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  1. #1
    Member Hobbit88's Avatar
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    Basing and Painting Terrain for a Noobie

    Hi all,

    I'm currently in the process of making about 20 or so pieces of terrain to populate tables at a Tournament in August. I've got to the stage where I've cut my hardboard bases, sanded the edges, bevelled them so figures can rest on them easily and glued down my pieces of terrain (bottle lids etc.) to the base and left to dry over night.

    Now I'm in a bit of a dilemma and would like some help off the terrain boffins in these parts...

    Question 1: To texture my hardboard bases, what is the best thing to use that not only gives me a texture close to GW modelling sand - but is also cheap enough to be used on 20 odd pieces of terrain?

    I've had a look at local DIY stores (I also work in one) and can't find dried Sand anywhere and don't really have the time or space to leave a big bag of sand out to air dry overnight, since all the bags seem to contain slushy sand, kind of like what you get when waves hit beach sand.

    I have also heard people say of using Cat Litter and I had a look in the Supermarket near me earlier on and there's a few varieties, so I'm unsure what to use since there's things like Clay type and I don't fancy having a 40k table smell like a Cat's toilet.

    Question 2: When undercoating my terrain, what's the best way to go about it regarding texturing the surfaces and making them look rough.

    I know GW have the Roughcoat spray, but I'd only end up spraying that on for the texture and re-applying Black over it. But how dark is the actual Grey colour it sprays?

    Again, I've had a look around DIY stores for other textured sprays and can't find any, nor can I find Black textured paint in anything less than a £20 18 Litre tub... which is far too much.

    I think I'd be happy using the Roughcoat, or even Chaos Black spray, but if there's alternatives - especially cheaper ones - I'd like to hear!

    Question 3: Final question I promise... I don't want the bases of my terrain to be too flat and boring, but also don't want them so jagged and bumpy that miniatures can't balance on them.

    Is there anything I can use to subtly raise areas of the ground? One idea I had was plaster filler, but I dunno if it will crack or damage and it'll also be pretty heavy...

    Thanks in advance to anyone who can offer help, I'm intending on getting these bits tomorrow to get started on terrain tomorrow, but I'll make a fresh thread documenting making my first pieces of terrain if that's of interest to anyone?

    Thanks again all!

    Proud Member of Manchester Area Wargames Society
    http://maws40k.blogspot.com

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  3. #2
    LO Zealot gauss_storm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hobbit88 View Post
    Hi all,

    I'm currently in the process of making about 20 or so pieces of terrain to populate tables at a Tournament in August. I've got to the stage where I've cut my hardboard bases, sanded the edges, bevelled them so figures can rest on them easily and glued down my pieces of terrain (bottle lids etc.) to the base and left to dry over night.

    Now I'm in a bit of a dilemma and would like some help off the terrain boffins in these parts...

    Question 1: To texture my hardboard bases, what is the best thing to use that not only gives me a texture close to GW modelling sand - but is also cheap enough to be used on 20 odd pieces of terrain?

    I've had a look at local DIY stores (I also work in one) and can't find dried Sand anywhere and don't really have the time or space to leave a big bag of sand out to air dry overnight, since all the bags seem to contain slushy sand, kind of like what you get when waves hit beach sand.

    I have also heard people say of using Cat Litter and I had a look in the Supermarket near me earlier on and there's a few varieties, so I'm unsure what to use since there's things like Clay type and I don't fancy having a 40k table smell like a Cat's toilet.

    Question 2: When undercoating my terrain, what's the best way to go about it regarding texturing the surfaces and making them look rough.

    I know GW have the Roughcoat spray, but I'd only end up spraying that on for the texture and re-applying Black over it. But how dark is the actual Grey colour it sprays?

    Again, I've had a look around DIY stores for other textured sprays and can't find any, nor can I find Black textured paint in anything less than a £20 18 Litre tub... which is far too much.

    I think I'd be happy using the Roughcoat, or even Chaos Black spray, but if there's alternatives - especially cheaper ones - I'd like to hear!

    Question 3: Final question I promise... I don't want the bases of my terrain to be too flat and boring, but also don't want them so jagged and bumpy that miniatures can't balance on them.

    Is there anything I can use to subtly raise areas of the ground? One idea I had was plaster filler, but I dunno if it will crack or damage and it'll also be pretty heavy...

    Thanks in advance to anyone who can offer help, I'm intending on getting these bits tomorrow to get started on terrain tomorrow, but I'll make a fresh thread documenting making my first pieces of terrain if that's of interest to anyone?

    Thanks again all!
    Hey, wow what a post. I'll try to answer all of your questions.

    Ok so first of all for your sand, go down to a home depot or a place that sells building material like that and ask for a bag of "Play sand": it is sand that is used for sand boxs and is perfect for terrain. 5 dollars should get you about 55 pounds of this stuff! I personally like this stuff more, the GW sand looks fake and tacky.

    Kitty litter I noticed actually dries out the glue and just ends up crumbling off.

    No! dont buy GW rip off rough coat! Instead find some very very fine sand (a pet store will sell this) and mix it in with your base coat this way you can control the texture of your paint, spray painting is fast but hand painting your base coat will give you better results.

    Finally, there are several ways you can raise the ground. The way I normal do it is I take a large amount of white glue and mix in some sand until I get a thick paste, then I spread it around with a knife and shape it in the areas I want too.

    You can also use plaster and wood filler and so on.


  4. #3
    Mad Modeling Master Guant's Avatar
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    Question 1) Go outside and grab some dirt, put it on some cookie sheets and bake for 20 minutes on 400 degrees. You now have sterile sand that is exactly what GW sells.

    Question 2) If the above fails then contractors cement is you best bet for a good looking base. It contains a variety of different sized dirt from small shale piece to fine sand. Look at the link at the bottom of this and fast forward to the middle of the movie, the texture on the base is just plain old sand and cement. So yeah.

    Question 3) Use wood filler, it adds weight and height to the base but remember for large games simple pieces of terrain, preferable flat ones work best. Ive organized tournies before and believe me you want simple terrain otherwise people start bitching.

    http://www.librarium-online.com/foru...s-scenery.html
    Last edited by Guant; July 31st, 2008 at 06:54.

  5. #4
    Member Ifurita's Avatar
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    Go to your nearest playground with a bucket. Fill bucket. Return home. Sift through a collander if you need the finer grains. Base scenery.

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