All Along the Watchtower
by Theresa "MiniPaintMaven" Mansfield

I was wondering through my local craft store after Christmas and picked up a great little piece that, with a little work, would make a marvelous addition to my gaming table. The fact that I found it in the bargain bin at the half-price only made the project sweeter! It is important to note here that this is not a tutorial about being in the right place at the right time, but more how to make a terrain piece out of ordinary items. Anyway, here is a quickie for you...

Materials Needed:
Christmas village piece
Masonite
Silicone adhesive
Spray paint
Dirt
Flocking material
White glue

Step 1: The Tower—$5.00
I can't believe I found this Christmas decoration for $5! It is amazing what is available for the price right after a holiday. Next time you have a chance to visit a craft store jump on it like viking pillagers on a raid! Total time: 0 hours.

Step 2: The Base—$0.00
I grabbed a piece of scrap Masonite (left over from previous terrain projects) and cut out a loose shape and beveled the edges. I then attached the tower with silicone adhesive. Total time: 1/2 hours.

Step 3: The Dirt—$0.00
I affixed a layer of dirt and pebbles to the base with white glue and allowed the piece to dry. Total time: 1/2 hour.

Step 4: The Basecoat—$0.00
The only problem with the tower was that it had white paint speckles all over it. I guess it was supposed to be snow. It might be OK for some people but I had to do something about it so I rummaged through my step-father's spray cans and found some Krylon Flat Brown and gave the entire piece a good coat of paint. Total time: 5 minutes.

Step 5: Mid-ranges—$0.00
While the brown paint was still wet I hit it with a light coat of Krylon Khaki. I did this by holding the can further away from the piece than recommended on the can. I also held the piece at an angle so the paint would hit mostly on the upper planes creating a sunlit look to it. Total time: 5 minutes.

Step 6: Grays and Thatch—$0.00
I then drybrushed the tower with gray and used a diluted sepia and black ink mixture for the thatch. Total time: 1-1/2 hours.

Step 7: Highlights—$0.00
To finish it off I applied a mixture of white and gray to all of the upper-most edges that would face the sun. For the thatch I used a green brown paint. Total time: 1-1/2 hours.

Step 8: Grass and Bushes—$0.00
When everything was dry I used white glue to affix the flock and clump foliage. Total time: 1/2 hours.

In Closing
The entire piece cost about $5 because everything was left over from the past tutorials. The project took about 5 hours and 40 minutes to complete. If I were starting over needed to buy the paint etc., it would have cost more like $20.

I am happy with the way it turned out and think it will make a fine addition to my playing table.

Maven