26 January 2018

Terrain Tutorial: Stone platforms

Frostgrave terrain need lots of line of sight blocking terrain. During some games, I found that my terrain didn't offer quite enough LOS block. So I've made some cheap platforms from scrap materials. They'll allow me to make 'cannals' and get higher terrain. I've made three, and as they are rather large, they cover half a 3'x3' board. 

To see the photos of the finished platforms, go to the bottom of the post.

Materials and tools
  • Polystyrene (mine is free and recycled).
  • Cardboard ('frozen pizza' boxes)
  • PVA glue 
  • Cheap acryllic paint
  • Sand
  • Hot Cutter (mine is a 10$ cheap one from china)
  • Snow: Mixed PVA glue, baking powder and white acryllics.
Step 1:
Take the polystyrene and arrange it in some large shapes. Make sure to incorporate some nice broad stairs into the design. I've made sure the stairs have room for a 40mm base, so models won't fall all over the place. Glue the polystyrene (I've used 2x 1'' boards) together and to a card board base. Use lots of glue and put it under pressure until dry.

I always add cardboard bases under my polystyrene terrain for some much needed strength.

Step 2:
Using the hot cutter, cut some nice big stone patterns into the platform. I've made the stone work plenty big. Mixing the size of stones, switching between square blocks and cobble stone. A lot of the final detail is secured at this point.

Step 3:. 
Mix PVA glue, dark grey (near black) acryllic, a tiny bit of sand and some water. Paint it into all the deep areas on the build. The glue help strengthen the polystyrene build.

Step 4: 
Make a mix like above but in a lighter colour and with a bit more sand in it. Paint all your platforms. I paint random stones on the platforms. When I run out of paint mix, I try to get a new nuance in the next mix. So there'll be a nice mix by the end.

Step 5: 
Use some Agrax Earthshade on areas painted in non-grey colours (sand and grey on my builds). Add snow mix, edge highlights (done quickly with a large brush) on the stones and other detailing. I've been using a bit of flock, basing flowers and added some old Games Workshop 'Ruined Temple' skulls.


Platform 1

Platform 2

Platform 3


  1. Nice! Very simple too. I need some of these for my table

    1. You should do that. Such an easy way to add some height to the table. And the can be stacked for a an even higher platform.

  2. This looks brilliant, great work.

    I'd like to know more about this: "Using the hot cutter, cut some nice big stone patterns into the platform. I've made the stone work plenty big. Mixing the size of stones, switching between square blocks and cobble stone."

    Do you have a simple technique or is it just patience and trial and error?
    Do you just gently run the hot wire across the top of the polystyrene?
    Do you use a ruler to get straight lines?


    1. Hello Mr. or Ms. Unknown.

      Not much trial and error in the process, it worked the first time. I just went for it making around 2-4 mm deep lines with the hot cutter. No ruler, needs to look organic (?).

      So no technique - which must be as simple as it gets. I did however look at some photos of pavement, cobblestones and the like on goodle. Get some ideas for patterns.

      I find the hot cutter a very intuitive tool to work with. very easy.

      Hope it helps.

    2. Great, thank you!

      It's Pete, BTW, I have no idea why it posted me as unknown!

      I think your terrain is amazing - have you got any more ideas for sci-fi snowy terrain?

    3. There's a good deal of scratch build or expanded scifi terrain on the blog. But I'm going for rundown, rusty indudtrial myself.

      But rust and snow could be a cool combo