Building Hell

Hell Dorado – I've begun work on a board for Hell Dorado. After looking online for some examples of what the terrain should look like and searching for the terrain rules that should be in the english book if it's ever released, I came up with a plan. Well not really a plan but more of a general idea. This is going to be the first fixed terrain board I've done in a while and I want to be sure it's versatile enough to remain fun to play on while looking cool and incorporating some really dramatic fixed elements.

I had a piece of sintra with a frame that I salvaged from a graphic project that fell through. Luckily for me the piece I have is exactly 3' x 3' with a nice frame that goes around the edge. Also in my box of scrap I had a ton of 3" foam pieces left over from various projects. To begin I just randomly snapped the scraps into chunks and began placing them on the board. Once I had a general shape I used wood glue to secure them into place.

After letting it dry I added a few more pieces to smooth out transitions and create playable space. Once those sections were dry I took a dremel and began sculpting the rocks. This was a time intensive process and I was sure to have a figure on a 30mm and 40mm base on hand to be sure they would fit and be able to stand on the rocky sections. After finishing the carving I realized that the largest peak could accommodate a waterfall. After a bit more sanding I had created the basic shape of the river. 

The next step was to add some more texture to the flat areas. I began by roughly tearing sections of textured wallpaper to fit on the flat sections of the board. I secured these using wood glue. To transition from the wallpaper sections to the rocky crags I applied wood glue and sprinkled a mixture of sand a litter to create a rough texture. The trick to getting this right is to apply thin coats of glue and allow the sand to dry. Repeat until you've built up the desired thickness of debris.

Where the waterfall empties I'm creating a bed of skulls. Nothing says hell more than a river of blood and skulls. Using the mold I created for my bases I cast a whole bunch of skulls. Securing them to the board with tacky glue in all the areas that I plan to coat with water effect.

I've also taken the skulls and placed them in various nooks and cranies through out the board. I think small details like this really bring a piece to life.

I need to double check the bed of the water fall to be sure it's sealed properly so the water doesn't pour all over the place when I apply it. Ideally this needs to be done prior to painting. To paint I'm going to get some house paint mixed to match the grey I've used on the bases of my models. I've found the best paint has primer built into it so it adheres better. Painting on a thick primer and then applying paint causes some of the details to be obscured so I prefer to use an all-in-one.