Welcome to Librarium Online!
Join our community of 80,000+ members and take part in the number one resource for Warhammer and Warhammer 40K discussion!
Registering gives you full access to take part in discussions, upload pictures, contact other members and search everything!
I'm trying to build my own terrain now (yeah, quite ambitious for an artistically challenged person like me : ), and was wondering if people could help me with a few questions:
1. I went to Home Depot yesterday, and after an hour searching and asking incompetent workers there, I only found a styrofoam board, which isn't too bad. I can make walls and layered hills with it. I also got some "texture" spray that people spray on dry walls to make it look "natural", so that would help. The question is, where can I get a heat wire to cut the board so I don't have to use a knife and endure the unpleasant sound of cutting styrofoam? Any suggestions?
2. I was looking for those pink/blue polystyrene foam that one can shape with a knife, but Home Depot didn't have it... any suggestions on where I can find that?
3. I bought 1 can of white primer (painted on, not sprayed) and 2 cans of paint (granite grey and forest green) for walls and landscape. For finer details, anyone think it's a good idea to use watered down GW paint and dry brush that on? Since the terrain/walls will be big, I don't want to waste a whole bottle of GW paint on it if it's used in the original concentration... =)
Ok, hopefully I can make some decent terrain in the near future!
Hopefully you didn't buy the (white, crumbly, looks like little balls squashed together) Styrofoam. If you did my suggestion would be throw it away. The stuff is just terrible for most everything. Weak, breaks easy, rough but not natural looking texture. The pink and blue foam sheets of house insulation can normally be bought at home depot. Usually its back by the lumber. If they don't have it go to any other home improvement store, Lowes, Builder's Square, 84 Lumber, or maybe a lumber store. It's much better.
You can get a hot knife at many hobby stores, especially if they sell florist's foam. Look in the flower arranging section. You can also get them in model railroad stores. I got a plug in version for about $25. The battery one is only about $10 (unless you buy it from GW) but the cost of batteries quickly adds up. The plug in version works better as well. You can order a variety of them from Woodland Scenics or Micromark.
For terrain painting get some craft paints. They come in smaller bottles, but are still 2-3 times as large as GW paint, and less than half the price. Createx, Delta, Apple Barrel, etc. You can get them in Wallmart and just about any store with some craft items.
As a side not, superglue and spray-paint eat foam, but they can be very effective in making craters, rock faces, undercuts, and other natural looking formations. Experiment with some scraps. I almost never make a cliff face without dripping some superglue down the face in a few spots.
Sample Rock Faces made with foam and dribbled superglue:
Ok so a friend and I just got done making a board. It looks freaking great and we pee'd ourselves like dorks at how good it looked for homemade.
We live in Texas, and used Home Depot.
We asked a couple sales staff "I'm sorry but do you have any Hot Wire Foam Cutters?". We described the device and what its used for. We got this:
"Huh? Cut? Foam? Wire? Hot, not cold? Sounds like a POWER TOOL! SOUNDS LIKE YOU PLUG IT IN! HEAD OVER TO THE TOOL CORRAL!"
I threw up my hands and stomped off.
You have foam in your store, a common thing for insulation and walling, and yet you have no sound way of cutting it other than a knife. You suck, and your drab prison orange aprons annoy my eyes to no end.
The foam you were looking for, and I KNOW they have it, is over in the corner of the store usually. Its over in the plywood/lumber section. Its stacked vertically, and if any fellow gamers are there taking them you may need to settle who gets it with a knife fight. They don't carry much. Big sheet about 10 foot by 4 foot. About 7.50 per sheet. Bring a truck. They'll know what you're talking about if you say "PINK!" and/or "INSULATION FOAM, PINK, BIG, THIN, GOOD!".
When they ask what it is for, reply that its for "shoving up your orange wearing ass" or "for your mom" , now show me where it is bitch!
As for a foam cutter, really I don't think they carry them. Your best bet is to either go to a GW store, or order the GW brand one off the online store. You can also try maybe Michaels or Hobby Lobby. But beware the crazy craft ladies and their evil evil creepyness. Careful in the fake foliage area of those stores, there may be raptors.
Alternatively, if you're just cutting for a board and not doing curves and crap a large box cutter will get the job done. Just cut halfway through it along a ruler. Then bend it back and it snaps in a nice, neat line.
Thats for terrain at least, but let me go a step furthur and just say how we made a board as well. Some of the steps may apply to you personally, but hopefully it may help others with making a board and not playing on the kitchen table. If you don't care, skip the next big chunk about boards.
For specifics, here's what we did for a board. Equipment list:
--Elmers white glue, gallon jug approx. Home Depot. OR big thing of FOAM TACK GLUE sticks better. Available in hobby stores like Michaels. For ours in the train section (with all the creepy train people). Was in a yellow and black bottle.
--Paint. Hie thee hence to Home Depot. Get ahold of the paint bitch, who should be shackled to the paint section. They don't do colors. They do white in a can, then MIX your color. Its like being royalty. "I demand green! Damn You!". When they ask what its for, say (again) that its for the persons' mom and that she called you last night and said she wants green. Ask for a shade that is a neutral green, like a grass green. It'll look dark, but when it dries its lighter obviously.
--Get at least TWO of those foam boards. Two boards glued on top of each other makes a very solid and stable gaming surface. A single will work but will warp over time worse.
--SAND. Go to PETCO or some pet store that has retiles. Go to the reptile section. Look for calcium sand in bags. You'll see some stuff called something like Repti Calci something or another. It will come in colors usually. Brown and such. We got the bright green colored sand. One bag is enough for a 6 foot by 4 foot.
--Make sure you have a paint brush and maybe a paint roller to make this faster.
PEEL THE PLASTIC OFF THE PINK FOAM BOARDS GOD PLEASE.
OK now thats out of the way, cut them to the size you want, we did a 6/4 footer. Should just have to shave a little off one end each.
Line them up, glue them with either WATERED DOWN Elmers, or the Foam Tack Glue. It should be about the consistancy of heavy soup (2 to 1, glue to water). Spread it with a brush, and BE QUICK, sandwich them, lay them down, and lay something like heavy plywood on them to compact them for a tight fit. These are not going to be 100% very soon, maybe not for the day. You can easily work with them maybe an half hour to hour after you glue them. Over time they get rock solid. Couple days.
Get out your sand and your glue again. Use the Elmers white stuff, watered down again. Spread it QUICK, another person helps. Coat that sucker from head to toe. Don't miss an inch. Immediately pour that green repti sand over it evenly. Just tear a small hole in the bag and be liberal. You should still see a hint of pink, slightly. Once you think you have it, give it maybe an hour or two to dry. Keep it in dry air, inside if you need to. No humidity or it will just sit there.
Once you think that thing is dry enough to tip to one side, get a bag or spare foam and tip it on end carefully. Get it near vertical and bang on the underside softly. This will get all the excess sand off. If you stuck it the first try, you won't need to reapply and you'll have some spare sand. If you have some spots, touch them up carefully and throw some sand on them. Get the edges as well! This is all going to be covered by paint. NOT TOO MUCH GLUE, THINK GLITTER FROM KINDERGARTEN. WITH THE KITTENS ON IT, YOU KNOW WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT. MINE DIDN'T HAVE KITTENS. SHUT UP. If too much glue it can look wonky and run when you tip it.
Let it dry for real this time, you should have this mint green board now. At this point you whip out your paint and get a roller or brush. By placing your palm on the table, you should be able to tell if its ready. It should be touch enough that if you get your nail into it, it should flake or move easily. Should be scratchy and solid. Take straight paint, we did green, and apply evenly. We left some spots SLIGHTLY uncoated and I mean slightly. This left it with some randomness and kept less uniform feel.
Let it dry of course.
And you're done. Knock on it, should be hard like my body. Knock knock.
Total cost was about:
$15 for the foam total.
$10 for a GALLON of green paint, thats a re-use winn4r.
$6 for the GALLON of Elmers White glue, again re-use winn4r.
Already had roller.
Paint brush for the glue spreading was about $4. It was nice. I pet it every now and then. Like a cat. In hindsight, a nicebrush isn't needed, just a brush.
$5 for Repti-Sand. Reason I use it is its cheap, and you get a metric assload of it. Gas for my car is not cheap, I buy in bulk therefore.
$20 for foam cutter. Bought from a gaming store that had one for sale direct from GW.
I think thats it. You have bought GW models for more than that, don't lie. And they were probably a bigger pain in the ass to make too.
Final step is to invite some geeky Warhammer playing friends over and brag about how you totally owned this guy at Home Depot and made this thing with your bare hands.
Throw in that you "had to fight a bear and won and now you're playing on my table I have to fight a bear to make, bitch".
For terrain, I'd suggest black or grey paint, black, brown or grey repti-sand. I assume you're doing like ruins and bunkers and walls and stuff. It'll look textured and rough. You can take some sandpaper to it if you want smooth stuff. This is how they get that textured look thats so sexy, but yet its not ugly and globby and such. Slick but messy?
Slightly watered down paint for the terrain. Gotta make it last. if buying paint from Home Depot like royalty, just throw it on there i would say. Make damn sure that the surface is as smooth as you want for details and such via sandpaper. DRY BRUSHING would be the method you would use to slap that stuff on, yes. For a building, like black solid, then lighter and lighter shades of drybrushed grey.
Maybe get ya some white, black and grey. Then just mix them up in spare things so you can get just the right shade. The BGB has some good suggestions believe it or not on scenery.
If all that doesn't help I'm sorry, ignore me. I am bored at work. If it does help and you use any of that, let me know how it goes.
We might start posting pics of stuff we make for examples.
Ugg... I know how you feel; I live in San Diego, CA and NONE of the hardware store here carry (or know what it is) when I ask for pink/blue foam. Home Depot, Lowes, Dixieline and a couple of local companies.... Nada. Back in the lumber section they did have some 1 1/2" thick sheets (4x8ft.) of a foam, with foil on both sides - not the bubbled kind either. It kind of looks like the pink/blue stuff, but since I've never actually SEEN it in person, I'm basic my comparison off pics from the web.
As far as foam cutters go, the local places that sell GW stuff usually have them. This website here has some info on how to make your own.
I'll let ya'll know about the foam I bought within a few days; I'll be able to start cutting/shaping soon, so I'll see how it goes.
Another comment on texturing; my Lowes carried textured paint in a can - I bought the one that was of "sand" consistency. A gallon can was like $10, and it seems to cover a lot with very little. I covered a 2x4ft. board with very little and a roller; next board, I'm gonna try and use more to get a thicker consistency. From what I've read (on the above site), this texture paint will protect the foam board from spray paint - so I picked up some flat black and dark red, and I'm gonna try to get it looking like a Mars landscape.
I know how you feel... that is the EXACT response I got from them...
I didn't even see any foam other than a tiny section of styrofoam... I hope I can find some polystyrene, since it seems a lot easier to use.
Great stuff Pyre! Thanks for all the info! I'm just making terrain and hills and stuff, so hopefully the styrofoam will work... still need to find polystyrene... grrr...
and trying ot make my own hot wire cutter since Michael's and Home Depot both don't have it...
the white flakey squeeky stuff is quite good for rocks, because when it crumbles, it makes a more rocky affect, then with sanding and a bit more hacking, el perfecto!
if you are reading this signature, then you are wasting you're time, and i am wasting my time by writing it, so run along now, jimmy, run along.
How come all your scenery looks so much better than mine?
Orkses is never beaten in battle. If we win we win, if we die we die so it don't count as beat. If we runs for it we don't die niether, so we can always come back for anuvver go, see!
I tend to use the Crumbly squeak-a-holic styrofoam, and it doesn't work too bad, as long as there is plenty of glue and textured paint to cover up the porous surface. I also leave spots of it uncovered so that it will melt due to the solvents in the spray primer, leaving good spots that look like plasma shot craters, flamer impacts, ordnance shells, etc. I am building my own collection of terrain pieces too, but I'm going to be using pink insulation styrofoam for the majority of them. The squeaky ball styrofoam is not completely useless. though.
If Knowledge is Power, then Genius is Tyranny.