Posts Tagged ‘40k Terrain’

Doing the review of Fronltine Gaming’s Blast Zone F.A.T. Mat was great.  I enjoyed playing with and on it.  Luckily for us, the mat’s owner decided that he wanted to get a bunch of terrain matched up for use on his new gaming surface.  I’ve added an article on the build process in the terrain tutorial section.  What do you think of the pieces laid out on their fancy mat?

Make sure you check out pictures of all of the completed terrain pieces in the tutorial.  Spoiler alert!  I also did a couple crashed Dark Eldar Raiders to match the set.

So, i haven’t done a real product review on this blog before.  In many of my tutorials I do make recommendations but that doesn’t really count.  Today I’ll be covering Frontline Gaming’s F.A.T. Mat – specifically the 6’x4′ Blast Zone mat by Tablewar.  A good friend and customer loaned me the mat so that I could customize some terrain for him (big thanks to Joe Y.).  From what I understand, he ordered his sight unseen during the Kickstarter campaign for the original product.

Here is how the product is Described on their site:

Frontline Gaming and TableWar’s Gaming Mats are beautiful, durable mats, perfect for tabletop games.

These mats are extremely durable, printed on a water resistant surface affixed to a neoprene backing. That means the mat won’t slide around on the table, lays flat, resists water and looks amazing.

They now come with a sturdy, nylon zip-up F.A.T. Bag for storing and transporting your F.A.T. Mat, and full color F.A.T. Tag so that you can see which mat is in the bag without having to open it, and to write your name on to show which mat is yours

The mat istelf:

Blast Zone FAT Mat 02 Blast Zone FAT Mat 01

The mat is a great concept.  It is printed on a thick neoprene surface making it very similar to a giant mouse pad.  The resolution on the image is high and gives an instant immersive feel to a battlefield; even before the terrain goes down.  Once terrain and minis are down, the mild surface texture keeps things from sliding everywhere as happens on a lot of the paper and vinyl mats.  Also, the neoprene underside grabs the surface of what it rests on and stays put.  You don’t need anything to hold the mat down or to cushion the surface below.  The thickness of the neoprene also provides a bit of a cushion to any minis that might get knocked over or dropped on it.

The mat does weigh several pounds and only stores rolled up.  This means that it will always have a long dimension of at least 4 feet.  Attempting to fold it is a waste of time and would probably lead to a damaged surface.  To help with storage, the mat comes with a tube-shaped bag.  The early examples of the bag were of a cheap microfiber weave like you find on those $1 grocery store totes.  This was the only disappointing feature of the mat I had on hand.  It could not stand up to the weight of the rolled up mat and tore after being used only a couple of times.  Luckily for you, the mats now come with a different storage container that seems much more robust.  It has a carry strap and even a tag that shows what kind of mat is contained within.

This is an item I could readily see myself adding to my collection for Warhammer 40k.  There are also mats in Alpine (snow), Barren Wastelands, and Grasslands that would work well with 40k or Warhammer Fantasy.  Other styles cover terrain types such as city, western, ocean, and outer space.  I can see that travelling with the mat to do demonstrations at game stores will be much easier with one of these.  There are even mats made in a 4’x4′ size suitable for skirmish games like Malifaux and War Machine.

I like.  Now I just need to get one.



A couple of years ago I started experimenting with some new painting techniques that I hoped would speed up my painting of horde armies. I first tried on some Chaos Space Marines and then moved on to Orks. I liked the results and even did a couple army commissions using the technique (check the Tau, Lizardmen and Chaos Marine pages to see how they turned out).

Unfortunately, the method did not translate to my beloved Kraken Tyranids. Add to that the fact that almost all of Kraken had been painted during a month-long stay in the hospital, I figured that it might be time to reboot the army. Luckily for me, I had just acquired my autographed copy of Forge World’s Anphelion Project book. I liked the olive and bone look of these swamp-spawned monstrosities. I also like the idea that an Imperial Inquisitor’s pet project had gone awry and unleashed fresh horrors on the galaxy. So, I undertook to paint some of the unfinished bugs in my collection in the new scheme and with the new technique. I really liked the result and put some WiP and tutorial pics up on Warseer after the effort. Unfortunately, after the initial burst of enthusiasm, I drifted off into other projects and well… you can guess the rest. Here they are.

Fast forward a half-dozen years and BEHOLD! A new Tyranid codex is upon us. I know that the reviews are mixed and haters abound, but I find myself succumbing to the siren call of the hive mind once again. So today I am posting a picture of the models from years ago that will form the core of the new army. I am also creating a new page to post each unit as it is completed.

Anphelion Fleet - starting point

Warhammer 40k Battlefleet Gothic Tyranid Fleet 01

I know that there isn’t an playable list represented here (except for the Battlefleet Gothic Ships). The coming weeks will see my filling in the gaps and bolstering the army greatly. Once I get the codex I’ll be able to decide where to spend my money on reinforcements. For now, I know that I need more Termagants, Hormagaunts, Devourer Gaunts, and Gargoyles. Luckily for me, the closet-of-devouring holds many unpainted bio-monstrosities to start work on. I’ll keep you posted. You’ll need the head start if you hope to escape.

It has come time to say goodbye to an old favorite army of mine.  This Hivefleet Kraken Tyranid Army has served me quite well over the years.  It has carried me to many Rogue Trader Tournament victories, several army painting awards, and even 2nd place Overall at the 2004 Atlanta Grand Tournament.

Many of the models are converted or sport pieces of Tau armor on their bases (Tau are their favorite blue food).  The army display tray has sculpted alien terrain and resin effects.  Every model is completely painted and based, right down to the eyes.  Included in the force are:

  • Hive Tyrant
  • Converted Flying Hive Tyrant
  • 4 Warriors
  • Lictor
  • 30 Hormagaunts
  • 22 Gaunts
  • 16 Genestealers
  • 5 Ripper Swarms
  • 8 Gargoyles
  • 9 Spore Mines
  • Zoenthrope
  • Carnifex
  • Forge World Scythed Hierodule
  • 4 Objective Markers
  • 4 Custom Defense Lines
  • Army Display Board themed to match

At one time, there were even more pieces.  What you see here is the core of the force after some pieces found their way into the digestion pools for repurposing.  I hope that you enjoy these bugs the way I have.  They are now up on Ebay and waiting for their next meal… er… home.

You can see some older pictures of the army before it was updated for the last Codex here.

I’ve had some partially finished desert terrain pieces in a box for a long time now.  During a short lull between client projects, I took a couple of afternoons to finish them up and take some pictures of the process.   They are all done now and will be heading to a new home.  I figured rather than just posting a gallery, I’d actually put up a tutorial on the process.  Whether you are looking to create your first battlefield or adding to an existing collection, there should be something for everyone.

If you have checked out the Warhound Titan WiP series or the Stormtalon tutorial, the techniques I use in this terrain tutorial are what I used on those pieces.



DSCN7507 small

Early last year I built a whole lot of Ork terrain for Warhammer 40k.  I had built years before a few ramshackle pieces for friends, but I had never made a table set.  Since I had started building an Ork army, I thought it might just be time to try out some new tools (new to me) and see what i could come up with.  What happened next is what usually happens with Orks – dey gets all outta kontrol!

The first set went well, but felt a bit generic.  So it went up on Ebay while I decided what to try next.  The second set was a tryout for more designs, but also for adding some theme to the pieces.  Set done – off to Ebay it goes.  The third set was a real winner I thought.  Flexible designs, good theme, cohesive look (as cohesive as Orks get), and had some cool details scattered about.  I figured that this would be the last set I’d do.  WRONG!

As I had been posting the work-in-progress photos up on the terrain forum at Warseer, I was getting a lot of questions on technique and materials.  One of the posters there turned out to be a U.S. Army artilleryman stationed in Afghanistan.  We got to chatting and he decided to commission an entire Ork Fortress in the style I had worked out.  Four towers, three wall sections, a gatehouse, and three pieces of battlefield dressing were now on the drawing board.  I took about 7 weeks to work out the details, build, and paint the beast.  If you havent looked at the photos of Fort Ork, take a few minutes and check it out.

Anyway, after that big build project, I was definitely done building Ork terrain for a while… or so I thought.  I made the mistake of travelling to an out-of-town 40k tournament and bringing the village with me.  The host shop was new and had asked if folks could bring terrain in to help flesh out the tables for the tournament.  When the owner saw the set, he decided that he wanted it.  I drove home with a lot more space in my van than I started with.

Needless to say, my Orks needed a new home to fight for.  Keep an eye out for more adventures in building for da Boyz in the near future.  Meanwhile, check out that craziness:

Ork Village 1

Ork Village 2

Ork Village 3


Well, this past weekend I took a short break from working on the titan to drop by our local FLGS.  There was a Flames of War tournament going on with a dozen or so players.  Some of these folks drove 3 hours to play so I stop by to catch up and check out the armies and terrain.

The inventiveness of gamers never ceases to amaze me.  Different materials, varied techniques, always looking out for ideas and inspiration.  Like lightning – you never know where it will strike next.  I wound up staying through one of the breaks and we got to discussing themed tables.  How you can use a few key pieces that tie together for an immersive gaming experience was a recurring theme.

The Ork Fort and village terrain that I built for a client stationed in Afghanistan came up.  It was pretty much unanimous that using the same design elements (shapes, colors, materials) throughout are key to getting the theme set.  Check out “Fort Ork” and see if you agree.


All spiked up and nowhere to play?  Mascara running because Games Workshop doesn’t make terrain for your homicidal beautiful Dark Eldar / Dark Elf army?  Well have no fear.  The Wild Boar Blog is here with a great new tutorial on how to make your own Fields of Dreams Nightmares.

With the arrival of the new 6th edition of Warhammer 40k, terrain will have a great impact on the play of your army.  The game now has provisions for:

  • Buildings – how to damage or destroy them
  • Firing points and arcs of fire
  • Battlements and emplaced weaponry
  • Fortifications and reinforced structures
  • Ruins and battlefield debris plus their gaming effects
  • Forrests, lakes, and rivers with mysterious properties
  • Archeotech and other unique terrain with special features

Pages 88 to 107 in the new rulebook give you the details of these rules along with some inspiring tips on what you might include in your terrain set.  The “Choosing Your Army” section from pages 108 to 131 gives information on how terrain can be included as part of your army list and how to incorporate it into various missions.  Add to these all of the battlefield photos and scenes throughout the book, and you should be able to build quite a wish list for your outpost, lair, or encampment.  Execution is up to you (pun intended).

Since the release of the last Dark Eldar codex, I have built a half-dozen sets of Dark Eldar / Dark Elf terrain for display, Ebay, or commission.  To get a feel for what elements I wanted to include in the pieces, I went to the codex and the miniatures to see what common elements I wanted to carry over.  The curving, spiky nature was what I felt tied everything together best.  So, that’s the theme I went with.

Explore the gallery of Dark Eldar / Dark Elf terrain here or click on the pic for the individual set.


For the full tutorial on how I build pieces suited to your army, click here or on the photo below.

Remember.  If you build it, they will come… and die!


(Note 1 – Page numbers cited above are for the collector’s 6th edition of the Warhammer 40k rulebook.  Numbers may vary from the other printings)

(Note 2 – Yes, I still make this terrain on a commission basis.  You can contact me through the comments or email me at )

So, I have posted my tutorial on how to actually make vac-formed terrain useful – aka durable and attractive.

GW has released a couple of vac-formed terrain kits over the years.  They have had a high cool factor but a low function factor.  Check out the tutorial and I’ll share what I have learned while trying to make the Moonscape and OOP Blastscape terrain kits into something worthy of putting on your tabletop.  These techniques should serve you well not just with the GW pieces but with scratchbuilds or any of the offerings from other makers.  Enjoy!


Today’s content upload brings more Tyranids to the Wild Boar Blog.  We have added:

Tyranid Terrain to the Terrain section

Tyranids – Hive Fleet Kraken to the Collections section

Tyranid Terrain WIP to the Works in Progress section

Also accomplished some minor house keeping and added a few other miscellaneous things.  A “Random” tab has been added for non-hobby yet related things.  If you know anything about military life, you’ll get a kick out of this.

Keep an eye out for more soon.  The next wave of updates will be green.