Archive for the ‘Terrain’ Category

Inquisitor Necromunda Terrain

Despite being very busy with my new teaching job I have been able to get some hobby time recently. Most of this has been spent with foamcore, plasticard and PVA glue in hand. Here is the first fruit of my labours: a pumping station for use in games of Necromunda or Inq28. Terrain building is an oft-overlooked aspect of the hobby, particularly in these days of GE’s pre-made plastic terrain kits. However, it is something I have recently really started to get into.

The pumping station was just a simple project to get back into the swing of things with terrain making. It is based on the kind of classic 40k terrain that formed the backdrop to all those pictures in White Dwarf I used to spend hours pouring over as a kid. Perhaps this is part of the reason why I love old-school homemade terrain so much. that andf the fact it is so much fun to build.

Anyway, on to the pictures:

Inquisitor Necromunda Terrain

Inquisitor Necromunda Terrain

And a model for scale:

Inquisitor Necromunda Terrain

At the weekend I had a game of Battlefleet Gothic and ended up rolling the ‘Surprise Attack’ scenario which required a number of planetary defences. Unfortunately I didn’t have any suitable models and so we had to make do with some asteroids standing in for defence platforms (we figured they would have small bases with weapons mounted on them). While this worked well enough I decided to build some specific models for future use. After a quick rummage through my bitz box (or rather, boxes) I hit upon the idea 0f using parts from Tau drones as the main platform.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Top part of a Tau drone.
  2. Battlefleet Gothic x4 turrets.
  3. Battlefleet Gothic masts/sensors.

You’ll also need some putty or filler. I also used some half-circle plasticard strips although these aren’t essential.

Step 1

Fill in the recesses on the surface of the drone where the antennae are attached. I used MMD Green Putty for this but it doesn’t really matter what you use. Green stuff or Milliput would work just as well.

Step 2

Drill a hole in the centre of the drone. This is where you will attach it to a flight stand. I mounted mine on a piece of thick brass rod to match my ships (I find plastic flight stands far too flimsy) so I’ve drilled quite a large hole.

Step 3

Glue one of the masts in hole at the centre of the underside of the drone and add the turrets around the outer ring. This will require a little bit of filling to remove some of the details on the drones and the peg on underside of the turrets in order to get them to fit together smoothly.

Step 4

I then added some small pieces of half-circular plasticard rod to give the platforms a bit of extra detail to  break up the flat area around the edge.

So there we have it, a pretty simple yet effective way of making orbital defence platforms.



Yesterday afternoon I managed to finish airbrushing the second of my two Battlefleet Gothic boards and added some finishing touches to the first one. This was quite a quick project and I really enjoyed making the boards. It was great fun to try out something a bit different with my airbrush and paint a flat surface rather than a 3D model. However, if I were to do this project again I would probably do things a little differently as I’m not 100% happy with the boards but on the whole the project turned out quite well and has given me a nice surface to play on.

Some more pictures:


I’m currently working on a board for Battlefleet Gothic. I’ve played a few games so far and really enjoy the system so I thought it was time to get some terrain together (well, perhaps ‘terrain’ isn’t strictly the right word given that the OED defines terrain as ‘of the earth, terrene, terrestrial’ but lets not get bogged down in pedantry). So far I have painted up a 2′x4′ board to look like a space-scape. Above is a work-in-progress shot of the board which still needs details such as stars added.

What’s really nice about Battlefleet Gothic Terrain is how simple it is to make. The board is MDF which was painted with black acrylic paint using a paint roller. I then airbrushed on a nebula and a galaxy to add some visual interest using astronomy pictures as a reference. The board looks a little more crowded than a real space-scape would be but I’m aiming for visual interest rather than realism.

I also made some asteroids. These were also very simple to do and are simply lava rocks glued to flying stands. I simply copied the technique detailed in Carl Woodrow’s blog post so I won’t go into detail about the process here as it would only be repetition.

Finally, I made a planet. Again, this was very simple. It’s half of a polystyrene sphere purchased from an arts and crafts store. I gave it several coats of fine masonry paint in order to disguise the obvious polystyrene texture before airbrushing it in various shades of brown.

I have a game of BFG scheduled for Sunday so I’m hoping to get the board finished by then. Time to break out the airbrush.


Wooden House

I’ve finished constructing another building for my Mordheim table. This one is a wooden house. As with the other buildings the basic structure is made from foamcore which was then textured. Because I was using thick plastic card and balsa wood sheets for the exterior I used 3mm foamcore rather than 5mm so that the walls would not end up too thick. I chose a more rustic looking stone (Wills Random Stone) rather than the stonework I used on the tower house as this was more in keeping with the overall look of the building. By using a variety of different materials on my buildings I hope to achieve a more realistic look to the city as real cities are not uniform and different buildings are constructed from different materials  using different techniques.

Interior Detail

The interior is pretty straightforward so I won’t say much about it here. The floorboards were made from sheets of balsa wood with a pattern scored into them using a ruler and a pencil (the same technique was also used on the wooden exterior). Piles of rubble were built up using offcuts of foamcore which were covered with DAS putty and then had pieces of wood and roof tiles stuck into them. When dry they were covered with sand.

Up on the Roof

It’s worth saying a little about the roof tiles here. As with the cobblestones I use on my bases, these were purchased from Miniaco and were intended for dolls’ houses. The tiles are available in a variety of styles and colours and are made from reconstituted stone. I really can’t recommend these highly enough; they look very realistic and are easy to work with. They can be cut with a modelling knife or snapped with fingers. Although at first they seem a little fragile when glued down they are very sturdy. I used 1/24 scale tiles which were applied in layers starting at the bottom of the roof and working up. This was quite a time-consuming process as I had to wait for each row to dry before adding the next. There is nothing more frustrating than neatly gluing on a row of tiles only to knock them all off trying to add the next layer (as I found out by being impatient). The roof was topped off with some ridge tiles also from Miniaco. Although I intend to paint the roof, the tiles have a nice realistic look and could be left as they are.

I was planning on writing a tutorial on making buildings but I got carried away and forgot to take step-by-step pictures. With the next building I will try to remember and write a more detailed piece on the construction of the buildings.

All the best,


Related Posts

The Ruins of Mordheim
Building Continues

Following on from yesterday’s post I’ve made some more progress on the ruined tower house. I’ve finished  texturing the walls of one of the side buildings with plasticard and added some plastic details from the Mordheim building sprue. I used Wills plasticard for the walls which proved quite difficult to cut and shape. It also comes in fairly small pieces and so I had to use two three to cover a wall and then fill in the gaps. I’m not sure if there is a better way kind of plasticard to use.

A photo with my Freelance Knight for scale:

All the best,


I have spent most of the last week busy with a modelling knife, steel ruler and a tub of PVA glue. Here are the results: some ruined buildings for Mordheim. I started with the building on the right as I wanted to begin with quite a simple building before moving on to anything more complex. However, I soon got carried away and constructed the more intact building on the left. Both buildings were constructed out of foamcore which was cut to shape and then distressed with a modelling knife in order to achieve a more ruined look. As you can see, both buildings are still works in progress and still need more work. I plan on basing these and adding rubble and other details to the bases. I will also add a coat of textured paint the the exterior of the walls.

The look I went for is the half-timbered houses which are a main feature of Empire architecture. This was achieved by gluing on strips of wood purchased at a hobby shop. I also detailed the exteriors with some GW plastic pieces I bought online. This helps tie the models in with the Warhammer Fantasy aesthetic and prevents them from simply looking like ‘historical’ buildings’. It is also a quick and easy way of adding some visual interest. With the more intact building I went one step further and added some interior detail including roof supports and a staircase in order to allow characters access to the upper floors. I also plan on making some ladders for the same purpose.

Blood on the Streets

I have also purchased the Mordheim boxed game and the ‘Blood on the Streets’ building set. Although I originally received the boxed game for Christmas 1999 the buildings have since been thrown away. I am reminded of an entertaining article I read in The Telegraph about the ‘four ages of collecting’ and how one of these is buying back all of the things you collected as a kid but subsequently threw away later in life .

My plan is to rebuild all of the original cardstock buildings using foamcore in order to get thicker, more realistic looking walls (the card walls really are too thin). I am also going to upscale the buildings by 50% in order to fit with the scale of my own buildings. While the card buildings are great for playing straight out of the box I feel that remaking them in foamcore will look a lot better and tie them in with the scratch-built buildings.

Here is my mock-up for the ruined tower house from the set:

This is quite a rough mock-up held together with dress-making pins just to get the size right and the placement of all of the details. The finished building will be textured with plasticard to look like the stonework seen on the card art. I also plan on embellishing the building a little with other Empire touches. The inspiration from this came from one of the wonderful buildings pictured in Warhammer Armies: The Empire (see the bottom photo on p.81). Below is a rough plan of how I want it all to look:

Have a great week,



Ever since I started the hobby way back in the tail end of 1995 I’ve wanted a fully modelled gaming table. However, owing to constraints of space due to living with parents or being a student I’ve never had the opportunity. Since moving into my current house with my then fiance (now wife) I’ve occasionally thought about making some terrain but our dining room table simply isn’t big enough. This hasn’t really been a problem as up until now I’ve contented myself playing at friends’ houses or at the club. However, with my recent purchase of Dreadfleet I really want a space to play at home as it will be rather impractical to transport everything needed to play. As our dining room table is too small for the seascape matt from the box I knew I would need to find a way to ‘embiggen’ the tabletop (as they might say on The Simpsons). It was my stepdad who suggested using two pieces of loft floorboarding in order to increase the size of the table to the recommended 6′x4′. As these floorboards are ‘tongue and groove’, as I believe the technical term is, they hold together well and are surprisingly sturdy so there is no danger of them flipping up and catapulting dozens of painted models all over the room. It was also my stepdad who went to the effort of constructing it for me as well (I’m not very practical) so many thanks to Darren for this.

Our dining room table:

The ‘embiggened’ table:

All set up for a game of Dreadfleet:

Here are some photos of the supports. You can see how the two pieces lock together and the wooden battens that fit the board snuggly against the edges of the table to prevent slippage:

Now that the foundations of the project are laid the plan is to create a set of 2′x2′ modular tiles from polystyrene insulation in order to provide a more interesting surface to play over. My first board is going to be for Mordheim, a game I hope to get back into in the New Year if I can drum up some support among my friends.

Until next time,


I have made some progress with the shipwrecks and other pieces. Here they are on the gaming mat:

I’m not entirely happy with the volcano. I may yet go back and repaint the lava.

More to follow.

I must say that on receiving my copy of Games Workshop’s latest limited edition release, Dreadfleet I really was impressed. The box is much larger and weightier than I expected and made of a thick, durable cardboard. There was even a thin sheet of card separating the plastic sprues from the rulebook and cards ensuring that they do not get scratched. The deep box really is filled with plastic and a lot of thought has clearly gone into the layout of the sprues which are absolutely packed with ships, islands, monsters and all manner of gaming accessories. One thing I really like about the set is the fact that, with the obvious exception of the cards and dice, all of the gaming counters/pieces required for the game are models in themselves. It’s little details like this that really make the game stand out. The detail on the models is very crisp and there are very few mold lines to remove. The designers have also made good use of ‘negative space’ on the shipwrecks and models such as the Shadewraith.

I only have a few complaints about the set and these are very minor indeed, hardly worth noting at all. Firstly, the giant skulls are a bit silly but skulls are increasingly becoming a part of the Warhammer aesthetic (so much so in fact that one GW blog post on Dreadfleet reads: “Like all things Dreadfleet, it is, of course, liberally covered in skulls” -29.09.11). I guess it’s just a matter of personal taste. Also, there is only one design of cog for each fleet which is odd considering the amount of detail that has gone into the rest of the design. However, again this is only a very minor complaint, just nitpicking really.

Since its release the internet has been awash with comments and reviews about Dreadfleet, some good, and some bad. However, I for one am certainly very happy with my purchase. Although I have not yet played a game,I am incredibly satisfied with the models which is the primary reason why I bought the game.

Painting the Terrain

When it came to painting the set, I decided to start with the terrain and various gubbins that come in the box as these will be needed for every scenario. So far work has commenced on the islands and shipwreck pieces, all of which are in various stages of painting. For these I started with a coat of Charadon Granite followed by a heavy drybrush of Charadon Granite and Codex Grey and then pure Codex Grey. This looked a little too grey and so I followed this with a slightly more patchy drybrush of Khemri Brown. This was followed with Fortress Grey, a Fortress Grey and Bleached Bone mix and finally Bleached Bone on its own. For each drybrush I used less and less paint until I was only catching the fine details of the model. Watered-down Catachan Green was then applied to add some more variety, concentrating on the bottom of each piece where the tide would result in the rocks becoming very green and slimy. Leviathan Purple (a very appropriately named colour for this project) was then painted into the recesses to add depth and variation to the shadows and to mimic the slightly purplish hue that rocks have in real life.

The water was painted Regal Blue to provide a nice dark base to work from. This was then layered with Hawk Turquoise leaving only the recesses uncovered and highlighted by adding increasing amounts of Skull White to Hawk Turquoise. The water was then randomly washed with Asurmen Blue and Thrakka Green to provide additional variation. The white spray on the crest of the waves was stippled Atronomican Grey followed by Skull White.

More to follow soon. Have a good week.