Welcome to part four of my monthly series in which I share my thoughts and instruction on constructing the various pieces of terrain required to play Kings of War on your gaming table. As with my past tutorials on Forests, Buildings and Hills I always strive to strike a balance between the aesthetic of having an awesome looking terrain while still making it playable. Thanks to everyone that provided ideas and suggestions for this month’s topic. In the end, I opted to cover the third main terrain type that really has an awesome potential to affect your games, Obstacles.
Obstacles are a category of terrain unto themselves within Kings of War. This category includes things like fences, walls, barricades, hedges and the like. They are a very important tabletop asset that may be pressed to the advantage by the astute general. From the rulebook we learn that obstacles never block line of sight and count as 1” tall for the purposes of cover. Keep in mind that units in base contact with terrain ignore the terrain for the purposes of cover when shooting. Also, units may not move At the Double while crossing an obstacle and units charging over an obstacle are hindered. With all of this in mind, it is easy to see that obstacles are a wonderful defensive piece of terrain. Ogre Shooters with the Brew of Keen-Eyeness behind a wall make a good base of fire for your army on the tabletop!
When modeling obstacles there are two things to consider. First, you should keep your obstacles to an inch or less in height as anything taller should be Blocking Terrain. Second, keep in mind how units will interact with the obstacle. Decisions over height and width will make a significant impact on how a unit moves over the obstacle. Will units balance on the top of the obstacle while they are crossing it? Can the obstacle be removed leaving the base on the table while a unit is moving over it? Your goal is to end up with a beautiful obstacle that is a joy to play with.
Before we jump into the tutorials its worth mentioning that there are loads of commercially available options on the market. They are available from many different companies; in assortment of designs and styles; from some assembly required to playable out of the package; and can be found in a variety of materials from hard plastic to resin to even recycled rubber. Here is a taste of some of my favorites that will get you up and running in no time!
Given the more diminutive size of an obstacle when compared to other terrain types used in Kings of War I felt it was only proper to give you a couple of tutorials rather than just one this time. Enjoy.
We’ll kick off the first tutorial with a staple of every good terrain collection, the wooden fence.
Step One – Materials
Here is the list of materials that I used to create my fences. Please note that this list uses many of the same materials that we used for the previous tutorials. In addition, the list assumes you already have common supplies like glue and brushes. Feel free to substitute to whatever brands you prefer or materials you already have on hand.
Step Two – Base for the Fence
First things we need is a base for our fence. Just as in the past tutorials, we will again be using ¼” MDF for the base as I have found that it is thick enough that it will not warp when slathered in glue and paint. Draw out bases that are roughly 6” in length by 1” wide with rounded corners. Cut them out with a jigsaw and bevel the edges with a sanding drum attached to a rotary tool. Given the small size of the base, the rotary tool will be much easier to work with then a palm sander. Follow this up with hand sanding the edges using 220 grit sandpaper.
Step Three - Building the Fence and the Rocks
Start by cutting 3 uprights 1 inches in length from Styrene Strip # 176 ((.100”x.125”). Next cut 2 rails 5 ½ inches in length from Styrene Strip #179 (.100”x.250”). Using a hobby knife whittle the edges of the strips to give it the appearance of worn, weathered wood. Attach the uprights to the base using CA Glue. Place one upright in the center of the base and the other two 2 ½ inches from the center upright. Then apply the 2 rails to the uprights with poly cement. In addition I created some shorter fences along with a broken down fence. Don’t be afraid to experiment and have some fun with it. To add visual impact add rocks to the base with CA Glue. Please refer to my third tutorial on hills for a quick explanation of casting resin. To reinforce the connection of the fence and tie the rocks into the base apply Apoxie Sculpt around the edges. With a wet finger feather out the clay to blend it into the base. Alow everything to dry for 24 hours.
Step Four – Adding Texture to the Base
Next cover the base with PVA glue followed by sand. Then break up the texture by adding patches of model railroad ballast.
Step Six – Paint the Fence
Start the painting process by priming all the pieces with Grey Primer followed by a base coat of Rustoleum Earth Brown Camouflage paint. The base was highlighted with a light dry brush of Raw Sienna followed by a final highlight of Unbleached Titanium across the surface of the sand using a very dry brush and a very light touch. For the rocks base coat them with Dark Grey followed by a dry brush of Grey. Using a very dry brush and a light touch, apply a final highlight of white. Break up the grey rock by using washes as detailed in the previous tutorials on Buildings. As a reminder, I used Agrax Earth Shade (Brown) and Anthonian Camo Shade (Green-Brown) from Games-Workshop but you could use whatever washes you have available. Finally the fence was painted in Raw Umber (Dark Brown) and the edges were highlighted with a mixture of Raw Umber (Dark Brown) and Unbleached Titanium. Finally, I gave the whole fence a wash of Agrax Earth Shade (Brown).
Step Seven – Adding Grass and Bushes!
Start by covering the entire base with full strength PVA glue followed by a thick application of 2mm Late Summer Static Grass. Once the glue is dry add some bushes growing near the bottom of the fence with Dark and Medium Green at the Super Turf. Take a pinch of Super Turf and soak it with a mixture of 50% water and 50% PVA glue. Form the wet Super Turf into a ball and apply it onto a patch of PVA glue applied to the surface. Continue to apply the Super Turf building up the bushes under the fence until you are happy with the results.
Step Seven – Adding Grass, Bushes and Flowers!
To really make your fences stand out add some flower Summer Flowers to the base with a drop of CA Glue. After everything is completely dry hit the whole piece with matte varnish to lock everything in and dull down any shine left from the PVA glue. In the end you will end up with some great looking fences that will look great on your table.
In this 2nd tutorial let’s make some great looking rocky barricades perfect for a snow table!
Step One – Materials
Here is the list of materials that I used to create my barricades. Please note that this list uses some of the same materials that we used for the previous tutorials. In addition, the list assumes you already have common supplies like glue and brushes. Feel free to substitute to whatever brands you prefer or materials you already have on hand.
Step Two – Create the Rocks
Unlike all the previous tutorials this time we start with creating the rocks that will make up the barricade. For this tutorial, I used resin casts of rocky outcroppings from a premade mold from Woodland Scenics. Lightly dust the inside of the mold with baby powder. Mix the resin per the instructions provided, pour it into the mold and wait for it to cure. Make sure to gather a wide variety of interesting rocks. Look for rocks that would make natural barricades. Typically this will be rocks with low profiles and linear shapes.
Step Three – Basing the Rocks
Again we will be using ¼” MDF for the base. Layout your rocks onto a piece of cardboard and move them around until you find combination of shapes that feel like natural barricades. Trace around your rock formations to form the outline of each base. Keep a uniform distance between the rocks and the edge of the base to create a consistent look to your barricades. Cut out the cardboard patterns and then trace them on to the MDF. Cut them out with a jigsaw and bevel the edges with a sanding drum attached to a rotary tool. Follow this up with hand sanding the edges using 220 grit sandpaper. Finally, attach the resin rocks to the MDF base with 2 part epoxy.
Step Four – Texturing the Base
Apply Apoxie Sculpt along the edge of where the resin cast meets the base and. Then with a wet finger, feather out the Apoxie Sculpt to blend the edge of the rocks into the base. This gives the appearance that the rocks are jutting out of the ground. To break up the vast amount of rocky texture add a few man-made elements from your bitz box like barrels and crates. After the Apoxie Sculpts fully hardens cover the base with PVA glue followed by sand. Break up the texture by adding patches of model railroad ballast.
Step Five – Painting the Barricades
Start the painting process by priming everything with Grey Primer. Next base coat the entire barricade with Dark Grey. Follow this up with a dry brushy of Grey and a final highlight of white applied with a very dry brush and a light touch. Break up the grey rock by using washes as detailed in the previous tutorials on Buildings. As a reminder, I used Agrax Earth Shade (Brown) and Anthonian Camo Shade (Green-Brown) from Games-Workshop but you could use whatever washes you have available. Paint up the barrels to provide good contrast to the rocks and provide additional visual appeal. After everything is completely dry hit the whole piece with matte varnish to lock everything in and dull down any shine.
Step Six – A Touch of Winter
In this final step we give the barricades a snow covered, deep winter look perfect for a winter table. But keep in mind that this step is completely optional. Start by dabbing Flex Paste onto the barricades to define where the snow will be applied. Continue to apply multiple layers of Flex Paste to build up the accumulation of snow. A good technique for applying the Flex Paste is to roll a full loaded brush horizontally along the surface, pulling the Flex Paste to where you want it be applied. After the flex past is dry paint the Flex Paste with Matte Medium and then sprinkle Soft Snow Flake across the wet surface. Allow this to dry and they reapply the area with Matte Medium before a 2nd dusting of Soft Snow Flake. For a more thorough explanation for these techniques please watch checkout this video.
Finally, I wanted to share one more tutorial with you. This time how to make Hedge Row Obstacles for your gaming table using scrub pads found from a discount store. I created this tutorial a few years ago for my blog and can be found here.