Insider 3/23/2010 - Rob Hawkins

Adepticon is right around the corner and my terrain blitz is complete. “Assault on Fort Telven” is going to be a massive game between Cryxian and Khadoran forces fought on a 4´ x 8´ table. If you’re headed to Adepticon (and I know all the cool kids are) be sure to stop by and check it out. The WARMACHINE: Legends diorama will also be on display. If you didn’t get to see it in person at Gen Con or PAX, this is your opportunity to see it in all its glory.

For this round of my blog, I want to discuss some of the terrain that I built for the “Assault on Fort Telven.” The table is made of two adjoining 4´ x 4´ tables, each with modeled terrain and a centerpiece.

The Cryxian board features a swamp and ruined fortress and comes with a backstory. Cryxian forces discovered the ruins contained necrotite and they set up a mining operation to harvest it. The Khadoran board features a network of trenches and a concrete bunker in the center. The interior of the bunker is accessible via a lift-off roof.

My trick for creating tall grass is to use cheap brushes from the hardware store. A 3˝ brush is less expensive than tall hobby grass, and it’s much easier to manage. Drybrush the bristles with Traitor Green to give the “grass” a gradient of green at the bottom and straw color at the top. Next, cut off sections of the brush bristles and hot glue them onto the table. The paint in the brush holds the bristles together during handling. Since this table is going to travel, I decided to build some rocks among the grass to prevent anything from getting laid on top of the grass and crushing it.

The best way I’ve found to make trenches is to lay out 1˝-thick insulation foam and place another layer of 1˝ foam on top. Before gluing the two layers together, cut the trenches out of the top layer and the bottom layer serves as the floor of the trench. This is much easier and faster than my previous method of cutting into 2˝-thick foam. No Quarter Magazine #29 has a great tutorial by John Salmond on the construction of trench works and a concrete bunker, so I won’t go into that here.

The swamp trees are a combination of a wire armature covered with modeling epoxy and Woodland Scenics plastic trees for the branches. I’m not entirely happy with how the exposed roots turned out, but it served as a learning experience.

My favorite experience from the project was scavenging parts from a vintage GI Joe Slugger that I found in a thrift store for 99 cents. The cannon and engine parts went into the construction of the necrotite mining rig.

Like myself (and probably most of you reading), Brian Dugas is a fan of GI Joe, and he was mortified that I would wreck a classic toy. It was a great delight to tell him, “I bought this just to destroy it in front of you!”