Bases for terrain elements

2011-06-13 Khaiell

A how-to guide simply on making flat cardboard bases? Oh yes! There are some serious pitfalls and easy wins in this. For most "area terrain" like woods or marsh a base is basically the whole thing anyway

Picture described below
A simple terrain base made of cardboard
A sandwich of two perpendicular cardboardsPreparing basesUnfinished terrain baseFighting over the objective marker: an arc with ashes of an Imperial hero

A terrain base must be rigid, light and thin. The best material satisfying these conditions is foamcore used by professional architects. Thin MDF board is a treat for serious projects and there is also a material particularly pleasant for the touch: plywood.

However for most projects simple corrugated cardboard is enough. This is the thing used for most packaging. It is versatile, effectively free and easy to cut. Ikea boxes are particularly useful as they have the right thickness, are quite large and you get them quite clean without any sticky tape or lamination.

You can make the cardboard extra strong by glueing two layers of it in such a way that their corrugations are perpendicular.

To make a base of a cardboard box, you have to:

1. Lay it flat on the floor

2. Mark the desired shape with a pencil

3. Lift the board (not to damage the floor) and cut the shape out using a sharp knife

4. Stick some masking tape around the edges to hide the corrugation. A painting/masking tape is the thin sticky paper tape used to protect windows' glass and the like from spills of paint. Available in all shapes and sizes from any DIY store

5. Paint the base using an enamel paint

Try to avoid using water-based paints (like acrylic) or water based glue (like PVA) on a cardboard base
— you will warp it. more about warping cardboard and what glue to use

Personally, I paint all my terrain bases to look like muddy, trampled grass. see how I do it

See the pictures as separate pages: A simple terrain base made of cardboard * A sandwich of two perpendicular cardboards * Preparing bases * Unfinished terrain base * Fighting over the objective marker: an arc with ashes of an Imperial hero

You may also find these interesting:
Today's picture gallery celebrates one of Games Workshop's gems lost in time: the Epic (6mm scale) series of games. Thanks in large part to lower cost of introducing new models they expanded enormously the fluff of Warhammer 40k. »
Reviews 17-06-2017 Khaiell
Did you think the jewellery section of the retail giant is not for a grimdark hobbyist like you? Think again! If you search for steampunk gears you may find top quality bits that can be purchased cheaply by the bagful. »
General Tips 01-12-2017 Khaiell
On our YouTube channel...
The first Chapter Approved, the Red Compendium, the Golden Compilation, 3rd edition Chapter Approved books and the current, 2017 one with some gadgets. »
YouTube 06-12-2017 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHqY8zs84NY
The Death Guard models released in 2017 are gorgeous, whether the ones from the starter boxes or even the "easy to assemble" ones. So are the special edition models any more special? »
YouTube 22-12-2017 https://youtu.be/vQJBsrYH9W4