Wargaming Terrain – Rocks

It has been sometime since my last post. I wish I could say I’ve been sitting around doing nothing but watching movies unfortunately no such luck. I’ve been tied up at work, trying to get more exercise and fixing the house up a little which hasn’t left very much time for creating blog posts or spending much time on my hobbies. I do have a backlog of “stuff” to post about and a pile of things I need to finish so I’m going to use Ye Olde blog to help me get things finished. I have been doing some small amount of hobby stuff, basically working on some more traditional foam, balsa wood and plaster terrain and the rocks below are some of the first pieces I’ve finished.

Must be a thing with wargaming terrain creation everyone normally starts with rocks. Good news I didn’t start with rocks these were just the first I managed to finish. I started by building a ruined tudor house and some scratch built tree’s. Unfortunately the house still needs to be painted and I need to create a few more tree’s before I post about them.

The rocks are a fairly standard build of foam cut rocks, I think there’s literally a million “how to’s” on making rock’s so I wont go into great detail about cutting foam etc etc you can see tutorials here, here, here and here for tutorials on how to make rocks and cliffs. A few minor comments that I noticed while cutting my rocks;

  • Avoid having any 90 degree edges, go have a look at normal rock formations very few 90 degree angles.
  • Do seal the foam with white PVA glue before trying to use a spray undercoat unless you want the I’ve just been dissolved by acid look
  • Use whatever foam you have at hand; depron, blue, pink, yellow (extruded polystyrene) or normal White polystyrene bead sheets just get some and get started.
  • If you can build a hot wire cutter, it’ll take you a few hours but save you a heap of time and stop that tearing you see when you use a craft knife…even aĀ  sharp one can catch.
  • If you are cutting foam with a hot wire cutter make sure you wear a mask or do your cutting outside in a well ventilated area. I see very little about the fumes the various foams give off as the cutter melts them but they smell terrible as you cut them so I suspect the fumes are in the not good for you bucket.

I’ve basically finished two small rock stands. I mounted a 6mm sheet of depron to a masonite base and rounded the depron to make it seem like a small hill. Into the masonite bases I glued 3-4 small magnets so that later these can be used as hill toppers on larger flatter hills. The rest is your fairly standard wash and dry brush. The bones I cut from some kids toys I found in a go-lo store $2 and you get a packet of four dinosaur skeletons which provided a heap of bones although they are a little out of scale (Pic below). The human skull I’m not sure what it’s from I just had it laying around:

Dino Skeleton Toys

The vines are probably the most unique part that I haven’t seen used on terrain before, although I’m sure someone probably has. Basically I grabbed a mold for food vines and used this to cast some vines segments and then fit them together into a long creeper style vine. I’ll do a post later this week covering how exactly I used them and what to use to get cheap bendy segments.

Rocks One

Rocks Two

I’m fairly happy with how the rocks turned out although they could probably use a little more weathering and maybe some lichen on the rocks but for a first attempt I’m happy to leave them as they are for now.

4 Responses to “Wargaming Terrain – Rocks”


  1. 1 Glynis September 27, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Think I’ll just collect some rocks from the park, seems much easier.
    Love the bit about having a human skeleton lying around the house – only you could say that and not sound like Dexter!
    And the fumes from the foam being in the “not good for you” basket LOL

    Thanks Rob, I’ve missed your posts šŸ™‚

  2. 2 Jim September 14, 2012 at 5:31 am

    Weeds! Try this -cut 1″-1.5″ of bristles off of a cheap paint brush (tan or greenish bristles) -take a small bundle (toothpick size or smaller) put a drop of white glue in the center, then either flatten out or roll & let dry -use clippers and cut glue in half.
    You now have two clumps of weeds. Tips can be dipped in diluted glue then in ground foam (Woodland Scenics) to add ‘leaves’. Experiment – have fun.
    By the way – Great Work !!!

  3. 3 Jim September 14, 2012 at 5:43 am

    Also – try using a couple of shades of green for the grass. It’s rarely all the same color. Lighter green near rocks (thin soil), rich dark green in good soil or near water. Try putting a teaspoon of several greens in a ziplock bag – shake to mix then apply. (Check out how model railroaders use it)


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