Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Terrain Tutorial #1 - Introduction and Materials

One of the many projects that I currently have on the go is a collection of Imperial Sector terrain. In a previous post, I have put some pictures up of the buildings themselves, which are essentially assembled, short of perhaps a few bits to add here and there.

However, now I am tasked with finishing them, which includes putting them on a sturdy base, adding debris and battle damage, and then ultimately paint them all up. This series of tutorials will hopefully document my progress in a way that can be useful for others.

Materials Used:
  1. Hardboard (aka MDF, or medium-density fibreboard): I purchase these at a local arts store, but larger sheets can be found in hardware stores as well. The ones I use are laminated (smooth & shiny) on one side and rough on the other, 1/8" thick and are available in various sizes. The community seems to agree that they are a good fit for basing and I can tell that they will be sturdy enough to hold your heavy Imperial Sector buildings. However, they are not perfect and will need to be processed prior to use.
  2. Foam Core (or foamboard): Another material commonly found in arts stores, this is basically 2 pieces of glossy bristol board sandwiching a rigid piece of foam (open cell, I believe). These also come in different thicknesses and sizes, and I suggest the standard (roughly 1/8-1/4") for most uses. Foam Core has many uses, is relatively easy to cut, and is is pretty sturdy.
  3. Gesso: A thick primer that I use to seal the Hardboard panels prior to use.
  4. Matte & Gloss Varnish: Eventually will be used to seal the entire finished piece (matt varnish for most of the work, gloss for any fluid/reflective materials), I also put a coat or two on the underside of the MDF to seal it further from damage/wear & tear.   
  5. PVA Glue: Basic white glue for general-purpose gluing.
  6. Coping Saw: Unless you have access to a bandsaw or table saw, you will need this to cut the MDF.
  7. Fine, Medium, and Course Sand/Basing Material: Pretty self-explanatory, used to add texture to the scenery.
  8. Old Sprues/Random Bits/Rocks/Anything & Everything: Again, pretty self-explanatory, these will add further texture and realism to your scenery.
  9. Misc. Hobby Tools: This includes Hobby Knife, files & sandpaper, Green Stuff (or other sculpting material). In future tutorials I will make mention of any specific tools/materials that I use.
  10. THE INTERNET: This is very important! As I am just starting off in this hobby, my imagination and breadth of knowledge is miniscule compared to what is out there. Most of my work is based on copious amounts of research & browsing other peoples' awesome work. At some point I will try and put together a list of links that I find helpful, but in the meantime do your own research and bookmark any interesting thing you come across!

Coming up in #2, I will go into some planning and pre-work required to ensure your terrain ends up looking awesome on the gaming table. Thanks for reading!

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