The Comm Guild Maelstrom's Edge

Entries tagged [terrain]

Terrain Spotlight: 'Illuminated' Viewscreen


Posted on Tuesday Apr 23, 2019 at 05:31AM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

I'm home from Salute (which was a blast!) and a regrettably very short stay in London, and now getting caught up on everything. As a result, this week's modeling article is a short and sweet one, which also creates a little more progress on my landing pad display board. One of the features I wanted to add on was a viewscreen displaying a 'Welcome' message to new arrivals to the pad. I wanted this to give the illusion of being an illuminated screen without actually having to resort to playing around with LEDs and the like, and below is a quick rundown on how I set this up.





The frame for the viewscreen was made from a garage door from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue. I cut the door out with a razor saw, and then sliced up the doorframe and rearranged it into a smaller rectangle. (You could also just use a rectangle of thick plasticard with the middle cut out!) This was then painted using my normal weathered metal technique.



I wanted the back of the screen to be slightly smaller than the frame, so that the viewscreen would look like it was sitting out slightly from the wall rather than having the sides sit flush against it. So I traced around the frame onto a piece of thin plasticard, and then it cut out about 1.5mm inside the line to make it smaller than the tracing. I then glued this piece to the back of the frame, and painted around the outside edge with some Vallejo Heavy Charcoal so there wouldn't be any white peeking out from behind once it was mounted on the wall.





For the image on the screen, I grabbed an appropriate picture and added some text in Gimp, before printing it out at an appropriate size on glossy photo paper.



I sprayed the picture with a light coat of gloss sealer to protect it, and then glued it in place inside the frame.



To give the illusion of a glow, I painted around the inside edge of the frame with silver, and then added a couple of coats of brush-on gloss varnish. The gloss creates a dull reflection around the edges of the frame - it's a subtle effect, but enough to convey the idea of a low-powered screen that doesn't throw out a lot of excess light.



An alternative to this effect would have been to paint around the inner edges of the frame with colours matching the adjoining parts of the picture. This can create a much brighter 'glow' than the method I've used above, but can also look off if you look at it from the wrong angle.

With that done, it's time to get cracking on the rest of the display board, since I'm getting rather impatient to see it finished!



Build your own viewscreen by picking up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here.

As always, feel free to pop along and share your work, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

Painting Tutorial: Aged Copper


Posted on Monday Apr 01, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

For a very long time, I tried to avoid painting anything copper, as none of the copper paints I had tried ever looked quite right. Since I started getting a little more adventurous with my terrain building, though, it became harder to avoid having to figure something out that I could be happy with, and so eventually I started experimenting again to see what I could work out. This week, I'm sharing a quick tutorial showing the method I settled on.





For my example piece, I'm using a piece of a 13mm drip irrigation fitting, with the large pipe fitting from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue as a handy stand for it.



The first step is to undercoat with a medium green colour - I'm using Army Painter Army Green spray, but pretty much any green will do. This just gives a bit of a green tint anywhere that the copper paint winds up a little thinner, so the actual colour isn't too important.



Next, paint on two coats of copper. Here, I've used some old (very old) Citadel Beaten Copper, but again you should be able to use whatever copper you have. Copper fittings tend to vary considerably in colour, so there's no 'right' shade to look for, other than what looks right to you.



The reason that copper paint tends to not look right is that unless it's polished (which brush-on copper paint doesn't convey) copper generally isn't actually metallic copper coloured. It's more of a dull, coppery brown. So, over the copper, paint a generous slathering of Army Painter Mid Brown wash and leave it to dry.



You could leave it there, with perhaps a light drybrush of copper over the top to pick up some highlights, or carry on and add some verdigris by drybrushing with a suitable blue-green colour. As with the copper itself, verdigris can range from a pale green through to more of a turquoise colour, so use whatever colour suits the look you want. I've used Vallejo Model Colour Emerald here, mixed with just a touch of white and drybrushed wherever it looks appropriate. You can leave as much or as little of the copper brown showing through as you want to get the desired look.



Finally, you can add some scratches with thin lines of black, highlighting the bottom edge of the line with copper. Light highlights and lines of copper without the black can also be used to show shallower scrapes and scuffs.



And that's about it. Go forth and copper up your terrain to your heart's content!







You can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge boxed game and model range from the webstore here.

As always, feel free to pop along and share your work, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

Terrain Spotlight: Alien Forest using Silicon Aquarium Plants!


Posted on Monday Mar 25, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

While there is a steadily growing range of awesome terrain on the market these days for sci fi wargames, one curious gap is the general lack of alien plantlife, which results in a vast majority of 'forest' type terrain being represented on the table by variations of the same, standard green trees. This week, I'm venturing outside the shady, green box, and creating an alien forest setup using silicon aquarium plants!





Aquarium plants come in a pretty vast range of different styles, sizes and colours, so can be an invaluable source of alien flora. The plants I'm using here are some sort of anemone-looking thing made from silicon and mounted in pairs or triplets on resin rocks. You could just as easily use whatever other plants you feel like (or can find in your local aquarium supply store!), but I really liked the look of these.



Forest bases need a base (obviously!), so I cut half a dozen out of 5mm masonite. I used a scroll saw with the blade set to a 30 degree angle for this, to get nice wobbly edges, and then sanded them down smooth. You could do the same with a jigsaw, or a coping saw if you prefer to avoid power tools.



Onto each base, I glued two or three clumps of 'trees' with superglue, leaving them in the resin rocks so that I didn't have to make up some sort of alternative base for them. This also helps to give them a little more height, and adds a bit of extra texture to the forest bases.



To stretch out my collection of plants a bit, and also to help break up the identical clumps, I cut through some of the resin rocks with a razor saw to split up the tree clumps.



The cut edges of the rocks were then concealed behind stacks of foamed PVC, cut from scraps leftover from a previous project. You could also use foamcore or cardboard for this (although the PVC is a bit more durable and less likely to delaminate from use) or putty or filling plaster to sculpt up a replacement rockface.



From there, I slapped a generous coat of PVA glue on each base and sprinkled on a sand/gravel mix, leaving the glue to dry before tipping off any excess sand that hadn't stuck. I also applied a generous spray of matte sealer, both to help hold the sand down and to kill a little of the shine on the silicon plants.



To paint, I glopped on a generous coat of a medium brown as a base coat - I used a Mont Marte Burnt Umber artist's acrylic for this, with the intention of matching these bases to the air conditioner fitting bunker that I made last week.



Over the brown, I drybrushed a taupe colour ('Fawn', another artist's acrylic).



The largest of the bases had some extra space left on it, so I added some young growth using some clipped pieces of plastic rod, painted up with red and yellow to match the plants.



And that's pretty much it. If you want a more over-grown look to your forests, you could easily put the 'tree' clumps closer together, or add extra undergrowth using other, smaller plants. There's a bit of a balance to find with area terrain like this, though - You want it to look good, but you also need to be able to put models in it, so I prefer to keep things fairly simple to improve their function on the table. An alternative compromise is to mount the trees onto the base with magnets instead of gluing them in place. This lets you add some extra layers of detail, while being able to selectively pluck parts of the forest out of the way as necessary to place models in there. For now, though, this is my forest all together on the table:







Feeling like assembling your own tropical alien paradise? As always, feel free to pop along and share your work, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

You can find the Maelstrom's Edge boxed game and model range in the Maelstrom's Edge webstore here.



For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

Terrain Spotlight: Bunker from an Air Conditioner Fitting


Posted on Monday Mar 18, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

Apparently even when I'm looking for something else completely, the terrain bug is difficult to avoid. On a completely unrelated trip through the hardware store for a change, I came across a rack of plastic air conditioner ducting that included a bunch of pieces that immediately jumped out as potential building fodder. Before you could say 'Get to the bunker!' I was on my way home with fingers just itching to break out the tools. The end result was a brand new ground-level access for a bunker complex!





The piece that I chose started out life as a 100mm ceiling cap, which is apparently something to do with air conditioners - I'm taking the word of the label for that! I love the idea of buildings that serve as an entryway to larger complexes below ground, and the shape of this fitting looked perfect for an atrium bunker leading to a staircase or angled lift shaft.



As the type of plastic used was shiny and of indeterminate pedigree, I started out by removing the label and giving the whole thing a light sand with fine grade sandpaper to remove the glossy outer layer. This helps the glue and paint to stick later.



The fitting is made of two separate pieces that clip together along the sides, which made cutting window holes a little easier - I popped the pieces apart, and used a shutter window from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue to trace around for the hole, with one vertical edge running along the seam. Then I cut along the top and bottom of the marked hole with a razor saw, and scored the other vertical side and snapped the resultant scrap piece out of the hole. This was repeated on the other side, and again on the front for a door hole, using the armoured door from the terrain sprue as a guide.



I glued the windows and door in place using an 'all plastic' glue combo (a two-part setup that includes a tube of superglue and a 'primer' pen that is used first to help the glue stick to unusual plastics). I also added a strip light above the door for a little extra visual detail, and to cover over the screw hole that was there.



To fill in the roof, I cut two pieces of 2mm foamed PVC to the right shape to fit in the cavity. In one of these I cut a square hole for the hatch from the terrain sprue. The two pieces of PVC were then superglued together, and the hatch glued into the hole.



The fitting has a couple of handy ridges running around in the top cavity at a perfect height to form a balcony once the PVC section was glued and dropped in to sit on them. At this point I also glued the structure down onto a piece of masonite cut to an appropriate size and shape, and filled in the seam on the fitting with a little putty.



To paint, I started out with a coat of Rustoleum brown primer.



I wanted some light texture over the non-metal parts of the bunker. For this, I used a terracotta paint found in the paint section at my hardware store. This is generally used on plastic plant pots to make them look like they're made of terracotta, and has a really fine grit mixed through it to give it a sandy feel. I used a large brush and dabbed this on rather than brushing, to avoid brushstrokes showing up when I drybrushed over it.



The terracotta coat was a little patchy when it dried, with the dark brown basecoat showing through a bit darker than I wanted, so I went over it with a coat of Burnt Sienna craft paint. While that was drying, I also went over the base with a generous layer of PVA glue and sprinkled on a coarse sand and gravel mix.



The bunker was then drybrushed with a mix of Burnt Sienna and a taupe colour (actually called 'Fawn' on the bottle). The metal parts were given a heavy drybrush with P3 Pig Iron and then a generous wash with Army Painter Dark Tone, and the base was painted with a dark brown (Burnt Umber) craft paint.



Finally, the base was drybrushed with some more Fawn, and the lights painted with Citadel Ultramarine Blue, drybrushed with Ice Blue and White.



I also added a building number on the back slope, using a stencil printed out on paper and cut out with a hobby knife. I dabbed on Vallejo Light Grey with a large brush, and then a layer of white, trying not to make it too neat so that it would look a little weather-worn.



A shot of the roof:



And that's it - ready for the table!



Build your own bunker by picking up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here.

As always, feel free to pop along and share your work, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

Painting Tutorial: Weathered Signs using Photo Paper Decals


Posted on Monday Mar 11, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

Marking your buildings and other urban features with signs, graffiti and other appropriate splashes of colour is a great way of adding some touches of realism to your wargaming terrain. This week, I thought I would share a simple technique for creating faded and worn signs and markings using decals made from photo paper!





This technique won't get you bright, new looking signs - for that, you can use regular decals, or print your sign out on paper and glue it in place. What we're aiming for here are signs that have been out in the elements for a while, and are battered, chipped and faded.

Start by drawing up the design you want to apply to the building in your drawing program of choice (I use Gimp). The final applied image will be duller than your original, so you may need to experiment a bit to find the right level at first - If you want a fairly bright and legible sign, use bright colours. Use more muted colours for a more faded effect.
You will also need to flip the image so it is a mirror-image. Then print onto gloss photo paper, and cut out the design using a sharp hobby knife or scissors. Leave a tab of extra paper on one side, and just score lightly along the edge of the image on the tab side.



Apply a thin layer of superglue to the surface of the image. You need to keep this thin enough that it won't squeeze outside the bounds of the image when you press it onto the terrain surface. Don't worry if you don't get the image covered perfectly, as this just creates some handy chipping on the final image.

Press the image face-first onto your painted surface and hold it in place until the glue has had a chance to set.



Grab the excess paper tab and gently peel the paper off. It should peel away leaving the ink and a very thin surface layer of the photo paper behind. Gently scrape the paper layer away with a finger nail to expose the coloured surface beneath.



For any remaining scraps of thin paper left behind, you can rub gently with a damp fingertip to clean then away. The moisture will make your image look brighter for a moment, and white parts may go transparent, but it will fade again as it dries.



If the end result is a little too faded, you can pick the colours up a little by painting on a thin layer of gloss varnish. It won't make a huge difference, but will brighten things up slightly.



From there, you can go ahead and add other detailing and weathering to your terrain as desired. See my guide to sponge weathering here, or the slightly more advanced salt weathering technique here.



As noted back at the start, while the end result is intended to be faded and weathered, you will get a brighter end result if you use stronger colours to begin with. Black shows through best of all, so you can add extra definition to the image by adding thin black borders around everything.



Give it a go! Feel free to share your efforts, or ask for help on the Comm Guild Facebook page!



You can pick up the entire Maelstrom's Edge model range, including the terrain sprue used for the terrain in this article, from the webstore here.

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

Terrain Spotlight: Plant Pot Bunker


Posted on Monday Feb 25, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

One of the things that I enjoy most about this hobby is finding random things that can be turned into new terrain. This week's article is one of just those awesome little finds - a bunker made from a grocery-store plant pot!





The base for this build was one of a set of three plastic plant pots, found at my local supermarket.



As the plastic these are made of is really hard and shiny, I started out by lightly sanding the outside. This breaks up the shiny surface, and allows glue and paint to adhere better.



I decided to avoid cutting into the pot, as I expected the plastic to be quite brittle - brittle plastic breaks easily if you're not careful when cutting it, and it was easier to just not bother. As such, I took a door from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue and built a small boxwork for it using foamed PVC. I used the side of the bunker as a tracing guide to get the correct angle on the back of the box, so that it would sit nice and flush.



The door was then glued in place using an 'all plastics' superglue (a two-part glue that has a tube of superglue and a 'primer' pen that makes it stick better to plastics that don't do so well with superglue alone), along with a square of foamed PVC cut to fit neatly around the bottom of the bunker.



I used reinforcing struts from the terrain sprue for the bunker's vision slits, shortened up by cutting the last section off each end.



To get the slits positioned right on each side, I marked out the correct horizontal position on a cork sanding block, and used that pushed up against the wall as a height guide.



To cover over the holes in the base of the pot, I cut a square of 1mm plasticard and glued it into the recess.



To finish up, I glued the bunker to a roughly-shaped piece of masonite, and trimmed up the base square of PVC to make it a less regular shape, adding some protrusions with cast-offs of PVC to break it up even further. I also added some buttresses on the three non-door sides of the bunker, to break up line of sight around the perimeter.



I painted over the PVC on the base with some Vallejo Heavy Brown before gluing some gravel mix down over the top with PVA glue - the paint layer helps to stop stray bits of white showing through once the base is painted.



The finished bunker, ready for paint:



And with some paint on:









Build your own bunker by picking up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here.

As always, feel free to pop along and share your work, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the article roundup here.

Terrain Tutorial: Corner Brace Shipping Crates


Posted on Monday Feb 11, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

Time for another quick and easy build!

The Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue includes a nifty corner bracing piece, which would normally be used on the roof corners of flat-roof buildings to pretty them up a little. Because a lot of my buildings have angled buttresses or ballustraded roofs, I collect a lot of spares of this part. Looking for something easy and effective to do with them, I hit on the idea of turning them into shipping crates!





To replicate these, for each crate you will need some 1mm thick plasticard or cardboard - two pieces 21mm square, two pieces 21mm x 12mm, and two pieces 19mm by 12mm, and you will also need eight corner braces.



Start by placing the corner braces flat side down, and gluing them together in sets of four along the flat edges, as below:



Glue your large squares into the two resultant boxwork shapes. If you're using plasticard, you can use polystyrene cement for this. Use superglue if you have gone with cardboard.



Next, take the 21mm long strips, and glue them along the inside of one of the boxes, along opposite sides. It doesn't matter which two sides you go with, so long as they are opposite each other.



The 19mm strips should then fit neatly in on the other two sides. It's a good idea to check them for fit, and trim up if necessary before gluing them in. If you wind up with the corners of the strips not all meeting up exactly, it's not a problem, as they'll be hidden by the boxwork when you put the other side on.



Speaking of the other side, you can now glue this on by sliding it on over the strips, until it butts up neatly against the first side.



And that's it. They're really easy to put together, so (assuming you have enough corner braces knocking around) you can quickly assemble a few of them to stack up and scatter around the table for a bit of low cover.



They're fairly light, so while they sit neatly on top of each other, you may find it beneficial to glue the stacks together so that they don't get knocked awry mid-game. This also gives you less surface to paint, since you won't need to paint the faces that are touching other crates!







Keen to give it a go? You can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here.

As always, feel free to pop along and share your work, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the article roundup here.

Terrain Spotlight: Landing Pad 16, part 2


Posted on Monday Feb 04, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

Time to check back in on my landing pad display board build! (If you missed part one, you can find it here)

In the first instalment, I ran through the construction of the 'back' side of the display, so this time around I'm working on the landing pad area.



When I cut the foamed PVC for the floor, I left out a curved area that would form the main section of the actual landing pad itself. To fill this in, I cut a piece of 2mm thick cardboard.



On the top surface of the card, I painted a layer of superglue, and then laid a piece of fibreglass flyscreen flat over the card. Once the glue set, I trimmed the screen around the edges.



I wanted a section of the pad to have visible pipes under the mesh, and had cut a cavity into the cardboard for this purpose. Painting this with everything glued in place would be problematic, so I cut the screen neatly down one edge of the cavity so that it can be lifted up out of the way to paint the pipes. The pipes were made from sections of an assortment of plastic rods. Once the pipes and the rest of the pad are painted, I'll glue the screen back down and add a little trim over the top to disguise the joint.



As detailed last week, I built up the walls using foamed PVC. I left a recess around the top of the landing pad wall, along with the pad's retractable roof would slide.



I added support struts from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue along the top and bottom of the walls, with an extra row of reinforcing



As I had pipes running into the wall from the back side of the board, I needed something on the pad side to match up to them. The first became a heat vent, using a trimmed down large pipe fitting from the terrain sprue and a pipe end from a 13mm drip irrigation setup. I shortened the pipe fitting by cutting across it with a razor saw.



For the second large pipe, I built a fuel storage tank using another drip irrigation piece, a piece of plastic packaging that I think came from a laser printer component, and a clear plastic cap - I don't recall exactly where this piece came from, but I think it was some piece of toddler-feeding paraphernalia. I added some connection ports to the front using the small pipe fitting from the terrain sprue and some plasticard.



For the smaller pipe, I ran a matching piece of pipe cut from the side of the terrain sprue, and fed this into an air conditioning unit built from foamed PVC and an assortment of gubbinz from the terrain sprue.



To the left of the pipe I had added a square hatch, just for a little detail, with the intention of this turning into a conveyor feeding into the pad area from elsewhere. For the conveyor belt, I glued in a bunch of plastic tubes to create rollers.



I broke up the vast expanse of flyscreen on the pad with a couple of strips of plasticard, and added a curved strip around the edges to conceal the join between the screen section and the solid floor.



The rectangle cut into the pad floor was intended to turn into a cargo lift. I built the lift platform using a piece of PVC, some support struts from the terrain sprue and a piece of chequer plate plasticard.





To allow for some variation in the display, I wanted to be able to reposition the lift. To this end, I built a hydraulic lift to go under the middle of the platform using some pieces of plastic tube and a couple of pipe fittings. Thanks to the magic of magnets, this all slots together when needed. Alternatively it can be left out, allowing the lift to sit on the floor.



Ships need to recharge as well as refuel. I built a charging port using a shutter window with most of the shutters cut out. Into the resultant opening, I glued a piece of plasticard and some assorted bits and pieces. The charging cable was made from a couple of pieces of plastic tube and the chain from a fob watch I had sitting in my bits box.



At the other end of the board, I wanted some stairs and decking platforms to create some vertical detail. I cut the shape of the platforms out of 1mm plasticard, and glued on some aluminium mesh cut to the same size.





On the bottom of the mesh, I glued matching pieces of plasticard, and then added some diagonal supports using I-beam plastic rod.



The supports for the platforms we made from foamed PVC, doubled-up to give it some extra thickness.



With the legs in place, I added some extra supports for staircases, cut from more PVC. I used strips of textured plasticard for the stair treads. For the moment, I left the platforms and the treads on the lower staircase unglued, to make it a little easier to paint underneath them.



I added some more support struts around the edges of the platforms and on the ends of the legs. I also glued on some posts for handrails, cut from the energy fence piece on the terrain sprue.



Some final small details:
- I added a spray gun (for vermin control) onto the wall using a chemtech sprayer from the Epirian Scarecrow kit with a pistol grip from a Guardian pistol added. For the mounting clips, I used a couple of leftover sections from the energy fence posts.
- I pillaged a clingfire sprayer and a leg from the Scarecrow kit, and a trimmed down Spider Drone head to create a security remote.
- And I made a billboard screen using sections cut from a garage door.



And with that, assembly is more or less complete!



The handrails are just a placeholder for the moment - I'm planning on using 1.6mm aluminium rods for these, so that they can be bent to shape to go down the stairs, but these won't be glued in until the platforms are painted.

















Stay tuned for part three, where we get some paint on this little construction!



You can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here.

As always, feel free to pop along and share your work, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the article roundup here.

Terrain Spotlight: Landing Pad 16, part 1


Posted on Monday Jan 21, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

This week, I'm kicking off something a little different for the new year. It's a bigger project than normal, so I'll be spacing it out over a couple of articles, with the aim being to build a detailed display board to use as a backdrop for photographing miniatures. I wanted something that would have plenty of open areas for placing miniatures, and a few different contrasting areas to allow some variety in backdrops with just the one piece. And so 'Landing Pad 16' was born:





Normally when I'm building terrain, I have a rough idea in my head of what I'm going to build, and I just wing it from that. Because this one was a little more complicated, I started by sketching out a rough design, and then translated that into a 1:1 plan on a sheet of cardboard.





For the bulk of the structure, I chose to use foamed PVC sheet. This is a lightweight, but strong plastic material that is easy to cut and shape, and takes extremely well to superglue, which allows it to be used to build solid, detailed structures.

I took my plan and drew up a neater version on the PVC, and then used an exacto knife and steel ruler to cut it out.



I had a slight measuring mishap when scribing some panel lines on the floor piece. Rather than starting over, I just flipped the floor over, making the build a mirror image of my original design. The floor was layered, to allow for some depth in the detailing. With the floor marking out the basic shape for the structure, I could start adding the walls, shaping the PVC to the outline of the building.



The foamed PVC is quite flexible, but I added a curve to the landing pad wall by heating the PVC in boiling water, curving it around a biscuit tin and letting it cool. This wasn't super-effective, but gave it enough of a lasting curve to let it bend more easily to the required shape. Having the natural bend in there means that the PVC isn't trying to spring back as hard against the glue line, giving a more solid joint.



As with all of my Maelstrom's Edge buildings so far, detailing on this one is added courtesy of the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue. I created two hexagonal windows for the landing bay freight access corridor by gluing together pairs of trapezoid windows along their long edges.



As I built up the structure, the plan changed a little from the original sketch. I added extra access between the two sides of the board, and brought the detail on the 'reverse' side down from the roof to a first-level courtyard.



The courtyard needed some depth to allow for some staggered model positioning, so I added a couple of descending platforms on the rear, using layers of PVC to create the steps between levels.



I had planned for a groove to run around the top of the landing pad wall, which would theoretically serve as a runner for a retractable roof - I'm not building the roof, but wanted it to be implied for completeness. For the roof groove to have depth, this needed to protrude into the back facing of the wall, so I built up a box structure using layers of PVC.



The doors on the terrain sprue have detail on both sides, but as they're intended to be used on external structures they only have the framework on the one side. I created a double sided doorway by removing the frame from the rest of the door using a razor saw. On a second door, I cut the door itself out leaving the frame intact, so I could have an open doorway for the freight access.







However carefully you cut and glue, you wind up with some gaps and rough edges. I used some putty to fill in wherever necessary, and once set used some fine sandpaper to smooth it down.



To give the walls some structural detail, I built up a recurring pattern using the support struts from the terrain sprue, and glued this on along the top and bottom of each wall. For curved walls, I carefully bent the strut to shape before gluing it in place.





Rather than having bare cement floors everywhere, I added tiles to the courtyard area using textured plasticard. By cutting out squares of tiles in a regular pattern, I inserted some decorative areas of smaller tiles - these will be painted up with the Epirian Foundation logo.



Using ladders from the terrain sprue, and posts cut from sections of the sprue itself, I added a handrail around the courtyard.



I left the handrail open in a couple of places, to allow some avenues for displaying models and show where the terrain would theoretically continue past the confines of the display board. I did extend the rail part of the way down the stairs, by cutting a piece of 2mm plasticard in a pattern matching the rungs of the ladder.



Down the other end of the board, behind the landing pad, I built some nice, hefty pipes using the large pipe fitting from the terrain sprue and some 13mm garden drip irrigation fittings.



I scattered some smaller pipes around the place using the small pipe fitting, some plastic tubing, and some more scrap sprue from the terrain sprue.



With all of that done, this side of the board is more or less done. There is still a little more gap filling and sanding to be done, and probably some more small details to add here and there. I'll need to add some sort of trim around the bottom edge to neaten everything up, but that will wait until the other side is finished so I can make it consistent.

















Stay tuned for part two, detailing the landing pad side of the board!



You can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here.

As always, feel free to pop along and share your work, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the article roundup here.

Terrain Spotlight: Yoghurt Tub Observatory


Posted on Monday Dec 03, 2018 at 06:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

A side effect of building a lot of scratch-built terrain is that you sooner or later find yourself eyeing off all of your rubbish, trying to decide whether to throw it out or put it in the 'terrain fodder' box. This week's article comes from seeing an empty yoghurt tub sitting upside-down on the sink and thinking 'Hmm... I could totally do something with that!'

With the addition of half of a plastic Christmas bauble, and some bits and pieces from the terrain sprue, I built an observatory:





This all started, as I said above, with a 700g yoghurt tub. I was undecided at first as to just what to do with it, but when I went fossicking around in my potential terrain bits collection, I came across half of a plastic bauble that my wife bought a couple of years ago with Christmas stamps or somesuch thing in it. It looked a perfect size to combine with the tub, and so an idea was born.



I decided to keep this one fairly light on extra detail, for a clean, functional-in-a-sciency-sort-of-way building. The first thing to do was add a door, so I grabbed one from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, traced around it on the side of the tub and then cut out the doorway rectangle carefully with a sharp hobby knife. After checking the fit and making some slight adjustments with the knife, the door was glued in place with an 'all plastics' glue (a two-part superglue that includes a 'primer' to help the glue grab to plastics that can otherwise be problematic for a strong glue bond).



I added three support struts spaced around the building, just gluing them in place where I wanted them.



For the dome, I took some more support struts and separated the small square sections with attached rivet strips by cutting through the strut with the knife. I gave these a slight curve by bending them carefully over the handle of the hobby knife. On the bauble, I drew a guideline through the middle and then glued the strut sections and a large pipe fitting along the line.



I then glued the bauble in place on top of the yoghurt tub, and added two more support strut pieces halfway around each side, to help reinforce the glue bond, as the edges of the bauble are fairly thin.



Finally, I cut an 8" square of masonite, and glued the tub in the middle of it. I also added a couple of steps cut from an off-cut of foamed PVA, and a little strip of plasticard to cover over the doorstep, where my doorway cut had been a little untidy.



A couple of coats of spray and a little detail work later, and the new observatory looked like this:



A quick tip on painting clear containers - it can be a really good idea, particularly if you are using lighter colours, to spray the inside of the container black or grey before gluing it in place and painting the outside. This helps to make the end result more opaque, as the painted building can otherwise go a slightly translucent or look a little glowy if there is a strong light behind it. It also helps keep the building looking good if the paint gets scratched on the outside.







To build your own yoghurt tub science building, you can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here.

As always, feel free to pop along and share your work, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the article roundup here.

Terrain Tutorial: Flight Base Shipping Crates


Posted on Monday Nov 19, 2018 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

This week's modeling article came about more or less by accident! I have a bunch of flight bases left over from the Epirian Drone kit, as it comes with both 45mm bases for Spider Drones, and flight bases for Firefly Drones. I discovered when sorting out some bases in a mixed box of bits that the 25mm round bases fit quite neatly inside the bottom of the flight base, creating a pretty neat little detail effect, and I thought: I need to do something with that!

And so I did - multi-purpose shipping crates:



This is a really quick and easy build. You'll need two flight base bottom pieces, two 25mm bases, some thin cardboard (I'm using part of a manilla folder here, but cereal packet or similar thin card or even some thin plasticard would do just fine) and a computer terminal from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue. That last bit is optional, as the crates will still look perfectly functional without it, but it does help to finish it off and give it that definite sci-fi stamp!



First, cut the cardboard into a strip - the width of the cardboard is the length of the crate. I've gone with 50mm long crates, as that seemed like a good size, but you could make them longer or shorter (or even do a mix of sizes) if you choose. Mark out six 15mm increments along the strip and lightly score with a sharp hobby knife, and cut the cardboard off about 5 or 6mm past the last one. Cut the corners of that last, shorter increment off at 45 degrees, as below:



Fold along each score line to create a hexagonal tube.



Apply superglue to the inside of one end of the tube, and wrap it around one of the flight bases, with the base bottom facing out, so that the end of the tube lines up flush with the bottom of the base.



Repeat for the other end, and this time also glue the short tab on the end of the cardboard inside the corresponding edge of the tube.



Glue a 25mm base, bottom facing out, inside each of the flight bases. The arc markers on the 25mm base line up with two corners of the flight base. If you're not using Maelstrom's Edge bases for this, it still works, you just won't have the extra bit of detail from the arc markers. Some bases also have branding stamps on the bottom - you could use these the other way around, for a slightly different look.



Finally, glue the computer terminal in one end.



Add some paint, and your cargo crates are ready for the table!



Printing out some shipping company names and gluing them on the sides is a great way to add some extra detail and make them look authentic!



To build your own shipping crates, you can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue (and 25mm bases!) along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here.

As always, feel free to pop along and share your work, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the article roundup here.

Terrain Spotlight: Generator Made From Bubblegum Tape Dispensers!


Posted on Monday Nov 05, 2018 at 06:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

One of the most enjoyable aspects of terrain building for me is to find everyday things that, with a little bit of tinkering, suddenly turn into something that looks at home on the battlefield. This has resulted in me spending more time than is healthy wandering through hardware stores and discount shops looking for new fodder for the workbench - it's often a little surprising where that perfect next project piece will show up.

This week's build is based on an idea that I have come across in several different incarnations online, and thought it looked too cool to not try it out. So after a quick trip to the local grocery store, I found myself building a generator out of bubblegum tape dispensers!



I picked up two packs of grape-flavoured Hubba Bubba. Obviously, the flavour doesn't make any difference to the build, but if you're buying bubblegum anyway, is there any logical reason to buy any flavour other than grape?



The first step was to remove the bubblegum from the packs, and remove the labels. The labels mostly peeled off easily, but needed a little cleanup with some Tea Tree Oil to remove the sticky residue - If you don't have access to Tea Tree Oil, use whatever local equivalent you have for cleaning sticky residue off things.

Then I may have got momentarily distracted...



One side of the pack has an internal ridge running down each long side of the opening, and a pair of tongues that close over into the other half. These needed to be removed, which I did with a sharp exacto knife. They're made from a fairly soft plastic, so cut easily.



This left four almost-identical, semi-circular pieces.



To join the segments together, I took four 25mm bases and cut them in half with a razor saw. The arc markers on the Maelstrom's Edge bases serve as a handy guide for this, but if you are using different bases then some measuring and marking would be involved here.



I cut a piece of masonite to an appropriate size for a base, and then a smaller piece of foamed PVC for the generator to sit on. I could have used another piece of masonite here, but figured the plastic gum dispenser would glue better to the PVC. On the PVC, I marked out where the dispenser pieces would sit, and added a 25mm-wide centre strip to serve as a guide for gluing the base pieces on.



Then, I sat each dispenser piece in turn onto the marks and glued the base sections in position on both sides using an all-plastics glue.





(The 'all-plastics' glue that I use is a 2-part system that has a tube of superglue and a 'primer' pen. You prime the contact points on both parts to be glued before applying the glue, and it creates a super-fast and extremely strong bond with just about any type of plastic).

It was around about this time that I noticed that there were small recycling symbols embossed on two of the dispenser pieces, so I carefully shaved these off with the exacto knife and lightly sanded down the surface. Then I moved on to the ends. Due to the dispenser having that tongue that I cut off back at the start, one side was left with a flat plate, while the other had a hole where the tongue originally slotted in. I took the cut piece of tongue and glued it into this gap.



Then I took eight support struts from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, and cut off the vent sections on their ends. These were glued in pairs into the dispenser opening.





The four sections of dispenser were then glued down onto the base, with the 25mm base sections on each touching the matching section on the next.



I felt that the generator needed a control panel, so quickly threw one together using a console and two trapezoid windows from the terrain sprue, with a square of foamed PVC as a base.



With that glued in place onto the masonite base, the generator was ready for some paint!



I painted it up using my normal weathered metal technique (which you can find in the tutorial here).





To build your own generator, you should be able to find the bubblegum tape just about anywhere that sells bubblegum, and can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here.

As always, feel free to pop along and share your work, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!



For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the article roundup here.

Terrain Spotlight: Abandoned Outpost


Posted on Monday Oct 29, 2018 at 06:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

As anyone who has been following these modeling articles may have noticed, I have all sorts of trouble looking at store-bought kits and not immediately coming up with various ways to hack them up and glue them back together again, and this week's article is no exception. There are a plethora of outstanding MDF building kits out in the market these days, which can be great options for inexpensive, easy to build terrain. Thanks to how easy it is to cut and glue, they can also form a great base for modification. I recently put together a basic desert building from Knights of Dice's Tabula Rasa range, with some extra detailing courtesy of the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue (If you missed it, you can find the article here), and this week, I'm taking a stab at a second building from this range. Intact buildings are just so pre-galaxy-spanning-apocalypse, however, so I'm taking the knife to this one and creating a small abandoned outpost:



The first step was to plan out exactly how I was going to destroy the building, so I popped the parts off their sheets and fitted the basic structure together with no glue. Then I took a pencil and drew a rough line around the outside where I wanted the walls to be damaged.



I cut the walls using a sharp exacto knife, by scoring through on the outside following the pencil line relatively closely, then scoring a roughly corresponding line on the inside of the wall piece (this wasn't an exact match, just eye-balled to be close enough) and then snapping the piece in two. The edge was then cleaned up using the knife to remove any fluffy or protruding parts.



When all of the cuts were completed, it was time to add some detail. The Tabula Rasa kits are deliberately plain, both to keep the cost down and to provide a generic structure for detail pieces to be added, and so they're a perfect base for the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue!

I took a door piece and used a razor saw to cut the door out of the frame, and broke the frame into several pieces. Some scarring was also added with the knife.



I widened both the exterior and interior doorways to match the terrain sprue door pieces. The door frame pieces were glued in place on the exterior doorway, and I added a second doorframe with the door also removed but the frame left intact into the inner doorway. Support struts cut to length were glued over the corner joints on the walls to hide them, and add a little more visual interest to the otherwise fairly plain, boxy building. On the first Tabula Rasa building I added detail over the window holes as well, but for this ruin it didn't seem necessary.



The courtyard has a low MDF wall that runs around it, but I wanted something a little more flashy, so I took a couple of ladders from the terrain sprue and cut off one side with a razor saw.



These were then cut to length and glue in place around the edges of the courtyard, after gluing the scrap pieces back into the locator holes for the original wall to fill them in.



To help turn this into an old, long-abandoned ruin that the jungle had started to reclaim, I built up some patches on the floor with air-drying clay.



I pressed a few castoffs pieces of MDF into the clay, and glued the distressed door down on the courtyard floor. Over this, I painted a thick layer of PVA glue and sprinkled on a generous layer of a gravel, sand and railway ballast mix that I like to use for building rubble as it has a lot of different textures in there.



When the PVA glue had dried, I tipped off the excess gravel mix, and then it was time to paint. I didn't have a brown spray to hand, so I undercoated with some flat black and, while it was still wet, followed up with a light coat of Army Painter Dragon Red.



Over this went a coat of a light cream colour, and then a highlight spray of white from above.



I went back over anything that I wanted to look like exposed metal and re-undercoated with Vallejo Beasty Brown, before drybrushing with P3 Pig Iron. The few bits of the original floor still peeking through the rubble were painted with Vallejo Basalt Grey and drybrushed with Vallejo Light Grey.



With that out of the way, I went to town with washes!

I gave the whole building a generous coat of Army Painter Strong Tone. The walls were painted with a medium-sized flat brush, using vertical strokes to create a streaky effect and allowing the wash to pool and run where it felt like it. When that first wash had dried, I went back over it, picking out small areas with extra dollops of Strong Tone and also adding some patches of Green Tone and Military Shader to give them a greenish, mossy tint.



Time to add some shrubbery!

I took a bunch of assorted fake plants. Most of these are cheap aquarium plants, although I also used a bunch of plastic greenery taken from a mat I found at a local hardware store for creating fake vertical gardens. It looks rubbish as an actual plant feature, but is a perfect resource for my purposes here.



Fake plants, particularly the cheaper kind, tend to be rather brightly coloured and slightly glossy, which just wouldn't do. I got around this by giving the plants a light spray with Army Painter Army Green - not enough to completely cover over the original colour, but enough to dull down the colour and shine. To add some extra colour differentiation, I very lightly misted the tips of some of the plants with white. The painted plants were then glued in place wherever seemed appropriate, but poking a hole through the rubble and into the underlying clay, applying some superglue to the plant stem and pushing it into the hole. I also cut some leaves off a few plants and glued them around on the ground.



The final step was to paint the fallen leaves with varying amounts of brown, and then a quick wash of Strong Tone. At this point, the ruin looked something like this:











To get all apocalyptic on your own building creations, you can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here.

As always, feel free to pop along and share your work, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!



For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the article roundup here.

Terrain Tutorial: Hack the Terrain Sprue!


Posted on Monday Oct 15, 2018 at 06:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

The Maelstrom's Edge Terrain Sprue contains a slew of assorted plastic bits and pieces that can be used to pretty up your home-made scifi terrain, including a bunch of essential elements like doors, windows and pipe fittings. This week, I'd like to share a few tips and tricks for squeezing a little extra versatility out of the terrain sprue and adding some extra touches of detail to your buildings.



The terrain sprue in all its glory! While it's loaded with all sorts of interesting bits that can be clipped off and glued on to your buildings as-is, a little careful cutting and some extra materials will go a long way towards adding that extra detailing that helps to finish things off just right.


Handrails

An easy one to start with! The ladder from the sprue can be used for making railings for balconies or walkways, by cutting off one side along the red line shown below, with a razor saw or exacto knife. The lintel piece, cut down to length, is perfect for filling in the corners:



Alternatively, you can just glue the intact ladder sideways onto the outer edge of your walkway or platform, like this:



Ventilation Ducts

The large pipe fitting can be used for creating ventilation ducts with the addition of a fan blade made from plasticard or thin cardboard. Use the fitting itself as a template for the fan, by holding it upside-down against your plasticard or cardboard and drawing around the inside with a sharp pencil:



(In case you're wondering, you use the fitting upside-down for this because it flares out at the bottom. So if you draw around with the fitting right-way-up, your fan is going to wind up too wide to fit in)

Next, you can flip the fitting up the right way, and use the buttresses as a guide to make six marks around the circle:



The join the marks across the circle, and along each of the resultant radial lines make another mark 2mm out from the centre.



Then cut out the circle, and cut inwards along each radial line up to the inner marks. Dry-fit it inside the pipe fitting to make sure it goes in, and sand around the edge if necessary so that it goes in easily - you don't want a tight fit, as it will deform slightly in the next step.



Now gently twist each of the segments around the circle to create a fan shape. If you're using plasticard, go gently here to avoid snapping it - cardboard is a little more forgiving at this step. Obviously, you also need to make sure that you twist each segment the same way, otherwise your fan is going to run into some operational issues.





Your fan blade can now be glued in place inside the pipe fitting by applying a small amount of superglue around the edge and pushing it into place.



Once it's been glued into place on your building and painted, you ventilation duct can look something like this:



You can also create a more compact version using the smaller pipe fitting and a rotor assembly from an Epirian Firefly Drone. Simply trim off the mounting strut and fin from the rotor piece to make it circular, and glue it to the back of the pipe fitting, as below:



You'll need to cut a small hole in whatever surface you're mounting this on for the rotor assembly to sit in, so that the pipe fitting can sit flush.

Chimney Pipes

I always try to look out for ways to make use of all of the leftover sprue that builds up from all of those plastic projects. The round sprue used on this terrain set is particularly useful with just a little help from some plastic tubing. Take the small pipe fitting, an 'L'-shaped piece of the thinner side of the terrain sprue, a square cut from the bottom of one of the support struts, and a couple of short pieces of 7mm (1/4") plastic tubing (Plastruct, Woodland Scenics or the like).



The 7mm tubing fits nice and snugly into the small pipe fitting. In a happy coincidence, the thinner section of the terrain sprue fits just as neatly into the 7mm tubing. If you remove any extraneous casting gates and mouldlines from the sprue piece and fit it all together, you can do this:



This can be then glued in place wherever seems appropriate, and can be easily reconfigured to match your terrain using different combinations of sprue sections and/or extra bits of tubing or support strut sections.





Trouble-free Doors

Some people have been using various plastic containers, storage trays or home guttering sections in conjunction with the terrain sprue to create some interesting buildings for their MEdge tables. One of the big problems with some of these options, though, is that the doors need to be inset into the walls, and cutting some plastics easily and cleanly in order to do so can be problematic. So I came up with this solution:

Take a door, and three support struts.



Trim off the support struts along the red lines in the below diagram, keeping just the middle pieces. Note that the top piece in the below picture is slightly different to the other two, which have a rivet strip left on one end:



The glue them in place around the back of the door frame. The strut piece from the top of the diagram goes along the top, and the other two (which, unless something's gone horribly wrong, will be identical) go down either side with the rivet strip at the top.



This can then be glued in place on the wall of whatever you're using to make your building, with no cutting of the wall required.



These are just a few ideas that I've found useful when constructing terrain. One of the great things about a product like this is the more-or-less limitless possibilities opened up through the ease of working with plastic components and the open-ended nature of the construction allowed by it. It's always great to see people take the sprue and find new and unexpected ways to use the components on it. So why not give it a go? You can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here.

As always, feel free to pop along and share your work, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the article roundup here.

Terrain Tutorial: Salt Weathering


Posted on Monday Oct 01, 2018 at 06:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

The Maelstrom's Edge Terrain Sprue lets you quickly and easily build some awesome-looking terrain to play your games around and over. Finishing that terrain off with a stand-out paintjob is sure to make your games look even better!

A while back, I shared a tutorial on sponge weathering, which is a great way to quickly and easily add chipping effects to your paintjob. This time around, I'm looking at salt weathering, which is a little more involved than doing it with a sponge, but gives a much more detailed and realistic effect.



While it may look daunting at first, the most complicated part of the salt weathering process is actually just planning out what colours to use. The paint goes on in 2 or more layers, depending on how involved you want your weathering to be. For this tutorial, I'm going to just use a base layer which will become the 'weathered' part, and a top layer which provides the core colour for the building.

What you'll need.

- A building to paint

- Salt. You can use ordinary tablesalt, or rocksalt, or anything in between. The coarseness of the salt changes how your weathering will appear, so some experimenting can be required to find the effect that you like most. I use a coarse rocksalt that I grind up finely with a mortar and pestle. This gives the grains a less consistent size than just using table salt, which I think enhances the overall effect.

- Hairspray. The cheaper, the better. It doesn't need to hold your fabulous 'do for the whole party, just keep some salt in place while you spray it.

- A small, stiff brush. An old toothbrush is ideal.

- Spray paint. You can use an airbrush for this technique if you have one, but if you don't then spraycans will do just fine - that's all I use.




First step - Apply the basecoat. This is the layer that will show through as your weathering. If you're after a chipped cement wall look, then a dark grey is appropriate. You can use a metallic colour if you want a painted metal feature, or a rusty brown for more weathered metal. If you want multiple effects over the building, then you can mix-and-match as required. If you're worried about the basecoat scratching off, which can be a problem with some plastic or metal materials, then also apply a generous coat of gloss sealer at this point.

For my building, I'm going for cement walls with rusty metal details, so I've sprayed the whole building grey, and then gone over the parts that will be metal with brown for the rust.



The next step is to apply the salt. Working one facing at a time, spray on a generous (but not dripping!) coat of hairspray, and then sprinkle on the salt where you want your weathering to appear. For the most realistic effect, concentrate on areas that would be most likely to see wear and tear - exposed corners, raised edges and the like.

Note - You can use water for this step instead of hairspray, using a spray bottle or a paintbrush to apply the water where you want the salt to go. This can be a little more precise, but requires much more careful handling as the water doesn't bond quite as strongly to larger grains of salt and takes longer to dry than the hairspray.

When you're done, your building will look something like this:



Once the hairspray has dried, you can apply your next coat of colour - I'm using a flat white. Keep this coat light, as too much paint will make it harder to remove the salt. Set aside for the paint to dry.



Now comes the fun part!

Using your brush, gently scrub off the salt. If your building is made from water-proof materials, you can hold it under some running water while you scrub. If you have used something cardboard, foamcore or similar, dip your brush in some water and keep it wet while trying not to soak the building too much as you scrub instead.

As the salt comes away, your base layer is exposed in a lovely chipped pattern.



Let it dry before applying any final detailing. Any leftover salt residue will dry as a white powder on your paint, so can need a little bit of cleanup with a damp cloth. At this point, I like to apply a coat of matte sealer just to keep everything pretty while I do any detail work to the building, to avoid damaging the paint with the extra handling.



You can apply multiple layers of colour by repeating the above steps, either over the whole building to show different paint layers or more detail on corroded metal, or by masking off part of the building to apply specific detailing. Here, I'm adding a building ID to the top and front by taping a stencil in place.



Salt is applied over the stencil, followed by a spray of the new colour. Once you remove the stencil and scrub away the salt, you're left with detailing that looks as weathered as the rest of the building.



Once you have applied as many layers of weathering as you feel it needs, all that remains is to apply your final detailing





And that's essentially it. You can vary the amount of weathering by using more or less salt, and can create all sorts of nifty effects through layering and careful use of colours. A good idea if you're not sure of what will work is to google images of derelict buildings or machinery and use those for inspiration.

Why not give it a go? You can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here.

As always, feel free to pop along and share your work, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the article roundup here.