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Saturday, October 7, 2017
Star Wars Scenery Showcase: Lothol
Over the summer, Fantasy Flight Games commissioned me to make some boards for their new miniatures game, Star Wars Legion. It was exciting to finally see the game debuted at Gencon. Here's a look at the Lothol demo board that I made for them.
Ive been a lifelong fan of Star Wars, and I love the Rebels animated series, so this was a dream project for me. The seed of my love for miniature gaming was actually planted as a result of Star Wars– I used to play the West End Star Wars RPG, and they had a miniatures game supplement that was really intriguing, and I even started building some scenery for it, with the intention of incorporating a mass battle into the campaign. But the project never came to fruition and I wouldn't begin formally playing miniatures until years later when a friend introduced me to Warhammer. (If you want to hear more of my history in miniatures gaming, and listen to me talk terrain, check out episode 12 of Plan of ATK!, the tabletop gaming podcast by Simon Berman and Laurie Payne.)
Now here we are, about 20 years later, and I'm building terrain for a new Star Wars Miniatures game, and the first board is based on the environment of one of my favorite Star Wars series! Lothol is Ezra Bridger's home planet. The distinguishing features are golden, grassy plains with towering rock spires. The show design was based on concept art by the legendary Ralph McQuarrie, the man who's vision defined the look of the Star Wars we know and love.
During my summer terrain blitz, I didn't get as many work-in-progress photos as I normally do. I built the 3' x 3' board on a wooden frame, and used half-inch insulation foam to build some rolling hills. The foam hills were shaped with a Surform shaver (which works like a planer file). The rocks were cut from circles of 2-inch insulation foam, stacked and shaped into the spires.
In this image you can see the layout of the board, the white paper shows the layout of the Imperial outpost, with some Space Marine Scouts for scale.
The perimeter wall was built from foam core board with styrene U and L strips for the trim. Styrene rod was used for the rails and posts, and it was attached to the board with metal pins, drilled into the wood surface.
The blast marks are painted on the board, and the broken rails were melted with a heat gun.
The rock spire foam was covered with wood filler putty to give it a hard, rocky texture, and the horizontal lines were cut in with the edge of a file. They were painted with a series of browns, drybrushing from dark to light, up to a cream color at the top. The bottoms of the stones were washed with brown ink to help blend them into the table surface. I used Woodland Scenics static grass for the boards in a mix of Harvest Gold and Wild Honey with a little burnt grass. I made some grass tufts to add here and there.
There is a side board that attaches to the main board, and it has a few loose rock spires to vary the layout.
The buildings for the outpost were built from scratch with foam and styrene parts. Fantasy Flight sent some doors, crates, and moisture vaporators to reproduce in resin, and I incorporated them into the structures.
The battle for the fate of the galaxy is ready to begin...