Terraformation

Lately I’ve been neglecting my painting table – cheating on my models with a different craftform.  I put down the pewter in exchange for styrofoam and traded in my paint for some spackle.  With a little advice from Ulf of Dice-Speak and Game Fusion Studio, I’ve made an initial foray into the realm of terrain making.

Hills

A few initial attempts at hills (and Niska’s Skyplex on TV)

I’ve been painting models for years now but I hadn’t really spent any time on the terrain side of the hobby – there’s always been terrain to play on locally and I preferred painting models to fabricating scenery.

Sites like TerraGenesis have taught me the basics of terrain making but I didn’t have any real hands on experience.  But over the course of a few nights with a hot wire foam cutter I put together some basic hills.  Nothing major – and still in need of some greenery – but after I was happy with the results I decided to move up to something else I’ve been wanting to build for a while now.

Taking a step back, when I said I hadn’t really built any terrain that wasn’t entirely true.  I have put together a few pieces of paper terrain, as well as the cardstock terrain that came in the Mordheim boxed set that I picked up years ago.  There was also a few pieces of styrofoam I mangled with a box cutter and dubbed “ruins” – although they only qualified in the most picasso-inspired definition of the word.  Abstract art aside, the ruins worked fairly well but their lightweight nature meant an errant gesture at the gaming table would send the entire city of Mordheim skittering across the tabletop.

Mordheim Ruins

Mordheim Ruins

In order to add some weight and stability to my Mordheim buildings – especially the flimsy manor house – I wanted to base all of the buildings on something solid.  I always told myself I’d do it later but after putting it off for longer than I care to admit, I finally broke down and tried my hand at putting together some terra firma for my buildings.

Unfortunately after a few years of rough treatment I lost some of the buildings’ plastic accessories – mostly window sills and doorways.  I figure I could work on replacements for those later (gee, that sounds familiar) so I started with making everything stable on the tabletop first.

Mordheim Manor

Mordheim Manor

Overall I’m happy enough with my first attempts, even though they’re not near done yet.  The buildings are rock solid, but as you can see from the pictures here the ruins of Mordheim have been kept remarkably clean by the courteous warbands and undead hordes scouring them for precious wyrdstone.

So yes, the ground is mostly bare dirt at the moment.  For the most part that was because I wanted to test out my mix of colors for drybrushing but I’m going to be going back with some plantlife (sickly looking if possible) and other accessories like crates, barrels, and larger rubble piles to try and make the ruins look more… well… ruined.  Between that, painting up the craftstick-fashioned wood, and replacing the missing bits, I expect everything to be done roughly Fall of 2016.

It’s a start, though.  Now that I’ve gotten a little more practice I’ll hopefully be more interested in building my own pieces from scratch.

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