Part 1: Making Scenery With Character

Good Evening!

Tonight is the first installment on how to make scenery with character from scratch! Part 1 will focus on the research and planning of your scenery before you get started creating.

Lets begin!

Currently Games Workshop makes some amazing peices of scenery. They have more modular pieces then ever, more battlefield markers and debris and more options that work for a multitude of games-not just one universe. But sometimes the scenery can feel uninspired. No matter how many different ways you paint it, you seem the same Chaos Gate, or the same defense line or the same bunkers or craters. This is where YOU come in to play! Make you own!

Once upon a time GW did not offer scenery. Instead the offered some great How-To’s in White Dwarf and released some excellent instructional books. Of course those are long since gone with the new scenery lines, and you cant blame them-its added revenue. There are some pretty important skills that are quite simple to learn that can enable you to make great scenery and we will go over a few of those in later segments.Before you can make greta scenery you have to have a clear vision.

Reference Photos

Once you have come up with a vauge idea of what you would like to make, I feel it is very important to do some research prior and seek out some reference photos to use throughout the project. These photos will help you capture small nuances and details that will give the project the character it needs to be unique. There are a few ways you can do this. Google image search…of course…or if you are lucky enough…an actual visit.

The Idea

Before GW built the imperial bunkers, I had decided I wanted to create a bunker that had hints of the Atlantik Wall and the Maginot Line. There were some key architectural features that I always found visualy interesting and I wanted to incorporate them into my model. It was during research that I found that a turret from the Gneisenau was used in a static battery in Norway. How awesome is that? A battleship three gun turret on top of a bunker? Sign me up! These ideas i thought up around 2009 when I started the project. I got to a point and then life got in the way. Fast forward to 2015 and I find myself visiting the USS Iowa in San Pedro. Call me motivated. Immediately after I vist Fort Mac Arthur on the cost and seek more inspriation including acouple of restriced photos. I know have all the ammo I need to rock on the project.

Key Features and Focal Points


Atlantik Wall Position-Key Features-Stepped shell deflecting concrete, beveled edges


Maginot Line Heavy Gun Casemate-Key Features-Shell deflecting embrasure, Moss, Overgrowth


Gneisenau Turret-Key Features-Proximity to ground, overal design


Yamato Turrer-Key Features-Overall Turret Shape


Fort MacArthur-Key Features-Gated access, set in hillside


Fort Mac Arthur-Key Features-Service entrance, iron gates, shell, name of battery, erosion

Bringing It All Together

Now that you have your reference photos and have highlighted your key features, you are ready to start your project. You should have a general idea of the rough shape of the object and certain features you want to implement. Remember to go back and check your photos or even try and find more. You can never have to much inspiration.

Coming Up…

In our next segment we will work with planning out our project and getting the basic shape underway. We will start working on some of the key features and tying them in to our reference photos.


5 thoughts on “Part 1: Making Scenery With Character

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s