Reasons why you should build your own terrain, pt. 2

Last time, we talked about the fun to be had by building your own terrain. This time, we’ll look at the second argument for going DIY:

2.) Building your own terrain is cheap.

Well, perhaps that’s talking a bit too generally. Let’s rather say: Building your own terrain is as cheap as you want it to be. Let’s have a look at the piece of terrain pictured above: It’s another one of my earlier works and a true classic. It’s also fairly unimaginative, but come on: Space Marine monuments are a true staple of 40k gaming tables all over the world, right?

So, what did it cost me to build this? I used a bit of foamcore for the base, as well as the pillar’s plinth and capital. The floor tiles were made thin cardboard I got from a cereal box. The pillar itself was made from a cardboard roll that came with a pack of paper towels. The shell casings are small glass beads. The Space Marine on top (2nd ed. in the house, y’all!) and at the base came from my bitz box. Everything was basecoated with self-made texture paint and spraypainted with paint from the craft store. I then painted select parts with Citadel paints.

A first attempt at painting verdigris, courtesy of cousin Andy

Oh, the irony...

Looking at it now, those are some freaking HUGE shell casings...

The whole thing cannot have cost more than 2-3 Euros, bits excepted. Granted, it looks nowhere near as awesome or detailed as the stuff GW produces, but it’s quite alright for a testpiece. The great thing is that the cost will not go through the roof with greater projects: The most expensive part is probably the foamcore, and even that is fairly cheap. And many of the things you buy for your own terrain projects will last you for a long time, while other ingredients can be had for practically nothing (sand, cardboard, packaging materials of all shapes and sizes, interesting bits of styrofoam). To wit, I built a huge cathedral out of the same materials, and it probably cost me about 25 Euros tops. Here’s a teaser picture:

Rest assured that we'll be going over this in detail sooner or later...

So, even if your DIY terrain doesn’t look as spiffy as GW’s stuff, it’s far easier to get a lot of it ready for less money. And you can build stuff that would be atrociously expensive when using GW terrain. And that’s not even counting the option to mix your own stuff with parts from the GW kits.

Still, I said at the start that building your own terrain can be as cheap as you want it to be. This means that if you really want to go for it, you own projects can get pretty expensive too: Need special plants from the aquarium store? They usually carry a hefty price tag. Certain building materials can also be more expensive than foamcore and cardboard. So a part of the task is to keep a grip on the cost of your projects and to make the most of materials that come for free. But once you’ve started, that’s a big part of the fun!

In the next installment of this ongoing series, we will learn that terrain you built yourself is truly your own in more than one way. Until then, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

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3 Responses to “Reasons why you should build your own terrain, pt. 2”

  1. […] All of this stuff was readily available from my persoanl terrain-building hoard as well as from everyday household items. The only slightly exclusive part was a small brass pipe we glued to the side of the tank, and I found that one in our tool shed — like I said, building terrain is cheap! […]

  2. […] your own terrain is so great, we already discussed why building your own terrain is fun and cheap and why terrain you built yourself is truly your own. Today I would like to explore yet another […]

  3. […] now, you should know the drill: Building your own terrain is fun and cheap, terrain you built yourself is truly your own, and building your own terrain also makes for a nice […]

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