You'll find a little of everything here. Genres covered in this blog include (so far) prehistorics, fantasy, old west, swashbucklers, pulp, Blood Bowl, Ghostbusters, gladiators, nautical, science fiction and samurai in 6mm, 15mm, 28mm, 40mm, 42mm and 54mm sizes. You'll also find terrain, scenery, basing, gaming, modeling, tutorials, repaints, conversions, art and thoughts in general about the hobby.

Monday, November 17, 2014

42mm Samurai: Simple display terrace

My display base can hold around 60 figures on 40mm bases. I left space in front
of the terrace (when it's placed on my shelf) to place another dozen figures.
A few months ago, I took a group photo of all of my 42mm samurai. This week, I realized the collection has grown by at least 20 figures, so it's time to take another group photo.

I also decided it was time to build another display terrace to hold all of those figures. I got everything put together and mostly painted before I realized I should share a quick and simple tutorial. So here you go!

You'll see the whole piece in a later post, when I get a group photo of all of my samurai on it.

Things you'll need

-- Large square of blue foam (I used 24x24" here for a 24" long terrace with 1 3/4" deep levels.
-- Foam cutter or other method for cutting your foam in relatively straight lines.
-- Craft paint: Black, white and a grass green
-- Foam glue (or your preferred adhesive) for gluing the foam together
-- White glue for attaching grass
-- Lots of static grass or flock (Woodland Scenics sells large shakers of static grass.)
-- Optional: I used a metal yard ruler taped to the foam to act as a guide for my foam cutter, so that I could cut long, straight lines.

Doin' it

Yep, just a bunch of stacked blue foam. Measure first!
This is the back side, so it doesn't need to look good at all.
This will need some planning on your part. Decide how deep your terrace level will be first, and draw everything out. I stacked my levels solid (no open space beneath any of them,) and I ended up using all of my 24x24" square of blue foam for a display terrace that was 24" long by about 11 1/4" deep (and a half inch thick.)

Your usage will vary with the depth of terrace levels you use. Mine are 1 3/4" deep so that they are large enough to comfortably hold a 40mm base. A 1 1/2" depth will work fine for most 28-32mm figures (easily fitting 30mm bases.)

I'm not going to go into too much detail here, assuming you know how to do basics such as cutting and gluing foam. But cut your foam into the component pieces. All the pieces should be the same length, and the bottom piece should be the widest (widest = measuring front to back of the entire piece.) The next piece up should be 1 1/2" narrower than the bottom piece, and the next piece 1 1/2" narrower than that, and so on, going up.

Make sure everything dry fits nicely, so that you can see that you left ample room for your minis to stand on. Then glue it all together!

Spread some glue and sprinkle some static grass (or flock).
When the glue is dry, apply a coat of paint. I did my base coat in black so that I could follow up with gray (mixing in the white) to drybrush some rough stone work on the fronts of each level. I then painted green where the grass goes. The glue and static grass will cover most of this green undercoat, but it's nice to have in case you miss a spot or two when applying the grass.

After the paint is dry, spread some white glue over every surface you want there to be grass. Then apply your static grass. Let dry. Done! I find it easier to apply the static grass in steps, doing one or two terrace levels at a time. But there's nothing saying you can't do it all at once.

Optional step: Since this is for display and will sit on a shelf, I don't require a lot of strength; if you plan on moving this piece a lot and want a little added strength, after the paint has dried, apply a coat of white or wood glue over the entire piece, especially at the susceptible edges (careful not to leave large drops of glue spilling over.) You can add multiple layers of glue for more strength if you want.

This glue layer helps to prevent your blue foam from chipping if its corners get bumped, by adding a sort of shock-absorbing layer (white glue should dry somewhat flexible.) It doesn't add a LOT of strength, but enough to protect from those minor bumps and drops.

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