WWW.SKULLFORGESCENICS.ETSY.COM

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Runewars Terrain, Part 1: Swamp Boards

Back in June, Fantasy Flight Games commissioned me to build a set of demo boards for the launch of their upcoming Runewars miniatures game. The concept required a 2' x 3' central board with a castle ruin in the center, and two 3' x 3' boards to go on either side. Each of the boards needed a handful of scatter terrain– ruins, swamps, and trees.

I had to keep the project under wraps until their announcement of the game at Gen Con, but I took photos of the build and kept a project log as I went. This next series of blog posts will be about the table build, and I hope you'll follow along. If you have any questions, ask in the comments below.



Modular Game Boards
 

The 3' x 3' boards were going to have built-in swamps on the corners, and they needed to align with either side of the center display and with each other to form a 3' x 6' play area. I began by sketching out the shape of the swamps.


Then, I cut the swamp shapes out of the top boards and attached them to the table frames to create a 1/4-inch recessed areas.


With the swamps cut out and lined up, I filled in a few areas with foam core smoothed over the edges with wood filler putty.


The table was coated with wood glue and sand and a few larger rocks, then it was painted with a layer of brown latex paint to help seal in the sand. The ground was all drybrushed with P3 colors Gun Corps Brown, Moldy Ochre, and Menoth White Base. The rocks were picked out with grey.


Patches of flock and static grass, and a few grass tufts were added. Then I masked off the corners with plastic card and poured the water effects. I used Envirotex Lite "Pour-On," tinted with a little brown and green paint. If you're trying this yourself, use only a drop or two of paint as it tints the resin very quickly making it nearly opaque.


The Envirotex dried overnight and I pulled off the card.




I sanded the edges smooth, and everything lined up perfectly. The static grass pattern also matched up between boards.





Here you can see the boards with their finished swamps. (There are four because I made two sets of tables.)


Once the board edges were painted black, the modular boards were finished.


Swamp Trees

To make some suitably creepy trees, I started by sculpting a large tree trunk and made a few resin castings of it. Woodland Scenics plastic tree armatures were pegged into the tops to create a larger tree.





The trees were painted with a series of sprays– Black primer, then dark grey, medium brown, and a lighter grey spray on the tops of the branches. The hanging moss was created by dipping pieces of cotton balls in a thinned mix of P3 Traitor Green paint and wood glue. The cotton was then draped over the branches and a few drops of wood glue added. Green flock was sprinkled over the cotton and left to dry.


Once dry, the cotton "moss" was firm enough to handle. A little flock was glued onto the bases of each tree to help it blend into the ground.


I made enough trees to put a small woods on each of the boards.


Finally, a template was made to define the area of the woods, textured to match the table base. The trees stand on the template and can be removed when units of troops move through.


Swamps

I made some modular swamp terrain for each of the tables. The style of these matched the grass and water in the recessed swamps on the board corners.




I'll discuss the swamps more thoroughly in an upcoming tutorial about making tall swamp grass (link below).


Follow these links to read the rest of the series:

Runewars Terrain, Part 1: Swamp Boards

Terrain Tutorial: Swamp Grass

Runewars Terrain, Part 2: Castle Ruins

Runewars Terrain, Part 3: Ruins and Arches

Runewars Terrain, Part 4: Painting and the Finished Table


'Til next time!

17 comments:

  1. The draped, green cotton over the trees is a genius idea. Great stuff! How did you attach the card edging to stop the water effects from seeping out?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your style is the epitome of the era I loved growing up. 6th edition white dwarf fantasy. Once I have my own house (and subsequent room) I will have to buy a table from you. Your stuff is always so beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks guys! The card is attached with a hot glue gun, and then covered with clear packing tape to ensure that if there IS any seepage, it stops in the tape.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Amazing work as always! Really like the look of the swamps, so I can wait for the tutorial so that I can give it a go.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Fantastic work! Really good tut!

    ReplyDelete
  6. The hanging moss was a great idea and looks as great

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great looking terrain.

    Thank you for posting the images.

    Tony

    ReplyDelete
  8. Here's a stupid question. I have never had success with glue and sand as a base. Even with wood glue and 24 hours to dry, the sand always comes up when I try to paint it. I have a massive terrain project coming up. Any suggestions?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah ha! I used to have that problem too. You need to switch to WATERPROOF (or water-resistant) wood glue. Regular wood glue reactivates when it gets wet from the paint and then the sand slides around when you brush it. I use Titebond II Premium Wood Glue (Water Resistant for interior/ Exterior) and don't have that problem anymore.

      Delete
  9. Ok, so the water effects- how to stop the "lip" effect next to the plastic "stop"? I noticed you had a slight one, how do you rectify that issue? If you sand it or cut it, it looks dull, and does not blend in with the water. Your secret? Has anyone tried using vaseline on the plastic "stop" to limit the adhesion for the lip?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's a little bit of a lip and I usually slice it off so it's not sharp. It's usually not a concern as I paint the edge black anyway. I never tried vaseline to reduce the surface tension, so I don't know if that would help, but more importantly, I don't know if it would inhibit the curing of the Envirotex.

      Delete
  10. From a logistical standpoint, how did you get the boards to FFG? Did you ship them or bring them to GenCon with you?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Larger boards like these get shipped to the company.

      Delete
  11. Looks incredible. What kind of sand do you use for flocking the board?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I use play sand (sandbox sand), available at DIY stores.

      Delete