Dork Tuesday: Trenches and Terrain

I have been crafting a lot of terrain lately. Most of it is for a Shadow War:  Armageddon game that I intend on playing with my son. Making it reminded me how much fun I used to have selling terrain online, so I expect to have several pieces available for sale in the near future. The photos here are a little rough. I took them to show a few friends without worrying about lighting or composition.

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DSC_0027I was inspired to start this project by the huge pieces of Styrofoam packaging that came with my wife’s printer. I didn’t have space to store them for later, and I didn’t want to just throw that lovely garbage away. I have also wanted to make some trenches for quite some time now, so it was a great opportunity to use up some irregular scraps of blue board that have been sitting around for years. I am especially pleased with the utility poles, which started out as plastic sprues from an old Thunder Road board game.

I have treated this project as an opportunity to improve my technique. Each game board section is a 1’x1′ segment on a hardboard backing. This modular arrangement allows me to rearrange the battlefield for each session. The barbed wire is hardware cloth cut into pronged strips and then rolled around a pencil. The effect wasn’t quite what I wanted, but I think I have an idea of how to perfect it in the future. Those sandbags were made by Fortress Figures and are over twenty years old.

The second piece is an abandoned comm relay center, which can serve as an objective in some game scenarios. I put a lot of effort into painting Styrofoam white. Even funnier, the grime and streaks of green algae were inspired by foam litter out in the woods. The satellite dish is made from an old Games Workshop flying base, a PVC pipe cap, a spent Scotch tape roll, and a couple bits of sprue. A good friend of mine was kind enough to gift me with tons of bits that feature prominently in each piece. I had yet to apply any weathering pigments at the time that I took the photos. I also added some graffiti cribbed from sidewalk scribblings and the opening sequence of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

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