22 July 2011

Quick 40k/Malifaux Terrain

The above ruined building is one of a handful made several years ago late one Friday night with leftover bits in order to flesh out the battlefield for an upcoming game of 40k. They've been very useful over the years and have made great generic ruins for several different gaming systems, more recently Malifaux.

I decided to make some more smaller buildings, again to flesh out the gaming board for upcoming games. This time I thought I'd make a few notes and pass on the info –

You are going to need offcuts of foamboard. A couple of larger bits for the walls would be nice but you can make do with whatever you can find and tailor your project accordingly. I used hardboard offcuts for the base rather than cardboard as it lasts a lot longer and doesn't warp as much.

First of all I cut the base into a triangular shape of appropriate size – this will depend on how big you want your terrain to be and/or how much foamboard you have. Once done I rounded and sloped the edges a little to soften the step.

Next I took my two largest pieces of foamboard, cut them vaguely to size, ensuring there were at least two straight edges on each piece – one to sit on the base, the other to line up with the opposite wall. On these pieces I drew out a grid with squares of an inch wide. This gave an inch gap between the base and the ground floor windows and an inch between the corner of the building and the first vertical row of windows. It also meant that all the windows were an inch apart two. Have a look at the photos to better understand what I'm trying to describe here.

Next I made a 45 degree cut along the edges that would meet at the corner of the building, so they would stick together seamlessly. If it doesn't match up exactly you can mask the gaps as damage.

I used a glue gun to stick the walls together and then to the base. Pieces of foamboard were cut into rough trangles to represent the remnants of the various floors within the building. These were stuck into place, approximately 10mm above the top of the window of the floor below. Once this basic shape was done I carved out the damage on the walls, sloping edges and making the walls ragged.

Next comes the decoration. First off I added a strip of decorative wood that I had, halfway between the ground and first floor windows. I cut out squares of paper and glued them across each floor area as floor tiles of some kind. Then I added offcuts of foamboard, stones and finally sand to represent rubble at various sizes. You could add leftover bits from plastic kits – marine helmets, ammo, guns, etc. – but I kept my buildings quite plain as they would be used in different game systems.

Once this was done and completely dry, the whole thing got a couple of liberal coats of masonry paint – if you don't have any around pour some emulsion into a paint tray and mix some sand into it. This helps protect any exposed foam, blend all the elements and just gives a good all round stoney feeling to the job. The buildings were sprayed black at this point, paying close attention to the shadowed areas under floors, etc. The majority of the building was overbrushed with shades of grey, getting lighter and lighter – preferably before the previous coat is dry, leaving plenty of shadows and only highlighting the very exposed areas.

And that was it!
The final result is quite generic and very robust. You can expand on this approach to make more interesting buildings such as warehouses – I'm in that process and will report in due course.

You may want to check the height of your models in situ before doing any sticking as the height I've used isn't sympathetic with taller models, just adjust your grid accordingly.

Quick 40k/Malifaux Terrain: The Next Step


  1. Looks a nice piece which doesnt look a million miles off the battle field in a box range ( and considerably lighter I imagine )

  2. That is a really nice piece of terrain, certainly good for someone on a budget :)

  3. I've found it a great way to use up all the offcuts that gather after a larger project as opposed to just binning them.

    It would be very easy to dress it up and add a bit more colour and the ones I made have lasted for ever it seems.

    I will be doing a 'next step' post soon.

  4. Superb job sir, and nice use of the decorative wood, I've often seen that in DIY stores and wondered about using it, now I'm inspired. :)