Throw Momma from the Terrain – 01

I’ve finally decided to crawl out of my hole, granted it’s a nice hole, to write up a quick post for Combo Smite. I wanted to start out modestly and give a little insight into creating and customizing terrain. I’d like to continue this segment over time where I will only delve into all things terrain/basing and the like.  I will at some point in the near future focus on models as well, present and past paint jobs of mine, but baby steps, people.  Okay, let’s get started.


When I first started painting every little bit of information helped. From dry brushing techniques to washing tips.  So I’ll assume you’re a clean slate and have never customized a piece of terrain before. The great part about this stuff is that it doesn’t require the kind of attention painting models demands, therefore you can sit back and create forests, hills, base models, dry brush trees all in the comforting yet stern glow of your T.V. accompanied by a myriad of Full House reruns on Netflix.  Mmmmhmmm, living the dream.

1.  I started with a set of fences made by Games Workshop.

Now in order to flesh them out and add some pretty colours I wanted to first expand the bases of the fences. So in order to do so I cut many strips of cardboard from a cereal box (any kind will do, but rumour has it Fruit Loops makes the best support base), and glued the cardboard to the bottom of each individual fence.  The next step is simple, take white glue and brush it all over the cardboard base and generously sprinkles sand effects, all over the glue like so….


That part was a breeze right?  Time consuming yes, but fairly simple. Cut cardboard, glue to base, apply glue to base, apply sand and let dry.

2.You stink, time for a wash.

I’ll safely assume you don’t have eyes, the picture above shows a black wash called ‘oil’.  After the glue and sand are dry I take a dark wash such as ‘oil’ or ‘mud’ both made by Citadel and heavily apply the wash all over the sand to give it a dark earth tone.  It will never look consistently one colour as some of the original light coloured sand may poke through here and there. This is totally fine and adds some dynamics to the ground effect. For the most part the ground will be really dark. This next part is perhaps the most crucial of any step past or future. First you’re going to take your mouse and left click the bar on the side of this page. Scroll that bar down until you get to the next picture. Whew, are you still alive? You’re on to the next step.


3. Drybrushing stuff.

The next part needs a little preface. These fences came unpainted from the factory, Mofaux (Nick) had been borrowing my set for some time and applied a quick manageable paint job to them last year. Basically he used the Citadel paints washing products. It’s not hard, paint the fence brown and the walls grey, a nice medium toned brown and light toned grey that isn’t too dark, because the wash wouldn’t show otherwise. After it dries you then apply a black wash liberally all over the painted fence and walls and you get a decent wall/fence as you see in the picture above. The wash gives the piece more curves as it accentuates the shadows more.

Okay, so assuming your fences and/or walls are painted and washed it’s time to dry brush. Basic technique requires some old brushes. I usually gut the hairs on the brushes down to about 50% original length for a more manageable application.  You then simply chose your highlight colour, dip the brush in and wipe most of it off on a paper tower. I will sometimes swipe the brush on my finger to make sure there isn’t any wet paint left on the brush as the name suggests. Then I apply the brush all over the parts I want to highlight.  The nature of the brush and the fact that there isn’t a ton of paint on the bristle mean you’ll be lightly coating all the areas on the model are  protruding or raised. So all the raised and sharp edges will get this layer of highlight that really adds depth to the whole thing.  For a detailed tutorial on dry brushing I recommend Google, because it’s your friend.

Annnnddd we’re off. I used Citadel paint called “Stone’ and applied a dry brush layer to the entire sand covered ground.  As my second layer I took white and mixed it to the stone for a lighter effect and applied that to most of the ground. I was careful not to go over every single area that I had just previously brushed. The variation of layers and slight hues make for a more dynamic looking ground.  Play around with it, have fun, follow your hearts boys and girls.  I also decided to dry brush all the walls and fences too. I played around with different browns, but for the stone walls I used a light grey for the first layer, and an almost white grey for the second layer.

Below I’ve shown the dry brushed ground and half of the wall. I wanted to let you see the difference for your self between the two options. The left shows both layers of dry brushing and the right is sans the technique.  Even looking at the middle post vs the far right post you can see the added detail with these simple highlights.

4.  A Flock of Seagulls.

It’s part 4 already? Wow time flies when you’re having fun, eh guys?  Guys? Time to flock, lay grass, place bushes and all the nice things that bring to life these fanciful fences.

Take some white glue and distribute it any way you wish over the sand and sprinkle some grass on it. I chose this one:

I’ll add a few bushes here and there as well. Or in the industry we professionals call them tufts. I used these:

Here are the end results!


5. Bonus part: Legend of the Fall.

I went for a fall theme with this set of terrain, so it required one more small step. Adding the fall foilage. Simply apply white glue wherever you wish on the dirt and grass. To add to the falling leaves effect I also put some white glue on the fences.  Next I sprinkle the heck out of this stuff




This final picture shows one more effect I decided to use: moss. I applied it like the grass but only in some areas on the trees and fence.


Now here’s the awkward part. I have nothing else to teach you, you’re not saying anything at all. We’re just staring at each other in silence……Oh right! I just remembered luckily I have an emergency back home and I gotta go..been fun bye!


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