Skip to toolbar
Spring Cleaning in the burrows

Spring Cleaning in the burrows

Supported by (Turn Off)

Project Blog by newbolter

Recommendations: 401

About the Project

I started this project about a year back from memory. I finished a single burrow and started a dozen smaller projects for my board. Some are components salvaged from older unfinished boards for Bolt Action and Lord of the Rings. I haven' touched it in about 6 months and the spring cleaning challenge seemed like the perfect way o kick it off again and get some closure ;) Lots of scratch built and converted village houses and burrows to come.

This Project is Active

Step one, finish a small task first and celebrate.

Tutoring 2
Skill 3
Idea 2
No Comments

So I decided to get this little village home out of the way first to make me think know i was making progress;)

GW paints, mostly just baseboard, drybrush and a soft wash nover the rest.

The walls were done with two layers of Typhus corrosion to make a fine textured surface. That takes the wash well. I then sponged off the excess with a tissue and added some stippled browns and greens for moss and mud around the eaves.

Now onto some really old stuff…

Spring Cleaning part 1

Tutoring 2
Skill 4
Idea 3
No Comments

My spring cleaning challenge it to complete this dusty stack of unfinished terrain. They range in age from a year to decades, the tiny Shrewholm house is the latest, the paper tents were for Lord of the Rings back in it’s GW hey day.

A couple of these items might get away with a paint job but most of them have some serious detailing, new roofs to build, crops to sow and more.

Shrewholm village house.

Tutoring 6
Skill 6
Idea 6
No Comments

For this I used and old wooden block and two mdf triangles from a terrain kit. Layered up with paddlle-pop sticks for roof planks, a tongue depressor for the door and a pin for the chimney.

I think I’ll try form mould and moss on the door when its done.

A break from our scheduled terrain...

Tutoring 2
Skill 5
Idea 3
1 Comment

So I’m taking a little break from all the scenery to paint up a few residents for the village and having loads of fun with it. It’s really refreshing to work on just a couple of models at a time instead of huge squads (which i my usual thing).

So here are the first three completed minis for my collection, enjoy

The first three of many...The first three of many...
Gromley the mouse burglarGromley the mouse burglar
Jenni the hedgehog warriorJenni the hedgehog warrior
and Hollystone the squirrel nature mage.and Hollystone the squirrel nature mage.

If there’s any interest I’ll do a painting tutorial on some minis in later updates.


Cheers, T.

Detailing the village 3

Tutoring 5
Skill 5
Idea 5
No Comments
I don't think nature magic works that way....I don't think nature magic works that way....

So I took a day to work on a LOT of different things but focused on finishing one small project for the blog. The veggie patch!

This is a pretty easy build but does use a lot of different resources. YOu could swap them out for fewer or cheaper alternatives.


Here’s how:

-I grabbed a stack of cheap MDF coasters from a craft shop. I cut a rough square of very cheap sandpaper to fit the centre.

-I used dots of Elmer’s glue to avoid a whole layer warping (This is a test for a larger field) I also applied a border of super glue too.

-Then I glued some BBQ sticks where I wanted borders and some XPS foam strips where I wanted veggies (the foam is so I could push in the pins on the cabbages.

-I filled gaps with hot glue, smeared on some filler and used PVA glue to texture the rest with sand and grit.

-I sprayed it dark brown and dry brushed it up using a rich brown for the garden and a sandy brown for the edges…it made no difference because I rushed it.

Next up the veggies and other greenery.

-I bought some cheap cardboard blossoms from a craft store and loaded them up with a range of green washes, lighter in the centre and darker on the outer leaves.
This takes a while as the wash soaks in and reveals more white as it dries.

-I sprinkled some scatter onto the edges, added some small clump growths and a few rows of flowers and generic vegetation to the garden.


It will need a final spray of watered PVA to lock down the delicate parts before a matt varnish.

I think it looks perfect beside some of the town houses and I could easily make a few more to scatter about the place.

Hope you enjoyed this one, I sure did,

Cheers, T.

A room with a view: 4

Tutoring 5
Skill 7
Idea 6
No Comments

Not much of a tutorial this time, just some pics of the WIP of the bird house with Wee Jimmy Sparra for scale.



-I undecorated the whole thing in a dark brown for shading, similar to Rhinox Hide from GW.

-Next I directed some blasts of a pale tan (Zandri dust) onto the main wall panels and zenithal on the roof.

– Then I painted in some different panels of wood in other pale tones for variation. All the wood was then washed with dark brown and quick dried with a hair dryer.

-Some of the details needed a second direct shade to make them pop.

-The support beams and trusses were touched up with Rhinox hide and dry brushed.

-The eaves and window was painted dark angels green, direct washed in recesses and then dry brushed by adding zandri dust.

-Athonian camoshade, a dirty green wash, was applied to some areas to represent moss and mould. Some pva and scatter flock completed the effect.

-I added some vines here and there and filled the window box with flowers.



The next step is to either thatch the roof or, my preference,  to layer it with small sticks like an inverted nest.

I think this will look at home in a tree or on in town on some sturdy legs, like a water tower.


As always, comments and criticism welcome.


Cheers,  T.

Can't see the forest...

Tutoring 6
Skill 6
Idea 7
No Comments

After trying out hot glue as a base for bark I decided to do a batch of dead logs and trees to test some techniques on. Heres how:


-I found the best natural looking results were from a mixture of long and short sections of glue rather than just up and down lines.

-Random patterns and knot holes make a big difference.

-The trailing bits of glue dont look particularly good and need to be snipped off with some plastic cutters.

-I picked one set and undercoat it grey to see how it looked and it was too smooth and the lines looked really obvious.

-My first texture test is to brush it all over with  GW texture paint and then a few blobs of crackle paint to experiment with bark texture.

A room with a view: 3

Tutoring 7
Skill 7
Idea 8
No Comments

Time to add detail to the birdhouse.

-First I replaced the perch with one big enough for some of the larger birds to use (or a couple of Sparrows to have a cuppa and a chat)
-Then I cut some pop sticks to size and added uprights and corner braces to the walls like on Tudor houses.
-Next I laid out a platform of mini sticks for a sculpted awning. I traced the shape of the hut onto them for a better fit, cut them to size and glued them onto a support beam before adding them to the house too.
-Next I cut a balsa disc to the curve of the wall, same as the previous method. Then I added some little walls to it using off cuts from pop sticks. It will be a flower filled window box in the end.

And that’s about it.
My minis have finally arrived too so I’m mixing my time between terrain and painting.

Cheers, T.

Fit for a Sparra

A room with a view: 2

Tutoring 10
Skill 10
Idea 9
No Comments

OK, so it’s been a while since I worked on the bird house and today I tackled the tree to set it in.
I used some aluminium wire about 2-3 mm thick and cut it into 20-30 cm lengths.

I took about half and twisted them together then added the other lengths a few at a time and twisted them around to make roots.

Top lengths were pared off and twisted out into branches.

Step oneStep one

Next I grabbed an old rock pile I had sitting around. It’s just cork tile glued into layers.
I twisted the roots around to they’d grip the rocks.
Then I used some small U shaped wire hoops that I cut off branches that were too long.
I pushed these through into the cork and added some super glue. It doesn’t matter if it looks odd at this stage as the next step covers everything up.

After a discussion on a terrain group I settled on hot glue to make the bark. This is because the tree is very tall, about 30cm and needs to be sturdy but have some flexibility.
I added it in several layers, the first was quick and messy just to get the shape, the subsequent layers more directed and styled.

I used downward strokes of glue to make the tree similar to a fig with large buttressed roots and lots of hollows.

And that’s it for now. Next up is some texturing for the bark and detailing the base.

Cheers, T.

Burrows 4: Finally some paint!

Tutoring 6
Skill 12
Idea 11
No Comments

OK, so it’s not completely finished but here’s where it’s up to now.

I wanted it to look like it’s residents, so here’s a spiky haired hedgehog house. I may peel a few tufts off and I’ll certainly be adding more static grass and mossy flock too.
The fenced off area will have a small vegetable patch with some sculpted pumpkins and the like.


Anyway, hope you’ve enjoyed the project so far.


Cheers, T.

Burrows 3: Windows on the world part 2

Tutoring 8
Skill 9
Idea 9
1 Comment

OK, so it’s a door not a window but here’s the second method for doing stone frames.

-This one I started by rolling out a thicker section of green stuff onto some plastic sheet.
-Next I cut it with a hobby knife to form some rough trapeziums and push in the joins with a sculpting tool to represent rounded stones.
-This line is left to semi-cure for about an hr.
-Corner stones and a large key stone are pushed onto the door now.
-Once the other stones are semi-cured, they are peeled carefully off the plastic and put in place around the door with PVA glue. The semi-cured nature means that there is still some play in the putty to change their shape to fit the door better.

And that’s method 2.

Cheers, T.

Burrows 3: Windows on the world part 1

Tutoring 10
Skill 9
Idea 9
1 Comment

So the detailing on the burrows continues. Today it’s working on some green stuff window ledges and frames to represent simple stone and bricks set into the dirt wall.
I used two different techniques which I’ll explain as I go.

Method 1

-Roll out a sausage (technical term) of green stuff onto some damp plastic sheet. I use and old overhead projector transparency but a zip lock baggy does just as well. This allows us to peel off (or slice off if you stuff up the dampness  like me) the item later to apply it to the model.

-Peel away the green stuff and curl it around the window like a snake, using a damp finger to smooth out any lumps.

-Then wet the blade use a hobby knife to score line in to delineate the bricks. Don’t press to hard or you’ll drag the putty away from  the window.

-Next use a sculpting tool to press back towards the window at each join in the bricks to create the impression that they have rounded corners. You can widen the gaps int he bricks and create cracks and chips at this point too.

-Smooth over the whole circle with a damp finger to round off the edges and leave it to set.

I tried out two windows, one with a large curve of stone for a ledge and one that was just all stones of a similar size.

That’s method one, back soon with more.

Village details: 2

Tutoring 8
Skill 9
Idea 9
No Comments

One of the things I love to do when I work with green stuff is use the leftovers to make odd bits for future projects. In this case its baking

I use plastic sheets, zip bags or similar to sculpt on so I can peel the item off later on.

Heres a range or bread rounds, loaves, pie tops and so on.

I’ll make a small village bakery later on.

Cheers, T.

Village details:1

Tutoring 12
Skill 13
Idea 12
No Comments

Similar to Justin, I love all the little bits of scatter that make a board a real place.


To that end, while my other projects were drying I grabbed a handful of mini lolly sticks, wooden discs, cardboard and some BBQ skewers and got cracking.

Step one. Build a platform using superglue. Lie the sticks flat to get them lined up and glue another across them around where the axle would be. Then trim some more sticks and cover the ends.
Some MDF off-cuts and press-outs form supports for the walls and the drivers seat.

The assembled body of the cart.The assembled body of the cart.

Next, I scored some planks into two wood discs and glued them back to back to get the right thickness. I added smaller discs and a square bolt to the centre for the attachment lugs and wheel guards.

Village details:1

I glued another disk on the inside of each wheel so they wouldn’t sit flat against the wagon and glued them on.

Village details:1

Last off I added some detailing using cardboard to represent metal banding and supports. If i really feel like it i’ll add some nail heads or bolts to these but it’s optional.

I’m not sure about beasts of burden in Burrows and Badgers to I’ll add some twine bindings to the spars at the front to represent where animals can pull it as a team like a team rickshaw.
And that’s where I’m up to on that so far 🙂

Cheers, T.

Village details:1

Burrows 2

Tutoring 11
Skill 11
Idea 12
No Comments

Now, with the basic shells intact, I’ve added some extra details.
The fences are are just mini lolly sticks cut in half with bbq skewers for the corner posts.
The chimneys are some old painted blocks and beads with drawing pins on top for the ceramic chimney pots. They’ll get some bricks glued on made from card or thin putty.
I think I’ve made them small enough to avoid any critters pulling a Santa to get inside, but those Shrews are pesky little blighters.
I finished off this stage with some stepping stones made from off cuts of MDF. I’ve sliced the edges and used non-uniform thickness to make them look like gathered stones.

Comments and criticisms welcome 🙂

Cheers, T

Burrows 1

Tutoring 12
Skill 12
Idea 14
No Comments

The Burrows are meant to look like there would be more to them underneath but also like they’d be a cozy cottage inside. Definitely inspired by Hobbits.

I started with a foam egg, used hot glue to attach it and seal the joins.
Then I started on some windows and doors by scoring some wooden discs. Then I added banding, nail holes, door handles are from paper clips bent and pinned in place.


Cheers, T

A room with a view: 1

Tutoring 5
Skill 14
Idea 17

Bird brained schemes.

So while I’m waiting for my rule book and minis to arrive from Oathsworn, I decided to have a go at making some characterful scenery for my board. I’m planning on a small village area with a range of houses for different animal types.

I headed off to the craft shop and found this balsa bird house.

I scored in some wooden planks as well as nail holes. Later on I’ll mount it in a large tree and add thatch to the roof.

Simple start to get things going.