So I thought I would share my latest finished alien plant terrain piece, I regret, I wished had more time to spare between my projects, wargaming, sculpting and real life commitments. Usually I would have taken some WIP shots as I made the piece, but due to time constraints and not having my camera charged, it didn’t happen. With that in mind, for those of you who would like a little insight into how it came about, I’ll give you a brief run through.
At Xmas, my daughter wanted mainly art and craft materials, one item of which was some DAS terracotta self drying clay, and she wanted me to show her how to use it, so I was given a bit to play with while she made various bits of stuff (I don’t know if I should start worrying about the latest fascination she has with making “poppits”, charms and worry dolls!) and I made something useful with mmy bit. So, I thought I would do a terrain piece.
I’m not a DAS fan usually, I find the smell of it a tad sickly, smelling like a hospital ward, and the material is usually brittle and shrinks slightly when dried, so is a bugger to attach the dried bits to other components to make it a staple material for me to use regularly (however, I probably will try to use it a bit more often down to the results of this) I opted to create an alien swamp to be part of my alien death world scenery for my 15mm scifi games. You might remember my fish tank man eating plant conversion (as I have several other bits I am working on also) The idea is to make enough to play a smallish board for this type of game, but for ages I have meant to make a small swamp, so now was as good a time as any.
When the DAS clay had dried a day or so later, I got to sticking it down on a flat bit of plastic, taken from a broken DVD case. Like I said about DAS, it does have a habit of shrinkage, so to make sure the bond was good, I used “Hard as Nails” adhesive, which worked out great, as it filled any gaps caused by the shrink, created a layer of padding under the clay piece and stopped it from breaking if mishandled (due to its rubbery texture) it was pretty good to blend the edges too, feeling like a polyfiller rather than adhesive.
After that it was just a case of painting it up, which consisted of a few black undercoats, followed by green/yellow/brown and white tones and mixes, followed by a few washes of chestnut ink, badab black and devlan mud inks.
The swamp was achieved by a mix of inks, paint and PVA mix, with a handfull of mustard seeds which were carefully dispersed in the area required. It was then washed with ink when dry, and subsequent coats of gloss varnish give a slimy and swampy effect.
A few details of the creepy eye, some extra tufts of fronds (taken from various bits of artificial flowers dotted around my home, without my wife knowing, sorry dear!) a few touch ups with paint, and parts of the tentacles were gloss varnished with a highlight, to insinuate a slimy effect. Follow this with some brown and dark green flock, static grass and moss and, thats about it!
You may notice my Criat Merc, lurking about in shot, as well as the GZG UNSC trooper, these were the only 15mm figures I had on hand for some idea of scale, I could have used 28mm, as this would fit perfectly too, as would 10mm. It’s pretty versatile like my other terrain, and I can see this getting use in WFB, 40K (when I eventually play again, my son keeps blagging me to get an army, so it may happen this year, if I find time…) Warmaster, my other homebrew games and even my dungeon bash I’m planning (I can fit it in all over the place…) It’s making me think that I should build an alien dungeon too, again if I get time, something that is lacking recently.
I hope you enjoy…