Monday, December 4, 2017

Terrain Testing: Sectional Interior Castle/Dungeon Terrain

With terrain now being a part of this year's upcoming painting Challenge, I've resurrected a project that that's languish in the "should do but don't" list a long time - sectional interior terrain for skirmish and role playing games..  I really like some of the commercially available sets (Dwarven Forge and Lunesdargent) but they are expensive and hard to customize so wanted to build my own.

This weekend I built two test pieces trying different stone "textures" and wall sizes.  Each section will be 4x4 inches in size and built out of 1/2 inch wide Extruded Polystyrene Foam (EPS) or "pink insulation foam.  I used my trusty proxxon hot wire cutter and straight edge guide to cut the foam to size.  I'll post more details on construction at the end of this post.  I tested two types of wall style stone blocks and random stones:

Option A: Stone Blocks.  These were carved into the foam using a dull pencil and just eyeballed.  I added a 28mm Frostgrave Barbarian for scale but didn't think the grab a painted one - the grey plastic kind of blends in but you get the idea.
 As these are test pieces, everything was done super quick
I like how the floor came out but am so-so on the walls.  Perhaps drawing the stone on the walls with a bit more care would be in order.
Option B: Randon stones.  After watching Black Magic Crafts video review of Greenstuffworlds's texture rolling pins, I picked up a few to try out.  I used the cobblestone road one to try a make random stone texture for the walls.  The technique is simple - just bear down and roll the texture pin across the face of the foam.
 Everything the same size as the previous test.
The texture came out fainter than I wanted - probably because I didn't push down hard enough to really embed the pattern.

What do your guys think?

Construction Process (all pretty much stolen from Black Magic Crafts videos):

- Use a hot wire table cutter to cut your EPS down to size.  In this case thats 1 4x4 inch base plus 2 1.5x4 inch walls.  All of the pieces are 1/2 inch wide.  I tried different wall sizes (1,1.5,2,3 & and even 4) and found 1.5 inches had the best combination of appearance and practicality (players can see and grab figures).

- Before assembling add in your texture of choice

- glue the pieces together - I use Eileens Tacky glue but any type of pva will do.  I also added some toothpick "columns" to act as structural support

- Prime everything with a black primer/hardener - I uses a roughly 50/50 mixture of modge podge and black paint.  This covers the pink color and really strengthens the piece.

- Paint in a dark gray

- Dry brush on a lighter grey

- Wash with a wash of diluted black paint


Lasgunpacker said...

Both look pretty good, but I think the hand drawn ones turned out better (maybe because of the pressure issue you mentioned). I think you could also combine the techniques. Do the roller for the walls, and the pencil for the floor, or vice versa. Floor stones need not be the same as wall stones after all.

Steven Williams said...

Looks good - I prefer the top one. The more deeply embossed detail will look better from a distance.

Ivor Evans said...

My vote is for A - maybe give B another go using more pressure on the pin to see if that makes a difference, but I like your free hand stone work personally :)