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"Cork Rock Formations" Topic

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JRacel26 Dec 2009 2:02 p.m. PST

A few months back Cacique Caribe (a.k.a Dan) Posted some images of her Mars terrain made from the cork tiles you can find at many hobby or craft stores. I was impressed by the way his terrain looked and after a brief review of the terrain supply locker, I found that I had more than enough supplies to do some rock formations of my own. The best part is that if you live in the US and have a Hobby Lobby or Michael's near by you can use the 40% off a single item coupon they often have on their website to get the cork for a great price!

First, I roughed out how I wanted the various cork pieces to look and their relative size. After breaking up a lot of the cock by hand (or in some cases with a box cutter) and staking it into the relative shapes I wanted, I then used hot glue to fasten the layers together. Now, I could have used almost any glue, but I was in a hurry and hot glue works well and tries fast, so it was an easy choice. Once the glue was dried, I did some more detailed sculpting of the cork with my box cutter and some hobby knives. Eventually the formations looked good and I was satisfied with my efforts and preceded to the next very important step. Anyone using cork knows it can be fairly fragile and tend to break easily with the various "pieces" falling off in chunks. In order to solve this issue, Cacique Caribe painted on layers of watered down PVA glue that he left soak into the cork and dry. Once dried the glue reinforces the cork and makes it far less fragile and much more ridged. Perfect for miniature terrain. Instead of White PVA glue I used water proof wood glue that I thinned and painted on. The main reason I used wood glue for this was that I had several large containers of it from earlier projects. The glue takes forever to dry and you need to make sure you place plastic under the pieces while they dry (like a garbage bag) so they do not stick to the surface the are sitting on. Once the glue dried I spray painted the rock with a base coat of tan and then added a variety of other colors in patches. The whole thing was finished by dry brushing the various colored areas with a final "white" highlight layer. The various colors help break up the pieces and add interest without standing out too much.

Overall, I was very happy with how everything turned out and it was a really cheap project. Thanks Cacique Caribe for the great idea!

Link: link

Minis in the pictures are all 15mm Rebem Minis ( ) Scourge and Titan Marines with a few Old Crow Model APCs. The terrain mat is from


JRacel26 Dec 2009 3:00 p.m. PST

If you guys have an issue with Firefox (mine seems to not like the Sky Drive links all of a sudden) the link seems to work fine in IE and Chrome.



nazrat26 Dec 2009 3:27 p.m. PST

I'm very impressed! Thanks for posting this.

JRacel26 Dec 2009 3:44 p.m. PST

Darn it, I meant to post these with the original message. Below are the links to CC's pictures of his terrain sans paint.



Also, it is important to leave ledges that troops can be placed upon so they can "climb" the rock formations. CC clearly shows this in his pictures.

Glad you like them nazrat!


Cacique Caribe26 Dec 2009 6:56 p.m. PST


You put me to shame. Awesome work and so glad you posted photos of the final painted formations.

I am going to have to get busy and finish them up early next week. When I do, I will post photos for your critique.

Thanks again for posting them.


JRacel26 Dec 2009 8:22 p.m. PST

You put me to shame.
I would say that is a major overstatement. It is you cool idea and great pictures that inspired me to build the terrain. Your only issues is deciding how to paint yours to match your impression of Mars. I am positive yours will look fantastic when finished.

As a side note, the motley color of my pieces makes them blend in almost perfectly with the rather busy rug in my media room. My wife just about walked right across them . . . . I got very luck and learned to put my toys away!


wolvermonkey26 Dec 2009 9:04 p.m. PST

Ah so that is how you did them. They look great!

nycjadie27 Dec 2009 8:00 a.m. PST

Those came out great. I'm going to keep that in mind for a future project.

Cavalcade Wargames

28mmMan27 Dec 2009 4:10 p.m. PST

Cork cork where to get the cork?

$2.79sqft free home shipping

JRacel27 Dec 2009 4:30 p.m. PST

Guys, I used craft cork to build the formations, not the floor tiles. You may have better luck than I did, but most of the flooring tiles I found in the US were very thin and often mounted to some other material so they were not solid cork. I also found most of the cork was impregnated with resin or some other stiffener to make it more durable. None of this works for making rock formations. Here are some links to the stuff like I used.

Craft Cork Links:
1.) Lighter version of the tiles with thinner cork sheets and smaller particles. I use this type for buildings and concrete walls walls in 15mm. link

15mm Pictures with some concrete walls made from cork. These are a little far away, but give an idea.
Look near the poker chip with a 3 on it and right above the 2 chip near the roadblock: picture

2.) The Darker tiles, like I used to make my formations, is the rougher cork with larger bits in it that stand out more and tear up easier. I also like this type for heavy concrete walls in 28mm since it can be reduced to rubble easily. link

28mm Pictures using the dark heavy cork for ruined walls:

28mmMan27 Dec 2009 10:17 p.m. PST

Sorry all, maybe these are better…underlayment tend to be soft to mold to odd foundation…and is cheap


Cacique Caribe27 Dec 2009 10:28 p.m. PST

For the crumbly formations that JRacel and I did, this is the stuff to buy:



JRacel27 Dec 2009 10:33 p.m. PST


That looks very good. Very much like the stuff that is often used at Matakishi's Tea House. Thank you very much for the link, I may have to order some to play with. This looks 100% more promising than the other cork flooring materials.

Thank you!


Cacique Caribe01 Jan 2010 3:57 p.m. PST


Just added photos of a CD terrain piece I made last week:


It was a "practice run" for spray painting my other large cork terrain pieces.


TMP link

Mal Wright Fezian20 Jan 2010 11:38 p.m. PST

Although not of much use for the crumbly rubble, a good way to represent rock formations is with layers of thick pine bark. It varies with different types of pine, but some can be up to 30mm thick. The edges give excellent impression of rock formation and are easy to paint for various regions.



BTW…the photographs show the same rock formation in use during an Ancients battle and a WW2 game.

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