4 Flavours of Ruins

The scenery making bandwagon continues its relentless roll towards 12 tables for the 2018 Age of Sigmar masters in Australia and over the past fortnight I’ve been working on some Azyrite Ruins for a number of different tables.

I wanted to put together a quick post showing how I’m dressing up the ruins to fit different themes.

One kit, lots of possibilities.

Azyrite Ruins

Shameless bit of promotion: it’s a great kit! I obtained several a few months back thinking they had only half the contents they had but it turns out there’s quite a lot to them.

Basic prep and assembly

You get double what you see in the sprues above. It’s a good quality kit, easy to assemble and gentle on the mold lines.

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I had a few to get through… woops.

Several hours of filing later, I’ve got a bunch of ruins pieces to work with. I had a go at building some multi-story ruins and managed to come up with a couple of nice pieces.

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I tend to be quite rigid when I’m making bases for my scenery. There’s no really good reason why beyond liking to have a bit of control over how much table space a full set of scenery will take up.

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After all these are cut out I use construction adhesive to glue the ruins to the MDF.

Four Flavours of Ruins

I’ve already used some in my Realm of Ghur table that I didn’t really do much to other than adding some fake succulents to fit the theme of the table.

I’m going to do something similar by adding mushrooms to some ruins for a future table. As a bit of a sneak peek at what I’ll be using, the Mushrooms I’ll be using are these.

They actually come from a ‘Fairy Gardening’ supplies place (which I’ve just recently learnt is a thing). They’re made of resin, ranging from 4cm to 12cm in height.

Unfortunately they haven’t arrived yet so I don’t have much to show, suffice to say they’ll be very similar to the Ghur table in terms of implementation.

For the next two, things get a little interesting.

Firstly a Deepkin themed table. I’ve added some pieces of blue foam so that once I get some filler and sand on I can give the impression of banked up sand, as though the tide has come and gone. I’ve also added some chunks of fake coral. I bought an aquarium ornament and smashed it into several pieces. Mix it all together and you get this.

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At the time of these photos I’m still waiting for glue to dry so I haven’t had a chance to add the filler yet. I’ll chuck some more photos on Twitter once I get that far, but hopefully you get the idea.

These elements of piled up sand and pieces of coral will be spread across the whole table.

Finally, we have a Nurgle table on the go. You may have seen this image on Twitter earlier in the week.

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These are not dumplings, Matt.

This is the result of putting small amounts of Expanding Foam on a glossy surface (so it doesn’t stick) and waiting 24 hours or so for it to set.

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It naturally forms a smooth bulbous shape – perfect for some giant blisters of filth on a Nurgle table. A bit of trimming later, and we get this.

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Finally, some tentacles, to give the impression of Nurgle’s corruption spreading throughout the ruins.

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This will of course be covered with filler, gravel and sand to blend it all together but overall I’m hoping you can see where I’m heading with this. Again I plan on putting these elements across the whole table to tie it all together.

Up next

I’m hoping to get all these into a much more finished state over the next week or so and I’ll put some images up on Twitter when I do.

After that I’ll be focusing on the build for my Free Peoples Village table and Nurgle table.

On a non-scenery related note I’m also working more on my Chaos army which I hope to show more of soon.

As usual, thanks for reading!

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Chamon, the Realm of Metal – Part 2

After a bit of a hiatus due being away for two events and sick for a number of weeks I’ve finally gotten back into two things:

  1. Working on my Slaves to Darkness army… more on that later in the week!
  2. Painting terrain for my increasingly ambitious goal of completing 12 tables of terrain for the Australian AoS masters this year.

You may remember my Realm of Chamon (metal) table from a few months back. It was actually the first one that I built but I’ve jumped around a bit since then. You can see details of the build in this post.

To refresh your memory this is where the table got up to.

Chamon01

Side note – if anyone knows how to photograph something this big without random stuff from my garage in the shot, please tell me!

There is basically three different pieces on the table:

  1. 3D printed pieces by Dark Fantastic Mills.
  2. Larger metal ‘crystal’ pieces from blue foam.
  3. Hills made up geometric pieces of various heights.

 

The colours

In terms of a colour scheme I wanted to keep the Realm of Metal theme on the piece. When I first thought about this table a few months back I downloaded a picture of Bismuth to work from. That’s this stuff by the way:

bismuth

 

In the end, I painted the whole table with these colours:

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Not pictured here because I used the last of it and foolishly threw out the empty bottle before I could get a family photo is Aluminium by Model Air.

I also used Nebula Copper, a colorshift paint by Greenstuff World. It’s difficult to photograph but there’s a slight colour shifting appearance to all the metal on the table.

The Eclipse Grey, Mechanicum Standard Grey and Administratum Grey were all colour matched at the local hardware into half litre tins. Given the volume of paint I’ll be using not only for this table but also several others it’s the way to go.

 

The process

After a black undercoat I used an airbrush to spray a base coat of ‘Rust’. After that, a rough highlight of ‘Copper’ and then some ‘Artic Blue’ towards the bottom of each piece. Finally the tips of each pieces were given a light touch of Aluminium.

After that was all dry, a couple of coats of Nebula Copper to finish them off.

Chamon07

After the metals were done I moved on to the bases and the hills. They were all done the same. Base coat of Eclipse Grey, first drybrush of Mechanicum Standard grey and second of Administratum Grey. The edges of the hexagons on the hills were given a heavier drybrush.

After the paint was done I added some patches of static grass and some yellow and green flower tufts for a bit of colour.

 

The end result

Spires

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‘Crystal’ formations

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Hills

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The full table

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In the end I was happy with how this came out but I don’t think the table is as nice as the Realm of Ghur (beasts) table that I made. If I get time I might revisit some of the pieces later in the year.

I also think I’ll add some green patches to the base boards so it blends in a little more with the grass on the pieces of terrain.

 

Up next

Aside from continued work on my Slaves to Darkness army I will be working on some Azyrite ruins for a variety of tables. I’ll be looking to take the basic kit and theme it for four different tables in a number of ways.

I’m also looking to set up a new website and a little side venture that I’ve been cooking up. I’ve also got a plan in place to make more regular updates here.

As usual thanks for reading!

Ghur, the Realm of Beasts

Construction on the second of twelve tables is now complete with only a Realmgate to go which should be making its way to me soon.

I’ve been sneaking a few pictures onto Twitter as I went along and I’ve had a few questions about how I did certain things so without further introduction let’s get to the good bit.

General info

A few points to get us started that are common to all the pieces you see here:

  1. The bases of each terrain piece is 6mm MDF board. I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again, if you are going to cut or sand MDF board please use appropriate safety equipment. You absolutely should not be breathing the dust it creates.
  2. Unless otherwise noted below, all the gluing was done with Liquid Nails. It’s an all-purpose construction adhesive that will glue just about anything to anything else.

Cork Bark

To get the desired texture on the rocky features on this table I used a lot of Cork Back. It’s a great product, easy to cut to size and has a nice natural look to it.

I bought a bag of mixed off-cuts and also two tubes.

Ghur-Cork-01.jpg

Ghur-Cork-02

Rocky Outcrops

Originally I was gong to make some pieces the same size as a Citadel Wood, but once the other pieces came together I needed to reduce the size on these pieces a bit so that it all fit on the table.

I missed the first photo here, but after cutting some pieces of MDF to the size I wanted I had a dig through my Cork Bark off-cuts until I found some bits that fit nicely. I also got some small Azyrite Ruins pieces and added them in and then glued the whole lot down with construction adhesive.

Next some filler to blend it all together.

Ghur-Outcrops-01.jpg

The filler blends the bark to the base and hides all the joins. Finally I give the whole lot a coat of sand with a few sprinkles of bonsai pebbles.

Ghur-Outcrops-02.jpg

Ruins

These are pretty straight forward. Azyrite Ruins straight out of the box, glued to an MDF base, sand and bonsai pebbles to complete.

Ghur-Ruins-01.jpg

Rocky plateaus

To create some nice line-of-sight blocking terrain for this table I decided to create some rocky pillars. Originally I was going to do this so that it looked like the old Looney Tunes style dessert scenery that you saw in episodes of Road Runner (feel free to run that through Google if you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s a bit dated!)

I changed direction though and went with the cork bark tubes.

To start off with I cut the tubes to lengths of between 6 and 8 inches. I actually used a power saw to do this but you could do it with a regular old hand saw easily enough.

I then placed these temporarily on an MDF board and traced around them to get the footprint right for the bases. Once it was all settled I glued them down with construction adhesive.

Ghur-Mesa-01.jpg

The blue paint on the top was put there to help with cutting blue foam for the next step. I put the paint around the edges of the opening and then placed a piece of blue foam over the top so the paint transferred. After that, cut the blue foam to the right shape and then glue into place.

Ghur-Mesa-02.jpg

I left this to dry for a day so that the blue foam was well and truly in place. After that, some filler to completely seal the openings and also to blend the bases into the bark tubes.

Ghur-Mesa-03.jpg

Bonus Azyrite Ruins in this photo because I was too lazy to move them!

Hills

The idea here was to create something that looked like a sand dune. Not really sure if I’m happy how these came out, but they’ll do for now.

First, some jelly bean shaped MDF and matching piece of blue foam. I wanted it to look like it was a wind-swept landscape.

Ghur-Hills-01.jpg

Once they were stuck together I gave them a sand to smooth them out and bring the edges of the foam closer to the base piece of MDF.

Ghur-Hills-02.jpg

Ghur-Hills-03.jpg

On a side note, each hill is about 50mm or 2 inches tall. This might be problematic for positioning of miniatures. If this winds up being the case I’ll probably redo these two pieces.

Next, just like everything else, some filler to blend it all together. Once this was dry they got a light sand to smooth it all out again.

Ghur-Hills-04.jpg

Construction complete

In the end this is what I came up with. They’ll be sealed (already done) and painted next.

Ghur-Completed-01.jpg

Once this table is painted it will have a decent chunk of vegetation added in the form of some artificial succulents.

Not sure what table I’ll work on next. I’ve got the Free Peoples village underway but that’s a longer-term project so I might take a run at the Aztec or Nurgle table next.

Until then, thanks for stopping by and reading.

Chamon, the Realm of Metal

Construction on my first of twelve tables is now complete with only a Realmgate to go which is being generously assembled by Clint from Heralds of War (along with 11 other Realmgates and a dozen Citadel Woods).

I’ve been sneaking a few pictures onto Twitter as I went along and I’ve had a few questions about how I did certain things so without further introduction let’s get to the good bit.

General info

A few points to get us started that are common to all the pieces you see here:

  1. The bases of each terrain piece is 6mm MDF board. I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again, if you are going to cut or sand MDF board please use appropriate safety equipment. You absolutely should not be breathing the dust it creates.
  2. Unless otherwise noted below, all the gluing was done with Liquid Nails. It’s an all-purpose construction adhesive that will glue just about anything to anything else.

‘Tree’ stands

As I’ve mentioned several times before I’ve had my eyes on the 3D printed scenery pieces by @garrisimo (you can see the full range at ageofhobby.com) and I was particularly interested in the Metal Spires for this table. I traced the standard Citadel Wood base piece and the rest was fairly straight forward.

Chamon02.jpg

Once the 3D pieces were glued to the board in roughly the same position as the trees normally go in a standard Citadel Wood I used plasterboard filler to blend it together.

Hexagon Hills

I wanted some hills on this board, but I didn’t want them to just be basic rounded over foam hills. I wanted it to fit with the aesthetic I had in mind (basically, angled edges rather than rounded organic shapes).

I had an idea, but I needed a few things to make it happen:

  1. Hexagon Floor molds from http://www.hirstarts.com/molds/molds.html. I bought two sizes – 1.5 inch and 2 inch.
  2. Dental Plaster for the molds. You can use ordinary plaster but dental plaster is both stronger and lighter. A 20kg bag of Dental Plaster from my local hardware store set me back $36 and I’ve used maybe 20% of the bag and made more piece than I need.
  3. Blue foam which I already had in bulk.
  4. A hot wire foam cutter table. This I’ll use for several tables. It set me back about $120 on eBay.

First I molded up a couple of hundred hexagon floor pieces. To speed up the drying process you can chuck them in a cheap food dehydrator. Cuts the drying time from a couple of weeks for a fully dried out piece to a couple of days.

Next I glued enough of the molded pieces to strips of blue foam of different thicknesses. PVA glue is just fine for sticking the molded pieces to the foam. It takes a couple of hours to dry so if you’re in a hurry you probably want to use something else.

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Once this was dry I put my shiny new hot wire table to use. As you can possibly tell this is a high quality brand name product… I have no idea what any of labeling says and the power plug is a bit iffy but it gets the job done.

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I used the foam wire table to cut around each hexagon floor tile so that basically I had pieces raised to different heights.

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A few hours later, you have a lovely pile of hexagon tiles of assorted heights.

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Next up I assembled the hills by mixing a bunch of different heights together. I made two ‘small’ hills that are roughly eight inches in diameter and one ‘large’ hill that is about twelve inches across.

Chamon08.jpg

Next up a bit of filler to blend in the edges and some random lines drawn into the foam with a pen.

Chamon09.jpg

Finally I needed to add a little texture to the foam so I gave the foam and some of the hexagon floor tiles a coating of tile grout. I use tile grout because it’s cheap, comes in colours so a nice dark colour like the one below is handy, and has a nice texture to it. Just ignore the instructions on the pack and add a lot more water than normal.

Chamon10.jpg

Crystal formations

Sticking with the hexagon theme I decided to put together some crystal formations for the final pieces on the table. Cue the handy new foam wire table again.

It’s a little bit hard to tell from this photo, but the table I bought can be adjusted to cut at different angles. I set it to cut at 30 degrees and then ran pieces of blue foam through with the guide set at various widths.

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It’s a bit tedious, but the end result is several hexagonal lengths of blue foam.

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I skipped a few steps here in terms of photos but this is the end result.

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In terms of steps involved in getting here:

  1. Cut some of the hexagonal lengths to different sizes including angled ends. A bit of arrangement is required here to get them looking nice.
  2. Cut angled pieces off the top of each ‘crystal’ with a sharp knife.
  3. Use a fine grit sanding paper (I used 1200) to side the foam smooth and found off the edges a little.
  4. Glue it all together and then again some filler to blend it all together (not shown here).

Bringing it all together

Final step is to get some texture on the base pieces. I mentioned in a previous post about different materials you can get your hands on. I used two different products here. On the left is some bonsai pebbles and on the right aquarium sand.

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A light sprinkle of the bonsai pebbles and a coating of the sand gives a nice texture to work with later on. After painting I’ll be adding some flock and static grass so it won’t be 100% sand around the edges.

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Some finished pieces, ready for painting:

…and a family shot of the table as a whole including a set of the 3mm boards that I’ve painted previously:

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The only missing piece is a Realmgate which will be coming my way in a few weeks. After that arrives it’ll be time for paint.

The next table I’ll be starting construction on will be an Aztec / Lizardman themed table.

Until then, thanks for stopping by and reading.

Twelve Tables – part 2

On the back of my previous post listing the first six tables I plan to produce for the 2018 Australian Masters I’ve now got the second lot sorted out.

Unfortunately I’ve been sick for the last week and a half now and still not 100% so my progress on building the tables at the moment has been extremely limited. I’m hoping to be fully back on my feet this weekend and that will allow me to get construction on the first table done.

A quick reminder – the tables needed to follow some rules I set for myself:

  1. Since this is for matched play, every table will have the same number of scenery pieces and be roughly symmetrical.
  2. Again due to this being for matched play, the pieces of scenery need to be functional as well as looking pretty.
  3. Each table needs to have a realmgate on it. No real reason here other than I think it fits nicely in AoS.
  4. Each table will have a centre piece.
  5. Each table will have a theme. I could just put together a pile of scenery and not worry about exactly how the tables look, but I like the idea of each table being something unique.

Table seven: Realm of Shyish (Death)

For this one I’ll be making another visit to www.ageofhobby.com by @Garrisimo to pick up some 3D printed pieces and mixing them in with Games Workshop stuff.

  • 4x Citadel Woods with some of the ‘Ribs’ (3D printed) mixed in with the actual trees.
  • 2x small graveyards
  • Large graveyard
  • 2x temple ruins (3D printed)
  • 2x Sphinx (3D printed)
  • Realmgate

Table eight: Desert

This is another ‘classic’ table I’ve always wanted to do. I don’t want to do a fully barren wasteland though and I think Ikea of all places will be the ones to help with that. For the vegetation on this table I plan on using a bunch of artificial plants, succulents specifically, spread throughout all the pieces.

  • 3x ruins (the new Azyrite ones)
  • 2x catcus tree stands
  • 2x sand dune hills
  • 2x large stacked boulders (think Looney Tunes style from the Roadrunner cartoons… who remembers that?)
  • 2x small stacked boudlers
  • Realmgate

Table nine: Mushroom Forrest

I’m not going to pretend I came up with this idea on my own. Ever since I saw the amazing blue mushroom Moonclan army and accompanying scenery by @Bishmeister1 I’ve wanted to a do a table just like it.

I plan on keeping all the shapes on this table quite rounded and organic looking.

  • 4x mushroom ‘tree’ stands
  • 3x rocky outcrop (I found some great aquarium pieces that will provide a nice smooth looking rock to accompany the mushrooms)
  • 2x large-height mushroom groups
  • 2x medium-height mushroom groups
  • Realmgate

Table ten: Khorne

A few days after I came up with this idea I learnt that the vast majority of the Chaos Dreadhold scenery was no longer available, but thanks to some help from the customer service folks at Games Workshop I was able to arrange for several kits to be sent to my local store from various locations scattered through-out the country.

Great news!

Now it seems Australia Post has lost half of it. Not great news. I’m hoping it all shows up. If it doesn’t, then I’ll need a new plan here.

  • 2x corner pieces (scenery that sits specifically in the corner of the table, I might revisit this as I’m not sure it fits with the Matched Play requirement). These pieces will Overlord Bastion and Malefic Gateway kits.
  • Large centrepiece consisting of an Overlord Bastion, some rocks, pools of blood and a fountain using a weird daemon head statue I found a few years ago.
  • 4x rocky spire ‘tree’ stands
  • 2x Skull Keep
  • 2x small blood pools
  • Realmgate

Table eleven: Nurgle

With the Maggotkin of Nurgle release not too far behind us I wanted to throw together something to fit. I actually put this in the list as a way to try out a few ideas I have for making a disgusting looking table that isn’t just slime overkill. Everything will have a touch of nurgle to it.

  • 4x tree stands
  • 4x infested ruins (Azyrite ones with Deathworld forrest pieces mixed in)
  • 1x large rocky outcrop / slime pools
  • 2x medium rocky outcrop / slime pools
  • Realmgate

Table twelve: Idoneth Deepkin raid

With the Deepkin around the corner how could I resist!?

I found some great fake coral pieces for aquariums that will suit nicely, plus a couple of the new shipwreck kits, and throw in some Laketown House kits from LotR and I think we’ll have a nice table showing a sea-side town that’s been raided by the Deepkin.

  • 2x tree stands
  • 2x Shipwrecks (half)
  • 1x Shipwreck (full)
  • 2x Coral outcrops
  • 4x Azyrite Ruins
  • Realmgate

This table will also some non-scenery pieces of scenery (bits that are just for show, not intended to be rolled for) including a shoreline and maybe a small river.

That’s it for now. Assuming my lingering illness goes away I hope to have some results to show you all in the next week or so.

As usual, thanks for stopping by!

Twelve Tables – part 1

A few weeks back I mentioned a goal I set for myself to produce tables for the 2018 Australian Masters.

Now that the news is out about the plan to have space for 24 players this year rather than the traditional 16 this means I need to produce 12 tables. Not a small task by any stretch of the imagination!

As I’ve mentioned before, the first thing I did when I set this task was to sit down and come up with some themes for each table.

A quick reminder – the tables needed to follow some rules I set for myself:

  1. Since this is for matched play, every table will have the same number of scenery pieces and be roughly symmetrical.
  2. Again due to this being for matched play, the pieces of scenery need to be functional as well as looking pretty.
  3. Each table needs to have a realmgate on it. No real reason here other than I think it fits nicely in AoS.
  4. Each table will have a centre piece.
  5. Each table will have a theme. I could just put together a pile of scenery and not worry about exactly how the tables look, but I like the idea of each table being something unique.

 

Without any further preamble, here’s my 12 ideas.

 

Table one: Free peoples village

This one I’ve mentioned already. I’ll be using the tabletop world pieces for the most part.

  • 2x Citadel Woods
  • 2x small houses
  • Medium house
  • Merchant shop
  • Blacksmith
  • Watermill
  • Large house
  • Guard tower
  • Graveyard
  • Realmgate

There’s also going to be a bit of a water feature on one table corner and a river but I’m not counting these as scenery pieces for gaming purposes.

 

Table two: Realm of Chamon (Metal)

When I first thought about this table I pictured Bismuth. For anyone who’s not sure, it’s this stuff:

bismuth.jpg

 

With this in mind I wanted to include a lot of geometric shapes. I’ve picked up several pieces in the past from www.ageofhobby.com by @Garrisimo which will feature on this table. I also have some molds from www.hirstarts.com. Combined with some blue foam in a process that I’ll detail later we wind up with something like this:

hexHills.png

 

As for the rest of the table:

  • 4x ‘Metal forest’ trees (using these metal spires)
  • 4x Hexagon spires
  • 2x small geometric hills like the one shown above
  • 1x large geometric hill
  • 1x Realmgate

 

Table three: Aztec Jungle

This is more of classic throwback to the world-that-was. An Aztec / Jungle / Lizardman table. I’ll be using lots of Aquarium plants and some greenstuff rollers from greenstuff world to produce some nice Aztec-themed ruins and temples.

  • 2x Jungle patches (same size as a Citadel Wood)
  • 2x smaller jungle patches (I wanted a lot of foliage on this table)
  • 2x water features (thinking Lizardman spawning pool style)
  • 2x small ruins
  • 2x small Aztec pyramid
  • 1x large Aztec pyramid
  • Realmgate

 

Table four: Ice table

For this one I wanted to produce what I guess you’d consider a ‘classic’ ice table. The features are the usual suspects. I want to include a lot of soft shapes in the form of snow drifts and hard shapes in the form of ice crystals. I want it to look like a blizzard is in full force while two armies battle it out.

  • 3x houses (log cabin style!)
  • 2x large snow drifts
  • 2x small snow drifts
  • 2x large ice crystals
  • 2x small ice crystals
  • Realmgate

I’m a little nervous on this one. I think I need something to add a bit of excitement to it.

 

Table five: Realm of Aqshy (Fire)

This is fairly straight forward table – fire, ash, volcanic rock. I’ve stumbled across some great volcanic rocks used for lizard enclosures at a pet store a week or so ago that will form several parts of this table. I neglected to grab a photo though.

I’m also going to break out the hexagon hills again for this one.

  • 4x scorched tree stands (Citadel Wood size)
  • 2x small hexagonal hills with lava features
  • 1x large hexagonal hill with lava features
  • 2x ‘ash vents’ (think hole in the ground with ash spewing out of it)
  • 2x ‘lava vents’ (think the opening of an active volcano)
  • Realmgate

 

Table six: Shattered Realm / Realm of Chaos

This one is heavily inspired by the ‘shattered realm’ 3d printed terrain that I’ve seen floating about (literally!) but I wanted to make my own so that the pieces could be a little larger.

I’ll use clear acrylic rod to suspend the floating pieces and make it look like chunks of the ground are floating away.

  • 3x medium floating islands
  • 1x large floating island
  • 2x shattered towers (think a stone tower that is breaking up and floating upwards)
  • 2x ‘ruptured ground’ ( I want to create something that looks like the ground is tearing open)
  • 2x tree stands (Citadel Wood)
  • Realmgate

 

That’s it for now. The other six I’ll post up in a week or two and I’ll be previewing the first WIP terrain pieces after the Easter long weekend.

As usual, thanks for stopping by!

How to: Ice bases

I’ve been asked several times now and as promised in response I put together a step-by-step guide on how I did the ice themed bases for my Sigmar’s Fallen army.

Before I begin though, I knew what I wanted to do for this and I took most of the ideas from a post I found about a year ago. I cannot for the life of me find it again. It was to do with making bases for a Warmachine force I think. I got the product names and basic steps from there and customized it to fit what I wanted.

If anyone reading this thinks they actually know the article I’m talking about then please let me know and I will update this to give appropriate credit where credit is due.

 

Part 1 – Ice shards

The first thing to do is make some ‘ice shards’ to fill the base. To do this I used a product called Distress Crackle Paint Clear Rock Candy.

IceBase01

 

I created two different thicknesses, one about 3-4mm thick and another about 2mm thick. Simply pour it into a flat container of some kind and wait a day or so. The thicker one took about 3 days to form shards properly.

IceBase02

 

Once this is dry you will wind up with something like this.

IceBase03

 

The shards may appear to have a yellow tint to them when they first come out but as soon as you put them near any other colour they hold that colour, so it’s not really a problem.

Meanwhile…

 

Part 2 – Base modification

To create a sense of ‘depth’ inside the base itself, you need to modify the stock standard GW bases so that they’re essentially inverted. This is a bit of a fiddly process and I’m glad I did it, but if you wanted to I suspect you could simply use an unmodified base and just assemble the base on top of the normal flat surface.

Each base needs to have the majority of the flat top removed so there there is about a 1.5mm ‘rim’ around the base. I used a spade bit to do it as I found that a 25mm bit is perfect for 32mm bases and a 19mm bit is perfect for 25mm bases.

IceBase04

 

For the oval bases it was all done with a Dremel.

Once I had a whole lot of black plastic rings I glued them to a sheet of plastic card, 1.5mm thick. Once dry, cut around the bases and Dremel/file/sand the edges smooth. I ended up using some 1200 grit sand paper to smooth out the edges as I found that if I didn’t the join between the base itself and the plastic sheet was really noticeable.

IceBase05

 

Repeat many, MANY times. This is a slow process, I won’t lie. It’s a fairly mindless task though, I managed to smash out about 30 of the 32mm bases in a night with a couple of movies on.

IceBase06

 

This is the end result. Most of the bases for my 2000pt army are here except for some 25mm ones which I am waiting on some more to arrive.

 

Step 3: Painting

Now it’s time to break out the paints. It’s the only time you will for this other than edging the bases later.

First I undercoated the bases black and then using an airbrush (for speed more than anything else) I sprayed the inside with Temple Guard Blue and some small patches of Sybarite Green.

IceBase07

 

It’s important to remember here that the ice shards are going to pick up whatever colour you spray in this step. If you want a darker result that I got, then use a darker blue. They will appear darker than the colour you use at this stage though as when you add the snow later you’re cutting down the amount of light that can get in and therefore it all gets darker.

After this is dry, I used a vary watered down white paint (about 2:1 water to paint) and painted very thin straight lines across the bottom of each base.

IceBase08

 

Next I used an Iridecent Medium, again very watered down (about 3:1 water to medium) and washed the inside of each base so that it had a light ‘sparkle’ to it. It’s quite hard to see in photos but it’s definitely noticeable in the end result.

 

Step 4: Assembly

Now it’s time to bring it all together.

Before I actually glued anything together I did a dry run so I know what pieces would initially go in each base. The aim at this point was to fill the majority of the hollowed out section only, but not go too far over the edge of the base. This is what the 3-4mm pieces are for.

IceBase09

 

Once I was happy with what was going into each base I glued them in. To ‘glue’ the pieces together I didn’t actually use glue at all. I used a two-part resin product called EnviroTex Lite which you can find on eBay and probably several other supplies as well.

I filled each hollowed out base about half way up with resin using a syringe and then placed all the pieces into the base.

Update 1 May 2018: In more recent versions of this that I’ve been working on I’ve been adding some drops of Drakenhof Nightshade to the resin for this step. It results in a darker look to the ‘water’ between the shards of ice. Produces a better result I think.

You get about 30 minutes working time with the resin before it gets too hard to use, so only mix what you can in that time. To give an idea of how much I’m going through, I did 30 of the 32mm bases with about 15ml of each part, so the 1 litre kit I bought it easily going to do this whole project.

I couldn’t really get a photo of this step. At this stage it’s really just a big glossy thing that doesn’t photograph well. Short story, you should have a base with a relatively level top. The shards will be mostly visible but it will all have started to blend together a bit.

Next I pick out a selection of the thinner shards to layer over the top. Again I did a dry run and then ‘glued’ them in place with a small drop of the resin.

IceBase11

 

There may be some gaps between the bottom of the shards and the top of the base but as long as everything is stuck on at this point that doesn’t matter. You can see the shards overlap the edge of the base as well.

Once this is all dry, I went back to the crackle paint I used in step one and loaded up a syringe with a blunt needle on it. I then basically ‘injected’ the crackle paint around the shards on top and built up the edges a bit.

IceBase10

 

The syringe will be ruined by this, but they’re quite cheap so I just throw them out when I’m done.

Once it’s dry, you should have something like this.

IceBase12

 

You can see the larger shards surrounded by the crackly paint. Again it’s hard to photograph at this point. I probably needed to use something other than my phone and a desk lamp, but hopefully you get the idea.

The bases are now ready to have models mounted on them.

 

Step 5: Adding models

Each model is pinned to it’s base. You can easily drill through the ‘ice’ but it may crumble if you’re too close to the edge. This doesn’t really matter though. Ice breaks, right? Just be careful if you’re planning on have a shard in a particular spot and then try to drill into it.

IceBase13

 

The shards are not even or flat, so inevitably there will be visible pins like the one I’ve circled above.

Not a problem though, Valhallan Blizzard to the rescue! With a little bit of strategic positioning you can cover up any small imperfections easily enough. This is the same move after the snow went on. I also overlapped the snow on the base rim a little bit so blend it all together a bit more.

IceBase14

 

Finally paint the base rims as normal. I debated using a colour other than black for this but in the end I think it turned out best with a black rim anyway.

IceBase15

 

As you can see, this is a lengthy process. There’s a lot of drying time in here. The crackle paint takes days to dry when you’re making the shards, and the resin takes about 4 hours to set. It’s not a fast process, but I think the end result is really cool. I’m very happy with it.

 

Other things I considered

I did toy with the idea of adding things into the ice, like Skulls or discarded weapons. In the end I decided not to bother on the infantry for the army. The characters will be another story though!

As usual, thanks for reading, and if you have any questions or want any clarification then please ask either on here or on Twitter.