Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Workbench #5 - Alien Plant Terrain

These were the results of a couple of experiments in terrain making. The goal was to some "scatter terrain" useful for sci-fi miniature games. The terrain had to be small, inexpensive, and within my current skill level. It also had to work with both 15mm and 28mm scale miniatures.
A little research introduced me to the idea of using drinking straws as the basis for alien looking plant pieces. TerraGenesis has an article covering the basics and Miniwargaming has a video demonstrating the techniques involved.

The above links do a fine job of describing the idea and the process. I see no real need to repeat the details here, so my descriptions will mainly focus on where I varied from the sources above.


I used a candle as a stationary heat source to deform the straws. A word of warning about this step - it uses an open flame to melt plastic. Do it in a well ventilated area with a bucket of water nearby. The plastic can get plenty hot even if it doesn't liquefy enough to drip down on your hands.


I reshaped a pair of flat wood pieces with a craft knife for the bases. Next, I mixed some Milliput to use as mounting point for the straws. The Milliput was pushed down on the wood bases to form small mounds. I pushed the straws far enough into the Milliput to provide firm support.


The undercoat was some black spray paint left over from another project. The coverage was not perfect, so I watered down some black craft paint to cover up the bare spots. I paid particular attention to the areas where the interiors of the straws were exposed.

The base coat was a couple of layers of thinned down dark green craft paint. I drybrushed on some lighter green craft paint to serve as highlights.


I applied some watered down PVA glue to the base and over the Milliput and covered the glue with sand. Next was a watered down mix of brown craft paint and PVA glue to color and further fix the sand into place. Finally, I drybrushed some linen craft paint over the sand.


These pieces look like they should work well as sci-fi scatter terrain. They were simple to make and the costs were very reasonable, especially since I had some of the materials on hand already. As the picture indicates, they look convincing with different miniature scales.

No comments:

Post a Comment