Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Forgotten Art of Homemade Terrain

With all of GW's spiffy new terrain sets out now, I wonder if people have forgotten the wonders of making your own terrain. I simply love the character and personality that gets imbued in a piece terrain when it's made from scratch. The industrial shed above is one I recently made from styrofoam, card stock and small PVC piping. 90% of this intact building is found parts, the most expensive component being the paint, which is just acrylic paint bought at around 3 bucks a tube.

I found a really neat piece of styrofoam from some packaging laid out on my neighbors front lawn for the trashman. I picked it up and instantly saw the potential of great intact building for our games. I took it home and first glued it to a base of black 1 inch thick foamcore. The next thing I did was cut up small squares of cardstock and glued them to the base for tiling around the structure. Then I started adding detail. The windows and doors come from old predator and rhino sets. The door even has a 'doorbell' or computerized security system, I think I found this interesting piece from an apocalypse set. Once I had all of the detailing done, I had to paint it with textured paint. I mixed up my own textured paint by adding Crayola texture it! Tempera Mixing Medium with some basic acrylic paint. This was done before priming it because spray-primer will ruin styrofoam and release noxious gasses into the air. So once it was fully covered in paint, I let it dry then primed it.

After priming, I painted it with acrylics and I mixed charcoal grey, brunt umber and a little white to base coat the structure. Then I highlighted it by adding a desert tan color to the mix until I was satisfied with the overall appearance. Then I painted the details with Dwarf Bronze.

Once the paint was dry, I glued on the ID numbers and the posters to the back of the building. These came from the GW website. For some reason these are no longer available, but I found some great ones on the Warseer, follow LINK to download those yourself. Adding these details to your terrain really bring out the character of the piece. It makes it look like a real building that exists in a real world.

I've collected just a couple of links of great homemade terrain pieces:
Tau Themed Board in progress
Tau Settlement
Great Homemade Cityfight
Sweet Tau Power Generator
Awesome bunker and fortifications from found styrofoam

Do you know more great sites and showcases of homemade terrain? I'm always looking for inspiration. Links will be added to this post as I get them.


Jingle_Bombs said...

I love making home made terrain. I mostly do buildings myself, and usually out of cardboard. Most recently I've started making some home-made planetstrike stuff, and I've found it's dead easy to make bastions out of shoeboxes lol. They do pale somewhat in comparison to your shed though, but there's only so much you can do with cardboard.

A thousand thanks for the warseer link, btw. I'm going to pimp up my existing terrain with some of those posters when I get home tommorow.

Old Shatter Hands said...

Thanks for your comment, Jingle Bombs. nice name by the way. Cardboard, eh? Doesn't it warp when you paint it?

Shas Zam said...

I've done up a Utility Building for Tau...

There's more on the way...

suneokun said...

Nice... good tip for Tau players. Next easter, hang on to all those easter egg plastic holders... Their weird and wonderful shapes make superb Tau buildings, with Domes, Towers etc...

Haunter said...

Hey Shatter Hands, the same thing happens to me when I see styrofoam laying around. I just started a 40k blog and started with some terrain I built from foam about to be trashed:

I ordered some more paint and citadel washes, so what I have will get some aged look to it in the near future. I'm gunna keep my eyes out for a piece like yours because it definitely looks the part for Imperial-type construction.