The Comm Guild Maelstrom's Edge

Terrain Spotlight: Candy Jar Desert Building

Posted on Tuesday Jan 11, 2022 at 06:00pm in Tutorials

- by Iain Wilson

As a wise man once said, "With great Christmas comes a great big bunch of junk food!"

Amongst my family's collection of sugary delights this year was a plastic jar full of candy sticks, bought for my daughters to stuff into Christmas cards. Once empty, though, the jar itself was just too interesting a shape to toss it away. So, there was nothing else for it but to build something!

The jar in question, blissfully unaware that it was about to enter a whole different plane of existence.

After removing the labels and cleaning off the glue residue with some isopropyl alcohol, I sprayed the inside of the jar with some matt black spray. I do this whenever I'm using something clear as a terrain base, as it prevents stray light bleeding through the paint, and also stops things looking weird if the paint on the outside gets scratched.

I also gave the outside a scrub with some sandpaper to break up the glossy surface. This gives a better surface for the glue and paint to adhere to.

To fit doors and windows from the terrain sprue to the curved surface of the jar, rather than building a framework to square things up I decided to fit them to the curve. I laid a piece of sandpaper over the jar and used this as a curved sanding block to shape the back of the parts.

Adding the support struts around the rim of the lid was a little easier - I just bent them around the curve and glued them in place with superglue and a plastic primer.

In a happy coincidence, the spacing worked out almost perfect. I used three full struts, and cut the last one down to three sections, needing to trim only a fraction off the end to make it fit perfectly.

I glued the door and windows into place, adding some steps and gluing the jar down to a piece of hardboard. I also added a grating piece onto a bare patch of the board just for some extra visual interest, painting underneath it with some black as this was easier than doing it later.

To dress up the top of the building, I grabbed a few assorted pieces from the terrain sprues, whipping together an aerial array, a control box and a chimney using a piece of the sprue and some plastic tube.

With these parts glued in place, I finished off the roof with a fan and large pipe fitting glued onto a base that fit just perfectly over the cavity in the top of the jar lid.

The jar needed some texture, so I added a coat of textured paint and while that was drying I built up the base with some filling plaster.

Finally, I added a layer of sand and gravel mix over the filling plaster, fixing it in place with some PVA glue.

After a quick bit of paint work, the new building was looking totally sweet and ready for the table!

To build your own desert habitat of sugary doom, you can pick up the terrain sprues along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge range from the webstore here.

What are you working on? We would love to see your models and terrain in the Comm Guild Facebook group!

For other building ideas, modeling tutorials, army spotlights and conversion walkthroughs, check out the Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

Find the Maelstrom's Edge rules and the full range of models at

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