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Fitz's bits and pieces
#1
[Image: 2018-08-19-FootbridgeWiP-004.jpg]

Most of my terrain pieces are for 15mm wargaming, as is this one. It could be usable for 25-28mm games, but then the bridge becomes a dainty little decorative garden water feature and the river a creek.

The small foot-bridge is a model I found on Thingiverse and 3d-printed. The river is just painted and gloss-varnished. The groundwork is SculptaMold, and the rocks are DAS air-drying clay that I've squished into Woodland Scenics rubber rock moulds. The vegetation is home-made sawdust flock and sponge clump foliage.

The rocks were painted with the "blotch and wash" method, but the black wash I used was a bit too intense, and tended to smother the under-painting. There's a bit of colour variation still, but not as much as I would have liked. The lesson there is to test out the wash on an insignificant part of the piece rather than just charging ahead with it.
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#2
[Image: 2018-07-20-runestones.jpg]

These two rune-stones are a couple of models I designed in Blender and then printed on my Ender 3 FDM machine. The one on the left was first, but then I decided it was a bit boring so I added all the skulls for that primeval cannibal vibe.

The figure is from Reaper. It's one I got in one of their Bones Kickstarters, and I use it to represent my oldest (surviving) D&D character who I originally made back in 1981.
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#3
[Image: 2018-04-29-gorge-001.jpg]

Here's another modular wargaming terrain piece, this time a narrow rocky gorge for troops to sneak down and, potentially, be trapped in.

[Image: 2018-04-29-gorge-005.jpg]

The figures are 15mm British WWII infantry from Battlefront.

[Image: 2018-04-29-gorge-002.jpg]
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#4
[Image: 2018-02-14-riverBogTerrain.jpg]

This terrain piece is somewhat experimental, inasmuch as I wanted to try out using very cheap (and pretty terrible) 5-minute epoxy resin for the water effects. I wanted something to go at one end of my river pieces, so they don't necessarily have to go from edge to edge of the table. The water doesn't match those pieces though, so that may not be a goer — I'll just have to see how much the difference scrapes on my nerves when the pieces are actually in play.

The no-name epoxy I used was some I found on a clearance rack at a local hardware chain store, for about three bucks per 50ml syringe. At that price, I figured I wasn't risking much except my time if it didn't work. I mixed it along with about 5-10ml of acetone to thin it, and I added some sepia acrylic ink — far too much, as it turned out — to colour it.

The results are as you see, only partially successful. With the acetone and ink added, it took a lot longer to cure than it said on the label, but that was a good thing as it gave me more working time to nudge it into all the nooks and crannies. In very shallow areas, close up against the flocking, it has greyed out somewhat. I suspect that's because the PVA I used to seal the flock wasn't fully dry, and some of it has migrated into the epoxy. It's not a tragedy for this piece, because it just looks like muddy, swampy muck, but it would have been problematic if I'd needed clear water throughout.

Whether it was because of the additives or not I don't know, but when it cured, this epoxy developed a waxy bloom that had to be wiped off. I was a bit relieved when I found that it could be wiped off.

The epoxy has one advantage over the polyester casting resin I've used, and that is that it doesn't smell, but that's it's only advantage. It is much thicker, and really does need the addition of acetone to make it usable at all, and it creates a pronounced meniscus as it cures. It doesn't create the slight surface ripple that the polyester does, so it doesn't look as convincingly liquid.
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#5
[Image: 2018-01-27-bog.jpg]

Here's the first piece of bog terrain I finished, actually just before the one above.

I originally intended to use a 5-minute epoxy and acetone mix for the water, but I couldn't find any really cheap and nasty epoxy at that time. So, instead I used polyester casting resin, which costs about thirty bucks (NZ) for a 250ml can.

There are down-sides to using the polyester:
  • First, it stinks to high heaven while it's curing.
  • Second, the disposable plastic cups I used for mixing are dissolved by it — I had to do a rapid transfer into another vessel before it ended up all over everything.
  • Third, it's very, very clear, which would normally be a good thing, but for this purpose it could have done with being a bit more murky. I added some colouring, but not quite enough, so the water looks more lake-ish than boggy.
  • Fourth, it's quite a bit thicker than water, so the meniscus is more pronounced, and it takes a bit of persuasion to flow into all the nooks and crannies. However, I was pretty much expecting that and I'm not heartbroken by it.
The vehicle in the picture is my 3d-printed 1/100 scale Burford-Kegresse machine-gun carrier.
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#6
[Image: 2018-01-16-sculptamoldTerrain.jpg]

These are a couple finished test pieces I made using SculptaMold, a plaster/paper-fibre mix, as the primary landscaping material. All the finishing is via my usual flocking and what-not, so they don't look appreciably different to any other pieces I've made — which is a good thing, I guess.

It's not a perfect landscaping material, but it does have many virtues, and on balance I think I quite like it.

[Image: 2018-01-15-sculptamoldTerrain.jpg]
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#7
[Image: 2018-01-13-riverTest.jpg]

Something that was missing from my gaming terrain collection for a long time are bodies of water, so I thought I'd better make some. Unlike roads, a river can't really just start or stop in the middle of the board, so I'll need enough pieces to cover about a two and a half metre length, enough to go from end to end of my table.

This is a test piece, trying out methods and colours. Overall, I'm pretty happy with it, but I feel that it's lacking something and I'm not quite sure what it is. Perhaps it's that everything is quite even in height, so there's no drama of composition.

The base is 3mm MDF, sealed with black spray primer, and the banks were built up with Das air-drying clay. The rocks are just bits of gravel. The grass is several colours of sawdust flock, and the taller vegetation is foam clump foliage.

The water itself is just three or four coats of acrylic gloss medium brushed over paint, with various depths indicated by lighter or darker tones. I didn't want a perfectly smooth surface, so it's just been brushed with a narrowish brush to indicate the flow of the water. These days I add a final top coat of high-gloss oil-based polyurethane, which gives me a much harder, glossier, smoother finish. I haven't added any indications of the direction of flow, such as ripple trails off the rocks, because I want to be able to flip the modules end-for-end to maximise flexibility of use.

The ends are 100mm wide, and this piece is about 350mm long.
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#8
[Image: 20170825roads-001.jpg]

A couple of years ago, when I had access to someone with a laser cutter, I got a bunch of road sections cut from 3mm MDF. My cunning plan was to give them interlinking jigsaw ends, so that they'd stay in place on the tabletop during a game.

That turned out not to be such a fantastic idea. It's not that it didn't work, but it made the individual pieces a lot more troublesome to lay out and to pick up afterwards.

So, when I got on a bit of a terrain-building kick, I got on to actually making some roads out of the pieces, and I starting by cutting off the interlocking tabs. A good sharp saw takes care of that with just two or three strokes, so it's not a big deal.

[Image: 20170825roads-002.jpg]

I've bevelled all the edges on my belt sander, and the next step is to carve out the wheel tracks with a shallow 25mm gouge. That takes a little bit more time and effort than cutting the ends square, and I wasn't completely sure that it was really necessary. Then everything is given a quick once-over with very coarse sandpaper to knock all the edges off.

[Image: 20170825roads-004.jpg]

This is the first finished section (with carved-out wheel tracks). I was a little worried that the MDF strips might warp under the paint and glue, but it turns out to be OK and sits quite flat. This is quite a short piece though, and some of the others are a lot longer.

I did consider adding a bit more vegetation along the sides of the road, but I decided against it as it would make the pieces a bit more difficult to stack and store. If I decide later on that I'd prefer them a bit more overgrown, it's a simple matter to add more crap.

[Image: 20170825RoadNoCarving.jpg]

This piece is one that hasn't had its wheel tracks carved out, and to my eye the difference is pretty minimal. I can tell the difference, but I'm not sure if that's because I know it's there. Anyway, it meant that I could cut out a pretty significant building step, which sped things up substantially.
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#9
[Image: 2014-08-04_barkterrain-01.jpg]

These bits of scatter terrain are supposed to be dolmens, and they're made from bits of pine bark nicked from under the swings at a local playground, painted and flocked. I think they look quite convincingly rock-like once they're finished.
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#10
[Image: 2012-08_rocks-02.jpg]

These bits of scatter terrain are also pine bark, intended to provide movement and sighting barriers on the tabletop. They've been finished in more desert-like colours and flocks.

The figures are 25-28mm, mostly by Grenadier or Citadel. The velociraptors are cheap Chinese plastic toys, glued to washers and painted.

[Image: 2012-08_rocks-01.jpg]
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