Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘Miniatures terrain’


Frostgrave Terrain- Fourth Work In Progress


Finished the statue


Now I need a central fountain


The  statue painted up in minutes, no surprise there.  I used Games Workshop patina on all of the metal parts and highlighted in silver when it dried. Some staining, weathering on the stone work and it was done.  Now to get some fountains and troughs. Got to have cover from all those bow carrying underlings.



Not only is there room for miniatures but a player can access the space from two sides. Great sniper position as well.


I painted the interior of the stone building first.  Once this was done I could enclose it and finish off the roof, the interior of which I also prepainted.  Then it was a matter of working my way from one building to the next keeping my work neat to minimize clean up though some mess just made for nice distressing.  A wide, flat brush is a must for this with smaller flats for the trim.  The rougher masonry was painted with an old, beat up flat as were the shingles.


Colors coming along

Colors coming along


In addition to using different colors on the building fronts I tried to break up the colors of the interiors.  It may have no effect on the game but I like the look. It just gives it more of that lived in look or formerly lived in as the case may be.  The rubble was the most time consuming to paint because in addition to soaking up the paint there always seemed to be a part I missed.  Everything got a coat of a base color and highlighting though I still want to add more weathering in future.




If it didn’t become bridge or ladder then it’s rubble.


Careful, that last step is a doozy.


Not sure that decking looks safe to walk on.


I just love how the resin door adds fun detail. I’ll have to watch for more of those.


The rubble on the ground floor is mostly flat to accommodate the miniatures.


Not the healthiest looking grasses.


I finished the long row off with my own mix of flocking and tufts of brown grasses.  So far this is the piece I’m most excited about using in games.  It just has so many opportunities for cinematic moments and dramatic duels.  It also fills the last open space in my second “Frostheim” terrain box.  I’m either going to have to start a third box or reorganize what I have.  Who am I kidding? I’m going to reorganize into three boxes because I know how much more stuff I’m working on, like the columned ruins, and my modified Witchfate Tor.



The finished long row from the front.


The complete long row from behind.






Columned Ruins

Basic but very usable for multiple genre's.

Basic but very usable for multiple genre’s.


I have been going through my collection of unfinished terrain projects with an eye for things usable in Frostgrave.  With KublaCon coming up in Burlingame, CA at the end of May I have a self imposed deadline.  Among a number of things I came upon a set of resin columns with base and extra broken pieces.  I recall picking them up years ago at a convention flea market with the idea of adding them to my Tomb Kings Necropolis collection but they will really work with a number of different games.  I found some plywood ovals that looked close in size and thickness to the resin base big enough to glue a couple the broken column pieces to each.


The resin base I was trying to match.

The resin base I was trying to match.


The tiles on the original were of varying thickness so found a couple different sheets of rough cardboard and cut them into one inch squares to match.  I then coated a wood oval with Tacky Glue and started gluing them into place.


Had my cardboard squares of various thicknesses divided out and ready to go.

Had my cardboard squares of various thicknesses divided out and ready to go.


I didn’t worry too much about overlapping the edges as I was going to trim them later.  I tried to scatter the thicker ones randomly across the surface.



The base covered and glue drying

I left the bases to dry over night so they would be solid when I tried trimming them.



With the edges trimmed it is starting to look pretty good.


As always, sharp blades are essential so I changed mine regularly.  Once the bases were trimmed they were ready for details to be attached.  I am going call the piece the columns sit on a plinth just to avoid confusion in this post.  The original plinths looked like they had been cut from the extra thick foam core.  As I don’t have any of that I doubled up regular foam core and used light weight wall patch to seal the edges and add texture. Inspired by a friend’s experimentation with insulation foam I decided to use some of the blue stuff to make my scattered bricks.  Again, very sharp blades make all the difference between success and frustration.  As with the tiles I made pile of these as well as bigger pieces to play the part of large marble slabs.  These larger parts were also coated with wall patch for stone texture.



Bases ready to go with resin columns, broken parts, and plinths divided between them.


Blue foam makes nice blocks and rubble.


Tried for a mix of heights and details.


Really wanted them to block line of sight and movement.


Hmmm, all this bare foam will need brush on primer.


I really didn’t need to put in so much effort on the base when most of it ended up covered.


Looks ready for primer and paint.


With everything glued together it is time to paint them.  Since the propellants used in spray paint will dissolve styro foam and my airbrush isn’t set up yet I went with brush on primer.


Frostgrave Terrain- Third Work In Progress

I like the Wooden Wars soldier peeking from the third floor window.

I like the Wooden Wars soldier peeking from the third floor window.


I knew I’d regret not cutting out all the windows before I started gluing everything together and the tower proved me right.  Of course as an expected hassle it wasn’t too frustrating but, sadly, I have enough wisdom to know I’ll make that mistake again.  Oh well, chalk it up to spontaneity.  I did get to use a resin doorway I had picked up in a collection on eBay ages ago for the covered stairway.


Roof will have to wait.

Roof will have to wait.


Began building the covered stairway on the end of the pass through.  I think I can avoid building all the stairs though the area right at the top will show through the doorway so I will have to think of something before I glue the roof on.  That will have to wait until I’ve finished painting the interior so I still have some time to contemplate.  Added some walls and rubble to the back of the long row which really helped get it closer to painting.  Used up an old pack of “green stuff” to sculpt the stone arch.


Still need some roofs but it is ready for color.

Still need some roofs but it is ready for color.


Been making more ladders and bridges as well.  Little personal victory when I realized that two end bits of scrap could be turned around and turned into a broken board.


Watch your step

Watch your step


I’m sure that’s safe


Looks like it’s right off an old Hollywood set


Practically designed for soldiers to plummet from.

More Bridges drying

More Bridges drying


While working on the long row I finished painting the second building.  I would have added a great deal of rubble for looks but it would have interfered with the gaming uses which defeats the point really.  In the end I did add a little flock, as a compromise, to break up the surface of the floors.  Now it just looks like a well kept ruin.



Really have to get more of those Mordheim doorways


Just enough stairway left to get to the second floor.


Not too bad, all in all.


While cleaning out the closet I came upon a number of forgotten projects.  One is a bunch of resin columns and the other is an extra statue from the Gardens of Morr from Games Workshop whose original purpose I can’t recall.  Now it will join my terrain collection.


First coats of color

First coats of color but far from done.




Crusader Keep

Before and After

It is clear where the stain stops. That’s just the bare foam on the right side.


I received a classic Hudson and Allen Tower Keep not long ago and as I am attempting to only store new finished terrain decided to paint it right away.  I have one I painted years ago in dark greys so wanted to do something different with this one, maybe go lighter.  Necron99 was looking at it and noted that with the warm brown color the foam had turned over the years it really only needed a stain and highlight.  Since the color would make nice base for ivory or tan I decided to test his theory.


First stage done

First stage done


After washing the piece, I began with an even coat of Agrax Earthshade directly on the foam, over the entire surface.  Next I drybrushed with a tan going fairly thick since it was the base coat.


Tan drybrush complete.

Tan drybrush complete.


Stage three was a lighter drybrush of ivory.  The various textures sculpted into different stones really changes the tone of the color.


Three-Ivory drybrush

The details begin to “pop” with a layer of ivory.


I went with a dusting of white as the final highlight to really get the most out of the wonderful textures and details sculpted into the surface.


A dusting of white before taking on the details.

A dusting of white before taking on the details.


I painted the non stone details before using Secret Weapon Washes to weather the tower.


Now that looks like old stone.

Now that looks like old stone.


Well, there you go, Necron99 called it right.  Pretty quick work, all in all.  Might have to add this to the Frostgrave terrain box.


Better get some archers up here quick.

Better get some archers up here quick.


My Journey to the Spring of Darga One Eye

Some of the most fun I have ever had wargaming involved a multiple year Warhammer campaign.  As I had chosen to run a Dwarf host and had a fair number of units already painted I wanted to work on some themed terrain pieces.  One of my favorite units is my “old school” Ironbreakers that look like knights and decided the first piece I would attempt would be the Sacred Spring of Darga One Eye (the legendary Slayer but more on Dwarf history another time) which these doughty templars seek.  Following is the tale of my own quest to find the spring, foibles and successes both as it really is all about the journey after all.

Guardians of the Spring
“When at first you don’t succeed…” is cliche’ because it is true.  How very frustrating setbacks can be so this is part of my attempt to focus on lessons learned rather than time and materials lost.  Taking a preformed, plastic play set (in this case a Trilobite habitat) and converting it to a water feature suitable for a war-games table seemed a simple matter of “Paint (see above) and Pour”.  Ah how naive and far away that view seems now.  The first lesson learned was that Games Workshop Water Effects ages on the shelf, badly.  The bottle I used was two years old, previously opened and partially used all of which added to the complications that beset me.  Following the directions it took over twice as long for the material to reach solidity and transparency.  That should have been a warning but I am ever so good at hoping for the best.

Ah, such potential...

Ah, such potential…

The next lesson to be gleaned from the chaff was that different brands of synthetic water effects DO NOT mix well.  Heck, you can’t even layer them.  Running low on Games Workshop Water Effects and patience I decided to use Woodland Scenics Water Effects for the remainder of the project as I had always had good results with it.  True to experience the WS’s material cured quickly and clearly with the luxury that it can be poured in deeper layers than the GW.  Unfortunately it also softened the original GW layer turning it white.  This would have been great for a chemical plant or murky swamp (make a note for later experiments) but undermined much of what I hoped to achieve.  I had hoped it would turn clear again but once the changed density of the under layer caused cracks in the upper it was time to pull it all out and try again.  Not surprising, it ripped up the layers of texture and paint requiring me to reseal, re-prime and repaint.  Sigh

First Fish(c)

Hmm, something not working right...

Hmm, something not working right…

After they were glued in and half submerged in Water Effects I liked the Sculpy fish I had created then painted less and less.  Initially force of habit had me using the standard beige clay and adding the silver body and blue details in paint after baking.  The more I looked at them the more they looked like balloons of cartoon fish, like something from a Japanese festival.  Since they had become permanent parts of the water material I dug out I was forced to redo them from scratch anyway.


I have discovered that using silver clay and focusing on the shape rather than details of a fish produces a much better result.  The lack of detail actually lends a sense of motion, which in turn adds to the illusion that these are real fish.


Ready to try pouring water effects, again.

I glued in a mix of grasses along the shallows but wanted to keep the plant life to a minimum as it would be an underground spring in many battles.  I also added more fish than the first run and an eel mostly because I was enjoying sculpting them so much

First pour for the second time.

First pour for the second time.

These close ups nicely show the depth of the water, plant life and even the submerged skeleton of the long deceased dragon slain by Darga.



When the water had reached proper depth it was time to add the spring and ripples.  After experimenting with numerous materials in the end the Liquitex Gloss Heavy Gel seemed the best suited for my bubbling water flow.   It sculpts nicely, holds a shape fairly well and dries completely clear plus being transparent, thick paint, it is easy to move around with a brush.  I am now tempted to get my old fountains and watering troughs out to add a little water using the gel medium but that direction lies madness.

Freshly applied ripples

Freshly applied ripples

An unfortunate and annoying air bubble near the base of the spring (at least I assume that’s what it is) was most distracting until I applied the ripples of gel over it thus rendering it invisible.  I used a putty knife to apply the gel to the surface of the “cone” and a well watered brush to shape it into flowing water.  I tried to keep the layers thin to guarantee quick drying as well as transparency.

The waterfall "dry"

The waterfall “dry”

As I am so very fond of the final deepwater effect I have kept the surface ripples to a minimum.  Despite setbacks and frustration I am actually looking toward stream and river sections with eddies and depth as my next water features.  Perhaps there is a masochistic streak in me after all.  Might be best to get to the Dwarven Brewery next.  It is, after all, why they were looking for the spring in the first place and it is half finished. Here are another couple shots of the proud dwarfs.

Guardians of the Spring

Thane Mingolshade and his command squad.

Thane Mingolshade and his command squad.