Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Chaos Wasteland

The Da Boyz GT is almost upon us and I have been very busy these past few weeks finishing up my latest terrain project for the GT. Each year the Da Boyz encourages attendees to bring their own tables to the GT so that there is a large variety of unique and stunning terrain and as an added bonus they have even turned it into a contest where the players get to vote on their top 3 favorite tables and prizes are awarded to the top three selected. Each year I try to create a new table or theme to bring along and share with the community. Last year was my Tyranid/Jungle table, which got a lot of positive feedback from attendees. This year I decided to go the route of a blasted chaotic landscape. So let's take a look at the latest project.

The idea for this table started a couple of year back. After looking at some of the old GW artwork in the Realms of Chaos book I knew I had to start  a chaos-warped landscape at some point in my gaming career.

The Chaos Stone

The idea behind this piece is that the followers of Khorne offer up the skulls of their victims on the rock after battles. Over the years, as the blood and souls of the dead seep into the rock it has become somewhat sentient and needed to be bolted in place.

The rock is made from a chunk of air-drying clay that was whittled down and sanded to achieve the shape. To create the metal plates that fasten to the rock I cut some plastic card into tiny rectangles. Then I snipped the ends off of some paperclips to create the piece that fastens the jewelry chain to the plastic card. Then with a grinder bit I used my dremel to cut in a rectangle into the clay so that the metal plate would fit into the stone. The lower base of the rock is simply 2 layers of pink foam cut and shaped by a razor blade. 

My warpsmith shown for scale.

Stone Pillars

I had some left over clay so I figured I would make some simple outcroppings of stone to place as line of sight blockers on the table. As with the Chaos Stone, both were created from clay and shaped by razor blades and sand paper.

The "Wanna-be" Warp Gate

I had originally wanted to create this structure to be a platform for a warp gate but due to time constraints I never finished the portal. But here is the platform leading up to the portal and the two guardians who watch over the gate.

The Blasted Ruins

The idea behind this piece is that a small fortress or structure once stood on this land but as chaos infused the landscape it corrupted the ground beneath the structure and forced it to rise up and split the structure apart, leaving a twisted and eerie ruins in its place. This piece is rather large and creates some nice LoS blocking terrain. Plus infantry models can climb the structures for higher vantage points and cover.

Chaotic Mesas

I wanted to create some simple hills and areas of terrain that provide various heights for cover and LoS blocking but as I was researching different hill ideas I came across a method of "hammering" pink foam. I loved the way the guy made the mesas and how the final results looked and I knew at that instant that I had to try out this method. It turns out that it is a very simple process and I was able to knock out all four pieces in one night.

Enslaved Landscape

The idea behind the final piece is a mixture of a different ideas. I originally wanted to do something with a skull like in this piece of artwork.

I also wanted to try something like the floating islands from Avatar. Plus I wanted to convey the idea that while the landscape is corrupted, it is also imposing its will on the environment and enslaving it to use for it's own twisted purpose.

So I started out with a giant foam skull that I picked up at a craft store. It is pretty much the size of an adult human's head. 

Next I created some islands from pink foam and chained it to the skull.

The chains on the islands are glued in place, much like I did for the chaos stone but to make it so that I can vary the distance of the islands I placed some magnets into the skull and a piece of metal on the other end of the chain plate.

Each island is fairly large and helps to provide cover and LoS blocking for flyers and large models.

To create the floating effect, I drilled a small hole into the base of each island and inserted a piece of wodden dowel that was cut in half so that the flat "cut" end was exposed. I then inserted the other piece of wooden dowel into a clay rock (made the same way as the other rocks). Once the glue dried I drilled a hole into the wooden dowel rods so that I could insert a metal rod into both the island and stone without messing up the foam and clay. The result is a sturdy island that is fairly solid.

Overhead shot

So how does it all look together on a table? Glad you asked.

As you can see, many of the pieces offer line of sight blocking terrain for all sizes of models.

Even the heldrake gets a cover save here!
From this view the island also provides cover.

So this is just one of the many unique tables that will be at the Da Boyz GT this year. If you are able to attend this week and end up playing on this table, let us know what you think. While I'll be attending the event this year, I will not be playing. This will have been my 6th year playing at the GT so I decided that I would volunteer my time to help run the event. So if you are there, I'll be one of the guys working at the scoring table. Be sure to stop by and introduce yourself.

Since I won't be playing this year I hope to get a lot of pictures throughout the weekend. Check back in the next week or so to see how the event went.


  1. That looks super sharp and would be a blast to play on.

  2. That's realy cool. I'm so stealing some of these ideas when I come to get bits together for my own boards.

  3. That's am impressive set of terrain. The only thing that stands out is that there is no large LOS blocking piece for large models (which are being more popular) to how behind. This may be intentional to force players to deal with their opponent me directly rather than hiding. Either way, I would be more that excited to play on this quality terrain board. Very cool! Thanks

  4. The terrain you guys pull off is amazing. That's what got me to follow the site! Great work. Thanks for sharing.

  5. These pieces look great. What are the statues guarding the warp portal platform?

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