Gamescapes Spaceship X Tiles Review

Last fall in 2011 I was able to pick up two kits worth of Creative Gamescapes Spaceship X basic tiles at a gaming convention called Recruits Con.

The kit, as described by the manufacturer, has been pasted below:

Spacecraft X introduces ship to ship combat battlefields to tabletop gaming. The modular design allows for a broad range of board configurations maximizing replayability for both measurement and tile based gaming systems in either 15mm or 28mm scale.

The kit comes in a sealed bag with four sprues containing several spaceship corridors, walls, tiles, and doors, as well as an instruction sheet.

The sprues are made from hard plastic and require a hobby knife, sprue clipper/nippers, and some patience in order to get the pieces off of the sprue.  After getting the pieces off the sprure, they require some trimming and possible shaving/sanding in order to remove the plastic mold lines and injection markings.  For someone just entering the hobby who doesn’t have these tools, it may seem a little daunting to get all of your pieces looking good.

Four Sprues with Instructions

Below you’ll see all of the available parts after cutting and trimming from the sprues.

All the X-tiles from all four sprues

I found that there did appear to be a lot of pieces and a little confusion on what to do with them.  However, the instructions helped explain what parts went where and exactly which parts needed to be glued.  The “L” piece is made up of three single squares that need to be glued together in order to be used.  Furthermore, the instructions show the walls being glued to the floors as well.

During my review and examination of the pieces I found that they were quite sturdy and the actual floor pieces were heavy.  They sit roughly half an inch above the table, raising it some and giving the viewer a better feel of a “hallway” or spaceship itself.

A possible layout from one X-tile package.

The walls of the X-tiles are reversible, so you can decide which pattern you’d like to have on the outside or inside of the rooms and hallways, adding for a nice touch of detail.  If you actually glue the walls into place, you’ll need to decide which pattern you want on the outside/inside and keep that in mind as you make your pieces.   Otherwise, the pieces have the same floor and wall design.  The large 9×9 square room is missing the center tile and the kit comes with three version you can put there to break up the tedium of the same pattern.

Another nice detail are the doors.  Each entrance/exit of the rooms and hallways has a space for a door.  The door s simply slide into grooves on each side and can be removed just as easily to represent a sealed or blocked passageway or room.

I found that connecting all the tiles takes some rearranging to get them lined up and I had to cut one wall section to make a smaller part to fit one of the rooms.  It’s not required, but it allowed for more flexability in the layout.

If you own Space Hulk or other sci-fi type tile based games, Spaceship X-tiles might make a great product to add some dimensions to your game if you can get the the right amount of pieces and sizes/shapes.  Otherwise, you’ll be making your own scenarios to fit the Spaceship X-tiles that you own.

I’m thinking I”m going to make my own board and use my kits for some 15mm sci-fi games as well as for some 28mm gaming- Possibly Tomorrow’s War by Ambush Alley, Infinity from Corvus Belli, or AE: Bounty by Blackball Games

A single package will set you back $34.99, but you can order multiple of the same pack for cheaper discounts.  I found the $34.99 to be a decent deal for what you get, but I didn’t have to pay for shipping.

I haven’t tried painting my tiles, walls, and bits yet, so I can’t comment on how well it takes paint.  However, I’ve seen some painted examples in person  and they did look nice

All in all, it’s a nice kit, but small, so you’ll be wanting additional kits to make bigger and better maps.


  • Good construction
  • Will make your gaming table attract attention
  • Customizable layouts
  • Removable doors to create sealed hallways and rooms
  • Decent price point
  • Look great painted up


  • Removing the pieces from the sprues requires some work
  • Filing and sanding the sprue points and mold lines requires some extra work as well
  • Not enough pieces in a single kit to create many layouts
  • Same design over and over on the floors and walls
  • No additional kits for specific rooms or locations available from the manufacturer as of yet

Here is a sample image from the manufacturer showing all the pieces glued and painted up:

Manufacturers image of all the pieces in a single kit.

Check out Creative Gamescapes for more details and a small gallery.

Vesper-On Games Previews Salute Terrain Board

Vesper-On Games is previewing their terrain board for their 17th century miniatures game, Carnevale, at Salute 2012.

Looks like a great piece of work and I’d love to get a chance to play on it- no matter what game!

Vesper-on's terrain board for 17th century Venice.

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.


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