Trenchers Dig In
by Jon "CryxJon" Baker
This is my first tutorial so bear with me. The idea for Trenchers Dig In came from the old "Necessity is the mother of invention" theory. My friend ad I were playing and he'd never played with a unit before and he usually played against my other friends Khador units who always Shield walled wherever they may go. So when he first started, all of his trenchers were bunched up but when he moved them he kept forgetting which of his guys were entrenched and which were not. He beat me as i recall (not very hard to do, sadly) but one of the post-game wrap up comments was "I wish I had some way of marking which of those trenchers were entrenched." DING! With that and the knowledge that his birthday was coming up anyway, I figured i'd try my hand at terrain making.
Pink foam (1/2")
Hot wire foam cutter
Step 1: Mark Your Pink Foam
Grab a relatively square chunk of pink foam. I've just been hacking off what I need so it's always good to have a straight edge to work from. Mark a half-inch in from one side and the other edge. Grab a small base (or a medium one if you have a warjack or a large one for the chain gun crew) ad "smush" (it's a technical term) it into the corner where your two lines meet up, this will give you a general idea of the size of the base you're constructing the entrenchment around. Then draw a line on the opposite side of the indent you got from the smush. Draw another line out half an inch from that line. That will give you the general layout of the entrenchment. Add another line another half inch out and repeat for however many trenchers you have. After you get your lines laid out, go ahead and chop out the "squares." So now you have the outermost dimensions of the entrenched tokens, go ahead and freehand the curves so they're not as blocky on the corners, I used the indention of the base for the interior curve. After you get your corners curvier, freehand another line between the two at about a quarter of an inch, this will be the top of the entrenchment.
Step 2: Cut Your Pink Foam
Rough cut the inside where your trencher is going, then cut the outside ring going from the outer edge at the bottom to the middle line at the top. Repeat this process from the inside so you have a pile area where the trencher dug in.
Step 3: Basing
I recommend painting the whole thing with a few coats of brown as a base. I'm sure I'll get yelled at for wasting painter or something but hey... You need to get a bit creative when you base them. I base the whole thing to give it a polished look.
Step 4: Add Dirt
I used a 50/50ish whiteglue/water combo. Just slop it on and add the "dirt" I did the outside first and then the inside. Once you add the dirt and let it dry, I shellacked the heck out of it with a water/glue combo just 'cause my friend is kind of a neat freak so I wanted a very solid dirt that didn't break off easily plus it is going on and off the table a lot so...
Step 5: Paint
I put in a wash of black just to add shadow,I'm using a stand of pink foam with pushpins for it so I could do both inside and outside, it's a bit unstable but for the wash... (meh). After the wash dried, I painted the bottom of the base again just to clean it up. I'm a big fan of making the pink foam look like anything other than pink foam you can leave the base if you want. I then used a thick dry brush of brown and then a light dry brush of tan. Then I added some static grass to the front of the arc and the back. I also tripped across some shovels in our local hobby store's knickknack section for the trains so I grabbed those and gave 'em to my friend to add as he saw fit. I'm pretty happy with the whole look, I'm up in the air on the grass as this is first terrain attempt but still was kinda fun. Hope this works or gives ya'll ideas, next tutorial is going to be craters and it'll be basically the same thing round.
Jon "Cryxjon" Baker