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Lava Fields

Or is it magma fields? Oh, well, since I am too lazy to go to to figure it out, so we'll just go with this being some rather unpleasant terrain to throw your minis into. These will be basic modular pieces, and one extra terrain bit (which was kind of an accident). So, we start with my favourite modular terrain basic - the 12"x12" piece of cork board. It provides a nice convenient shape and size as well as a base texture. They come out of the package a little limp, but after we fix them up with layers of paint, glue, and sealant, they will firm up pretty well.

So the first thing we do is spray paint it yellow. No big deal, but it provides a nice base color. Then we cover it with random red lines. The yellow and red together like this will give the magma (or is that lava?) texture. You can see the design is pretty open -- you don't need a lot of lines in a dense pattern. We will cover most of this up in the next step.

The next step is to give the board the top coating of blackened ash. I use a mixture of two parts paint (in this case, black), one part PVA (cow glue), and enough ballast to make it about the consistency of cement. The glue/paint mixture does a good enough job of holding the ballast in place until you can get a good double coat of sealant over it. I use Krylon Fusion matte sealant. Initially, you will still have a few bits fall off, but that will settle out quickly and you will end up with a nice, reliable piece.

One of the tricks I have learned about keeping this type of terrain is to store them stacked, with a sheet of wax paper between. I also usually decorate both sides of the board, often with complimentary terrain types. Maybe that will show up in a later IOW.

So, as I was finishing up doing my boards (I did 16), I realized the inside of my mixing bowl was coated (almost) with the ash solution. So, I decided to go ahead make it into a nice little crater. I wrapped the outside in paper and tape, then went ahead and covered the whole piece with the ash solution.

Here is a view four of the boards with the crater and a few Khurasan 15mm Mantis Men who are painted up as fire bugs. Their bases are done to match the lava field. I am not usually keen on decorative bases, but given the coloration of these guys, I don't think I'll have a problem with them taking lava with them wherever they go. I think I need some more of them ...


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