Creating Dunes. I wanted the Craftworld table to have sand dunes sweeping in upon it, as if centuries of being left on its own screwed up the ecosystem enough that the desert started to flow freely through the populated areas. My original idea was a lot more ambitious; sand flowing much further forward and being mingled with the terrain but, like many epic (that's epic, not "Epic") ideas, it was pared down to a more manageable concept in the end. And I'm fine with that.
The forumula wasn't a very difficult one: Cut giant, curvy shapes out of foam, glue them together, and smooth over the cliff-like edges with the plaster-like filler compound that one usually uses to patch drywall. I also shoved some little bits of debris in the plaster/filler to simulate wreckage from ages gone by. Then, just to further establish my role as the nerd-pariah in my neighborhood, I put the "dunes" outside to dry in the spring air.
Later that day, Bill came over to help me finish up terrain and other things for the big game (which was the next day). As you can see, sand was applied to the dunes at this point. Dirty, nasty sand. A light layer of glue underneathe to keep it in place, and then a thin wash of watered down glue (PVA glue, that is) over top to seal it and keep it from falling off.
I hate laying sand down on terrain. It's messy and uncontrollable and, no matter how careful I am, I always have to sweep about ten pounds of it up when I'm done. Luckily, I had two huge sheets of plastic (in which two mattresses from Ikea were delivered six months ago) which were spread under the dunes to keep the sand under control. Finally, an electric fan was used to accelerate the drying process, as the clock was ticking and we were down to only a few hours before game time.
Later it was painted with Graveyard Earth and drybrushed with Bubonic Brown (I didn't have enough paint to do my intended drybrush of Bleached Bone over it), and you can see the results here and here.
Fire Dragon Shrine. The last of the four shrines was built from an idea that Benoit suggested, and that was to use the helmet of the Fire Dragon Exarch as inspiration for the shape of the shrine. Benoit also wanted it to be a tower so that his Titan could hide behind it, but... maybe next time, Ben.
So basically I used a bowl and a plate to trace three circles onto the foam (two small, one large) and then used a egg-cup and (I think it was) a bottle cap to cut smaller circles into the foam and, thereby, emulate the shape of the Exarch's helmet. Yet another circle (I think a drinking glass?) was used to cut a curve out of the foam to give it that "hooked" shape. Added some stick-on gems and thereyougo. The best thing about this shrine is, beyond a doubt, the battle damage. I figured out (FINALLY) how to make it look great; use a sharp file to carve lines into the foam and then peel the foam roughly away from the groove. I also tried to emulate the effect of this shrine having taken several hits from, say, a missile launcher, and used the file to tear little chunks out and then spread the foam away to make it look like a blast hole. The final product can be seen here, after it was painted black and drybrushed first with a Blood Red/Red Ink combo and then with Bleached bone, topped with a bit of Skull White. I also included Fuegan in the shrine as a statue, but it's hard to see him from the angle the picture is taken. Here are some pics of how it got to that point:
Like a lot of the terrain that got to the table that day, the gems weren't all painted. That's regrettable to me, but no-one complained, and even if they did...
Bill. And then there's Bill; that kind soul who showed up on the night before the megabattle to help me finish off whatever needed doing so that everything would be good to go when the boys arrived. Most of his night was spent doing one of two things: Cutting grooves in the foam playing surface (for painting and drybrushing later) and drybrushing Bleached Bone on something... anything... and everything. I really wouldn't have been able to pull it off without the additional manpower in the 11th hour.
All of the guys who came to the game are, in my estimation, good friends... but Bill was a real soldier to sit there and drybrush so much that his arm was sore the next day. Still, it was fun... we drank soda and listened to bad internet radio and ruminated about the battle to come which, as it happens, turned out to be extremely kick ass.