Monday, February 20, 2017

Building and painting badlands terrain for Warhammer and Age of Sigmar (part 2)

This is going to be a rather massive post about the badlands terrain I'm building and painting for Warhammer Age of Sigmar. I should have split it up over the course of the weekend, but well I didn't so here goes. In the previous post about my badlands terrain build I glued polystyrene blocks to MDF, took fork and knife to them and covered the result in instant filler and PVA. The next step is sanding the base and the flat parts of the mesa rocks. To make sure sand only sticks where I want it, I had to wait until the terrain was well and dry from the previous step (i.e. wait a few days). The next step is adding a thick glob PVA with an unwanted (cheap) brush. I occasionally water down the PVA slightly to make it flow a bit more, but never too much (as I need control).

Ever wonder what the point of cheap brushes is? It is for adding glue and other brush destroying activities.
I cover one complete rock formation in PVA and then sand it, pouring sand from the plastic container over the model with a box under it. After gently shaking most of the excess sand in the box, I then pour the rest of the sand back in the plastic container and repeat.

Cut PVA to pieces, add sand...almost done...almost....
After a while rock formations start to look a bit less like polystyrene and a bit more like the way I want them. After covering each piece in sand I let rest on a plastic cup to dry. The bottomg of the base has excess PVA on it and this stops the piece from sticking to the newspaper.

This would be the sort of mistake I knew I shouldn't make, but made anyway.
Next up was a bit of a problem block (bad design by me). I glued to blocks next to each other from the base to the top and I should have stacked smaller blocks (like brickwork). The net effect was that the formation split and lifting the base would make the split worse. So no amount of filler or glue was able to stop this piece from breaking apart.

Time for a brutal fix: skewer the mistake...
Time for a quick fix. I grabbed some skewers stuck in two diagonally one way and another (no room for two) cross-ways from them. Then I snipped of the tops that stuck out and covered the remaining split with extra PVA and sand using a drop of superglue on the edges to stop the PVA from leaking out.

I always suspend MDF bases that have glue added to them to stop them from sticking to the underground.
Now all my hills look something akin to this. The sand I used here is from a beach with lots of smaller pebbles and bits of shell making it nice and rough ground. Next up is using even more PVA to glue bigger bits of rock to the model. I find using some real rock next to polystyrene rock makes the whole lot look more convincing. It als gives me a chance to cover up some ugly bits.

Stones add a bit of realism to the whole and cover up mistakes.
I use decorative stones from a plastic tube for this. I occasionally use stones I pick up from gravel roads but a) I ran out and b) these where available for next to nothing at the local Action (cheap stuff store) that also provides my endless supply of cheap PVA.

Slowly but surely we are getting to the painting stages.
Here is another shot of the terrain so far, ready to have the PVA dry for a while. I had one other small detail chore left to make the look complete. I cut out a mine entrance in one rock that needed some wood beams. I measured these in by eye.

Cut a mine shaft first, add supports later...not recommended for real mines.
These beams are bits of balsa wood. It has two nice properties. One is that it is very soft and easy to cut, the second that it can sponge up thinned down PVA making it reasonably strong after you put it in place. An important aspect of balsa sticks like these is that you need to cut random bits of the edges with your scalpel otherwise it looks way to new and square (like the bits above).

It even looks dark in the picture, in real life I look straight at the blue of polystyrene.
Here is the entrance glued with some extra cross supports of course. As my eye measurements suck I had to pushe some PVA below the beam on the right and add some sand to fill the gap. Not pictured is the PVA I used to fill the gaps on the sides of the beams. A cotton swab was used to flatten thicker drops of PVA.

Step 1: Cut little planks from balsa. Step 2: cut snippets from the planks to make them look old and worn.
Next up were the obligatory rails. A few more bits of balsa and two even smaller balsa sticks. Note the balsa curls at the bottom. The railway ties will need to look as worn down as the entrance.

A railway with floating ties? 
After a bit of screwing around with tweezers the railway is in place, but one thing looks off....

That's better: ties buried in the sand.
I used another cotton swab to add some PVA to the side of the front ties and added a bit of sand. Now it looks buried and it can pretend to be a big tie instead of a strange plank floating above the sand. After this detail it was time to give the entire assembly a lot of time to dry.

The first layer of paint has been applied. 
Next up I grabbed the colored latex wall paint, added a bit of PVA and water to it and covered the rocks a thick layer of paint.

Two thin coats is for another type of painting project.
The water in it makes it look worse, but the paint is on really thick as this is not a finely detailed plastic model there isn't a hell of a lot of fine detail to destroy by applying the paint to thick and it will over an extra layer of protection while gaming with it. Next up, you guessed it, more drying time. This brings it to the final stages I got to over the weekend: mostly drybrushing and washing.

Drybrushed the first contrast onto these rocks.
I picked up a GW Cursed Wastes scenery paint set earlier. And though the base color (Steel Legion Drab) is not much use here the drybrush colors are excellent for my purposes. I first drybrushed the sides of the cliffs with Tallarn Sand (pictured above). Next up was painting the tops of the hills with Zandri Dust. I could have picked a cheaper option then GW paint for this, but the stores where closed, I had a spare pot of it in my painting box and I was on a roll with this. So I didn't.

Add sand color.
After drying I washed all the sand areas with Seraphim Sepia (same story as with the Zandri Dust...). As I forgot to take a picture I'll have to ask you to use your imagination as to how it looked after this step. Next up was grabbing my ultra expensive terrain drybrush by Ikea...

It's almost like the artificer brush! Can you spot the difference?
I drybrushed both the sand and the rocks with Ushabti Bone to tie the sand and the red together.

Drybrushed again, this time with the higher contrast color.

The final step for this part of the process was a thick wash home wash. I made this by mixing cheap brown and black hobby paint with Pledge Floor Cleaner (for wooden floors). I apply this wash very \thick and then I use paper towel to dab off the top parts. This helps fill any spots I missed in the previous painting steps with a dark brown color. All drybrushing, especially the bright Ushabti layer is toned down a bit and it ties the sand and the rock together with a dark dusty layer. And last but not least it deepens the shadows and helps bring out recessed areas that the drybrush has missed. This weekend closed off with a step taken multiple times before: waiting for the project to dry. Next up I will be painting the mine entrance, add details and make up my mind in regards to flock and vegetation.

Covered in my homemade wash.
I'll leave this post with a close up shot of the homemade wash drying.

No comments:

Post a Comment