Inches & Cubes Podcast Episode 20: “Terrainopocalypse” – Game Strategies, Planning & Construction

In this episode we cover everything terrain! We go into how its changed from 7th edition to 8th edition and how that affects out games. We then transition to making terrain and talk about planning, materials and how to run an effective terrain day which could in extreme cases draw itself out into a huge 6 table club terrain push that lasts 2.5 months. Now you have all the tools you need! Go get em tiger! Don’t leave a gaming table bare!

Scenic Bases Part 2 – Quick and Easy Paint Job

By: Kitbasha Jay

On Monday we built some scenic bases for our 40k or AoS armies. Today I’m going to show you some simple painting techniques. We’re going to take cork and sand and turn it into some awesome looking rocky bases.

As a primer and basecoat I always start with a “Burnt Umber” colour. In this case I’m using Rust-oleum Painter’s Touch Satin Espresso. I purchased a large can of it specifically for terrain projects. The first step is getting them covered with the rust paint. Just like the PVA glue in Monday’s blog, make sure to paint both the tops and bottoms of your bases to ensure that it doesn’t warp. It might still warp a little but this technique will ensure that it is minimized.

painted brown

Leave this stuff overnight to dry. It probably only takes a few hours but I like to do stuff like this before bed so that it gets a chance to dry and harden overnight. Once we have a good layer of rust paint on the bases we can really begin painting.

The first colour we’re going to use is Dawnstone. I take a standard brush and with an overbrush technique, paint all of the cork areas that didn’t get covered with sand. This is basically the area around the rim of each cork layer. Also paint any areas on the flat areas on top that didn’t get sand.

rock areas painted grey

Next we’re going to paint the flat sand areas. For this I use Mornfang Brown. With a heavy dry brush go over all of the areas that have sand on them. This will bring up the brown another layer before we add the final highlight. You can use any medium brown colour for this step. I like Mornfang. You could also use Baneblade Brown or Snakebite Leather or something in that range. It totally depends on what colour palette you like.

base with Mornfang Brown drybrush

The final step is probably predictable if you regularly follow my Terrain Tutorials. We’re going to do a very light drybrush of Ushabti Bone on the entire base. This unites all the colours and completes the base with a nice bright highlight. It’s this step that really makes the base pop.

Ushabti Bone drybrush

Pro Tip: Make sure that when you’re at this stage you do a really light drybrush. It’s better to go on too light and have to go over it again than go on too heavy at first and ruin your previous steps.

Finally we’re going to add some static grass into the mix. For these bases I chose a desert grass. The only motivation for this was that I have an abundance of it and rarely use it. In fact, I didn’t originally plan to make these desert bases. If I had I would have used different colours for the rocks. But this will look absolutely amazing anyway and it’s the easiest way I can recommend you paint bases and still have them look awesome.

Pro Tip: Use the static grass to cover any mistakes or areas of the base that you’re not really happy with. Any spots that got too heavy of a drybrush or lack of one. Also cover any areas where the original colour of the sand might still be showing through.

Final Product

I hope you all enjoyed this little project for this week. I’d love to see what you guys produce as a result of reading this week’s articles. Also I’d love to hear other techniques that people employ when making scenic bases for their models.

Please comment on this blog or leave a comment on our Facebook or Instagram pages. Also feel free to email me at

This was my cheap and quick way of basing a large number of models with scenic bases. It took some time but the entire bunch more or less cost me about $5. So make yourself some sweet scenic bases. You won’t have to break the bank.

Until our next Encounter!

Scenic Bases Part 1 – Working with Cork

By: Kitbasha Jay

This week we’re taking a little break from terrain. With the Jungle Fever table complete it’s time to get back to some general hobby stuff. The next couple blogs will be sort of in the area of terrain but with more of a focus on the miniatures. We’re going to build some cheap and dirty scenic bases.

All we will need for materials are some 1/4″ cork board. I purchased a pack of 2 18″ x 18″ sheets for $3 at my local dollarama. I then took some standard 40k bases of variable sizes and started tracing the circles onto the cork tiles.

bases drawn on cork

Once I had the entire sheet filled up with circles I carefully began to break them out with my hands. If you arrange them in perfect rows it will make your life a lot easier since you can just break off rows of them and then break them out individually. Since I arranged them in order to maximize space I had to be more careful when breaking them out as not to split adjacent circles when trying to release one.

Try and break the edges off of your pieces so that the remains is a rough shape. Make sure that you break pieces off outside of your marker lines. This ensures that the base is slightly bigger than the intended size rather than smaller. In 40k there is an unwritten rule that you are always aloud to make a model’s base larger, never smaller. In a game like AOS base sizes mean absolutely nothing. These are intended for 40k so I attempted to make them slightly bigger than the original base used to trace the shape.

bases all broken out

The pieces that are broken off of the edges, as well as, the remaining space in between the circles are now going to be used to build up these bases. Take any pieces you have that still have straight edges on them. Make sure to break them up so that there is no manufactured edges on the pieces. It will look more natural if they are all rough shapes. Then simply take some PVA glue and arbitrarily stack the smaller bits on top of the base pieces.

Once our bases are built we simply leave them alone for a few hours to dry. After they have dried we pull out the PVA again and paint the entire base with it. You will want to do 2 or 3 coats of PVA on these to ensure that they have a hard shell and don’t break apart in the future. This will make them almost as hard as plastic once you have put enough layers of glue on. Simply apply one layer, wait for it to dry, and then apply another.

Bases painted with PVA Glue

Pro Tip: If you paint one side of the base with PVA, make sure you do the bottom as well. White Glue will shrink as it dries. This will cause your bases to warp if you only paint one side. So paint one side, let it dry, then paint the bottom side, let that dry, then put another coat on the top.

After the final coat of PVA is dry it’s time to add sand. This is the simplest step. All you have to do it paint the remaining flat areas with PVA and then dunk them in a tub of basing sand. Tap off the excess and repeat with the next base. I used a mixture of playground sand and balast for the ones you see below. I just feel this gives me a greater variety of sizes of grains of sand. After we do this, we let it dry and then we’ll go on to painting.

Bases with sand added

You can paint these in whatever scheme you wish. You could do them desert colour, snow themed, jungle rocks, etc. The possibilities are endless. If you want to see what colours I’m going to use to paint them, check back here on Wednesday and I’ll walk you through a quick and easy paint job that will make these look spectacular.

If you don’t like reading instructions, have no fear. There will be a video tutorial on these exact same bases in a couple weeks on Encounter Wargaming‘s YouTube feed. So head on over and subscribe to the channel so you will be notified when said video is released. Join me again on Wednesday so we can get these bad boys painted.

Until our next Encounter!

Inches & Cubes Podcast Episode 19 – “Back to Basic” How to write an army list for Warhammer 40k

In this encounter with the delectable trio we get our inner commander on as we see whats behind the curtain in building an army list. How do you deal with hoards, or tanks? How do you account for a tournament setting where you don’t know what is coming at you? All this and more in this weeks episode!

Stay tuned & See you next week!

Making a Jungle River – Part 2

By: Kitbasha Jay

On Monday we started building a sectional river for the Jungle Fever Table. Today we’ll finish this massive battlefield feature. We’re going to paint the river to match the other pieces we’ve made for this table. We’ll also be adding some plastic foliage and water effects to finish it off and tie it in to all the other terrain pieces we’re building.

We left off with the Espresso basecoat. For this I used a rust paint. The colour is called Espresso but it’s the equivalent of a Burnt Umber or other similar dark brown. I like to start all terrain pieces with this colour because it acts as a great base for so many colours. The fact that it’s rust paint also provides a nice hard shell over the myriad of materials that one can employ when building terrain.

If you’ve been following along with the other terrain blogs I’ve put out over the last couple weeks you’ve heard the above before. You also know where this is going next. For those that haven’t read my past posts I’ll go over it again.

On top of the Espresso basecoat I dry brush the entire piece with a Yellow Oxide. This is the equivalent to what Citadel used to call Snakebite Leather. This will get the soil up a shade in order to prepare for the final highlight.

I also incorporated large rocks randomly throughout the pieces. These I over brush with a colour called Westport Grey. The Citadel equivalent is Dawnstone. Make sure you try your best not to get any grey onto the dirt surrounding the rocks. You can touch it up after but if you don’t have to it will save you a lot of time later.

painted river sections

Once these colours are on I did a really light drybrush of a colour called Galvanized Metal. This colour is the equivalent of Citadel’s Ushabti Bone, what used to be known as Bleached Bone. This provides the final highlight to both the rocks and the soil. It really gives everything a nice final touch while at the same time unifying all the colours in the terrain piece.

Same as we did on the Bunker and the Trees we’re going to add plastic foliage. This is done by drilling some holes randomly along the banks of the river. Then we take our 5 minute epoxy and glue the plants on. Unlike the other pieces of terrain in this series I decided to add some long grass into the mix for the river. These were attached using the same method but got 3 blades per hole as opposed to just 1 plant.

river sections with foliage added

The final step after applying our foliage is the water effects. Usually I would use a quick pour resin or a 2 part epoxy resin. This time I thought I would try something new and make the river more dynamic by making it look like it’s flowing. This was done with Woodland Scenics Water Effects C1212. This stuff is usually used for making waterfalls but I thought I would see how it does at creating waves.

Unlike other products which are liquid, this stuff is more of a paste or caulking type consistency. Once you squeeze the water effects onto your river you can just use your finger to spread it around. Don’t be afraid to get messy. This stuff is really sticky.

river with water effects added

After you’ve spread it all around just use your finger to make waves. This is done by drawing large pathways through the water effects in the direction you want the water to appear like it’s flowing. It really is that easy. When you’re done it will look like you made a bunch of finger grooves and not look all that great. But trust me, once it dries clear it’ll look a lot like rapids and waves.

final product

final appearance of the water effects

For those of you that want to see me build these pieces on video step by step then subscribe to Encounter Wargaming and hit the notification button so that when the tutorial for these pieces comes out this coming Tuesday you’ll be notified.

Until then please feel free to check out the other terrain blogs and videos at the links below.

Jungle Terrain Video Tutorial Playlist

Building a Bunker Part 1
Building a Bunker Part 2
Building Jungle Trees Part 1
Building Jungle Trees Part 2
Building Jungle Trees Part 3

Until our next Encounter!

Making a Jungle River – Part 1

By: Kitbasha Jay

This week we’re going to build some more terrain on the blog. Last week we built a large amount of Jungle Trees to complement the Jungle Terrain Series that you can watch on the Encounter Wargaming YouTube Channel right now and for the next few Tuesdays. So let’s start building a river.

We’ll start by cutting some random rectangles of foamcore the lengths and width we want our river to be. For the one I’m building I decided on 5″ wide. For the lengths I made a variety at 12″, 14″, 16″ and 18″ long. By starting them all as 5″ wide rectangles it ensures that when I cut them into rough shapes they will still line up with one another. The next step is to take your knife and just run it over the long edges of each rectangle to create a squiggly line as an edge.

Pro Tip: When you start your knife don’t cut into the very end of the piece. As long as you leave both ends at 5″ it doesn’t matter what width other parts of the piece are. So long as the ends are all uniform they will all be interchangeable and not look weird or disproportionate to one another.

Once you have all your bases you have to build up the banks so that it somewhat appears that the river is recessed into the ground. I did this by running 3 beads of Latex Caulking along the edges of each piece. I then used my thumb to taper the edges down to make them appear more gradual. The picture below is what they will look like.

Caulking Banks

Once our caulking has dried we’re going to whip out our spackle. Just like we did on the bases of our trees last week, we’re going to build up the banks and cover as much of the foam edges as we can with spackling. Just make sure to taper the banks down toward the middle of the river. Also make sure that the outside banks have a nice bevel on them. I also added some large rocks down the center of a few of the river pieces before adding the sand.

When the spackle is dry it’s time to cover these pieces in playground sand. Take some PVA glue and paint the entirety of the piece and then sprinkle sand on every inch of them. We want the same dirt below the stream as is surrounding the stream. We’re not going to tint the resin we use as water so we want the sand under the water to be the same as elsewhere.

Once the playground sand was dry it was time to start painting them. I started as per usual with a satin espresso rust paint. This gives the piece a nice deep brown colour to build up from. It being rust paint it also covers quickly with little paint and seals the sand in nicely. From this basecoat we can start painting them with our acrylics.

Tomorrow on the blog we’ll paint the pieces to match the other pieces I’ve done for this table. If you want to check out the other blog posts check out these links.

Building a Bunker Part 1
Building a Bunker Part 2
Building Jungle Trees Part 1
Building Jungle Trees Part 2
Building Jungle Trees Part 3

If you like these and want to see the tutorials in video format follow along with the Jungle Terrain Series over the next few Tuesdays. While your on the Channel page make sure to hit subscribe if you haven’t yet. There will be plenty of terrain in our future.

Until our next Encounter!

Inches & Cubes Podcast Episode 18 – Sons of Titan – Faction Focus Grey Knights

In this special breakfast episode, the gang sits down with returning special-guest Simon [REDACTED] to dig into the lore and new rules of the Sons of Titan, the Grey Knights.

Building Jungle Trees Part 3

By: Kitbasha Jay

So far this week we’ve been building some trees for our jungle table. On monday we built the trees. Yesterday we painted them. Today we’re going to add greenery.

The first thing you will need is an assortment of fake plants. I went to my local Dollarama and grabbed as many different types of green plants I could find. Everything from topiary balls to vines to large leafy plants. After you have all the plants you want to use, simply cut them into smaller pieces. I used cheap plastic containers to store all my plants in, seperating them by type.

plastic plants

Now that we’ve got all our plastic plants divided up accordingly we’re going to use them to create ground foliage. We want to simulate small shrubs and bushes. Much like we did with our bunker, we want to take our pin drill and make holes wherever you would like to place some plants.

I like to put them near the bases of the trees. For some reason small plants like to grow near the trunks of larger trees. Also this allows you to populate the template with foliage without loosing too much space to place miniatures on the piece. We still want these terrain pieces to be practical. Also feel free to add a few here and there in any spaces that look too naked and barren.

Once you have all your holes drilled where you want the foliage use some 5 minute epoxy to glue the stems of the plants into the holes. This will make them considerably stronger than just glueing them onto the base. We want these pieces to be practical and pretty.

trees with ground foliage

Not only did I add plastic plants but I also added some clump foliage here and there. The trick with clump foliage is to spray it down after you’ve glued it on and that glue is dry. I achieved this with a PVA and alcohol mixture. I prefer this over PVA and water because alcohol has less surface tension than water and soaks in much better. I will go into this in more detail in the video next Tuesday. To make sure you get notified go to Encounter Wargaming and hit subscribe.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. Once we have all our ground foliage in place and dry, it’s time to add the canopy. For this I used an assortment of large leaves from dollar store plants. Some of them looked too fake and so I had to paint them with some spray paint, others looked pretty good as is. They already had veins and texture on them. All of them, whether painted or not, received a couple coats of black wash. This not only kills the shininess of the fake leaves but also brings out all the crevices and bumps on the leaves that were unseen before this step.

large leaves

Once we have our leaves the way we want them we’re going to glue them on. This is done the same way as the ground foliage. Simply find points on the trees that you want the leaves to be growing from. Then take your pin drill and put holes where you want them to be.

After that use the 5 minute epoxy to glue them in. Some of the leaves may droop down as they dry. Unless you want to hold each leaf in place for 5 minutes at a time, I suggest propping them up with something. I used random bottles of craft paint. I simply stood them up under the leaves so that even if they decided to droop they would stop falling once they hit the top of the bottle.

finished trees

And that’s it guys. Now we have a wicked awesome set of jungle trees to add to our table. In combination with all of the other terrain pieces for this table, this gaming surface is going to look pretty awesome. I’ll make sure to post pics once it’s fully complete on the Facebook and Instagram pages. Also keep your eyes peeled for this coming Tuesday when you can see me build these pieces on video.

Until our next Encounter!

Terrain Tuesday – Building Jungle Trees Part 2

By: Kitbasha Jay

Yesterday we started building some Jungle Trees from basic materials. These are going to be added to the bunker we build a few weeks ago. I call this my “Jungle Fever” table and am doing it as a commission for a customer.

Today we’re going to paint and finish these trees so that we can move on to cooler pieces. There is eight bases of trees all together. Each one with approximately three trees each. The other terrain pieces that will be built for this table, much like the previous mentioned bunker, will also have trees incorparated to make this table feel like a 40K Jungle Death World.

So we left off yesterday with all of our pieces painted brown. The actual name of the spray colour used was “espresso”. Basically we were looking for a “burnt umber” shade. I prefer the rust paint for reasons I discussed yesterday. Once the coat of brown is dry we can start painting.

We start by painting the trunks of the trees with a “cinnamon brown” or the equivalent of what Citadel calls “mournfang brown”. I’d suggest using a craft paint for this stage not your good mournfang. We are going to go through a lot of paint and it will cost too much to use the good stuff.

Once that is dry we wash the trees with a black wash and the lower halves of the trunks get a green wash. I will go into detail much more on my strategy for applying terrain washes to wood and stone in more detail in next Tuesday’s video. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and you’ll be notified when it comes out.

After we’ve washed the trees we’re going to finish them off for now with a dry brush of the original cinnamon brown we used to base them. This will bring out all of the recesses and imperfections in the natural sticks. It will also make any remaining bark more apparent and show the remaining wood grain.

At this stage the base of our terrain piece will have wash and possibly light brown drybrush on it. We want to go around with our burnt umber and touch up all of the areas of ground around the trees that is no longer dark brown. This will ensure that the line between the wood and the dirt is apparent. Our final paint step will tie the whole piece together. At this stage we want things to differentiate.

I then took a yellow-brown paint called “yellow oxide” to drybrush all of the dirt areas. The yellow-brown differentiates from the cinnamon brown and creates subtle variety while still staying uniform. We covered up the areas of the dirt where the dry brush from the trees managed to get before but this time around we’re not going to worry if some of the dry brush from the dirt get’s onto the trees a bit. Be controlled and don’t try to dry brush the trees with this colour but also don’t cry if some gets on them.

trees after washes and dry brushing

Once the dirt is all dry brushed we are going to take a “bone” colour and dry brush the entire piece. Ground, roots, trunks, branches, every inch of the terrain piece should be dry brushed with this bone. This will provide highlights to the entire piece, while at the same time tying all he colours together. From a distance the pieces look unified. Up close you will see various shades of brown, yellow and green beneath all of the colours.

Pro Tip: For most of the piece I used a heavy dry brush. For the final step you want the lightest dry brush possible. Make sure that your brush has almost no paint on it at all. You can always give it another go if you think you went too light at first. If you put on this dry brush layer to heavy at first, you can’t reverse it. Take your time and be patient.

For this stage I generally used a water based acrylic house paint. The colour I used is “galvanized metal” It is the equivalent to Citadel’s “ushabti bone”. The reason for this is cost efficiency. Not only will I be doing a lot of terrain pieces with this colour but you will waste a lot when dry brushing. A lot more will get on your paper towel than on the terrain. So make it count and go bulk. The house paint also has a little more durability than craft paint. As a final step this fact simply gives me more peace of mind.

It just dawned on me how much rambling I’ve been doing. This is a good step for today’s blog tutorial. Tomorrow we’ll add ground foliage and large leaves for a jungle canopy. So join me for that.

If you want to check out this tutorial from the beginning just go to the bottom of this blog and it’ll be there as the previous link. If you would like to see this in video form just subscribe to our YouTube channel here and you will be notified next Tuesday when the video comes out.

Until our next Encounter!

Building Jungle Trees Part 1

By: Kitbasha Jay

A few weeks ago we built a bunker. Taking simple materials we built up a rather nice piece of terrain. This week we’re going to fill out the same terrain set with a large number of jungle trees.

To start off we need sticks. Lots and lots of sticks. For this I simply took my dog to the park around the corner. I let her think it was a game to find sticks and we gathered enough to fill a shopping bag. I then brought all the sticks home and let them dry out for a week or two.

Pile o sticks

I then cut arbitrary kidney bean shapes out of foarmcore. The best way to do this is to angle a very sharp Xacto blade so that as you slowly cut an oval shape you bevel the edges of the piece at the same time.

beveled edge

Then take a hot glue gun and glue on all the sticks in an upright position wherever you would like them on the foamcore base. Take the skinny sticks and glue pieces of them on angles leaning against the tree near the bottom. These will simulate roots. Don’t be afraid to use lots of hot glue. It will encure that these pieces stay in place once we build on top of them with spackle and glue.

Speaking of spackle, that’s the next step. Take some ordinary polyfila or dap and cover the entire base of the terrain feature. Use your finger near the tree trunks to smooth the transition between flat ground and tree trunk. Make sure while you do this to not completely burry the roots you’ve already glued on. You want them to be showing above the sand we’ll be putting on in a bit.

Next we need to add branches to the trees. Again you can use the small and skinny sticks to create branches. You can more or less put them wherever you would like provided most of them are growing out and up from the trunks of the trees.

Pro Tip: Make sure that when you connect the branches. You do this by drilling a hole down the center of the branch and in the side of the trunk with a pin drill. Then cut a piece of paper clip to act as a spine for the branch. Then use superglue to glue the pin inside the branch and into the trunk.

pinning tools

I apologize for not having pictures of the process of pinning all the branches but there was a lot of branches. If you want to see it in action check out the video tutorial next week on Encounter Wargaming. Until then, let’s keep going on these pieces.

Before we finish these with sand and a base coat of paint we have to make sure that the trees are sealed in. We’re using natural ingredients here and wood especially soaks up paint in undesirable ways. Also the only adhesive holding our pinned branches onto the trunk is superglue. Not good enough.

We want to take some PVA glue, not watered down, just straight out of the bottle, and paint the trees with a couple of thin coats. White glue is pretty much the same thing as wood glue. With a good coating of PVA, the trunks will harden and become more resilient to damage as well as being easier to paint and wash without bleeding.

Once this is done and dried we proceed by covering the spackled areas with PVA glue and sprinkle on some playground sand. This is a pretty self explanatory stage in the game. Not to sound condescending, but if you do this inside make sure you do this step with a sheet of paper, cloth or foil beneath your feet to catch any of the sand that falls as you sprinkle. This can be collected after and reused.

Once our sand is dry, we shake off the terrain pieces. This just knocks off any sand that is still loose after the PVA has dried. We don’t want this on there for the paint stage. If the sand is loose when you paint over it, it will definitely chip off in the future. Make sure all the sand that the PVA didn’t grab is shook loose.

Then we’ll take some brown paint and cover the entire piece. This can be done by painting on a layer of house paint with a brush. If you choose to use this method make sure that you purchase a water based acrylic. You can use craft paints too but I find you use it up too quickly when doing the entire piece. It’s much more cost efficient to buy a can of brown house paint.

trees after rust spray

I prefer to use spray paint. Rust paint to be more specific. I feel it seals in the sand quite nicely as well as covering pretty much any material without chipping. Make sure that when you purchase spray paint you get a matte finish. If you use a gloss the entire piece will be shiny and it will cause your acrylics to chip off when you paint on top of it.

Pro Tip: If you use spray paint make sure there is no exposed foamcore anywhere. If you have covered your piece fully in spackle and sand you should not have a problem. If any of the foam center of the foamboard is showing at all the accelerant in spray paint will cause it to melt.

Now that we’ve got a good base coat on them we’re gonna call it quits for today. Tomorrow we’ll start painting them. If you’d like to read the previous articles on building the jungle bunker click the links below.

Terrain Tuesdays – Building a Bunker

To get a notification when the tutorial on these trees will be released on YouTube please click here and hit subscribe. Make sure you hit that little bell so you get the notification when the full tutorial comes out on Tuesday the 19th.

Until our next Encounter!