Yawn, terrain I hear you say? Well yes, we always focus on the flashy miniatures but at the end of the day it’s about the game, and that means terrain too. In 28mm I think the table always looks better with a bit of stuff scattered around.
I don’t know about you, but I always seem to have a ton of these sorts of things kicking around in the bottom of a bin. I can’t help picking up little bits and pieces from shops like Ainsty Castings, and to be honest they really help when you’re building bigger terrain pieces. Adding a few crates and things to a building can make it look a lot more lived in.
So what have I got here? I think most of the crates, boxes and sacks are from Ainsty’s “Trade Goods” range, and the oil drums are from Anyscale, where you get a big bag of them for less than £6. Bargain. I’ve based these just for convenience and so that I can magnet them down into a box to stop them bouncing around and chipping.
The two big skips are Ainsty, and I’ve used them as a bit of a painting experiment. I like painting vehicles, but don’t normally do a lot of chipping on them. But you can’t really get away with having a pristine-looking skip, it’s all about that beaten-up look. So I took a crack at the “hairspray method” of distressing them.
If you’ve not used it before you basically put an undercoat on in the colour you want to show through when damaged, such as a dark rust colour in my case. Then you put a coat of varnish over that, and then you spray hairspray over that and then put your top coat on. Why the hairspray? Well it’s water-soluble and allows you to go back and wet the top coat, which then soaks through into the hairspray and it starts to soften up. Scrub the top coat a bit and it should come away, revealing your rusty layer underneath.
The idea is that you simulate worn away paint by, well, wearing away the paint. Sound theory, I reckon. So does it work?
Yep, A few minutes work scrubbing with a toothbrush got the result shown above. If you just want to chip lightly you want to be a bit more careful than I was here, but for these skips you actually want it to look like it’s been rubbing and scraping on stuff, instead of just chips on the edges. I particularly like the way it was easy to replicate that “streaky and rusty” look.
It’s a really simple process, although since you’re putting down several layers (base colour, varnish, a couple of layers of hairspray, top colour) before you start scrubbing you have to be a bit patient as you want things to dry properly. The other downside is that it makes your terrain smell like a women’s hairdressers’, at least while it’s wet. But this is definitely a technique I’ll be keeping in the toolbox for anything that looks especially bashed up. For just light chipping on edges I think painting it on is probably the quicker and easier way to go.