Category Archives: Terrain

Desert Buildings – Knights of Dice Tabula Rasa Range

So, my wife decided to take me to CanCon today for some distraction….

I found the stand for Knights of Dice and their range of scenery.  All of it was excellent, but what caught my attention was the Tabula Rasa Desert buildings range.  They’re a minimalist set of terrain with the intent that they leave the detailing up to you but provide an easy set up and start on the process.  They’re laser cut out of MDF and the five buildings in total set me back $84 AUS, which is the cost of about 13 citadel paints (for comparison).

  Here’s what’s in the package – the smaller buildings were two or three sheets each ($14 a pop) and the larger compounds were four or five ($20 and $22).
  I found them relatively easy to assemble – as far as I can tell there is only one way to make everything fit, so you get no flexibility but no chance of getting it wrong.  There were no instructions, which could be an are for improvement – luckily the pictures on the cover did show enough angles to puzzle out which parts went where.  It took 13 minutes to punch out and test assemble the first building (Desert Residence 3), which was one of the smaller ones.  Another 10 minutes and it was all glued together and done – which included me going around the house several times to find bits that I needed.  I suspect that if I had been better prepared  would have had it together in 20 minutes.
 Access into each of the buildings is quite good.  All of the roofs are removable, as are all of the second story areas on the larger buildings.
  Overall it took around 1:30 to assemble the five pieces.

I really like the design – there simple, effective and easy.  It might be a bit repetitive if I were to scale up and have a duplicate of each building, but there was at least one more building in the range that I didn’t get, so there is a bit more scope for growth.

I’ve added the website to my favourites though.  I thought the models did exactly what they should do, and what they claim to.


Eye of Tzeentch Terrain Piece

This one’s been on the desk for far too long.  Originally intended for’s Group Build 66 – “Something Blue”, it finally got finished alongside the Dead of Winter piece for Group Build 70 when I needed the same modelling supplies from the hardware store that delayed this project.

Only five months late….


Dead of Winter Terrain – Part One


So, I’ve been told I need to spend more time being creative, so I’m going to try hard to do some modelling or painting every day.  Here is today’s effort, starting an entry for’s Monthly Terrain Group Build, under the theme “Dead of Winter”.


So, this evening I’ve used the plaster mould from a kit that I bought the kids a(using my plaster not theirs), to create the bricks that I want to build a mausoleum type structure.  I’ve made two casts, and they are now drying for the next 24 hours.

I got an oscillating multi-tool for Christmas, so my first attempt at using it was to cut the base out of a piece of MDF from a dismantled set of drawers that we no longer needed.  It’s not as good as some of the purpose made scatter bases, but it will do for me, and I’m getting to use the tool.

New Tree Technique

Well, I’ve been meaning to do this for a while to see if it worked.  I’ve wanted a forest piece of scenery, but hadn’t really been too inspired by a lot of the techniques that I had found, and didn’t really want to be using Games Workshop stuff.

I had this idea about two and a half years ago, and got all the things for the project, but then never got around to doing it.

The finished piece is the centre of a large forest.  This piece is removable so that a unit can hide in the middle of the forest more easily on the tabletop.

I started by cutting three pieces of wire to similar lengths.



Then I twisted them into a combined piece, leaving a small amount at one end (about half an inch) and a longer amount at the other end (about 3/4 – 1 inch) as loose pieces.



Then I made another two ‘combined’ pieces of wire.  Then the three were twisted together to make a tree, with the short ends sticking out the bottom as the roots and the longer ends out the top as the branches.  Each of the three ‘combined’ pieces pulled out at different places.

I made one with some sets of four wires as well, into a bigger ‘centrepiece’ tree.

Then I used some gap filler to cover in most (but not all) of the gaps and placed the trees on a CD. I built the ground around them, leaving some of the roots showing.



My helper fetched bits out of the garden and the bits box to help me put together the rest of the ground pieces.






Then we used a toothbrush to “paint” the gap filler onto the rest of the trees:



After that we added some scrubbing brushes as bushes, rocks and bark from the garden and then some GW sand.  The other piece with the CD in the background is the bigger piece.  This item sits on top of the other CD on top of the hill.



The final raw product ready to be undercoated:



Then painted.  The little tree on the left side was made using the same technique, only with paperclips as the source material:


With models for scale:

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Broken Aquila

Well, after a long break, I’m back painting again. In order to get the skills back up, I thought I’d start on some scenery – a bit bigger, and a touch more forgiving than the miniatures.

Anyway, the paints are:

Brown section: basecoat with brown earth, dry brushed 50/50 brown earth and raw sienna, dry brushed with raw sienna.

Blue: layered up from black with watered down ultramarine blue (about 8 or 9) layers, highlight with 50/50 ultramarine and white, then with citadel ice blue.

Skulls then taken from brown, basecoat with yshabti bone, highlight with screaming skull, then dashed with seraphim sepia.

Green is pine green, dry brushed with light green. Grass is scorched grass and the bushes are summer cooler clump.



Eldar Satellite Communications Station Part Two

Basecoat done.



Eldar Satellite Communication Station Part 1

Here’s an Eldar communications station made for terrain Group Build 42. The theme is “Old Toys”, so I’ve used a kids first toy – a dummy, a kids tooth brush (not quite a toy), a big kids toy (Cd) and a miscellaneous piece that ended up in my terrain Bitz box a few years ago and I can’t remember what it was from.











Industrial Discharge

The theme for the latest Miniwargaming Group Build is exit/entry. I’ve got an idea for an industrial board theme with an underground facility, so I thought I’d do the discharges.

Intention is that it may be able to provide cover from the industrial smoke/smog, and that it can count as either difficult or dangerous terrain because of the waste products.

The basis of the terrain is the plastic from a calligraphy set.  The large sections at the bottom of the picture are where the three pens were shipped, the odd shaped bit with three long bulges and the big square on the left hand side are from the nibs.  The remaining sections are from where the ink cartridges sat.  The black section is from the packaging of a plastic birthday medal that I was given last year.  Pink bits are a drinking straw, the discharge is PVA glue left to dry.  Final section is GW hobby sand.



Next, I added some cotton wool to make the smoke.



I sprayed everything with gloss enamel in order to help the cotton wool retain it’s shape, then primed it black, leaving some white showing through the cotton wool (though not much).  It appears that either the enamel or the undercoat dissolved parts of the plastic, which is perfect – I had wanted to do some decay modelling on the piece but spent so much time on my Painting Deathmatch entry that I didn’t get to it.





Next I basecoated the metal with a 1:2 mix of black and silver.  This took two coats (picture at the end of the first coat).  I then drybrushed the whole area with a 1:5 mix of black and silver.





Green painted pine green (no real surprises there).  Watered down brown was applied into all of the recesses to start the rusty effects.





The rust was built up by stippling on a light brown/sienna.





The ooze was basecoated a 1:1 mix of yellow and sienna.





Light green drybrush.




Ooze built up with pure yellow to a sickly shade.






Highlighted with silver and a bit of stippling and stripes to add to the degraded look.




Final step was some scenic clumps and some scorched grass.


Final product, with Marine for scale:

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Honoured Imperium I – Statue

Well, because I can paint terrain while the kids are up, here’s my effort for today.

Step one, basecoat with a 1:2 ratio or black:silver



Step two, heavy dry brush with a 1:5 ratio of black:silver.20130113-220818.jpg



Step three, drybrush with silver.



Step four, paint base nuetral gray.



Step five, stipple white paint on with a sponge, then with a brush.



Step six, overbrush/highlight the edges of the stone with white to emphasize the shape.



Step seven, paint lines on the white marble with Eshin Grey



Step eight, hardcost gloss over the marble




Broken Rhino Terrain

Here’s my latest terrain piece, made with spare pieces from my Baal predator.