May 232012

Today we are going to talk about building some “cracked Earth” desert Terrain.   If you like modular terrain over building tables this is a very simple project that yields high results.    If you want to you can even use this concept as a base for your whole table.

In order to do this project you will only need a few supplies.  They are a putty knife, crackle texture paint,  paint brush, water, brown paint and a can or a container for making a wash in.

HINT:  More often than not people buy more crackle texture paint than they need.   If you have a Restore (Habitat for Humnaity), or a thrift store near by you can find it cheap.  We only paid fifty cents a bottle.  The color doesn’t even matter because you are going to paint it.



The first step is to shape and contour your hills; which was already done for us.



We will start with step 2.  Which is to spread the crackle paint on the terrain.  This is really pretty simple, just smear it on.  We have discovered the best thickness to be about a quarter of an inch.  I suppose that it really depends on the amount of humidity in your work area though.  By putting it on at about that thickness it gave us a nice amount of cracking.   The pieces that had thinner layers seem to dry to quick and the cracks were much closer together.

Step 3

The lazy step; let the terrain dry.


Step 4

Base Coat the terrain with your desired desert colors.  We used a brown that had long since been forgotten by its original use.




Step 4

Apply a wash.  I used Folk Art Nutmeg Brown for the base of our wash.




Step 5

Dry brush the high spots.  We used a yellowish brown for these pieces, and the dry  brush was applied much heavier than I would apply it to a model.


you can add extra layers of dry brushing and washes until you are happy with your cracked earth scenery.  We didn’t go beyond each one coat of each.

There are a lot of things you can do to give these pieces character.

To finish off the above piece I added some old dried out grass.  I used Tacky glue to hold it in place.


In this piece we used dried out turkey bones to give it a desert like feel.   I think bones are a great thing.  They are free and you can turn them into nearly anything you want.  Plus bones paint easy.


If you have a little Styrofoam lying around, and want to make some simple modular terrain that is all you have to do.


Thanks for looking.

Don’t forget Dream Pod 9 is giving away a 2 player Blitz starter at the end of Heavy Gear week.  All you have to do is go on over to their facebook page here and like them to be entered.






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