Friday, December 9, 2011

Cheap and Easy Area Terrain

I was at a Petsmart and noticed some aquarium plants on the clearance rack. I picked them up to make a few pieces of area terrain. I've made quite a few buildings and bunkers in the past, but I don't have any area terrain. In particular, I wanted to be able to remove the plants when a squad moved through it. As I do for so many problems, I turned to magnets to do this.

For a base, I tried something called craft plywood. It was cheaper than balsa and seemed much stronger. In the past, I've used foamcore for bases, but it always seems to warp when I paint it.

The craft plywood worked great, but it was amazingly tough for a 1/8" thick piece of wood. Cutting it to shape took quite a while, even using a Dremel. Once that was done, I shoved some flat thumbtacks into it and painted it with textured paint. I then painted it with Desert Yellow to match my Blood Angels' bases.

For the plants, I cut sections off the aquarium plants between 1" and 3" in length. I then made a cone of green stuff and shoved the base of the plants into it, then embedded a magnet in the base. I stuck it to a piece of plastic to keep it upright and guarantee a flat base. Once it was dry, I popped it off and painted the green stuff bulb with Calthan Brown to stand for the woody stump at the base of the plant.

Here are the completely assembled pieces of scenery. All the vegetation is held to thumbtacks in the base by magnets so that it can be easily removed during games.

They're not the fanciest piece of terrain I've ever seen, but they're certainly functional. The materials cost me about $15 total, and this is only using half of what I bought, so the price is right.

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