Here’s one I made earlier

I’ve just moved house and finally I’m going to have the space to a table of my own set-up at home. However as a great man once said  “a table […]

I’ve just moved house and finally I’m going to have the space to a table of my own set-up at home. However as a great man once said  “a table is nothing without some terrain to lay upon it”, well if he didn’t he should have. Moving house isn’t cheap as we all know so I’m not what you would call flush with expendable income to buy terrain so here I have an example of some nice line of sight blocking pieces I’ve put together on the cheap.

The Tools

So the tools I used are

  • Dremel with a cutting attachment (a standard hack saw will do, but I’m lazy)
  • Hot Glue gun
  • Cordless Drill with a 5mm brill bit
  • Assortment of paint brushes
  • Scissors
  • Sharpe / Marker
  • Sand paper

The Materials

So what bits are we going to use?

  • Tins, yep the same one’s your beans come in (these are from dog food strangely enough) try and get the ones with ring pulls as these have less sharp edges
  • Hardboard – a very thin kind of MDF that we will be used to base our terrain on i got a huge sheet that will cover all my needs for some time for under £5
  • Selection of paints (cheap Halfords primer none of the expensive stuff)
  • Drink’s straws –  i had a pack of 1000 in the kitchen that cost around £2 some time ago
  • PVA Glue
  • Sand for basing

On with the show


Firstly place your tins next to each other and mark out the base for the terrain on your Hardboard
Next cut our your base, and sand the edges down until smooth. Here i also positioned the tins and made an outline of where theywould be glues down. I then made a mark in front of each one where i would drill a 5mm

hole for my straw to sit in. (note: I realised later these would look better with a tapered edge on the base so if you have a sanding attachment for your Dremel that would put a nice finish on.)

Next I drilled out the holes on the tins, and the base for the straws. Then slide the short end of your straw all the way in, then glue from the inside with the hot glue gun.  
 Now, glue the tins in place using the hot glue gun. and then fix the straw into the hole in the base, again using the glue gun.  
 I missed a picture of this step but basically, pva and sand the base like you would any miniature, and leave to dry.
Mine where then primed and left to dry. Ideally I’d use black, but i only had white in the house and I’m an impatient bugger. You can see I added some stones to the base for a bit of detail on one of them.  
Next they were painted. I used my airbrush to speed up the process but this isn’t the cheapest way of doing it. the 2 pieces pictured tool up a whole bottle of Vallejo Model Air Gun. In hindsight some cheap metallic rattle cans would be a better idea for multiple pieces. I applied the same basing method I would usually use, Graveyard earth (very watered down so as not to be to expensive), then dry brush with Snakebite Leather, and finished with a dry brush of bleached bone.  
To break up some of the blandness I added some details to each so they were different. One I added some sand to the top to represent it being in a sand storm or just windy and some would have gathered there. I added some flock to the base to break up the flat colours a bit. I created some drips by putting 1/2 Brushes worth of black wash in a pool at the top and let it naturally run down the face. I did this with sepia in a couple of places too to ad some variation.


That’s about it 2 pieces of terrain which it think looks ok for about £8 worth of materials. And when I do the next one it will cost even less. I’ll finish off with some large picture’s with some miniatures in for scale.

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About Chris Swaine

Chris Swaine is a fairly average gamer and when not indulging in miniature war-gaming plays on his xbox and gets out on his Mountain Bike.