Fences and walls

I’ve been working on terrain for wargaming for the past few days. It looks like I’m much better at what I’m doing, compared to how I did as a teenager, despite lack of training. I’m being pragmatic here and working on stuff I could really use in games. Basic cover is tres important, so I’ve been looking at both soft and hard cover.

These plants are done. The first one is a paper plant, constructed by directions from Terragenesis. The main stalk of the plant is 5 cm (2″) tall.

I based it on 5 mm foamcore, cut a hole to stick the plant in, glued with PVA. The base is textured with thinned down PVA and Woodland Scenics’ medium brown ballast. The ballast was coated with black and drybrushed with three shades of brown. The plant is done with Vallejo’s sick green, with added dark green stripes (Miniature Paints stock). I might add some detail to the leaves, but it’s very difficult to paint once assembled – I should’ve painted the plant before gluing it up. Also, it could’ve used a coat of primer or another coat of sick green; the paper is showing through a bit. I might make more of these. You can complete one in a single sitting, provided the glue sets in quickly, and they cost next to nothing, if you have some foamcore and PVA sitting around.

Paper plant

The second plant is my wife’s design; I wanted to try using aquarium plants and she came up with this. It’s the same height as the paper one, 5 cm (2″). It’s constructed from plastic leaves cut from a bag of plastic vine meant for aquarium use; 2.90 € a bag, with enough leaves for six plants. The leaves are attached to a piece of barbeque skewer with 0.30 mm wire. The wire also gives the stick a more interesting form. The wire’s form is hidden with a coat of Vallejo’s putty.

The plant is based on foamcore, textured almost exactly the same way as the paper plant’s base, except that the base was cut rectangularly and the sides of the foamcore were sealed with putty. The leaves were painted with Citadel goblin green, highlighted with thinned down Miniature Paints yellow and given the darker green stripes with two shades of a darker green (Vallejo sick green and Miniature Paints dark green, I think).

I’m very pleased with this design, I think I’ll do the rest of the plastic plants the same way. Cheap, too, I think they average out to around 1 € a piece, if you need to buy the plastics and the wire.

Plastic plant

I got some balsa wood and decided to learn working with it by making some basic fences. I have two in progress. I have difficulty in deciding how to paint them. The balsa sure sucks up paint. The grey tone I went for here is alright, but rather boring. The base is not done.

I cut up the balsa, arranged the vertical supports on a foamcore base, cut slits to push the supports into the base – they wouldn’t hold up otherwise, I think. Then the horizontal boards were attached with PVA glue. This was a little tricky, as you want a very even support. The whole thing was coated black and drubrushed with three layers of grey.

The sheet of balsa cost 2.50 €, and it’s large enough to make more fences than I could ever hope to use.

Grey fence

To provide some hard cover options for the playing field, I tried assembling a couple of concrete walls. This was also a test to see how I should go about constructing a larger, ruined corner type of thing I’m planning.

The two walls are identical save for the battle damage on the foremost one. They’re 2 cm tall foamcore, so just suitable to hide behind and still shoot over. I have sealed the ends with card cut to shape and set with PVA. The walls are decorated with further pieces of card to give an appearance of tiles or something – just something to make them interesting, as I didn’t have fine sand at hand to make an easy concrete texture. The damaged sections are cut away with a hobby knife and sealed with Vallejo’s putty.

I’m pleased with the paint job. The walls were coated with black and then very lightly drybrushed with Miniature Paints dark grey, adding lighter layers carefully. Because it never got a solid, smooth coat bar the basecoat of black, it’s developed a nice uneven texture. I almost spoiled the first one with a not dry enough brush, so do be careful when doing this especially when applying the last, almost white highlights.

The walls are, again, based on foamcore, attached with PVA. I don’t yet know what I’m going to do with the bases. I think I’ll need some finer sand and some static grass to get the variety the bases need.

If you have the basic necessities of foamcore, card and PVA available, the walls are practically free.

Damaged wall

3 Comments

  1. Kai

    Wow. I saw the walls in progress, when you were cutting bits off quite carefree. The end result is nothing short of amazing. The damaged bits look almost melted, as if some futuristic plasma cannon had fused the stone.

    If you are doing a lot of this kind of scenery work, I assume it would be worth it to cough up for a black spraypaint primer? I can imagine the balsa wood indeed sucking up a lot of paint.

    I’m getting all nerd-giddy reading about stuff you’re making.

  2. joonas.laakso

    Glad you like them. :) Yeah, going on these, there’s a bunch of stuff I could use, like static grass, fine sand and something to mix with the paint to get a textured surface. I suspect I’ll be going through paint very fast, too, covering anything larger than these walls.

    I worked on the ruined corner thing tonight, planning it, cutting the shapes from foamcore and assembling them, and it’s looking like a winner. Detailing it might be a lot of work though, and probably something I can only learn by doing. We’ll see if I snap some pictures before going further with it.

  3. Pingback: Dusty Gamer » Blog Archive » Finishing stuff

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