Everyone who’s played Warhammer 40k in the ’90s will remember the green death world cacti with the red spikes made out of styrofoam and toothpicks. I built a few of them myself back then, but unsurprisingly they didn’t survive the dawn of the new millennium. More recently Jonas over at the Oldhammer Forum put together a whole bunch of these which are looking great.
Inspired by Cheetor’s excellent Alien Flora & Fauna series I’ve been meaning to extend my own collection of terrifying terrain for a while now but most things haven’t progressed past initial assembly.
During one of my hunts for source materials I came across an item that immediately jumped out at me as a modern version of the cacti of death though – a rubber massage ball from Tiger, available also in bright green.
A dark green wash and far too many red spiky protrusions later I had a suitably alien looking plant, made for the ages. To complete the death world look, I added jungle foliage (some of which taken from a toothbrush holder also bought at Tiger) and a broken old skeleton to the base. Ironically, painting all those spikes did give me tense shoulders so I guess I’ll have to buy some more of these massage balls…
I bought a set of Dwarf stone sculptures from Scibor Miniatures recently as I intend to build up a small collection of themed terrain to go with each of my armies.
The statues, or rather what is left of them, match the classic Warhammer style of Dwarfs very well.
I took a simple approach to painting. Undercoated black, I drybrushed three layers of grey on with a final highlight of pure white, matching the pre-painted rock formations by Gale Force 9 in my collection. To finish the weathered stone effect I dabbed some dark green ink into some of the recesses.
There is a liberal smattering of skulls and some vegetation on the bases of the fallen statues, which provide a nice counter point to the dark stone.
Some static grass and the usual brown finish I use on my miniatures’ bases tie the scenery in with the battlefield and armies fighting over it.
Since I am in the mood for Warhammer scenery at the moment, I decided to make two staples of wargaming terrain – the wheat and the ploughed field. I had various versions of them in my collection over the years but these ones are meant to last.
The ploughed field looks neglected, and we can see the reason why – marauding bands of Beastmen have been terrorising the local populace and driven them off their land.
The wheat field was as simple to create as finding the right type of door mat in my local DIY store, cutting off a slice, painting the edges brown, and sticking the rest outside my door. Two purposes fulfilled for a fiver, not bad.
I glued the corrugated cardboard onto a sheet of sturdier cardboard to prevent it from warping, make it less prone to move around during games and to make sure it will survive many a battle.
A tip for removing the upper layer of the corrugated cardboard: wet it lightly with a moist sponge and pull the layer off when the water has just soaked through it without having reached the middle section.
I finished the second burial mound and added a small themed vignette to the set. Looks like some adventurous robbers were caught by the barrows’ inhabitants and hastily made their getaway – or were dragged down into the gloom to their own graves.
The wheelbarrow and sword are taken from one of Kev Adam’s Snorkling sets by Foundry Miniatures which I had in my bits box. The helmet is from an old plastic Citadel Miniatures Skeleton Horseman.