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Made in us
PanOceaniac Hacking Specialist Sergeant

Youngstown, Ohio

Hello All,
I am in the midst of painting my SM army and am eying moving on to making some custom terrain so that I can have games played in my home vs. always driving to the game shop. I was wondering if anyone wanted to share some of their creations and how they were made. I am not looking to break the bank on terrain since I have already done that with miniatures and paint. I did not see any threads like this when I searched, so I thought it would be a good one to start. :-)

# of Unpainted/Unassembled > # of Painted models.  
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Krazed Killa Kan

Columbus, Oh

What do you have access to, garbage wise?

I work in a computer center, and we (as a building) generate SO much useful crap it is astounding.

I wanted to make some rocky outcroppings..and found out I could base them all on ex-software CDs.. so if you have access to AOL CDs, or something like that, those would be a fabulous start.

Pop cans, pringle cans, any sort of plastic can be easily looted.

Automatically Appended Next Post:
Other great ideas...

Pine Bark chunk mulch - Glued down, painted black and drybrushed gray looks JUST like rocks. Bigger chunks are better.

JoAnns or other craft stores have cross-stitch mesh which looks really good..

The mesh bags that Clementines come in, when attached to sticks or dowels.. - fences!

Automatically Appended Next Post:
Wedding Cake pillars = Roman-esque ruins

scrubbing/plastic brillo pads for the kitchen sink - if green, can be cut up and used as hedges

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2010/09/02 19:19:02

2+2=5 for sufficiently large values of 2.

Order of St Ursula (Sisters of Battle): W-2, L-1, T-1
Get of Freki (Space Wolves): W-3, L-1, T-1
Hive Fleet Portentosa (Nids/Stealers): W-6, L-4, T-0
Omega Marines (vanilla Space Marine): W-1, L-6, T-2
Waagh Magshak (Orks): W-4, L-0, T-1
A.V.P.D.W.: W-0, L-2, T-0

bringing 40k Events to Origins Game Fair in Columbus, Oh. Ask me for more info! 
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Blood-Raging Khorne Berserker

Riverside, Cali

$2 in 5mm foam board at Jo-Anns can make a nice castle....very cheap and useful just spray paint a color of choice (flat white,black of grey), dry brush with a darker grey, white or any colors you like.
[Thumb - Castle Pics 013.jpg]

[Thumb - Castle Pics 014.jpg]

[Thumb - Castle Pics 015.jpg]

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Tail-spinning Tomb Blade Pilot


Good old styrofoam can be cut and sanded to any shape you want, curves for tunels, rocks, anything.

Copper pipes and joints are good. Cheap too. Just need a rotary cutter, which are very cheap one 5 ft length of tubing and a few mixed joints and voila! oil pipelines, which you can link to buldings too.

Free buildings! There's tons of free card plans for buildings out there that you print off, cut and glue.

Here's one link to get you started: http://sarna.net/files/index.php/media/cardstock/

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2010/09/02 19:30:37

If I am not in my room, is it still my room?  
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Krazed Killa Kan

Columbus, Oh

Oh.. one thing you could do.. a bit risky..

Make friends with a builder/foreman of a construction site. There were always housing developments in my neighborhood, and if I asked nice, they would let me haul away those pink foam insulation boards that they mal-cut..

Or get interesting bits of wood trim..

2+2=5 for sufficiently large values of 2.

Order of St Ursula (Sisters of Battle): W-2, L-1, T-1
Get of Freki (Space Wolves): W-3, L-1, T-1
Hive Fleet Portentosa (Nids/Stealers): W-6, L-4, T-0
Omega Marines (vanilla Space Marine): W-1, L-6, T-2
Waagh Magshak (Orks): W-4, L-0, T-1
A.V.P.D.W.: W-0, L-2, T-0

bringing 40k Events to Origins Game Fair in Columbus, Oh. Ask me for more info! 
Made in us

Chicago, IL

.5 inch Pink foam, .25 inch MDF, a quart of OOPS paint and a bag of play sand. Should run less than $20 at Home Depot. You'll be able to build any number of buildings and hills for your game board.

For a more organic look - plastic plants, precut woodend disks and a hot glue gun. Also about $20 depending on season.


Terrain, Modeling and More... Chicago Terrain Factory
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Long-Range Ultramarine Land Speeder Pilot

I second plastic plants. Check out aquarium supply stores. The last pic below is of jungle bases made from two types of aquarium plant and some dried seed pods from the floral arrangement section of a craft store. You can do a lot with the styrofoam that comes in packing (not peanuts, but the big pieces that protect TVs, computers, etc.).

You can also buy sheets of pink insulation foam from Home Depot for about $15. I used a quarter of one such sheet to make all the hills in the terrain board in the first picture below. Then painted it with green house paint after texturing it with sand from outside (pic 2). Pic 3 shows making some scatter terrain. The base is some thin MDF that was the backing for some poster frames from a craft store.
[Thumb - DSCF8434.JPG]

[Thumb - DSCF8442.JPG]

[Thumb - DSCF8447.JPG]

[Thumb - DSCF8455.JPG]

Come to the Nova Open, the best miniature wargaming convention in the East: http://www.novaopen.com/  
Made in gb
Reverent Tech-Adept


Left over CPU fans are excellent for any urban board

and Foam-core is brilliant for making buildings out of, sturdier than cardboard, but just as light and just as easy to cut and glue

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Dakka Veteran

Everywhere I'm not supposed to be.

An oldie but worth knowing nonetheless, cut up a sprue frame into tiny sections to make a pile of brick rubble. Uhh...use wood chips/bits of bark for rocks and stones, hell you can even use Legos!

If you need me, I'll be busy wiping the layers of dust off my dice. 
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Boosting Space Marine Biker


Soda cans: GREAT fuel tanks.

And just head to local pet store and go to reptiles section, has some great caves that can hold a few guys inside, and some fallen wood that looks cool! Note: This can be expensive!

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Krazed Killa Kan

Columbus, Oh

the soda cans need some internal bracing..

Go to the Hardware Store of choice, and get a can of expanding foam insulation.. fill any given can about 33% full, and it should (over 5 minutes) expand to fill the can.. and harden within 3 hours.

2+2=5 for sufficiently large values of 2.

Order of St Ursula (Sisters of Battle): W-2, L-1, T-1
Get of Freki (Space Wolves): W-3, L-1, T-1
Hive Fleet Portentosa (Nids/Stealers): W-6, L-4, T-0
Omega Marines (vanilla Space Marine): W-1, L-6, T-2
Waagh Magshak (Orks): W-4, L-0, T-1
A.V.P.D.W.: W-0, L-2, T-0

bringing 40k Events to Origins Game Fair in Columbus, Oh. Ask me for more info! 
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut

Eastern USA

This may be fairly rare, but in my town there is a non-profit called the Scrap Exchange, which calls itself a "creative re-use center." Basically, companies and individuals donate trash, junk, factory seconds, scrap metal/wood/cardboard/plastic/etc., broken electronics, fabrics, unused medical supplies, anything you can think of, and artists can buy it for their projects for pennies. I go to mine weekly to pick up interesting pieces of plastic and metal, machine parts, plasticard, foam, and various other bits and googahs to use for terrain and conversions.

I don't know how common this kind of place is, but if you can find any kind of recycling center or second-hand shop that sells things people would normally throw away, you can potentially strike gold for modeling purposes. Failing that, there's always good old dumpster-diving!

Bear in mind that I'm a very casual player, and any advice I give will reflect that tendency.
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Guardsman with Flashlight

Waxhaw, NC

yup, soda cans a great, but need stregthening. soup cans are good cause they are stronger and dont really need bracing. plus they somthimes have ribbed sides that look good in urban/industrial settings

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Longtime Dakkanaut

Scyzantine Empire

I have to agree that pink or blue insulation foam is a great way to expand your terrain. I got one sheet of .5" and have used about a third to make four eldar shrines and enough imperial buildings to fill a 4x4 area. Great stuff!

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Been Around the Block

for urban boards, pvc piping makes great fuel lines. in terms of texturing asphalt, got to a store like ace hardware/home depot and find a can of spray on texture, should be about $12. You now have the ability to create a tarmac road/concrete texture in seconds. awesome stuff, well worth the money. just try not to spray yourself in the eye like I did.
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Elite Tyranid Warrior

I think paper mache is one of the most over looked building materials and it is really cheap. You can get most types of Newspapers for free, and I just water down some Elmer's Glue.

/\ Tyranid digestion pool. The "bubbles" are from a hot glue gun I accidently left plugged in and the glue started to puddle up on some scratch cardboard, I just cut them out and the effect is what you see here...

Don't Want a Tyranid Egg Implanted in Your Brain?
It's Also a Suppository...
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Also may want to check local corporate stores, esp restaurants, for old signage. My TGI Friday's threw away two huge sheets of PVC that are turning into multiple buildings. Check out my gallery...
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