Bog Trog Swamp Terrain
by Pat "Pat" Ohta
I love the Bog Trog models and wanted to make some swamp terrain to go with them.
I liked Alfonso "The Traitor" Falco's swap terrain in No Quarter Magazine (issue 13) and used it as inspiration for my new set.
1/4" Blue foam
Woodland Scenic Realistic Trees
Green Tea Poweder
Woodland Scenics Fine Leaf Foliage
Step 1: The Structure
I wanted the swamp huts to look primitive and have high roofs. With this in mind I paid a visit to the neighborhood Asian dollar store. I immediately spotted something that could work—A tea cup and a sushi mat (1A).
Take the tea put and invert it on a piece of 3/4" foam. Using a pen, trace around the rim of the cut. Make two circles this way (1B).
Cut out the circles with a hot wire cutter. After cutting each circle out, trim the edges a bit to make sure it will fit into the cup (1C).
Glue the two discs together with hot glue. The sushi will make up the lower half of the hut. Figure out how big of a piece you will need and apply this measurement to the mat. Now apply strips of hot glue all along the back of the sushi mat. This will help to keep the mat together when it's cut (1D).
This is what happens if you don't apply some sort of backing to the mat (1E).
Use your clippers or another sharp implement to cut the sushi mat (1F).
Hot glue the sushi mat to the foam (1G).
Apply hot glue to the inside rim of the tea cup and insert the lower half of the hut (1H).
To make the door handles use a paper clip and shape it into a "C." Cut this off with clippers (1I).
Next use a pin vice to drill holes to anchor the door handle (1J).
Apply Crazy Glue to the holes and insert the door handle (1K).
The main structure of the hut is now finished. Next, I began to work on the chimney. I wanted this area to look like dried earth, and the hut to look like it was made out of materials found nearby. To achieve this look I mixed up some 2-part expoxy. To the epoxy I added various grades of sand, rocks, and static grass (1L).
Take the mixture and stick it to the top of the hut. Make a hole in the middle to show where the smoke comes out. Using your fingers, pinch the sides to create some height (1M).
Before the epoxy sets, insert some sticks into it. I used another mat I found at the dollar store (1N).
I find that odd numbers of items look best, so I stuck in 5 pieces. When the epoxy sets up, trim the sticks to different lengths (1O).
Your finished hut should now look like this (1P).
Step 2: The Base
To make the swamp, first cut out an irregular shape of foamcore. Use this as a template and trace it onto a piece of foam. Cut out the foam with a hot wire (2A).
Figure out where you want to place the huts and mark that area. Then cut out a hole where you want the swamp to be and using a hot wire cutter, taper the inside and outside of the swamp. Hot glue the foam piece to the foamcore (2B & 2C).
To texture the foam, I used a paper mache product called Celluclay. Mix up a batch of Celluclay by adding water and whiteglue. I didn't measure the proportions but went for a thick "tuna sandwich" consistency (2D).
Apply this mixture to the foam. Be sure to cover the inside seams where the foam meets the foamcore. Just add a light coating of Celluclay mixture. Be sure to smear it well so it doesn't lift off when dry. Be careful not to apply to thick of a coat of Celluclay otherwise it will take several days to dry. When this dries it will add an organic feel to the base (2E).
I wanted dead trees in the swamp. For this I added Woodland Scenics Realistic Trees (2F).
These trees come in two parts, a base and the tree. I wanted to make the trees removable for easy storage so I didn't glue them together. Glue the tree bases in the swamp. Now paint whiteglue onto the base and add sand and various sized rocks (2G & 2H).
Let this dry overnight, then prime it black. For one of my swamp pieces I had enough space to add a small fishing enclosure. To make this I cut another piece of mat and glued it to the base (2I).
The mat I used was a bit flimsy, so I added a few drops of Crazy Glue to strengthen it (2J).
Step 3: The Paint
Now, on to the painting. For the swamp, I based it on a 40/60 mix of Umbral Umber and Thornwood Green. I then highlighted up using Battledress Green, Traitor Green, Thrall Flesh and Jackbone. For the lower half of the hut, I based it in Battlefield Brown, and highlighted up with Battledress Green and Jackbone. For the roof, I based it in Bloodtracker Brown, and highlighted up with Beasthide, followed by Jackbone with a touch of Rucksack Tan. For the mud top I based it in Beasthide, and highlighted it with Traitor Green, followed by Bastion Gray with Menoth White Highlight. For the trees, I based them in Iron Hull Green and highlighted them with Frostbite and Thrall Flesh. Next, I added Woodland Scenics Static Grass to the swamp. Simply apply whiteglue to areas you want grass, take a pinch of grass and sprinkle it on the glue and blow the excess off. I applied the grass to patches on the land and on the edges of the swamp (3A & 3B).
Next I added Woodland Scenics Fine-Leaf Foliage to areas I wanted dead bushes (3C).
I applied this the same way using whiteglue. To finish off the swamp I added swamp grass by using Woodland Scenics Field Grass. Take a small portion of field grass, bundle it up and cut it to the desired length. I stuck these into the swamp using whiteglue (3D, 3E, 3F, 3G & 3F).
Step 4: The Water
After the glue dried, I applied the swamp water. I used Envirotex Lite, a slow drying two-part resin. Use equal parts of A and B and mix together in a cup (4A & 4B).
I wanted my swamp water to look as if it had a high concentration of algae in it. To accomplish this I added powdered green tea. Pour this into the Envirotex mixture and continue mixing for another few minutes (4C).
I mixed everything together for 7-8 minutes before I poured it into the swamp. This is what your water will look like when you use green tea (4D & 4E).
If you can't find powdered green tea, you can use Woodland Scenics Blended Turf for a similar result (4F & 4G).
Here is a simple Bog Trog Swamp set that can be easily stored and transported anywhere (4H, 4I, 4J, 4K & 4L).
'Til next time,