Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Barbarus Table: Part 1

G'day, Macca here. Today I am looking at some terrain. I have started work on a new table themed on Barbarus, the home planet of the Death Guard. I decided early on that it had to not just be a swamp, but that it had to echo the horrors of the Third Battle of Ypres in World War One, commonly known as Passchendaele (after the village near the heart of the battle). This battle is also rumoured to have been the one that provoked Tolkien to write the chapter on the dead marshes in the Lord of the Rings.

These haunting images, especially this last one, exemplify the very themes I am aiming for. Swamps, quagmires, damaged, rotting vegetation, horrible mists, the carnage of warfare. Why these as opposed to plain swamps? Well, it's a warzone, it'll have good sized craters and such. The table would also need to be workable for the game, so by limiting the pools of water, I can achieve this.

Of course, I have to be careful that these 'interesting humans' get nowhere near my table. Swamp People, get some teeth you weird inbred (well, likely inbred) hicks.

So, with these images at hand, I began to put together my plan. The basic outline called for a Games Workshop Realm of Battle board. This is because I needed the table to be easily transportable. Whilst I can make my own really swampy board, I wanted to limit the pools of murky water, so by picking terrain that I can move and place I will keep the table more playable and easier to actually game on.

Cue: The terrain.

To start with, I have a Games Workshop 'Battlescape'. I traded a bunch of old 40K Terminators to Cat for it, so it was a good bargain for me.

So, I got to looking at the kit, and needless to say, it's kinda half-assed. The rhino front right end is floating in mid air, and the interior of the open rhino is a hazard for model placement. I decided that I would thus fill it. On top of this, there are numerous marine and Cadian parts lying around on the terrain. I am led to believe that no Games Workshop product is complete without having either: Aquila...
.....or a bunch of skulls.

Please, if anyone at G-Dub is reading this, stop sculpting fucking dead Cadians onto everything. Please. PLEASE.

Now that my rant is sorted, I moved onto the Battlescape. I carefully used a de-grinder (re: hacked into the plastic like a serial killer into a bunch of skinny dipping teens at a haunted campsite). I then glued some card into the rhino as a foundation, before carefully sculpting on some texture using car body filler. In order to get a good texture, I merely pressed some large grit sandpaper into the wet putty.

The idea with the rhino is that it has filled with sediment and it's falling out the side hatch. In an ideal world, I would have got the kit brand-new with both the top hatches and side ramp not attached, but I have made do.

The other bit of kit I have on hand is some 'Moonscapes'. These are simple but effective swampy craters. I could use other brands, or the new 'Quake Canon' kit, but I just plain like the look of these.

The other kit I will be using is the Citadel Woods. I am not including pics of that here as they are using the same techniques I am using on these terrain bits, so why double up?

First up, I gave the pieces a coat of brown acrylic paint. This paint cost me $5 from an art store, and I mixed it with water and put it through my full size spray gun. This is my undercoat, and I applied 2 layers to get exactly what I wanted.

Next, I used a mix of brown, white and pale green, and I have something similar to Camo Green. I then did a coat that wasn't quite aimed at covering the entire surface of the terrain.

As you can see, at this stage, the terrain is fully base coated. From here, we will move inside and I will begin the mud effects. These use a combination of secret weapon powders, a small amount of plaster and a little PVA glue. I painted the surface and allowed them to dry.

You can see the difference between wet and dry (wet is much darker).

Next, I mix up some much lighter powder, then I apply it to the higher surfaces, when dry, this will be a lighter tone. so. Here is the lighter mud. This simulates the dried mud, and is best used in a less is best fashion.

Next up, I airbrushed all my rock surfaces.

I also have airbrushed the rhino base colour.

Airbrush once more... this time I applied a dark green to wherever a pool of water will be. I also used it as a base coat for the trees.

I used a much lighter shade of green to add 'ripples' to my craters, as this is where the water will go later.

So there you have it, the basic colours and patterns for the craters. I will throw up a few pictures of the craters with some additional work tomorrow. Maybe.



  1. I really like how this terrain is turning out. I look forward to seeing it finished, especially the water with green swirls. One point, though-was the 'gay' remark really necessary? It seems, well, kind of childish and unnecessary.

    1. Thank you very much, it is a fun bit of kit to work on, with so many varied tones.

      Perhaps the word is not necessary, but it's not used as a derogatory term for homosexuals, rather it is being used to denote general unhappiness with something. South Park actually did a brilliant episode on the subject, where in today's world, it is an insult, not a term to describe a type of sexual preference. If it does offend you, I can remove it however.

    2. I'd suggest removing it - there will be people who find it offensive. I simply find it jarring. I don't doubt that you meant no offence, and really appreciate you offering to remove it instead of getting defensive.

    3. Yes, thanks for offering to remove it; as The Responsible One notes, it is good of you to offer and not have got defensive, so I also appreciate it.

      Regarding 'gay' being used as a 'generic' insult rather than specifically homophobic--in my world at least, if it's being used as a 'generic' put-down on something, it's generally only children doing it that way. That's why I used the term 'childish' and noted that another word would have been more appropriate to disparage 40k. Perhaps the usage depends on age group and location in the world. (I happen to be an adult in the USA.)

      Anyway, back to the meat of the post: how do you seal the powders, to stop them rubbing off? Is it the mixing with PVA that does it (if I read the post correctly), or will you seal them later with something?

    4. Done and done chaps, I have amended the original article, as, despite the fact that it was humorous, it can be a derogatory term for all the wrong reasons. Cheers guys.

      And the powders are sealed by the plaster and PVA mix, the plaster is basically coloured by the powders, and the PVA just makes it that little bit harder.

  2. (Please excuse my lack of proof-reading for use of language, should've used another word instead of basically repeating necessary, looks like I can't edit the comment though.)

    1. It's all good, I'm not offended in the least.

  3. You guys do a lot of good work, I just wish "The Traitors Hand" (In our little community here in CA we call it "A Wankers Hand) would stop stealing your ideas and posts. You should have a 3v3 against them or something.

    1. California gamin' thanks for your input mate now fuck off and enjoy your free guns and weed cunt

      Us Aussies are kind of the scene


    2. Ripping what off? I went and had a look at their site and there are basically no similarities at all. If anything this blog rips off Goatboy from Bell Of Lost Souls on a continual basis.

    3. Who's Goatboy, and what does he have to do with 30k? I don't need to rip off ideas, in fact people who know me know that I complain if something has already been done. Not that anyone said that we are ripping off anyone, it is a hobby after all, but I think what people get annoyed at is when people release almost identical posts time and time again.

    4. Are you talking about all Tys YouTube battle reports? That's a bit finicky mate. -Jaz

  4. Actually i think the Ecclesiarchy regularly scatter Imperial defences with faux-Cadian corpses and battlegear as a moral excercise, creating ready-made faux-martyrs to encourage the defenders to hate the enemy more and stand and die to defend the line. May not suit Heresy terrain of course alas.

    1. oops amusing misspelling, i meant morale of course lol

    2. Haha, except it's a terrible idea as far as warfare is concerned, disease and the smell would probably destroy morale, not to mention the sight of thousands of dead and the fact you'd soon join them... on top of that on the other side are tons of ammo crates with fuel jerries everywhere. Wouldn't you love one stray tracer round to send it all up lol?

    3. I think that's half the point. The 40k Imperium is groaning under the weight of millenia of accrued senseless bureaucracy. The irrational abounds at every turn.Yet while irrational, it is effective at capturing the imagination with it's surreal and impossible and impractical notions. Using swords in the far future? Using Infantry? Still it feels right on an unconscious level.

      Of course the faux-Cadians might be salted onto the battlefield already skeletal, creating constructed martyrs ready-made without increased disease risk. Seeing the dead all around would have a different impact on those already resigned to the likelihood of death and so help them remember to fight to the bitter end and make their death meaningful.. or such i think would be the reasoning of the Ecclesiarchy and Administratum.

      Of course it's not as fitting for 30K.