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So, a few buddies and I recently got back into 40k and something I have always wanted to do is make my own terrain. I realized that I have a busted old Basilisk tank that is just sitting around that I would like to turn into a ruined hulk. Destroying the tank is the easy part: I can light it on fire, pry it apart, or drill holes in it.
Where I need advice is in making the base. I want to have the tank partially buried in a mound of dirt, or a crater, and I want to make some tracks in the mud behind it to make it look like it rolled there and then blew up.
I am thinking of just using a thing piece of cardboard for the base, and then either using foam or modeling clay for the dirt piles or crater. Does this sound okay?
I know this is not very specific and could be done a million different ways, but any ideas would be extremely helpful. Thanks in advance everyone!
Well, save for all the other stuff you have, to make it look really destroyed you can glue cotton balls in and pull them out thin enough until it looks like smoke. With enough of that and a dab of grey paint you can make just about anything look like a smoking wreck.
First of all, don't use cardboard for terrain bases. The glue and paint that you will be using, and moisture in the air or every-day wear and tear will warp the cardboard. Save yourself having to do this twice, and just invest in some nice balsa or a thin piece of particle board.
For the crater, foam works well, and is fairly cheap. Just make a few wedges of foam, and then use paper-mache to lay over them and build up the crater. Remember, if you use citadel wet-effects or just a puddle of dyed PVA glue, a little brackish water in the bottom of the crater would look awesome.
For the track marks, use modeling putty. Greenstuff is too expensive for this though. There are three methods:
1) for mud or soft ground, build up the clay in two strips where the tracks are going to roll. You want to use the flat edge of your knife to pull the center of this strip out and back. Back, away from the tank, in the opposite direction that it was moving, and Out towards the edges of the strip to show where the treads sank in and chewed up the earth beneath them.
2) for arid desert style terrain, or thin layers of dirt, build the clay up and press the actual tracks into the strips. Use your knife blade to "distress" the edges of the track imprints in a direction parallel to the direction of the tank. This makes the scrapes and "rolling" of the treads along the ground. Make these marks closer together than they would normally be, by pressing the treads in several times. Tank treads don't always land evenly spaced, and as the tank moves over the ground, it's going to constantly make imprints of itself.
3) for roads, masonry, or rock, take the more involved route. Buy modeling CLAY, the stuff that you have to fire. Put down a layer of foil onto a baking sheet, and then roll out the clay into a thin sheet on top of this. Press the treads into the wet clay where the tank will have rolled, and distress it like you would for the arid desert. Then fire the clay in your oven, or let dry or whatever you have to do. When it's fully done, take the aluminum and your clay sheet and start crunching it up. You should have a little mosaic of clay bits.
Then return to your scenic base and lay down thin layers of putty in the negative space that the tank tracks did NOT hit. Leave gaps where the tracks rolled. Now glue your "mosaic" over this. You will have two crunchy, track-marked depressions where the tank tore up the pavement, with cracks were the fissures spread throughout the street.
Also, remember- you need to specify what weapon disabled your tank. If it was a rocket, or a portable weapon of any kind, there probably won't be a crater. Explosions follow the path of least resistance, so they tend to go up and away from the ground. This means grass might be blown over by the shockwave, and surface dirt moved away, but there won't be a large crater. If the tank hit a mine, there will be a large crater, but the sides and top of the tank won't see much damage.
Also remember that any part which you cut off the tank as "blast damage" will be relocated to another area. So if you cut huge sections off the tank, you have to account for where they've gone.
Beyond that, it's just basic stuff- entrance wounds are bigger than exit wounds, wreckage will be blown back towards the firer as well as away, and most of the crew casualties come from over-pressurization and ricocheting shrapnel rather than the actual "bang" or resultant fires.
Wow, both of those are fantastic bits of advice. I like the smoke idea; kind of gives it a "that just happened" kind of feel. And thanks for the material advice, both of you. It is much appreciated. I will try to post some pics when it is all finished.
I tryied to make burned buildings out of cardboard and a lighter...
couldnt stand the smell...
Me "You can't willingly run off the map"
-chaos berserker leaves map-
Friend "What now!"
Me "So, umm... is the game over?"
no no, of course not. By "light on fire" I really meant apply a direct head source (from a lighter) to make the plastic more malleable. I wont actually be lighting it on fire.