The Tower Continues …

I got round to giving the Quality CD Tower a quick spray with Games Workshop Rough Coat (No longer available, I believe – no loss!). Its not very rough, more of a slight texture.

Tower with Rough Coat

Tower with Rough Coat

I’ll give it another layer, and see if that gives it more texture, and I’m very tempted to put Stone Coat over the top, which, last time I used it, gave a much deeper effect.

I have also dug out some Imperial Architecture to liven it up with:

Tower With Buttresses

Added Buttresses!

For now, these have only been propped into place to show how they will look. Once the surface is finalised, they’ll be glued and painted up nicer.
I’ve got a load of extra bits for the top, including skulls, Imperial Aquila and some lamps which will be placed around the rim. I’m not sure what to crown the piece with, maybe a radar dish, or gun-platform. Of maybe I can find a “statue” or monument to put on top.

Watch this space!
(Or leave feedback!)


The Loss Of Epic

Epic Scale Space Marine used 6mm figures to play out mighty battles, where huge armies would clash and Ancient Titans strode the battlefield while lines of artillery pounded the enemy forces.

Unfortunately, support was withdrawn, and now very few people play. Which is a shame, as scenery for Epic Scale is very easy to make!

My original Matchbox buildings were designed for Epic Scale, as evidenced by the small Ork Battlewagons used for scale alongside a 40k “Barry”.
Being small, just about anything could be turned to scenery for Epic Scale, with yoghurt pots and blister packs forming a great deal of our battlefields. Hills were formed from off-cuts of polystyrene and empty paint pots were saved to become silos and towers.

With 32mm scale WH 40k getting all the attention, Epic Scale passed into the mists of HIstory, and scenery had to become larger. Matchboxes would only make small houses rather than fortresses. yoghurt pots are now tents or makeshift shelters and paint pots are little larger than tank traps. To fashion large, impressive scenery, more raw material is needed, and many previous inspirations are sadly unusable. (Another effect was that more detail had to be modelled, but that is another story).

The knock-on effects of this meant that more space is needed for storing material, workbenches need to be larger, and pieces waiting while their paint/glue dries take up a lot more space. When making particularly large or numerous pieces, it means eating of your lap for a week, as the dining table is set over to construction.

The main loss is the sheer amount of day-to-day items that I look at and think “That would make a great building!” only to realise that I am still thinking on Epic scale, and 40k-scale models would be able to step clean over it.

Ah, for the halcyon days of yore!

Quality CD Tower

As previously mentioned, I have a new project. The “Quality CD Tower”:

Quality CD Building

Quality CD Tower

The current plan:

  • Glue the two pieces together, and find an appropriate base.
  • Spray with Rough-Coat.
  • Affix some Imperial Buttresses and other accoutrements.
  • Add a level of battle damage
  • Repair battle damage with Ork Tek (welded plates, painted with glyphs and Klan Symbols). Corrugated cardboard makes good metal sheets, and lolly sticks for wooden planks.
  • I’ll then need to add some details/bitz/decoration. I’ve got a few barrels and crates in my bitz-box, and should be able to knock something together for a comms dish on top.
  • Extra Credit: I’m considering turrets on the side, either just as gun-ports, or big enough to hold a model or two.
  • Distinction/Project Two: A ruined version (either before the Orks repair it, or more likely after the Forces of Chaos (or Tyranids, depending upon which Army my friend plays next!) have bombarded it. I’ll be using GW’s Dreadstone Blight fantasy Tower as an inspiration for this.

There will be a Work-in-Progress report on the project as it unfolds, but it may take a while to fit it into my schedule.

Christmas Presents!

Actual presents included an MP3 player, converter to play it in the tape deck in the car, chocolates and fragrances. But more importantly, I got PACKAGING! 🙂

MP3 packaging

Clear plastic from MP3 packaging.

This clear plastic can either be used for windows, or cut and painted to make any flat surface. If I was still making Epic Scale scenery, it might make the basis for a building.

Walnut Whip Packaging

Walnut Whip packaging

This walnut whip packing is far too flimsy to use as-is, but I’ve got some ideas for padding the insides to firm it up. I’m currently considering paper mache, or a sand/PVA mix. I’m not sure yet what to build from it, but it will be used for something!

Quality Scenery!

Quality Scenery!

Now this, I have ideas for! Turned upside down, it will make a fine building. The base has a 2-3mm recess, about an inch in, and I may build a second storey on it. Quick spray of rough-coat, paint it up, add a few doors/windows/etc, should be a nice centerpiece to fight over!

EDIT: New idea for Quality scenery!

Quality CD Building

Quality CD Building

Current though is to make it an Imperial Bastion, taken by Orks.

The more observant of you may have noticed that in the last photo, Barry has a new Staff! Well, it’s the same old cocktail stick, but I’ve been promising him that I’d paint it up in Inch-markers for years. Now that 40k-6th allows pre-measuring, I have no need to sneak a measuring stick onto the battlefield, and so can keep him on the workbench for scaling models!

One Step At A Time …

The Main Site now has a step by step guide to building cocktail stick barricades, with detailed instructions on each technique!

Aimed at those people newer to modelling and scratch-building, it walks you through each stage, explaining the techniques, and reasons behind them, so that you will end up with a useable piece of scenery, and the skills to build your own!

You Will Need

Things you will need

Barry and the Barricade

Checking the height of the barricade

Nearly done

Nearly done …


Finished Piece

Finished Piece




Whether for placing at the start of a battle to represent the war-torn terrain, or for replacing pieces destroyed during the battle, craters are a useful addition to any gamer’s collection.

While there are many shapes, styles and sizes available to buy, making your own is not only easy, but also fun! You can customise them to fit the rest of your scenery, and decorate them to look like particular pieces (see also: Ruined Pill Boxes).

There is a new tutorial for how to create your own craters from paper mache, which walks you step-by-step through the process.

Starting Materials

Starting materials

Finished Crater

Finished Basic Crater

This simple technique, using recycled materials, can provide you with plenty of craters for your table, and somewhere for you soldiers to hide!

Sprue Hut by Dr H

Modellers tend to have lots of left-over sprue (the plastic frames that miniature soldiers come on, as part of the moulding process). Often this is thrown away, but Dr H has found a great use for it!

Sprue Hut

Sprue Hut

Sprue Hut

While this looks like an advanced model, the techniques used are relatively simple, although time-consuming.
Dr H runs you through the building process step-by-step, with many pictures to check your progress.
Also included are several general modelling tips that you may find useful. I particularly liked the idea of using old, dried paint for adding texture to bases.

So, if you’ve got plenty of sprue lying around (and who hasn’t?), and some spare time, why not have a go at putting one of these huts together! Or take the ideas and see what you can design!

Don’t forget to let us know how you got on!

Sprue Hut

While Modellers Flocked Their Bases By Night …

(Apologies for no pictures – will be added later!)

“Flock” is the name given to artificial grass and other materials meant to simulate outdoor ground cover. Usually made from coloured fine sawdust, it is used to cover areas of scenery, and to coat the base of models, to better blend with the terrain.

There are many retail flocks available, from Model Railway shops, general craft stores and, of course, Games Workshop, but it is also possible to make your own!

It may surprise you (unless you read the opening paragraph!) to hear that coloured sawdust can be made by taking plain sawdust and adding a colouring!
First, collect some sawdust. I suggest your local carpenter or woodworker – take a small carrier bag and ask if you can have some! They are usually pretty cooperative. you may even strike up a relationship, the better to get custom-made bases or small wooden off-cuts for decorating scenery!
Pour about half an inch depth of paint into an ice cream tub, and water down a little, until thin but not translucent. Add more paint if it gets too thin. Do this slowly, so as not to have too much paint!
Gently pour a generous amount of sawdust into the tub and stir. After a while, it should be evenly coated, and starting to clump together. Pour a little more sawdust in, and keep stirring. Repeat this, adding small amounts of sawdust, until it is becoming dry, harder to stir, and not clumping together. Err on the side of slightly too much sawdust.
You now need to leave to dry thoroughly. Spread out the material on a baking tray or similar, and place in a warm, draught-free area and leave for a day or more.

Once dry, pour into a clean ice cream tub, and stir, removing any lumps or large clumps that you find. The remaining flock may be sieved to separate coarse from fine.

Another way to make flock is to use water filters. After use (far too expensive to use new!), carefully open a filter block and remove the spheres inside (the ones I used had a mesh that could be cut out, and the spheres poured out). These may well still be damp, so they will need to be spread out on an absorbent surface and left to dry.
Once dry, they can be applied directly to your model, and then painted if necessary. The type I used had a mix of black and white spheres, which looked quite effective without painting. Others are pure black, which can work, or you can colour them with browns or greys, to suit your environment.

Sand can also be used, and has the advantage of containing different sized grains, giving a more natural look. Again, this can be used in its natural colour, or painted. One of the most effective pieces I have seen used sand to form the texture of snow, painted in white and light blue.

You will have to experiment to find which method suits you, and which textures you prefer, but whichever you choose, it will almost certainly b better than a flat painted wooden base!

Hello World!

So, just to make sure we’re on the same page: Everything is Scenery! EVERYTHING!

Details can be found at:

Here we will be discussing all things Scenery, and showing how just about anything can be turned into terrain pieces for your miniature wargame.

To start you off, here are some barricades made from cocktail sticks, coffee stirrers and polystyrene:

Lolly Stick Barricade

Lolly Stick Barricade

Cocktail Stick Barricade

Cocktail Stick Barricade

If you want some tips on how to make these, and other pieces, visit the Main Site.

Feel free to comment,