Over a year ago, I purchased some of Terra Former products from Sally 4th. See https://wargamesbuildings.co.uk/epages/950003459.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/950003459/Categories/TerraFormers. I really like these, but I have been hesitant to get started. Last weekend, I worked on a couple of them, and this weekend I finished laying in the foam and cork bark on the 15 that I purchased. From these pictures you can see how they turned out. They certainly don’t look as good as the ones that Sally 4th makes to display — and that Chris Abbey uses in his gaming room — but when I finish them, I think they will be good.
Here is one view of the 15 tiles I made. They can be arranged in different ways for different games. While slightly less flexible than Dwarven Forge, I think these are significantly more practical to set up and take down.
The tile in the front right slants downward so that the doorway on that side is at table level. All the others are two inches above the table.
There are three doorways that you can punch out on each side. I just punched out the middle doorways to ensure that the results would be geomorphic. Some are four-way, some three-way, some two-way (either a turn or straight), and some are dead ends.
Because the base of each tile is filled with two inches of insulation foam, I was able to cut into the top layer to make some depressions. The round one toward the top center of the picture will eventually be filled with molten lava.
The rock formations are made of cork bark. You can buy bags of it on Amazon. It does not cut easily, and I had to use a jigsaw. I was wishing I had a band saw.
I hope to begin to paint them entirely in chocolate brown next weekend, inside and out. The next step will be to mix some sand in the same chocolate brown and paint the mixture on the horizontal surfaces and walls that down’t have cork bark. Then I will dry brush all of it with a lighter brown. After that, I may add a few rocks and other items to give it some character.
Once completed, the boxes have holes on the side. They came with rare earth magnets. When I glue in the magnets, the tiles will connect securely during game play.
What will I do with this? Part of the project was just DOING it. It is something I’ve not done before. You can imagine any number of scenarios that can make use of tunnels. It could be an Indian tunnel, and the Army could attack. I’ll almost certainly use these for my giant ant games. I may run some sort of dungeon crawl as well. I am sure they will be well used once I finish them.
I decided to base the wreck on an old CD that was surfaced with play sand and Elmer’s (PVA) glue. To cover the hole, I affixed some leftover polystyrene bits. Then, I used sandpaper to lightly scratch the CD, then applied the glue, then the sand, and let it harden overnight. I removed the front and rear sprockets from one of the tracks and cut away some road wheels, so as to be able to flip them on the CD and make them available for the right side of the wreck in the correct locations as debris. I carefully cut away the road wheels and part of the track and some fender, and washed everything to prep for painting.
After all the pieces had dried, I then I assembled the model to look “messed up”. I put the gun and mantlet on slightly crooked. The turret and bustle rack were put on a bit akimbo as well.
I took a 1/8″ drill bit and drilled a hole into the hull between the missing road wheels to simulate the impact of a hard shot into the weaker flank of the tank. In my portrayal, that shot hit ammunition, causing an explosion. I scattered the resultant debris on one side of the tank to simulate that, affixing everything with E6000 epoxy. I then mounted the CD onto a disposable plastic plate using poster tack for ease of painting. I applied a coat of Citadel “Imperium Primer” as the E6000 was a bit rubbery and smooth – and I was worried that it would not hold paint well. To double up on priming, I then airbrushed on another primer coat – Vallejo “Surface Primer – Black”.
My next thought was to do a bit of the original Panzer IVD paint on the wreck before I changed it into a wreck, as perhaps some of it would survive (I don’t think much eventually did, but I thought, better safe than sorry). This consisted of the same basic pattern I followed on my previous German tanks.
My concept at this point was to portray the Panzer IVD as having been hit, having caught fire, then after being abandoned, rusting away. The fire would have destroyed all or most of the original paint on the hull. Any metal debris would have rusted afterwards in my opinion, so I decided that decals would be a waste here.
The sand and PVA glue texture was insufficiently granular for the base, so I used Citadel “Armageddon Dunes” to roughen up the landscape. It also allowed me to make the doomed German tank’s last tracks in the desert at the rear of the vehicle. I darkened them up with Citadel “Agrax Earthshade”.
Then I went into using various Vallejo weathering pigments to create soot, smoke, and dust on and around the model. I especially like the soot!
For varnishing, I used two coats. First, I applied a Vallejo “Satin” varnish with my airbrush. After that had dried, I applied a light coat of Vallejo Mecha Color “Matt Varnish”. I did not want to overly dull the tank, but I definitely did not want it too glossy.
I am reasonably happy with the final results. Here are some eye-candy shots on my desert game mat – you be the judge!
The next project was making some more (and better) to put on the tabletop when tanks meet their demise – or for any explosions in general. I took tea lights, and hot glued thin strips of pillow batting to them in a “closed lily” type of shape.
I then painted them black and grey, trying to make them less dark thank my previous attempts.
Thanks for looking at these – and I hope that perhaps these give you some ideas. In any case, I hope you enjoyed seeing them and my processes. Please share any feedback you have in the comments section!
PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS AND FLOCKING USED ON THE PANZER IVD WRECK:
Battlefront model #GE040
Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner”
Citadel “Imperium Primer”
Vallejo “Flow Improver”
Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
Vallejo “Surface Primer – Black”
Vallejo Model Air “Base Grey”
Vallejo Model Air “German Green Brown”
Vallejo Model Air “Light”
Vallejo Model Air “German Green Brown”
Vallejo Model Air “Hull Red”
Vallejo Model Air “First Light”
Vallejo Model Air “Brown”
Citadel “Armageddon Dunes” (Texture)
Battlefront “Monty Shade” (shade)
Vallejo Mecha Color “Light Rust Wash” (wash)
Vallejo Mecha Color “Dark Rust Wash” (wash)
Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” (wash)
Vallejo “Dark Sand”
Battlefront “Dry Dust”
Vallejo “Titanium White” (pigment)
Vallejo “Carbon Black” (pigment)
Vallejo “Pigment Binder”
Citadel “Typhus Corrosion”
Citadel “Ryza Rust”
Vallejo “Desert Dust” (pigment)
Vallejo “Dark Yellow Ochre” (pigment)
Vallejo “Light Yellow Ochre” (pigment)
Vallejo Model Air “Satin Varnish”
Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”
Citadel “Nuln Oil” (wash)
PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS AND FLOCKING USED ON THE SMOKE/BLAST MARKERS: