Building a Battlefield: Part 4

Welcome back to the Mad House! It really has been that this month as I’ve got back into full swing with this project. First off let’s show you the doors and steps I’ve made to finish off the Bastions. These really are in the “cosmetic only” camp but it really adds the finishing touches to make things pop. I don’t know why it is but when I finish a bit like this it really soothes my soul… it just feels finished.

For these I used some 3D printed Sci-fi doors I’d bought a while back. Apologies needed as for the life of me I can’t remember from where or from who. I got a few different packs to mix them up a bit and I think they do the job brilliantly. Because the trenches are going straight to the Bastion edges the existing doors didn’t work. I had to take them off and think of a solution. Using plasticard I’ve been able to make frames for the doors that are a lot thinner than the normal ones. It took a bit of whittling but now they fit flush together.

The steps are just foam board and tread plate plasticard like the ramps from the landing pad. Speaking of which I did a quick upgrade to make it so models could actually be placed on them. Just 3 strips and mission accomplished. It now holds models on the ramp.

I actually decided to get the tree sections of the board done as well so I could say the board was fully built. Probably a bit over the top for what they add but I wanted the trees to look like they have been growing for a while. The little hills give me something to safely put the trees into and add a little height so we are definitely hitting the requirements for -1 to hit terrain (not that I think people would be that seriou… no, wait, forget I mentioned that)

It’s just some carved foam to look like rocks and then clay to finish. The trees pop out easily but it’s tough and robust and I’ll static grass the whole thing I think since trees don’t grow into rocks. Then again in the 41st millennium who’s to say the good old Rock Tree hasn’t become a thing? I’ve done 6 bases of them so we can add or remove as necessary to get a good balance going with it.

With those done that’s the board all fully made now and I have to say it feels pretty great to have the construction out of the way. Painting can now commence!

So as I said last time I tend to go with the eat the elephant approach and planned to do the Aquila Strongpoint first. However on a whim I decided to go with the Firestorm Redoubt as the test piece instead.

I decided it would be a fairly simple scheme of Grey, steel and very aged Bronze effect. It’s not hugely exciting with a limited palette but you have to remember the end game when painting bit chunks of terrain. They aren’t going to be as exciting as painting a lovely army but when a lovely looking set of armies is played on an awesome looking board it’s a magical thing to see. So in the end you have to just suck it up and get through it. The palette used is below:

Paints used:

Mechanicus Standard Grey (the most exciting of colours!)
Balthazar Gold
Loren Forest for grass sections
Biel-Tan Green
Nihilahk Oxide
Agrax Earthshade
Nuln Oil for some wet blending at the end

This is a very simple palette to work from and it was a case of doing anything you feel would be metal first. So tread plates, doors etc. Then the very arduous task of the Gold. There’s s a lot of it on these models so it does gets repetitive very quickly. You just have to get your head down though and don’t get too concerned by neatness as the weathering process blends a lot of this anyway. I did make sure I had a good solid base down which meant going over it with 2 coats. With the obliteration it was about to receive from the washes though I’m not sure it was necessary in hindsight.

Once the gold was done I blocked in all the grey and then started to hit the Gold with washes. Biel-Tan Green first and then the Nihilahk Oxide before a Gold drybrush to pick out the details and then a final blast of Agrax over the whole thing (50/50 with an acrylic thinner). After that it was just wet blending in Nuln Oil to add more darkness & depth on the treadplate as needed.

I did consider whether just spraying it all Balthazar Gold and picking the other bits out was a smarter play. Honestly though the local hobby shop didn’t have any in on the day I started so it has all just been brushwork. Going with the spray would be a valid alternative though.

For this one I did the Loren Green forest sections before the final wash and then just static grassed it when it dried. As you can see it blends in really nicely with the mat so I’ve got high hopes for the trenches doing this as well.

Despite the limited palette it did still take the best part of a week to do with a few hours a day so it’s a chunky old job. I’m sure I’ll get quicker at it going forward though as I’ve realized percfect layer of gold isn’t really needed here. Well…maybe, my OCD does tend to kick in if I do a shoddy job…

So that’s a whole chunk more down this month and next time I’ll will get stuck into the big guns and the landing pad and maybe some of the trenches as well.

See you then!


What sort of terrain do you usually play with? Do you have a gaming board you’ve made yourself at home? Let us know in the comments.

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