(GAMEIN5D in action)
Believe it or not someone actually asked me to make a terrain for them for Christmas. There was no brief other than "can you make us a board to play on" and I know the person in question plays Tau and paints then in pale shades. So ... I thought they'd stand out nicely and look good against a dark background. Also I'd been wanting to do a lava themed terrain so it was the perfect opportunity.
Part 1: planning and layout
I also wanted to use the Z230 redoubt model from Amera Plastics, because their stuff is great and the model in question fits nicely on the 1 foot square tiles. In the image (above right) I've started to break up the polysytrene into rough hexagons and started to lay them out, on the board. I'd like to think this is a well thought out process, but it isn't. However, I did get them down in some sort of order and then I cut them all in half with my big hot wire cutter. This straight away made them all slightly different thicknesses but also gave me twice as many pieces if I wanted to do this again.
Part 2: Building
I then added some thinner layers of cork, just roughly torn into pieces that fit on the rafts, again this was just to add variation in height and texture. Finally I added a layer of pva and then scatter materials, fine sand, medium and coarse ballast and finally small angular plaster chunks that I always have a store of. Then it occurred to me I could have done all that before I painted the whole thing black, so I had to paint the whole thing black . . . again. Below you can see the fully built terrain - Black Legion Biker for scale but he buggered off before I took the second photo.
Despite my usual total lack of proper planning of steps and stages, and if you remove the huge amount of time spent procrastinating or simply zoning out and staring at the board this process actually seemed quite speedy and I was pleased to have got so far.
Part 3: Dry brushing the basalt
"Dry brushing the basalt" should definitely be a euphemism for something; however, it was time to start breaking up this massive expanse of black.
For me, this was one of the most enjoyable parts of the project, I love the way dry brushing brings things to life and makes things look so much better. And it doesn't need that much skill, which suits me just fine.
In the photo below the dry brushing was complete and I was about two thirds of the way done with the red. Plus we have an explanation for why the chaos biker naffed off so quickly.
Part 4: Adding the lava 'glow'
Going back to the original idea I didn't particularly want streams of lava around the rafts, instead I was thinking of cracks where the heat from beneath would shine through.
It took a while to build up the desired effect, mostly because I kept messing it up - I'm not great with an airbrush as you can tell. I also went over the cracks I'd cut into the board, yellow first this time then dry brushed orange and then black over the yellow. You can see the completed board below.
So that's it ... lava terrain done and now since it's after Christmas and Santa has delivered it I can add that the recipient was well chuffed with it (phew). If you've got to the end of this blog entry I salute your perseverance, if you're feeling particularly masochistic you might want to check out the youtube (very) brief description and flyby of the terrain below.
Hello, I'm Jon.
I'm very much a learner model maker, especially dioramas, gaming surfaces, models and toy boxes for me and my children.