Whether playing an epic, competitive 40k battle, story driven game of Stargrave or a casual skirmish game of Infinity, Killteam or Necromunda, scenery is a key part of any battlefield and coming up with cheap ideas for terrain can be time overwhelming. We’ve put together a few ideas to help you get started building a range of impressive terrain so that each battle is fresh and exciting.
How to make cheap terrain?
There are many traditional ways to create scenery but we highly recommend using 3D printers such as the Ender 3 to create your terrain as it allows you to access a wide variety of buildings, ruins, scatter terrain and obstacles with minimal effort. It’s a great alternative to laser cut, MDF scenery or terrain and you can print as many as you like for a fraction of the price.
3D printing is the way to go!
Hab blocks, shops, factories and other large structures are the building blocks of most battlezones. They easily provide line of sight blocking cover and the 90 degree corners make for great firing positions. Modularity is a key consideration when using buildings as it allows for different set-ups and themes if you can change the height, switch out the rooftops or add thematic features.
Ruins & Wreckage
Thematically, a battle-damaged building or crashed spaceship have a lot to offer. The irregular, line of sight blocking fragments provide interesting opportunities for snipers and partial cover to units whilst objectives can be hidden in the twisted remains.
Walkways & Gantries
Stairways and platforms can twist through your table across and provide vantage points that win the game. Modular walkways are an excellent addition to any game where warlords meet with no-where else to run! A good gantry system should allow you to build upwards as high as required and also stretch outwards.
Factory structures and modular pipeline systems are great for constructing your Hive City or Mechanicus factories. Chimneys block line of sight and armoured containers provide scalable cover.
Not only does scatter terrain add tons if thematic value, but it also provides excellent cover and vantage points. Scatter terrain can take many forms, but these small terrain pieces can include models such as shipping containers, ammo crates, debris, computer terminals and more!
Whilst not suited for large scale battles, tightly packed corridors and thematic rooms can be great fun to play on. Playable interiors include space ships, underground tunnels, dense city scapes or even factory floors amongst the busy machinery.
It’s relatively easy to include LED lighting into your terrain. There are options ranging in complexity, to wiring-free solutions, all the way up to programmable micro-controlled Arduino projects.
- Urban Slums STL BUNDLEProduct on sale
- Ultimate Pipeline STL BUNDLEProduct on sale
- Wasteland Skirmish STL BUNDLEProduct on sale
- Concrete Barriers STL$6.49
- Cargo Pallets STL$7.99
- Flatline City – Luna’s Observatory Telescope STL$12.00
- Flatline City – Corpo Tower STL$24.00
- Objective Room 8×8 STL$5.99
- Industrial Scatter Pack STL$9.99
Painting your terrain
We recommend using cheap and easily accessible paints such as craft acrylics or rattle spray cans. An airbrush can really speed up the process too! Below are some quick and easy painting tutorials for a range of terrain.