Rocky patches

We’re going to be making a simple piece of difficult terrain; a rocky patch. This is easy to make but gives you a good foundation in the core skills. All we’re going to be using is some 25mm styrofoam, MDF for the base and your basing texture.

Let’s get started!

1. The initial base

Make a small to medium sized base as described in the Making a base tutorial. The base in the example is about 6″x6″.

2. The outline base

I discussed making terrain that sits upon an outline base earlier, and that’s what we’re going to do here. The rocky features will mean that it’s quite difficult to balance large fantasy miniatures on top, so we’re going to make a 2nd, slightly larger base, that our detailed terrain will sit on top of. If anyone wants to enter this patch of difficult terrain, they can simply lift the detailed base off and leave the flat base underneath to mark the boundary of the terrain feature.

So, take the base you made in step one and draw a rough outline around it on the MDF, with a border of around 5-10mm. Then cut it out and complete the base as per step 1.

As with a lot of terrain, it’s a good idea to make several similar features at the same time.

3. Boulders

Next, cut out a chunk of 25mm styrofoam using a sharp retractable knife. Unlike this photo, you only need an area about 1/4 the size of your base.

Cut this chunk (or these chunks) down into smaller, irregular shapes, about 1-2″ wide:

Next using your knife, start cutting corners off the blocks. Cut them at strange angles, cut into them to make ledges, just make them look like boulders, saving the offcuts to one side:

Glue to boulders to your upper bases, and tear up the offcuts to make even smaller boulders, using wood glue or PVA:

Finally, move on to texturing them as described in the texturing core skills tutorial.

Seal them with watered down PVA (including the rocks), put them to the side and leave them to dry. Remember that you want to leave all the painting until after everything’s been built, both for efficiency and to keep your painting consistent. Now, it’s time to move onto the next piece of scenery – Forests.

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