Friday, 15 February 2013

Terrain Tutorial: Defensive Earthworks

A happy post-Valentine's Day to all you folks. I hope you all had a lovely day! Right, now on to today's terrain tutorial. This draws on a previous tutorial, in which I described how to make an individual defensive earthwork for a single Heavy Weapons Team. Now, how could that be improved upon? Well, the Aegis Defence Line exists, and that is pretty much composed of straight lines, so with that in mind, here is something you can use to defend a squad of troops or a Heavy Weapons Team.


* Hot glue gun and glue sticks
* A hunk of polystyrene
* Some basing material (I used a 6" by 2" piece of 2mm thick plasticard)
* PVA glue
* Sand
* Matchsticks
* A sharp knife
* Paint and brushes

1) Cut your basing material to size. I cut mine to a 6" (150mm) by 2" (50mm) rectangle. It's tempting to make it shallower (e.g. 6" by 1.5"), but do note that the shallower you make it, the harder it becomes to model a convincing slope. Grab yourself a hunk of polystyrene big enough to more than cover the base, and you are ready to go. See Fig. 1.

2) Grab the hot glue gun and stick the polystyrene to the base. Leave a thin strip of plasticard showing on one long side. Here is where you will glue in some matchsticks to give the impression that something is holding up the rampart.  See Fig. 2.

3) Trim the polystyrene with your knife, and try to approximate a slope. Take one of your models, and make sure that it can see over the top of the ramparts, or, if it's a kneeling HW Team, ensure the gun can poke over the top. See Fig. 3.

4) Trim some matchsticks to the right size, and glue them in place with the hot glue gun. See Fig. 4.

5) Apply dilute PVA glue over the model except for the matchsticks, and tip sand over this. Once dry, apply another coat of dilute PVA, and let it dry.

6) Undercoat your model and paint as desired. See Figs. 5&6.

Note that you do not have to stick with a straight line if you dislike it. I have also modelled a curved defensive earthwork. Do note that this does not have the same dimensions as the straight example. See Figs. 7&8.

Next time I'll be tackling something a bit trickier. Happy gaming, folks.

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