Sunday, September 13, 2015

WWX Terrain: Mine Tunnels

If you've been through my terrain galleries, you'll know that I've built a lot of terrain for the Wild West Exodus game. Outlaw Miniatures contracted me again to create some new battlefields. The first is a mining complex– A series of underground tunnels in a hillside, with a lift-off top that features an area of forested terrain.



The table measures 4'x4' and the mine tunnels were constructed from stacked 2-inch insulation foam. Each side of the table has two entry points, and the interior of the mine forms a series of crisscrossing tunnels and rooms.



Once the mine tunnels were cut, I framed the exterior of the table with thin lauan. Any gaps and staples were smoothed over with wood filler putty.



The front corner of the table has the main entrance of the mine, cut into a cliff face.



The cover (a piece of 1/2-inch fiberboard) was cut to the shape of the cliff, with a small portion permanently attached so there would be a clean edge at the front of the cliff. The seam was covered with wood filler putty. I roughed up the surface of the walls and cliff with a wire brush. It was a pretty cheap brush, and it was practically wrecked by the time I was finished!



I vacuumed up all the loose foam (and more than a few wire brush hairs) and sanded and spackled the top of the wall sections. I spread some wood filler on the walls to cover the seams between the two layers of foam and vary the rock texture. Then I added sand and gravel on the floor of the mine.



The sides were sanded as well, and I added four pegs on the corners to lock the cover board in place.



Holes corresponding to the pegs were drilled in the corners of the cover.



Some basswood strips were placed along the walls of the mine to represent the support beams, and then I began painting. The color was drybrushed with a series of greys and browns.



The tops and sides of the board were painted black, and I added the tracks for the mine cart using model railroad tracks.



The ramps and platform for the turnaround were made from foam core covered with basswood planking.



Ladders are scattered throughout the tunnels. They correspond to hatches on the top board so models can move between the two levels.



I made a bunch of mine carts using model railroad train wheels and styrene card. Outlaw Miniatures had also sent a batch of treasure and cargo with which I could populate the mine.



Since Wild West Exodus blends a mix of sci-fi and old west, I made a handful of high-tech lamps and painted a red glow around them. They were then glued in place in the mine.



I also made a ton of low-tech lanterns to hang on the hooks in the mine. Power cables were made from thick floral wire, bent over hooks in the support beams.




A gear system and generator was added for the turnaround.



The mine even has a caved-in tunnel!



Here's a top-down shot of the finished mine with the cover removed.



Coming up, we'll step outside and take a look at the forest and mining building in more detail.


'Til next time!


  1. Silly. Just silly what you do. Love it and one day when I hit the lotto you are gonna be a very busy man ;)

  2. That's just phenomenal. Truly,inspirational stuff.

  3. Most impressive and awesome job...so creative and atmospheric, these great pictures makes us want to go through this maze, so many adventures can be imagined!

  4. Simply incredible!! A truly inspiring piece!

  5. Cool & Awesome!
    Inspirational & Splendid!
    Great Crafmanship & Truly Proffessinal!

  6. I can see why they come back for more, most have been one happy customer. Great terrain as always.

  7. I could build that.....kinda.....sorta.......nah, not really :D

    Apart from your excellent workmanship, this would be an awesome table to game on! Imagine the amount of interesting scenarios you could come up with to play on it?

    Good show old boy :)

  8. Thanks for the comments, everyone! I appreciate it! The table was a lot of fun (and work) to build!

  9. Stunning work, I can't stop looking at the photos and admiring your modelling and problem solving skills. Truly inspirational!

  10. Absolutely amazing - fantastic detail.

  11. Fantastic and such an inspiration.
    Been thinking about doing something similar and this gave me lots of ideas.

  12. AMAZING, a incredible table, congratulations!!

  13. That's just totally awesome! I'm truly inspired!