Thursday, June 9, 2011

Swamp Pits!

So since I've been working on making my own terrain to play with recently (moreso as well due to AGR closing down), I actually went digging around my garage until I found some hardboard that I bought ages ago for a different project. This stuff is also called MDF (aka medium density fiberboard) and can be found relatively easily at your local hardware store. I think I paid 6 or 10 bucks for a 4'x8' sheet, so it's also pretty cheap.

Anyways, on to the pictures. I've been messing around with stuff, and then realized that Micah didn't really have any 5" AOE's for his gator army. So I set out to remedy that situation.

I started by cutting 2x 5" AOE's out of the MDF. I tried several different methods at first. What doesn't work? A dremel or a hobby knife. I would assume scissors, but I didn't even attempt that one :p So I busted out my buddy's jigsaw and eventually got 2 relatively nice circles done. Sand the top with an electric sander and bevel the edges with a dremel, and there ya go.

While you can just toss these down onto a table and play with them, they're not good enough. I tried texturing them 2 different ways.

Attempt #1:

The first try used plaster wrap (basically guaze coated in plaster - found at Michael's). So I cut it up into usable pieces, dipped into hot water, and ran with it.

So I put down some cork pieces to form a lip and then tried to get it the plaster wrap to be smooth.... It came out like crap.

I have used it to decent effect on some hills, but I was flocking those hills, so the screen showing through didn't matter there.

On to attempt #2:

After doing some browsing of the Terrain & Table Building section of PP's forums, and found this thread detailing a guy making his own board. So he was using a combination of PVA glue, wood filler, water, & toilet paper. I didn't have any wood filler on hand when I did this, but I think it turned out pretty good.

Still in the drying stage.

I let that dry overnight, and the next day after work, I got to painting it. Here's a crappy pic of the paint before all the varnish & stuff. I ended up putting a layer of Thraka Green wash onto the water on the right template before I put in the water, but forgot to do it on the other.

So then I sprayed both of them thoroughly with my Krylon acrylic gloss varnish stuff. I probably should have done several thin coats...but I was impatient and lazy/had to get to the lab.

Once I got home, I remembered that I still had the 2-part epoxy/water effect stuff. Can't remember what it's called right now, but maybe I'll remember to edit it in later :p.

So I brushed some matte varnish onto the swampy ground, but it seems like I need another layer since they're both pretty shiny still. Then again, swamps are wet.

And to model how these things actually play, here's my WIP Alexia standing in for some gators.

I'm happier with the first one then the second, but whatever. I tried to do a pond scum effect by dripping a gree wash onto the water effect while it was drying, but I guess right after you pour the water effect is too early. Just doesn't seem right. Anyways, I'll be packing these up to give to Micah this weekend at TSG hopefully, and he can throw on some of his little grass clumps and gators.


  1. Might I suggest a sprinkle of flock or static grass over parts of it to get that pond-scum effect? They're a little bit too brown at the moment and it has a slight 'wet dung' effect.

  2. Yah, Micah's going to add his own flock/static grass to match his bases better.