Building a Bunker Continued

By: Kitbasha Jay

I hope you all read yesterday’s blog where we made a foam core bunker for our 40k tables. Today we paint it. We’re also going to some foliage to the piece to make it appropriate for a jungle table.

The first step after the alcohol/glue mixture that we used to seal the sand has dried I spray painted the entire piece with an espresso coloured rust paint. This is quite a bit more durable than using a water based acrylic. It covers really well and seals everything in nicely.

Pro Tip: Make sure if you use a spray paint that all the edges of the foam core have been covered up. Covered with spackle, glue and/or sand. Also make sure you use a matte finish. If you use gloss spray, your pieces will be shiny and not look realistic. Plus any acrylics that you paint on after will likely peel in the future. No one wants that.

After the brown has dried I paint on all the base colours. The bunker was painted with a dark grey craft acrylic. The sand bags were painted with Tan and the trees with Cinnamon. I suggest using craft paints for terrain since it usually requires a large amount of paint and doesn’t necessarily require the high level of detail that miniatures do. So don’t waste your good model paints. You can pick up most craft paints at your local dollar store or craft store and generally go for $1 Canadian per bottle.

Make sure to put on a couple base coats. Most cheap craft acrylics are somewhat thin and very granular. Sometimes they can show streaks and so I suggest putting on at least two coats before moving on to the next step.

The next step is washes. These I also created by watering down the craft paints in a small paint bottle and shaking them profusely in order to make sure that they are thoroughly watered down. I use a dark or emerald green first. I begin by painting about 1 cm or a 1/4″ up from the ground on everything. The bunker, sandbags and trees all get a green near the base. This creates the illusion of moss and mildew build up from remaining ground water.

The next step is to wash the sand bags with the cinnamon paint that you used on the trees. You can use other medium browns if you wish. I just had an abundance of the cinnamon and so decided to use that. You can see the green and medium brown in the pic above.

The final step of wash is to cover everything (except the ground) with a black wash. This will soften the other washes that you put on and help blend all the colours together. Once that is dry, go around and touch up any areas where the wash ran onto the dirt with either a water based house paint or an acrylic that matches the espresso colour we used to spray paint it.

After that we pull out the colours we used for the base coats. With a large brush go over each piece with a dry brush of the original base colour. This will soften the stark colour difference of the washes and bring the pieces back to their original shades. At the same time it leaves the washes in all the nooks and crannies in order to add subtle detail that the piece would just not look as good without.

You may wonder once you do this why we even washed it in the first place. No one is going to see the wash colours from a distance. Trust me on this. It makes a world of difference when looking at these pieces up close and will make them feel much more realistic.

After that I gave the ground a dry brush of a yellow brown colour. The exact shade I used is called yellow oxide but it’s the same as what GW used to call Snakebite Leather. This adds a nice transition between the dark espresso and the final dry brush we will do to complete the piece while at the same time differentiating it from the trees and sand bags.

The final paint step is to tie all the colours together and create the final highlight for the piece. This is done by dry brushing every inch of the piece with a light bone/off white colour. I used a can of acrylic house paint for this but a craft paint will do just fine. Aim for a similar shade to what we used to call bleached bone. What Citadel now calls Ushabti Bone. Make sure to get a nice dry brush on everything. Bunker, trees, sandbags, all of it.

And that’s all there is to painting the terrain. We’re not done though. This was just the painting. Now we’re going to decorate the piece with foliage and plant life. I purchased a large amount of plastic plants at my local dollar store. They generally have stock of these type of things depending on the season so make sure to check these stores regularly as seasons change for a nice variety of fake plants.

Some come in bushes, others in vine configurations, some even come in topiary balls. Whatever form it comes it just take your hobby clippers and start cutting pieces off these plants that are approximately 1″ long or just above the height of a Space Marine.

After you have all of your plastic plants cut and ready to attach just go around the piece and roughly decide where you want the various types of plants you’ve decided to use will go. Once you have a good idea of where you would like the plants to grow out of, take your pin drill and drill small holes where you want the plants to grow from.

Pro Tip: If you just glue the plants on without drilling a hole first they are more likely to break off in the future. Filling the hole with glue and sinking the small plants into the terrain piece will make them a lot stronger and less likely to come off in the future.

The final step is to glue in the plants. I decided to use a 5 minute 2 part epoxy. This stuff will literally glue anything to anything and dries both clear and quickly. The one depicted above comes in a syringe that dispenses equal amounts of the 2 parts. Sometimes they come in 2 separate tubes. This is fine, just make sure to mix relatively equal parts. Pour the two parts onto a disposable pallet or a piece of foil, paper or cardboard that you don’t mind throwing away after.

Mix the glue well with a toothpick or popsicle stick. Once you have a good mixture simply take a plant, dip the tip of it into the glue, and place it in the hole you drilled. Go around and do this on all of them and you should have a pretty cool looking terrain piece.

I actually found that this looked really cool but wasn’t enough foliage for me. I decided to finish off the piece with some clump foliage in random spots. This just adds another type of foliage that is different from the plastic plants just so it doesn’t look like only one type of plant grows in this jungle. You can also add static grass, flock and other types of foliage as you wish to. The only other thing I will be adding to this piece to complete it is large palm leaves on the tops of the trees to create the appearance of a jungle canopy.

As I told you guys in yesterday’s blog I am building this piece as a prototype for the rest of the terrain to go on this table and so will be adding the large palm leaves once all the other pieces with trees are complete. Keep an eye out in a few weeks. I may do a tutorial on those. Otherwise, make sure to stay up to date with our terrain tutorials on the Youtube channel. There will be a whole series based around this table. I hope you’ve enjoyed this little taste.

Until our next Encounter.

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