These terrain pieces were on my mind for years.
For a long time, I collected a variety of plastic plants, turfs, flocking, etc.
Then I recently started to make the bases, and after I received my plastic palm trees ordered on eBay, I started building.
The ruins were made in part with sections of an broken toy found in a garage sale: the Indiana Jones Temple of Akator playset (see picture):
The ruins were modified and completed with sculpted styrofoam. Everything was glued with hot glue and white pva glue. The dead leaves terrain cover was made with a mix of dried herbs (mostly oregano), saw dust and hemp rope fibers.
The large trees were made from scratch: Apoxy sculpt on a copper wire armature. Next, I glued coconut fibers on the large branches to simulate smaller branches and to provide more area for the clump foliage to adhere.
Every trees was then sealed with a homemade fixative: 1 part matt mod podge, 1 part distilled water, 1 part liquitex matt medium + a few drops of dishwasher jet dry.
Overall, I had a blast creating these cool terrain pieces. Hope you enjoy the pictures!
Just a quick post to show the results of my recent column building frenzy…
I followed this excellent tutorial from Black Magic Craft on youtube: A great Youtube channel by the way.
The main material is foam board. They were relatively quick to make and I like the fact that the bricks appear uneven: perfect for a dungeon or ancient ruin.
I received my order from Precision Ice and Snow. Since I was quite disappointed with my previous attempts at making realistic snow (take a look here). I decided to give this company’s products a try. So I got my Krycell snow by the mail and went to work on a brand new test diorama.
I am VERY pleased with the results. The stuff is simply amazing! It’s a very fine powder, similar in consistency to cooking flour I would say. I simply sprayed matt varnish on the base and used the provided stainless steel sieve to dust the Kycell on the fresh coating of varnish. I then quickly builded up many layers by spraying again and dusting many times. The stuff builds up like real snow. And I live in Canada, so I know very well how snow looks like 🙂
I also tried the Vallejo Environment Snow again. This time by putting a thick blob of that paste and then dusting it with Krycell snow. I think the Vallejo Environment Snow used in this manner is more convincing (the Krycell snow softens the grainy appearance of the Vallejo product and makes it less “stark white”).
I’ll be able to use Krycell snow on my KV-1 diorama soon, so stay tuned!
A bag of Krycell Snow and the stainless steel sieve
The test “diorama”, without snow.
First dusting of Krycell on a wet coating of matt varnish
After a few coatings (maybe 5 or 6)
It’s getting really interesting…
A test of Vallejo Environnement Snow with a dusting of Krycell snow on top. It looks better and can now be used to represent thicker snow in some areas.
Overall effect is quite realistic I think.
I did some tests recently to create realistic snow for my KV-1 diorama. I’ve made a simple diorama with left over bits and pieces to try different solutions.
So far I have tried the following products to simulate snow:
- Woodland scenic soft flake snow SN140
- Vallejo Environment snow (73.820)
- Citadel snow
- Baking soda
To make it stick to the diorama, I have used:
- white glue (and yellowish construction “white” glue too)
- semi-gloss varnish (liquid)
- matt varnish (spray)
As for now, I am stuck and here’s why:
- Woodland scenic snow seems too grainy to my liking at 1/35th scale when sprinkled. Mixed with glue or liquid varnish, it is better and looking like melting snow, but still too grainy to my liking.
- Vallejo Environment snow is even worst: Way to bright and way too chunky to look realistic at 1/35. It may be better suited for miniature basing but I certainly would’nt cover a fine 1/35th model with that stuff.
- Citadel snow look good from a distance, but when you look closer you understand that it is not a powder but tiny white… fibers! Not realistic at all…
- Baking soda? Not really… The best result I achieved was with baking soda sprinkled on a fresh coating of matt varnish (hairspray works fine too, with similar looking results). The effect looks really like soft, smooth snow that just fell on things in a very cold environment (I am from Canada: I know the stuff!). But the problem is that, from what I read on many web sites and forums, baking soda tends to get yellowish with time and sometimes even reacts with paint and varnish and melts in a sticky goo… Not something I want to happen on (or even near) my precious models.
Alas, no solution was satisfactory to simulate snow the way I want…
I then did some research on the net and found this company called Precision Ice and Snow (http://www.precisioniceandsnow.com/) that sells a product that seems promising to achieve the look I want. I just placed an order for their Krycell FINE snow powder. I’ll post my tests with that product as soon as I get it.
So I am now waiting for Santa to bring the white powder to me.
Yeah, I now: that last sentence sounds weird 🙂
A quick project for the gaming table: desert rocks with crystal formations.
I glued pieces of gardening cedar bark to small masonite bases with the glue gun. With the same hot glue, I placed plastic “gems” bought at the dollar store. For painting, it was easy: a basecoat of rusty brown, dry brush of ochre on the sand and dry brush of sand beige on the rocks and sand for the highlights. I also built an altar from a larger piece of bark, to which I added some of my homemade resin skulls.
Dollar store plastic “gems”
A sacrificial altar stone slab (with some of my homemade skulls!)
Easy, and a cool addition to my terrain pieces.
Recently, I’ve built some desert terrain for tabletop use. Simple pieces, mostly made from foamcore boards and stryrofoam.
The interesting thing here, is the use of cake decorations, namely wedding cake plastic columns, to create terrain. I used my trusty Dremel rotary tool to damage them and carve some grooves to suggest individual blocks. I used a piece of plasticard to close the top part, and used scrap parts of metal figures embed in putty to add weight to the bottom (so the columns would be less prone to fall once on the gaming table). The painting was kept to a minimum: yellow-ochre basecoat, followed by a wash of dark brown, then a drybrushing of sand beige.
Boom! Quick and simple!
“The cake is a lie…”
Simple but effective architecture.
Just another brick in the wall…
All the pieces together.
Enjoy the pics!
An old piece today.
A diorama I made ages ago for a contest at a local gaming store (I won second place btw). Most of the temple is etched plaster covering a wood base.
For the sculpture on the wall, I pressed various figures on a clay sheet and poured plaster of Paris, then etched the brick patterns on it after it was dried. The columns are also made of plaster, poured in… cardboard toilet paper rolls. Yep.
The paint job is ok, but as for most of my older pieces, it consists mainly of layering and drybrushing.
It think the diorama should be viewed as a whole, telling a story: Mama dragon, protecting her eggs, wants to get a free meal from superstitious orcs, who are about to get attacked by a brave halfling thief and a (hopefully) powerful mage.
A jungle scene…
Some tension in this scene…
“Hum… free meal!”
“Wait… Something’s wrong…”
“If I can just find that wand now…”
“Just wait ’till the last moment: It will be more cinematic!”
“Now if that *&# mage could just find his stuff…”
I am working on ruins and details for my Hetzer diorama project. Enjoy.
Ruined house (front), made of blue foam, foamcore board, balsa and sparkle.
Ruined house (back), made of blue foam, foamcore board, balsa and sparkle.
The ‘pillar’ part of my ruined house was too high to my taste, so I broke it. I will use fragments such as this one as ‘chunks’ of broken brick structure still held by mortar.
Various bits for the rubbles: a ladder, german jerrycans, pipes and a motorcycle. The motorcycle will need more attention (chipping, washes, pigments for the tires…)
A tire for the rubbles. Weathered with pigments (the pigment fixer is still wet on this image).
Various bits. ‘Metal’ scraps (mostly plastic in fact), wood planks (balsa), and bricks/rocks made of foam and cork.
With a bit of left-over putty, I made a cloth to add some kind of focus to the box containing ammo crates.
Quick post: I’ve finished the base for my KV-2. Here are the pics:
I haven’t done much painting or sculpting since Christmas. But I decided to get back to the workbench and complete a few projects. Spring is so rainy and cold this year, it is a perfect time for model building 🙂
In this post, you will find photos of my (now) completed sci-fi crates.
A bunch of sci-fi crates ready for the gaming table.