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Terrain Tutorial Archive

Welcome to my archive of terrain tutorials! New tutorials always appear as regular bog posts first and are then added here for quick and easy reference. Click the text to link directly to the post. Enjoy!



Simple Battlefield


A tutorial for making battlefield boards that look great and are easy to transport to a friend's house and store when not in use.

Graveyard Hills


A tutorial for building graveyard-themed hills with stairs and crypts.

Swamp Grass

A step-by-step tutorial for making tall swamp grass using inexpensive paint brushes.



This tutorial fucuses on the following techniques:  Using putty to make plowed fields; texturing insulation foam to make stone walls; and using plastic floral accessories to make crops.

Halloween Terrain: Mausoleum

Halloween shops have a lot of great items that can be used to make terrain. With a little work, a bag of plastic skulls and a rusty metal fence can become the centerpiece of any Haunted Battlefield.


Flagstone Streets

In this tutorial I'll show you how to make square-cut flagstone, sandstone, or slate streets.


Simple Stairs


I always strive for terrain that's playable and takes model placement into consideration and these stairs fit the bill perfectly!


Neon Signs


Find out how I make my neon signs in this step-by-step tutorial that covers the assembly and painting process.


Making Pipes 


Check out this simple but effective way to create piping for your sci-fi or steampunk themed terrain.


Desert Mesas, Painting

Step-by-step tutorial for painting desert terrain and adding vegetation.


Desert Mesas, Construction

A short tutorial about shaping rock faces and mesas for your desert-themed gaming table.


Building a Game Table

A list of tools and supplies you'll need along with step-by-step instructions on how to build your own gaming table or work table.


Making Crates

Ever want to learn how to make quick boxes and crates? Perfect for adding detail to factory and shipyard settings, and useful for taking cover from an enemy model's fire!


Wrath of Kings Diorama

A start-to-finish assembly journal for this massive display!
Part 1: Shaping the Hillside
Part 2: Building the Goritsi City
Part 3: Rooftops and Chimneys
Part 4: Resin Casting Windows
Part 5: Painting and Final Details


  1. Any chance you could show us how you make those really nice explosion effects for Rivet Wars? I don't know how you get the inside of the cotton balls painted as well as the outside.

    1. Unfortunately, I don't have a tutorial for the explosions; I didn't take any photos as I was working. The entire explosion was just spray-painted; the insides don't really get hit with the paint.

  2. Your work is fantastic! Would you mind explaining just how you cut the individual stone effect into the foam, as used in your buildings?

    1. Thanks, David! I show how the stone work is done in the Halloween Terrain tutorial: http://robhawkinshobby.blogspot.com/2014/10/halloween-terrain-tutorial.html

  3. Nice tutorials!
    I like the rocks and especially the effect that the neon signs make.
    The simple stairs looks good too, but I don't have permission to look at the tutorial. Is that on purpose? Or is the link broken?

    1. Thanks! I think the link was broken for the Stairs tutorial. I fixed it so it should be working now. I've also added the Halloween Terrain tutorial from last month at the top. I appreciate the heads up on the broken link!

  4. Thanks, good you fixed the link. I will tell you if something else is wrong :)

    Good tutorial by the way. I like the ability of miniatures standing on the stairs without having gigantic steps.

  5. Hi Rob, I love the flagstone tutorial and wondered how you you tackle cobblestones?

    1. Hi Kieran! I've seen wallpaper that has a nice "cobblestone" texture, but haven't been able to find any recently, so I haven't made any "proper" cobblestone streets. I usually go with flagstone because it looks nice and is easier to make with simple materials.

  6. Hi Rob. I came across your work by absolute luck as I was looking for a way to make a pipe melee weapon from last of us and your pipe tutorial was perfect.. thank you whole heartedly :)

    You are an inspiration and looking at your work has made me want to start making this sort of creative art.. I've never done it before, but I'll be sure to follow your work for guidance :)