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Craters

Craters are useful items of terrain that are relatively easy to make. They provide cover for troops, and cause problems for tanks (depending on how you interpret them in the rules), as well as making your table look a whole lot more interesting for very little expense. There are many different ways to make them but on this page we describe just three variations.

CratersPerhaps the most popular method amongst our members (judging by the number of them that have used it) it to use an aluminium foil pie dish. The example to the right, posted by Mrtn, was made in this manner. Mrtn has also used an old CD for the base, a convenient and popular option for basing craters.

The first of the images below (sent by Mrtn) show the type of dish used. In this case they are about 7cm in diameter. Resisting the temptation to start singing "Who ate all the pies?", we move on to the second image where we see one of the dishes inverted and formed into the shape of a crater.

Craters Craters

At this point Martin fills what will become the underside of the crater with plaster. This is made easier by resting the foil on the cardboard cylinder from the centre of a roll of duct tape to keep it stable while pouring the plaster. The end result is much more durable on the gaming table than if the foil crater is left hollow.

When the plaster is dry, all that remains is to mount it on a base and use your preferred scatter materials and paints to finish it to match your other terrain.

Craters

The craters below are the work of Sam Balmond and are an example of the second method of making craters that we will describe in this article.

Craters

CratersThey were made using hardboard bases with several layers of double thickness corrugated cardboard built up on top. Using some polystyrene foam blocks and a hot wire cutter, right angled triangles were cut out and glued to the cardboard in a rough circle. For the deeper craters, Sam also cut down into the cardboard. The gaps between the blocks were then built up with filler before being textured with sand and small pebbles. The models were then painted, drybrushed and flocked.

Note that although Sam used a hot wire cutter, this is by no mean essential for cutting the shapes required for this type of project.

The third and final method that we will illustrate here is described by Dave Capon who uses old CDs (from computer magazines, etc) as the starting point for his craters:

CratersUse the CD as a template to mark out a circle in the polystyrene. Use the hot-wire cutter to cut out the circle. Don't worry too much about accuracy here, we are going to cut it again later. Take a 1.5 inch blast marker and mark out another circle within. Punch a hole in the middle of this, large enough to insert your hot-wire cutter's wire. Insert the wire so you can cut out the centre without breaking the ring. If you find this too difficult, just cut in from the outside, and fill in the path of the cutter later. Cut the centre out, using the cutter at a fairly steep angle (say about 60-70°). This will be the inside of the crater.

CratersGlue the polystyrene to the CD. Make sure you glue the label side of the CD to the foam. This will give the best grip and this is a rougher surface, and it will also insure that if you have nicked your sisters ABBA CD, she won't ever find out (well, not without destroying all your craters to find it!) Once the glue has set, cut around the CD at an angle to make a peak at the top of the crater.

CratersUse the bottom edge of the CD as a guide for the hot-wire cutter. Don't worry about being too neat, as this will be the top surface it can afford to be a little rough. Cover the hole in the middle of the CD with a circle of card, again using your 1.5" blast marker as a template. Glue this over the hole. That's it! Finish it off by painting it with textured paint, or covering it with PVA glue and sand. Add any details you like, make use of that bits box! Paint it colours to suit the rest of your terrain, just remember this is what has been blasted out of the ground, generally this will be a dark earthen colour.

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