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"Arid rough terrain - a tutorial on D&B" Topic

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614 hits since 1 Jun 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Peithetairos Inactive Member02 Jun 2018 1:45 a.m. PST

Some time ago I finished a set of arid terrain and thought it may be of use to others giving some pointers how I made the different pieces.  In this post I would like to focus on the ever useful rough terrain, or in this specific case a terrain piece that features deeper sand. While you could depict rough terrain with a stretch of land filled with rocks and thorny bushes, I felt it would be much more interesting and challenging to depict an area that features fine, wavy sand, where with each step your troops or characters sink deeper, adding to the exhaustion of sun and thirst. I did also add some weathered rock outcroppings and sparse vegetation to round the piece off.

This build is pretty straight forward:

1. First we cut some MDF to size and use XPS to build up any rock outcroppings.

2. We then cover the remaining areas with air dry clay and pre-shape the lines in the sand.

3. We cover the outcrops with filler and carve the rock to shape.

4. We add sand and animal tracks.

5. We apply a basecoat and drybrush.

6. We add some brushes.

If this build is of interest to you you find more pictures and more in-depth step-by-step instructions on my blog DaggerAndBrush.

WarWizard02 Jun 2018 3:46 a.m. PST

Excellent work.

Cacique Caribe Inactive Member02 Jun 2018 4:09 a.m. PST


OMG, that looks incredible! I'm saving this for sure. The shellac is a great tip.

Got any tutorials for making crescent dunes?

PS. This one is excellent too:

Peithetairos Inactive Member02 Jun 2018 5:59 a.m. PST

As it happens I have one in the pipeline ;P. A teaser pic:

Cacique Caribe Inactive Member02 Jun 2018 7:06 a.m. PST

What a beauty! I can't wait to see that dunes tutorial.

Question … is the angle too steep for figures to stand on? What is ideal? Twenty degrees or less?

PS. And the tutorial after that should be how to surround buildings with sand slopes on one or more sides, and make it look natural:


TMP link

Peithetairos Inactive Member02 Jun 2018 1:17 p.m. PST

I was planning on doing something like this in one point. I would say cutting the sand shape out of XPS, fitting the buildings and then sanding the XPS smooth would be the first step. Then I would cover it all in fine sand and fixate the sand just as it falls with thinned down acrylic medium.

Should be fairly straight forward, fixing the sand in place without droplet artifacts forming will be the hardest part, but IPA may help to pre-wet the sand.

JAFD2602 Jun 2018 10:19 p.m. PST

Salutations, gentlefolk,

XPS = Extruded Polyestyrene (Pinkboard, Blueboard, etc) right??

but I'm sure that you're not using IPA meaning 'India Pale Ale' or International Phonetic Alphabet or Institute for Portfolio Alternatives (or a chain of physical therapists in my neck of the woods – how the *&^%$#@$%& does Google know I woke up with a crick in my back this morn ?)

Please enlighten us. Thanks very much!

Peithetairos Inactive Member05 Jun 2018 9:57 a.m. PST

Yes, the dense stuff, not EPS (the packaging stuff).

While I enjoy an IPA, what I actually referred to is
Isopropyl alcohol, but I am not sure if this is the proper abbrevation :P. It is basically an agent that reduces surface tension, so the glue is sucked into the sand as opposed to be resting on top of it.

JAFD2607 Jun 2018 12:09 p.m. PST

Salutations, Peithetairos !

Thanks very much !

Peithetairos Inactive Member10 Jun 2018 6:26 a.m. PST

You are very welcome.

Baranovich12 Jun 2018 9:17 p.m. PST

Really nice level of realism with the wind-blown ridges in the sand!!

Peithetairos Inactive Member13 Jun 2018 8:36 a.m. PST

Thank you Baranovich. Oddly enough it is not common to depict such lines, but I think they add a lot of character.

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