My tabletop for sci-fi worlds has been woefully lacking in color so I am finally doing something about it. In the past, it has always been a natural sand/tan barren world. That is beginning to change. These are a few of our (nearly) finished pieces from the weekend. The first photo has some 3d printed pieces and 3 Giant Sitan Warriors from the Fictioneers line. The 4-5th photos have some McEwan Miniatures (Starguard Rep-com and Alin Ru’ troops facing off against Evil Martian Pilots).
Step one was done this past weekend. My wife and I hit up a local pet supply store while we were out doing other errands and picked up some clearance plastic aquarium plants. What great crazy colors for alien trees/plants. Although they come with a bit of a weighted base, they do rely on the plastic floating in water to help keep them standing upright. To correct this, the plants were glued to metal washers with some E6000 to create a more stable base. Then some of the super tall ones were clipped shorter. The parts of the plants that were cut off were then attached to the base (again with E6000) to give them an bushier look. The cut off bits could have just as easily been added to new bases to create additional plants but the extra bushiness also helps keep them standing upright. The original plant bases and washers were painted tan and some sand was added to cover the washers. This blandness at the base is contrary to my wanting to add color to my planet but at the moment, I have not yet replaced by sand colored table covering (a 4’x8′ piece of felt). These tan/sand parts can easily be painted over later to match my new ground mat as soon as it is available.
Step two was to get my wife painting for me. I am partially colorblind so I tend to make safe (boring) color choices. She really likes the sparkly metallic paints so we picked up some color shift paints and I taught her how to dry-brush and set her loose. I also let her pick out her own 4 color paint scheme seen on the hallway walls below. They don’t go well with the floor deck shown… one step at a time. Crafted ship deck pieces will be coming soon and we’ll paint those to coordinate with the walls. New to dry-brushing? Citadel has this real good less then 4 minute YouTube video overview: Citadel Colour – Drybrushing
Step three will be worked on in the near future and we’ll post updates of the progress as it happens. There are many great YouTube videos out there for game and terrain subjects but the all time Craft-Father is DM Scotty. If you are not familiar with DMs Craft channel, I highly recommend you check it out. Scotty’s content is primarily aimed at fantasy gaming but most subjects can easily be adapted and for all sci-fi gaming fans, I recommend watching the below five videos. The first two in particular are the style that I want to move my game board toward. The next two are more general scatter items that would be fitting on any style game board even if you don’t want too much retro pulp color in yours. The last is an interesting idea on using storage totes as spaceship sections — it is especially great for traveling gamemasters, i.e. taking to conventions.
Crafting an Alien Planet
Building a Planet with Scotty Part II
Easy Sci-Fi Junk Piles Terrain from Your Trash
Craft Slimy Oozing Gross Bug Nests
Retro Rocket, EZ Game Terrain Setup
For more tips from terrain crafters, check out the The Tabletop Crafters Guild on Facebook. Tons of inspiration from many various crafters.