Terrain Talk Pt. 20 – Under Golgothan Spires

So I’ve finally got my big DIY project underway – my granny grating Epic Squat army, based around the old 2nd Ed Space Marine battle report, “The Battle For Golgotha” from somewhere around 1993, which was set in the aftermath of Warlord Ghazgkull’s 2nd invasion of the world of Armageddon and (spoiler alert) finished with the heroic Commissar Yarrick being captured by the Ork..

Little did I know that between then and now, GW would immortalise this encounter with a novel and of course the Squats themselves would fall.. and then rise! But honestly? I’m more interested in recreating those gorgeous pictures that hooked me as a nipper.

I mean, just LOOK at this… breathes there man or woman with soul so dead as not to be enchanted??

Looking back through some of the pictures you’ll notice some big jagged rock spires – maybe not the most realistic terrain, but certainly cinematic, and CERTAINLY eye-catching. So monkey see, monkey make..

We start with a chunk of Celotex insulation foam (the same stuff I bought a big sheet of back in 2017, to make hills and stuff from)
And a sheet of what I believe is ePVC – I bought some speakers on eBay, and this was part of the packaging.. Terrain Tutor approved basing material, cut into a wobbly lozenge shape, bevelled and sanded.
Glue one to the other, and start hacking chunks off with a DIY knife
A bit more hacking and glueing of excess bits to create contours and make sure the spires aren’t all the same height
Covered the whole thing with filler (spackle, to our American friends)
Important to cover the whole thing, as spray paint can melt the foam and play havoc with your masterpiece!
Next up, I concocted some DIY Mod Podge by mixing up black craft paint, PVA, filler and water to get in all the nooks and crannys. This also worked as a good “pre-prime” coat to ensure nothing was left exposed to the spray paint.
But first, some detail – cat litter! I splurged PVA into various likely looking spots on the piece and drizzled cat litter onto them.
Cheap & simple, but an incredibly effective trick – I would credit who I nicked the idea off, but it’s lost to the mists of history..
And then…. WTF??? A WHITE undercoat??? Stained with yellow & brown paint washes????
…but then we bring back sanity with a thinned black wash over everything…
Bone drybrush to catch the contours and THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is how we apply the “leopard spotting” technique to our rock formations! Credit to Lukes APS for clueing us in to that one.
Finally flocked with Jarvis 3 tone system as used on our board, hills and as espoused by Mel The Terrain Tutor himself, praise be upon him… a little bit of Garage Floor Dust (TM) in there as well. I finished up by sealing it with watered down PVA and sprayed with matt varnish to protect it. Dan’s Blood Angel and Epic Battlewagon shown for scale

This was a really fun little build, and didn’t take anywhere as long as I thought it would, so I think a few more may be in the offing as I’ve still got a fair bit of ePVC and insulation foam..

As Dan mentioned, HQ is down for a bit of redecoration and reorganisation for the next week or so so there’s time to build some more stuff for us both.. in the meantime, stay safe, stay thrifty and Slava Ukrainia!

4 thoughts on “Terrain Talk Pt. 20 – Under Golgothan Spires

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