Saturday, March 20, 2010

Warmachine Terrain Project: " 'Jack Trap"

As a guy who loves terrain-building almost as much as painting Warmachine minis, my eye is always scanning for new scenery ideas.  While browsing the beautiful image of Beast 09(Khador Heavy Warjack) on page 79 of the Forces of Warmachine: Khador book, I noticed a nice terrain element as part of the artist's rendering: I have dubbed it a " 'jack trap ".    I have modeled it as a separate piece, but you could easily integrate the concept into larger trenchworks(such as shown in the latest New Quarter mag).  Now I don't think this would be an impediment to a heavy warjack, but to a light warjack or Man-o-War it would likely present a serious obstacle...
I always like to start my terrain projects with a simple sketch to frame my approach- I suggest this for all terrain builders(and as you can see, you don't have to be a great artist to take this approach!)...
Below is the unpainted(and untextured) terrain piece "in the works".  The earthen mound is simple blue insulation foam(from a leftover piece from my Iron Kingdoms house construction).  The log spikes are actual tree branches that I scavenged from my back yard(about 1/2" in diameter, giver or take) and sharpened with a utility knife.  I didn't want to use wooden dowels because I wanted it to look like crudely cut timber, so actual branches was a nice fit...
The metal pieces were made from the following: steel collars=styrene sheet(from For Sale sign), chain links=jewelry craft chains, rivets=modelling putty.  I did add some weight to the bottom of the mound to offset all the wood/chain weight on the one side of the structure to keep it from tipping(I just emplanted an old magnet strip in the bottom of the foam).  Finally, the base was textured with a sand and kitty litter mix before painting.  I though about painting the log spikes, but in the end I liked the natural look of the branches. 
Below you can watch a Youtube video where I describe this project...


  1. You sir, are not only a prolific terrain builder, but you are also talented. This looks great, as does al your other stuff ;p

    Just wish I had the space for a board and scenery at my place

  2. Wow, that's about the nicest comment I could hope for. Thanks for the kind words.

  3. As a newcomer to the game this really opened my mind to a lot of possibilities and ways to expand on the creative / hobby side of the game. Great work!