Make Terrain Great Again!

Building and painting terrain is something rarely covered, or rarely broken down into something simple and manageable.  Until now.

This past weekend, the store was having a terrain building day to revamp the store’s collection and lay the groundwork for some of the terrain to be used at the Quebec City Open.
The turnout was great, I was expecting 2-3 people, ended up with 8-10.
The guide below is pretty much the approach I took for the store’s day (in italics), with additional notes on how to best tailor it to your needs.
Our process is quite simple:
It’s pretty easy to do over the weekend, or, like the store, in a single day, specially that part 1 to 3 can be done ahead of time to get the most of your hobby day.


This step is quite important,  because it will shape up the rest of the work.  Rather than aimlessly working at a building and finding yourself at the end of the day with not much accomplished, you want to work towards something.
For our weekend, my first goal was to tally up all the terrain that was available, break it off into as many complete tables as possible and then get as many of those tables ready as possible.
Maybe your goal is to have a table at home, maybe you want to cull your collection of terrain; whatever the case may be, aim for something that will make you happy at the end of the day.  Don’t be afraid to shoot for something big, you will be surprised at the speed things go when you are ready.


Assess what you do have in order to know what you want to get done. Know where you’re from to know where you’re going, all that jazz.
Friendly reminder that I’m still, I’m still Jenny from the block.  -10 streetcred points.
JLO aside, sorting out is important not only in terms of terrain, but also supplies.
Terrain: If you are starting from scratch, this will be pretty simple.  You can still scavenge to house for cans, boxes, foam and other whatnots that can be made into terrain.  If you already have some terrain made, make a tally of what you have and the shape it’s in (broken, WIP, ready to rock…)
Then, sort these pieces in line with your goal – if you want to have a single table and you have 26 pieces of terrain, you might not need them.
In the case of the store, we sorted every feature we had by color ( light brown, dark brown, grey and snow )  and then added all incomplete pieces to these to sort them into as many full tables as possible.
Supplies: This is the most important one to figure out before hand.  Again, depending on your goal and current collection of hobby supplies will differ.  Thursday’s article will go into a lot more details for supplies as there is a lot of ground to cover, but this step you note what you have.  In the planning stage, you will figure out exactly what you need to buy.
Here are the most common things:
Large cheap Brushes
Dollar Store Paint
Builder’s/PVA Glue
Basing supplies
Truckload of glue
In ou case, I was taken back by how many folks turned up at the event, so I lost some valuable time having to go out and get more for everyone.

3-  PLAN

Ah yes, we’re big on planning on this blog.  From building a LGS’s worth of terrain or a table for your beatslab, the third step is having some sort of plan.
You don’t actually have to go into much details, but getting a clear idea of everything you want to do will help you get things done in a more efficient way.
Plan your work; work your plan!
Here’s our plan, after sorting out which we did the morning of ( because of the quantity and 0 previous knowledge of how much stuff we had mostly ).  It’s part french part english, but you get the idea.  ROB  stands for Realm of Battle, the massive GW plastic boards.
The best example, of good planning is as simple as building and gluing everything in the morning so the glue dries during lunchtime and painting everything in the afternoon.
Planning is pretty simple, the 2 main criteria to look for are things that need to be done before others (primer before paint) and things that need to dry off (glue, flock, spray primer)


This is where the 3 previous steps lead you come game day!
There is not much to be said here, focus on the plan you’ve laid to get to your goal and don’t stop until you drop.


This is probably the most crucial part if you’re doing a lot of tables, like the game store. You can add this to the planning part, you need some form of storing for all your work.
For regular you’s and me’s, proper storing of your terrain allows you keep your terrain alive longer, and make a more efficient use of your beatslab.
Stashing is only the 1st part of the deal if you’re doing a lot of pieces, the other is labelling the fruit of your terrain building day.
Because our undertaking was too massive to complete in a day, we not only labeled the boxes with their content, but also their stage of completion.  No notes means it’s ready for action, and we added Incomplete which means that this table is missing pieces, and unfinished, meaning that everything is in the box, but not fully painted.
You can add what’s missing to the note (  Incomplete!  Missing: 2 Hills, Crater, Medium Ruin )  or the stage of incompletion ( Incomplete! Needs primer )
This step is quite important because it sets the stage for the next time you want to tackle terrain, wether it’s tomorrow or in 6 months, most of the 3 steps are taken care of by your carefully labeled terrain box.
Tune in on Thursday for some more tips and techniques for setting up your own terrain building day!
Until next time,
No excuses, hobby like a champion!

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