Friday, April 22, 2011

A Terrain Conundrum

Last year at our local convention Enfilade I picked up a terrain piece made by Monday Knight Productions.  It is a lovely piece with tons of detail.  Now I'm an okay painter when it comes to painting miniatures.  When it comes to terrain I get the cold chills and I sweat like I have the flu.  To say the least I panic when it comes to painting terrain.  I have slowly over time gotten over my fear of painting houses but this next piece has me frozen with fear.  Here are some pictures of the piece.  I added a 15mm German AT-Gun for size comparison.

Any suggestion from those who have better knowledge and experience is greatly appreciated.


  1. Victor. True, it's a real monster of a piece, I agree. But your painting skills are not as bad as you want us to believe: the house ruin at the back of the two last photos looks really good. I'm sure you'll succeed. I'm not myself a great scenery-painter. My last work has been WWI trenches and I used a terracotta base colour, then strongly dry-brushed with Iraqui sand (Vallejo 819) and wahsed with dark brown. Wooden posts treated with some brown tones and the metal sheets painted with a base of dark grey and whased with hull red (Vallejo 985) and orange brown (Vallejo 981). Hope this helps a little.

  2. Spray on the basecoat or with a big brush and then several drybrushes of lighter shades and then go back and pick out the detail of the sandbags followed by some patches of static grass.

  3. I've been looking at this trying to decide if those are sandbags, or ruined walls left over from old fortifications. Reminds me of the kind of ruined forts, sugar nills, etc. that you see all over the Carribean. Anyway, I'd paint or spray paint the whole thing either black (preferably) or very dark brown first. Then multiple dry brushes of various brown and greys for the rocks, depending in part upon where in the world the feature is supposed to be situated. If those are sand bags, paint them medium neutral brown and then dry brush with succesively lighter shades of tan/off white. Don't be afaid to go back and reintroduce some of the darker shades if you over do it with the lighter ones. If in a temperate climate, some rocks can have grey-green dry brushing to represent lichens. I agree, some glue and static grass and/or flock on the flatter, non miniature holding areas would really bring the piece up a notch - may be some of the silaflor grass tufts or even a few flowers here and there. I enjoy painting terrain myself... dry brushing is definitely you friend with terrain!

  4. Look ok so Fran has suggested, a bit of dry brushing in lighter shades (middle tone then almost sand brown) and pick out the details.

  5. Thank you everyone for your suggestions. To clarify about the piece, there are no sandbags. All of the buildings are brick with touches of plaster over the bricks in places. From the style of the piece I would say it would fit well in Western Europe and Italy.

  6. Ok, go out and buy the big bad GW terrain painting set. this one:

    It contains a big bottle of brown paint and a smaller bottle of ochre paint, as well as a large brush, two shades of static grass and some PVA glue.

    Slap on the brown paint, then drybrush with the ochre. Do it all over the whole terrain piece, walls and everything...

    Then you can drybrush the walls and stonework with some cream paint, and then paint the plaster in all cream.

    Finally glue on patches of static grass here and there. Done.

    Ok, you don't need to buy the GW set, but it is actually good value for money and you will use a lot of brown paint when you paint scenery.