Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Let there be terrain

OK guys, break out the Marigolds.... hmm, yellow or pink? Here is how I make the terrain from scratch. We've all played on the beach at Blackpool on a wet Wednesday in August, wind blowing the lid off the butties, sand in the chips, ice cream licked from your elbow by the dog..aah, yes...those were the days absolute misery. Still that's where we all did 'sand castles 101'. Most of us then grow up and only return to let our kids bury us up to the neck. Not me. I got sand on the brain, probably via the mouth (should really have put a flake in the 99 instead) and war gaming on sand is really the ultimate.

 1) Rake the dry sand loose with a heavy tarmac rake
 2) The previous topography, once the sand has dried, is quite solid. It's well able to support figures and vehicles without disintegrating into dust.
 3) Add water
 4) Lots of water
 5) Use the rake to do a general mix
 6) Then, with your marigolds on to protect your manicure, do figure of eight motions and really mix in the sand and water until it's damp and mould able.
 7) Once fully damp (not wet) rake it all level
 8) Get out your map and, with the rake push and pull the sand into dips, flat areas and heights.
 9) Then, with your gloved hands, smooth out the sand into the approximate undulations making sure that their are no extreme gradients. You don't need very high features to represent hills. It's easy to portray slight differences in height through different colours of flock.
 10) Then pat everything flat...this takes a while but is worth it because it compacts the sand and when dry it's really quite solid and ready for colouring.
11) This is me just starting to compact. The hills and plains don't look much now but just wait 'till the next episode.

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