Sunday 28 June 2020

Old Dog Learns New (Terrain) Tricks - Part the First

It all started innocently enough.

Like so many of us in lockdown, my e-commerce activity has shown a bit of a spike lately. 150 or so MDF rounds from Warbases, some assorted Hellenistic figs from Warlord and Polemarch, and this thingy below;

It's a textured roller from Green Stuff World, and it has opened a veritable tin of terrain worms here at Chez Ev.

Of course, I had to test it out straight away, so it was off to the shops for a pound of Das air-drying clay. Grabbed a cardboard tube from the stash in the garage, rolled out a couple of sheets of the Das with the brickwork roller, stuck it to the tube with PVA glue, and left it to dry. This last step took longer than anticipated. Like a week longer.

But here's the result;

That worked well, thinks I, but what am I going to do with it? Why, make a piece of SAGA or fantasy skirmish terrain, of course! I drag out a Warbases terrain base and get to work with some extruded polystyrene foam and the hot glue gun. Oh, did I not mention the new glue gun...?

"This is the DeWalt Ceramic Glue Gun, the most powerful hot glue gun in the world..."
So yeah, things were escalating quickly...

Adding to the mayhem, I started looking for hints and tips on building realistic rocky terrain, and stumbled upon some YouTube channels which were to prove my downfall; Boulder Creek RailroadThe Terrain Tutor and Luke's APS. I admit it. I was hooked. What these guys can't do with foam, plaster and glue isn't worth doing.

Several days and a few dozen hours of viewing later, I'd grabbed some Woodland Scenics Rock Moulds, some Sculptamold Modelling Compound, and went a little bit crazy.

The rocks were cast in plaster of Paris and hot-glued on and around the edges of the foam, and blended into the piece with Sculptamold. Sculptamold is a mix of shredded tissue paper and plaster of Paris. It dries as hard as plaster, but weighs less and can be sculpted as it dries. In retrospect, I'd probably use less of it in future and leave more of the plaster rocks exposed. You'll see why later.

So where is this going? Somewhere potentially quite expensive and with a very steep learning curve!

Stay tuned...



  1. Sounds like you're having fun, and the roller is pretty neat!

  2. Is it suitable to use DAS as basing material. I'm considering cobbles or such like for Mordheim tiles.

    1. Short answer, "yes". Slightly longer answer, "yes but..."

      There is a degree of shrinkage as Das dries. This can lead to cracking, especially if the piece is covering a large area. Individual figure bases are probably fine. 2ft terrain squares textured with Das are probably going to be problematic. Check out the video below;

      Hope this helps!

  3. Hello there, which roller is it?

    1. That's the 'Bricks' roller. I'll be getting a few more!


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