Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Trash Terrain: The Block House

The Block House: Grim, weathered and off-white.
I've been following for a while and would heartily recommend Iain Wilson's excellent tutorials over at Maelstrom's Edge where he often makes use of gift boxes as the starting point for many of his buildings when making terrain.

It was from these articles that I got the inspiration to have a go at this terrain build, and I also happened to have a few pieces left over from a Maelstrom's Edge Terrain Sprue as well, which ended up making its way into the build.

So after a trip to a local hobby store, I took my gift box, cut out a square in one corner to make a second-floor balcony and then flipped the lid to make a roof with a raised edge, and attached the entire thing to a piece of scrap EPVC for a base.

From there, it was a case of adding detailing to all the outer surfaces of the box in order to give it an asymmetrical appearance, and to do this I used a large number of household items, random pieces from the bits box and a very small number of actual features taken from the terrain sprue mentioned earlier.

The pods on the side of the building are the lids from sushi boxes and the packaging from a cheese dip, the doors are stuck to mint boxes and made from the seal on coffee tins and the windows cut out of a vent that I was supposed to have used to improve the airflow through my chimney.

The railing on the balcony was made from leftover bits that came from a Star Trek DS9 Runabout model, the floors covered in granny grid, and all of the door-frames made out of the edges of sprues that have been mounting up for a number of years.

I primed the whole thing with a cheap poundshop rattle can and then picked out the metallic areas with brown acrylic paint, as this was the point where I had the genius idea to try my hand at salt weathering, so the next step was to give it a good coating with hairspray and then chuck on some salt.

After I gave it a coat of white paint and started to remove the salt, the most honest thing that I can say is the technique worked very well in some areas and not so great in others, mostly, I think, because I used grains too small in some parts of the model and so the paint covered them completely.

Overall I'm very pleased with the way that this build turned out, as I ended up with probably the largest piece of free-standing terrain that I'd made up to that point, with enough detail to make all of the angles appealing to the eye and three levels of playable surfaces and plenty to disrupt the line of sight around it.

I decided to call it a Block House, but I'm not sure if it was because the thing covers a small block all on its own or simply because it's a rather block-like structure in terms of the way it looks.

Moving on from this, I've been tempted to make use of other small boxes as the starting point for other models I've subsequently made, as so long as the size of the box is right, this removes the need to make walls and internal supports for the intended structure.

Apologies for the fact that there aren't any action shots of the piece with painted models and other scenery, so you'll just have to make do with the old-school Techmarine used for the purpose of scale in the early pictures (he's actually the same mini that I use for scale purposes in most of my builds).

As always, let me know what you think either in the comments below or on social media.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks a lot, man - it's great to know that people are into the stuff that I'm knocking out.

  2. Replies
    1. I'm not familiar with the term "baller", but I'm going to assume that it's positive in this context!

      Thanks for stopping by to comment and following the blog, it means a lot to me when anyone does so, but it's really flattering when I get the same from someone who's blog I've been following for so long myself - keep up the good work over there.


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