Tuesday, 30 November 2004

A terrain experiment

I borrowed [Games Workshop](http://uk.games-workshop.com)s latest [terrain book](http://uk.games-workshop.com/storefront/store.uk?do=Individual&code=60049999083&orignav=9) from Alan the other day. It did not leave much of an impression on me -- I find that it leans too much towards the results of terrain building and not to the terrain building itself: lots of eye candy but not enough hard information and tutorials on actually building the terrain, but that can be just me.

One good idea that I did get from the book however, was the use of dyed bathroom towels as terrain material. In a somewhat uncharacteristic burst of enthousiasm, I decided to try this out myself. I 'rescued' an old towel from an ignominious fate in the waste bin (no matter the fact that it wasn't quite at that stage yet -- let's hope my wife has not counted the towels) and dyed it green. This is a small photo tutorial on how I did it.

Paints and an innocent towelThe dramatis personae: green and black paint, burnt sienna pigment and an innocent towel. The paints are actually textile paint, but that does not matter for this -- they could have been normal acrylic paints as well. They are also quite old, as you can still spot the price tags in Belgian Francs, so they have to be pre 2002 (when the Euro was introduced as a day to day currency). The pigment I used is normally intended to be put into white household paint to generate your own private colour -- very chic. Belgian DIY'ers will recognise the house brand of Brico, a fount of inspiration for wargamers.

The towel being dyed
Work in progress. The unsavoury pea soup like mixture in the bucket is water with a bit of the green textile paint and just a squirt of burnt sienna. It does not need much -- there's about half a teaspoon's worth of paint and a quarter of that in pigment to about 3 litres of water. I did not use the black paint as I thought the colour of the mixture was a nice olive shade which looked quite natural. The towel is just dunked into the bucket and left there for a few minutes.
The dyed towelThe result - a green towel. Notice the more saturated green spots where the green paint was not mixed properly. In this picture, the towel looks fine, but after drying, I find it to be a bit too light. Perhaps with the next towel (one is bound to wear out soon, no?) I'll either add more paint or add some black to the mix.

I plan on using the towel cut up into irregular pieces, drybrushed and covered with various grades and colours of flock to break up open and grassed terrain. We'll see how it works out.


  1. Don't overdo it! We do not want to be given notice of your arrival by a certain smell carried by the wind as a result of towel shortage in the bathroom...

  2. why are most messages sent by Mr Geudens followed by an advertisement for penis enlargement?
    Don't tell me it's a coincidence Rudi!