Monday, January 30, 2012

Buliding Battleground Scenery for SAGA, Warhammer and Warhammer 40k

Started building additional scenery for use on the tabletop battlefield. In designing and building terrain pieces it's good to consider what you'll be able to use them with. For instance, building a great barricade with steel beams, rubble and barbed-wire will look great when playing Warhammer 40k, but where else where it look good? Will it work with your 15mm Greek Spartans? I think not.

Considering scale of your models is an obvious starting point. I've considered doing more 15mm but haven't figured out where  to squeeze them in. Also, if I move more in that direction, I'll need to create additional terrain pieces to go with the scale and the era. This would double the already considerable time needed to create a pleasing battleground for the lovely miniatures in any collection. So what do we do?

Focus is what we've been doing a good deal of lately and would suggest to those interested in the hobby gaming arena. When considering the models you have, want and can afford, you are probably not able to get everything you would like. I'm sure others would agree, there are plenty of items I'd love to buy or build but time and resources usually do not permit. So we focus on what gives us the most value and pursue that course.

Sticking with 28mm models makes terrain pieces easier to assemble. Also, my time playing is mostly consumed with Warhammer Fantasy and SAGA. Other interests are Lord of the Rings and other Ancient battle games and future I plan expansion into the black powder age of the late 1700s

With that said, a series of terrain pieces can be made usable by all of the above. Lets create some basic fences for getting those bonuses when defending and a stone bridge that can also be used by all of the above. Bridges are great for specific scenarios like "Battle at the ford" in SAGA.

The fences were created using a base of gator board which is similar to foamcore but having a harder surface. It won't dent when pressing on it. Then after using a pin drill to add holes we inserted round toothpicks for the uprights. We clipped off the ends at varying lengths. Next we wove thin wire through the uprights. Don't use them all the same length, add some shorter ones for additional character.

Prime them in black and add successive coats of drybrush from a dark brown, medium brown, light brown and finally a last dusting of a highlight color.

We used Burnt Umber, Coffee Bean, Raw Sienna..

and lastly a highlight of Barn Wood. The base was then painted green and allowed time to dry.

We took some Woodland Scenics Blended Turf, Coarse Turf and some Medium Gray Ballast for small rocks. Needing some leafy substance, we picked up an inexpensive bottle of parsley flakes for under 1 dollar, added them together with the other materials in an old spice jar.

Applying white glue to the base, shake the mixture liberally over the area and let dry. Repeat the above several times and you're ready to use them on the battleground!

Now you have a great terrain piece as seen here being defended by the Alcatani Fellowship...

and here by some Saxon Thegns.

The stone bridge was a piece of packaging material from a computer peripheral. After cutting away excess material, we used light weight joint compound to fill in any inconsistencies.

Painting started as usual with the whole bridge black, then dark gray, medium gray and finally a light gray highlight.

When the paint was dry we added glue in some of the depressions and sprinkled on the Woodland Scenics medium gray ballast.

Finally a few additional areas had glue and coarse turf added. It gives the feel of moss in the recesses.

 OK, the 40k terrain piece with barbed wire and steel beams doesn't go with the 15mm Greek army, they were built for a 40k commission to go with some Ork Boyz. here's a few additional photos for your viewing pleasure.
We'll have to show you how to build those another time.

Unitl then,
Have a Great Battle,
The Old Crow

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