Friday 1 May 2009

Scatter Terrain: Mini Escarpments

Thought you might like to see some quick and simple scatter pieces I created for my desert/wasteland terrain.

These two mini escarpments came about as 'test' pieces just to try out the idea and I don't think the result is too shabby.

I mostly use bog standard expanded polystyrene for terrain features- the sort that comes as common and garden packaging - the small holes in the polystyrene working for me as nooks and crannies within the rock face. I sculptured the flat 'top' of the rock formations then used a household wall filler to provide texture and fill in any big gaps where the two pieces of polystyrene meet.

I used a sharp sand from a builders merchants to cover the base, old free Broadband or magazine CDs. I find that finer sand, such as that used for childrens playpits is far too fine and lacks the definition I want once painted. Slightly larger stones were used at the back of the escarpment to represent eroded scree. To ensure the sand sticks good and fast to provide a robust terrain piece for wargaming, I liberally coated the CD with a cheap but immensely strong PVA glue (Bartoline PVA Adhesive & Sealer; 1Ltr for £3.50), then shook the sand on. Once this is dry, well mostly dry that is, I mix water and PVA until it has the consistency of skimmed milk, then brush liberally over the top of the entire piece. You think it will be too thin to have any effect but have faith young paduan, this is amazingly effective at sealing the model and providing a sound base for the paint to adhere to.

Painting was simple. We had some left over household paints from the last round of decorating and a mixed bag of brown, terracotta, taupe and sand 'matchpots'. Using cheap decorating brushes from Poundland (a 5 brush set for £1), I applied a basecoat of a terracotta matt emulsion, which when dried, recieved a thin watered down wash of Citadel's Devlan Mud. I used a lighter 'stone' or 'pebble' colour to drybrush over the top with a smaller brush as weathering & highlights. Job done. Excluding drying time, less than an hours work.

I'm going to get round to adding a small amount of GF9 autumn foilage to add further character but forgot to include it to my last order! The perils of Inetrnet shopping & Baileys Irish Cream.....



  1. Good stuff ! The idea of using old CDs is quite an inspired one, might try that myself this weekend :-)


  2. That is a neat idea for base work. Good one Mark.

  3. I love using CDs. Where I work we get boxes of demo DVDs, sometimes 200 to a box. I started using them just because of their availability but then because I liked the way they worked.

    I would say that a table can look a little cookie cutter if you use CD=based terrain exclusively, but I just throw on a few irregularly based items or some clump foliage to break of the lines.