All Along the Watchtower

By Theresa "Minipaintmaven" Mansfield

I was wandering 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 half-price only made the project sweeter! Here is a quickie for you:

Items needed

Christmas village piece


Silicone adhesive



Flocking material

White glue

Techniques used

Turning an every day item into terrain.

The Tower—$5.00

I cant 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 raiding party! Total time: 0 hours.

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: ½ hour.

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: ½ hour.

The Basecoat—$0.00

The only problem with the tower was that it had white paint speckles all over it. I guess it is supposed to be snow. I 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.


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 way from the piece than recommended on the can. I also held the piece at an angle so the paint would hit mostly the upper planes creating a sunlight look to it. Total time: 5 minutes.

Grays and Thatch—$0.00

I then used drybrushed the tower with gray and used a diluted sepia and black ink mixture for the thatch. Total time: 1-½ hours.


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 Vallejo Paint Green Brown. Total time: 1-½ hours.

Grass and Bushes—$0.00

When everything was dry I used white glue to affix the flock and clump foliage. Total time: ½ hour.

In closing

The entire piece cost about $5 because everything I used was left over from the past tutorials. The project took 5 hours and 40 minutes to complete. If I were starting over needing 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 surface. If this terrain piece didn’t turn out exactly how you would do it, I’ve shown you mine, now show me yours and we will compare.