The Comm Guild Maelstrom's Edge

Terrain Spotlight - An experiment in eroded rocky outcrops from foamed PVC.


Posted on Thursday Sep 26, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

I came across a tutorial online a little while ago for making eroded rocky outcrops using stacks of corrugated cardboard coated in filling plaster, and then distressed with a wire brush. It was really effective, but I'm not a huge fan of using plaster on gaming terrain as it tends to chip easily. So I thought I'd have a go at making something similar, using foamed PVC.




From putting together buildings, I tend to wind up with a lot of small off-cuts of foamed PVC sheet. This would potentially work with any thickness of sheet, but the thicker the better. Here, I'm using 3mm sheet as that's what I had to hand.



I cut a series of roughly oval shapes from the sheet, slowly decreasing in size so that they would stack up to form the shape of the outcrop.



Using superglue, I glued the layers together, trying to not get glue right out to the edges of the PVC pieces as this would interfere with the texturing later on.



Next, I used a hobby knife to smooth down the layers, more or less. These didn't have to be perfectly blended, but enough to disguise the separate layers of PVC once the texturing was applied.



To apply the rock texture, I scraped horizontally around the edge of the outcrop with a wire brush. The aim here was to vary the depth and length of the scrapes to give a random, rock texture, without cutting in too deep and making it all too flimsy.





With a spray coat of black, and a drybrush of a mix of brown and grey paints, the outcrop was ready for the table.



It's not perfect - it could use some more defined layers running around the circumference, level with the flat areas. This would give it more of a stacked-rock effect and look less like a single lump. But it was an interesting experiment, and a fun way to use up some scraps. I'll have to tinker with the idea a little more and see where I can take it!





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