Sunday, 5 June 2011

Painting Terrain

Painting Simple Terrain Pieces
Between you and me, I have never really considered painting any terrain before. It has always seemed too big for me to want to do it. I struggled to complete a dreadnought, never mind my Land Raider. So why bother with a terrain piece?

The truth is, I enjoy seeing my Space Wolves, as close to fully painted as they are, rolling out to battle. It looks impressive seeing a fully painted army working their way around the battle field. It would be even more impressive seeing them manoeuvre around fully painted terrain, imagined with the grim dark of the 41st millennium in mind. For this post we will take a look at some experimenting I am doing with regards to simple terrain pieces, eventually seeing how they turn out as finished articles in the end.

From the picture above, you can see the two terrain pieces we will be using along with the associated paint and flock that will be required. For the paints I have gone with using the tester paint pots you get in all DIY stores. I found them to be cheaper than the paints I use on my models, while also holding three or four times the amount of paint in them. Most of them come with their own brush as well, which is of a decent size and will cover large areas pretty quickly. We are aiming to have one piece looking like a muddy crater, while the second one will be a crater blasted from solid rock (which really means that instead of it being brown, we will make it grey instead).

We will begin by spraying the pieces of terrain with a black basecoat. Im using the Army Painter matt black spray, but you can use whatever you usually use and have available. It is best to follow the instructions on the can and allow the paint to fully dry before moving on to the next stage.

Wet Mud / Dry Mud

Before putting paint on these terrain pieces consider the actual effect you want to achieve. For instance, with the muddy crater do you want it to be a dry crater, a wet and boggy crater or somewhere in between? Wet mud is generally a lot darker than dried mud so the basis for the colour of the terrain piece must be thought of in advance. Further examples of mud textures can be seen here Mayang Mud Textures.

The next stage involves painting the entire crater in the main colour we want. In this instance, one crater will be painted in Matt Smooth Chocolate, with the other crater being painted slate grey. The only trouble with the emulsion paints used is they take 2-4hrs to dry, so while waiting for that, we can crack on with any other painting, modelling, gaming you wish to do.

Now all we have to do is put a layer of Army Painter Quickshade over the craters, which will leave it with a glossy, wet look once dry. You can use any sort of varnish, but one with a dark tint will add extra depth to the cracks within the crater. I have never tried using clear varnish on this, but my feeling is without washing the cracks with a very dark colour first, the terrain may feel a little flat once completed.

As we don't want the crater blasted from solid rock to have a glossy wet look, once the varnish has dried (approximately 12hrs I leave it), we will spray the piece with a matt varnish to take the shine off. The result can be seen below.

The craters can then be flocked as you wish to create the feel you are looking for. Sometimes you may not feel it necessary to carry out any further additions. I have kept these simple for my first go, but will return to this area of the hobby in the near future to investigate what else can be done in modelling and painting terrain and scenery.

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