AOS Skirmish: CoralHammer, part 2

Last part of this “series” was about starting the CoralHammer project. It has progressed nicely so some updates are in order. I still haven’t gotten around to sit down and write about the lore nor think about the rules. Those will come, eventually. In the meanwhile I would like to share my work on the scenery.

Since getting back to wargaming I have been very interested in scenery. Back in the 90s and early 00s we played on kitchen table with books as hills. Now there is a lot of official scenery (more on that later) but there is also a load of tutorials for creating scenery. My main source of inspiration and guidance has been the awesome Terrain Tutor on YouTube. Having studied his methods I wanted to try something new I hadn’t used before and went for the expanding foam.

Mel’s tutorial was about creating hills and while I wanted almost the same thing I had other ideas as well. We have some hills on my work place at Puolenkuun Pelit (Tampere) but the have proved a bit problematic during games. They are very tall or have slopes that you can almost balance a miniature on but not exactly. With these experience I set a workshop on our balcony (at -10°C …) and crafted the following:

Playing with the foam was fun (though I should note you are supposed to do this in well ventilated area and not in sub-zero temperatures). Even the word “expansive” did not prepare me for how much the foam would actually grow in size. Being impatient self I started cutting the foam the same night but quickly learned that it hadn’t all settled and had to leave the cutting for the next day.

Cutting the foam with a regular knife was easy enough but the static stuck all the bits and pieces everywhere. After carving these block to shapes that I liked I used hot glue to stick them to old board game boards I wasn’t using anymore. I used those cardboard boards just because they do not tend to curve even when glued or painted. Quick Fill putty was an excellent substance to give these pieces some texture. I used some other stuff as well (that came in a tube) but it was much more messy and wasn’t as good.

After the quick fill was dry (I gave it a couple of hours) I used hot glue and PVA to glue additional stuff to them. Sand, rocks, bits of wood, pieces from official scenery models, sea shells, etc. A little later I took my son to our balcony and taught him to use a spray paint. He was really into it and liked the fact that he could participate in making these.

In the following two weeks I had to force myself to actually paint these. It was all quick and easy, just a couple layers of dry brushing but at this point it seemed like these would take forever to get ready. They did turn out great though:

Sorry for the bad quality of these shots. The battery on my SLR was dead I wanted to finish this post. The bigger hills are also painted and done the do not fit into my makeshift lightbox.

The main reason I was struggling to finish those DIY hills was the Etheric Vortex I bough for this project.

When this shipwreck was first spoiled before Idoneth Deepkin it just wasn’t for me. I disliked the “funny” aspect and deemed it to only have a place in an actual aquarium. But with this project I saw that it could have potential. And I’m glad I did since it is an excellent addition to under water wargaming.

From the start I wanted it to look more like an actual wreck and not an ethereal memory of a ship. I liked the appearance in this tutorial and even though I painted mine differently it was a good guideline. Zandri Dust base coat followed with a lot of washes and final details was my approach. The color scheme makes it stand out in the battlefield and making it a great center piece for the terrain.

All in all the battlefield is looking really good. I have so much scenery I cannot fit all on the table at once. I’m still yearning on building more. I need at least one very high hill that would have an island on the top, palms and all. I also noticed that with the shipwreck on the field I want more interesting and eye-catching pieces and thus I created these two. The Cthulhu statue is from Fantasy Flight Games’s Call of Cthulhu LCG and the that boulder is (if my memory serves me right) from my son’s flexitracks.

While starting this post I was going to talk more about the miniatures I have built and painted and give a short battle report on the first game. But since this post turned out as a lengthy piece on the terrain I’ll leave those to the next time.

Battlefield for our first skirmish game.

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