Matakishi's Tea House

A simple little site...

Part Four

by Dave Bezio.

One of the things I knew I needed was some “broken” terrain.  When I saw these glass shards in the craft store I got an idea for some REALLY broken terrain.  I figured I could kill two birds with one stone by creating some difficult ground, and some obstacles/cover.

Using some more of those Frisbee bases, and one I made from some pieces of plastic I found (taped and glued together), some more of that Modeling Magic, and that bag of glass (one of the more expensive things I purchased for the terrain at $3.50…on sale), I quickly put the terrain together.

Once again, a loving coat of paint and I quickly had more terrain to add to the table.  The blue glass is really an interesting contrast to the rest of the table and makes the piece seem a bit odd…something that makes it look more alien IMHO.  (For the record, the humans in the picture below aren’t Starguard, they are EM4 plastics I used to experiment with “the dip”).

As the Dreenoi advanced on our base they had no idea that we had taken up a defensive position behind the reflec crystals of the purple planet.  When we sprung our ambush the stupid bugs were more than eager to return fire.  Unfortunately for them they had never seen reflec crystals before, and several of their laser shots reflected right back at them, doubling the death toll.

Here is another quick and cheap piece of terrain.  While at the dollar store I saw a bunch of these cemetery vases (for putting plastic flowers in and then sticking them next to gravestones).  But I thought it looked like something more majestic, and decided to make it into a war monument.

Click on the image above for a bigger pic of the finished scenery piece.

I simply cut some nicks and cracks into it and pasted on a cardboard sign I cut out of a frozen wonton box.  I mixed a bit of sand in with my paint, and then did some quick drybrushing,,,and tadah!  $1 terrain.

“blblblblbl Zeke, you’re the one with the huge cranium…what does it say?”

“blblblblblb…I think it’s a monument to the Dreenoi!  It says ‘To all who died at the hands of the Dreenoi during the invasion’”

Yes, I know it’s dull…but it had to be done.  I had to build some foliage and plants, on various sized bases, to decorate the battlefield and make it feel more alive.  Most of this stuff will block line of site and provide light cover when you are actually “inside” the terrain feature.

I wanted an alien look, but I wanted to avoid aquarium plants so it wouldn’t look like, well, an aquarium.  I purchased a bunch of plastic plants from the craft store (they were 30% off, but I still spent about $15, one of the most expensive steps so far…for the least dramatic results).  I assembled them using the same techniques I have for everything else…and wouldn’t you know it…they STILL look kind of like aquarium plants!

Another thing I added to the mix is these Moss Rocks I found while looking at the plastic flowers.  They just looked cool (as-is) to me and are instant terrain that looks alien and fit in with the terrain you normally see on the table top (they are covered in static grass).  They are normally about $10, but on sale for $7.  So, at a little over $20 this was a pretty “expensive” step considering most of the stuff I do costs next to nothing…but it was necessary, and certainly isn’t ugly (IMHO).

They are really light, I'm guessing Paper Mache (or however you spell it) would work best.  Maybe some small balloons, and then pop them right before the paper dries and sort of punch in some areas to make it look like rocks. (just my opinion)

I found another piece of that packing material that I made my first building with at work the other day.  It’s smaller and less dramatic, but, I painted it up the same way and it makes a nice little troop barracks.

Next I build the kind of terrain I like the best…that which I make out free stuff I find in the garbage.  What does some Styrofoam cups, a few water bottle caps (yeah, we mark out water bottle caps so we can reuse them…wait till my wife finds out hers are gone), some straws, some plastic ties, the top of an empty wine bottle, and a couple nuts and washers have in common?

Answer:  Glue them all together and you have a moisture vaporator and water purifier for your base!

[click] …Yeah, Brack, I’ve been on patrol all day …no, I’m not sleeping, I’m as alert as can be …hell now there are no Dreenoi around …yeah, another fricking bughunt from the commander, what an idiot! ...yeah, see you at the mess…out…[click]

Next: Back to the rules.