The Orgoth Invasion of Khador: a modular terrain board

Thanks! The waterline isn’t really finished yet, there are some more steps I still want to do with it (paint some more whitecaps, add a little more sand texture variation, and then gloss varnish the ocean so it looks shiny&wet).

But anyway, I can post a step-by-step of what I’ve done so far. It’ll be later today because I have to get some pics off my phone first. But I can tell you that the most important thing I did to get started was to simply image search on DuckDuckGo for “aerial photo of beach”, which turned up this lovely photo:

and most of what I did was simply trying to color-match that :slight_smile:


You have mad skills, my friend! Well done!

Thank you in advance. What I’m mostly hoping for is things like what brushes or other tools you used for various steps, and how you used them (I did some Bob Ross-style painting a few years ago, and that made me realise that the right tools and the right technique can really make the magic happen all by itself).

OK! Brushes and tools!
I used a random assortment of large, medium, and small, cheap artist paintbrushes here. Nothing special or fancy, just like the kind of assortment you can get in a plastic bag off the rack at Michael’s or equivalent craft supply store.
The paints were similarly a random mix of different brands of cheap acrylic craft paint. No sense using expensive miniature paints here. I used only six colors: White, black, brown, green, blue, and an orangey-yellow.

I got some apple juice bottles out of the recycle bin (my daughter drinks a ton of apple juice so we always have a lot of these) and used them as mixing pots. Tip: always mix up a big batch of each color in an airtight container, so you have plenty to paint multiple projects with, and you don’t have to try to recreate your color matches later.

My “Dry Sand” color started with the yellow-orange. I added brown to desaturate and white to lighten. I just mixed it by trial and error, adding more white if it was too dark, more brown if it was too saturated, until it looked like the photo.

“Wet Sand” is the same with less white and more brown.

“Light Seawater” is an equal mix of blue and green with a tiny dab of black. “Dark Seawater” is the same with a little bit more black.

Painting: my base surface is MDF (medium density fiberboard) from Home Depot. It has a rough side and a smooth side. I painted the smooth side. I didn’t sand it, prime it, or do anything special like that, I just started painting. I thinned the paints with water just enough for the brushes to stop leaving visible bristle lines in the brushstrokes, but no more than that.

I measured 10" up from one edge of the board (because 10" is how much water Dark Tide scenario #2 specifies) and marked both edges with pencil, then I drew a wiggly line between them. This way both boards, and any future boards, can match up when placed edge-to-edge. The shoreline can do any crazy wiggles in between as long as it starts and ends at the 10" mark.

On the inland side of that line, I painted about half the board with dry sand, then wet sand up to the wiggly line. I went for a fairly sharp dividing line rather than blending, because on a real beach the line between wet and dry sand is pretty noticeable.

On the ocean side, I painted about 1/3 of the way up with dark seawater, then the rest of the way with light seawater. Along the border I blended light and dark together into a gradient, by wetting another brush with water and smearing the two colors of wet paint into each other.

Finally, once all that is dry, I did the white seafoam. This is the part that really “sells” it as looking like realistic ocean, so this is the place to put in the effort. I took a smaller brush and watered down some white paint until the brushstrokes were pretty translucent. You want some of the underlying sand color to show through, because sea foam isn’t totally opaque. And you never want to paint a smooth line - it looks much too clean and artificial. Instead, stipple it - jab the brush randomly here and there along the line so that you get lots of random variation - more opaque in some spots, less in others.

If you look at the reference photo you can see there’s 2 waves. The earlier wave has already gone as far as it can up the beach, spent its energy, and is starting to recede, with foam and water trickling back down to the ocean. At the same time, a little further out to sea, a second wave is just cresting.

For the cresting wave, the shoreward side is pretty sharp, but the seaward side is more of a gradient. So while the light seawater color was still wet, I blended the white into it by dragging the white seaward with a wet brush and randomly stippling with water to do a purposefully messy wet blend.

For the receding wave, I stippled a front line a couple inches onto the “wet sand” color, then dragged paint backwards in random, wiggly rivulets towards the edge of the breaking wave. I made these rivulets randomly split and merge with each other.

And that’s pretty much all I’ve done so far. I also mixed some green and black and stippled a wiggly line up near the top of the beach to be the pile of dead, rotting seaweed that you always find at the high-tide line (that’s everybody’s favorite part of going to the beach, right?) but it’s optional.


Thank you! That’s very helpful! :+1:

Here’s all the snowy hills, now fully sealed with varnish. Here’s the set spread out, and then below, the whole set assembled into one massive centerpiece hill. The flat edges are always either 6" or 12" long, so they can line up nicely in various configurations. I might still make a few more hills pieces to add to this set - they’re pretty easy to make now that I have the procedure down.

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Sea stacks!

These are meant to be placed in the ocean part of the table, and be impassible terrain. The rock part made of foam offcuts, stuck together on BBQ skewers, and glued down to some wooden ovals (which they sell for cheap in the woodworking aisle of Michael’s craft store, and make great basing for small terrain pieces) with a little gravel. The waves are built up out of several layers of Liquitex Modeling Paste (Professional Acrylic Modeling Paste | Liquitex) which is a very versatile material

I basecoated everything with dark grey + Mod Podge, then I stippled various shades of brown (brownish-green, brownish-yellow, brownish-red) randomly over the rock areas. I washed it with a black wash I made from Black Magic Crafts’ recipe (⚠️How to Make a *BETTER* Black Wash for Terrain - RECIPE - YouTube ) then drybrushed with medium and then light grey.

The water I painted with the same dark seawater and light seawater colors as I used on the beach baseboard, then drybrushed with white, making sure to get the tips of the waves (where it’s mostly foam) all the way to pure white.

The last step, which I haven’t done yet, will be gloss varnish on the water to make it look wet & shiny.

Now that I’ve ordered the Brineblood preview box, I’m thinking that the coastline part of this terrain set will make a great home for them. I’m planning some more scatter terrain for the beach, such as a shipwreck and a pier with some cargo.


Man, this is the part of the game I’ve really been missing. When I was in middle school first getting into minis games, they used to have massive diorama boards to play on at the one flgs. I was sooo disappointed to see they’d gone after I got back into it a decade later. Seeing these posts as really shown me what’s possible and rekindled a bit of that old hobbyist fire in my cold cold heart

This terrain looks absolutely epic! That is going to make for some truly epic pictures of games, not to mention the game itself feeling more alive.

Here is the beach scene I’m working on, these don’t reflect the most recent progress, but I’m in the middle of cleaning up my workspace so work got delayed and chaos is present en masse, lol. Hoping to finish mine up soon.


Holy crap, amazing!!! What are those Orgoth ships made from? They look like they’ve got rocket engines on the back! Are they an STL? Are you building them permanently into the board?

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The ships are built into the board, when I originally came up with the idea I was wanting to just a solid dioramic table, now looking back I do wish I had made them more modular for some of the scenery, like the ships and trench (which is dug into the actual table) but I did split into 3 sections and I plan on making pieces that will fit with the other sections to make them modular like that.

They are STLs, I had got them from Arcane Minis, they specialize in a lot of ships and such. They do indeed have rockets on the back, which isn’t super accurate with what we know, but upped the cool impact they gave so I went with it.

My next one that I’m going to work is a table that has a train that can move around the board each round. But making the buildings modular to be anything from industrial warehouse/shipping to civilian transportation, or even just tracks in the middle of some plains. So we will see how that one goes

Did some more work on the lighthouse. Since the last picture, I drybrushed the black parts with gunmetal , put some black wash on the rocks, and glued it to its base.

The ligthouse is actually made from an upside-down boba tea cup! The rocks are styrofoam. The doors, windows, crates and barrels are 3-d printed. The balcony is foam core board, and just wide enough for a 30mm base, with a railing made of toothpicks and coffee stir sticks. The “rivets” are stick-on rhinestones. The transparent “glass” top is a container from some weird chia-seed-based health-food snack I had. (It was… OK)

There is a 3-d printed 2-digit hit point counter build into the base, for use in the “destroy the lighthouse” black tide scenario.

There’s a hidden panel that slides out so the batteries can be changed. Did I mention it takes batteries?

When you flip the switch, the top lights up (I took apart an LED flashlight) and the reflector rotates around like a real lighthouse (using a 3V N20 motor and some 3d-printed gears)


Added the snow flock to these rock clusters today, so I’m calling them finished now.

I made 2 of them as a way to use up offcuts of styrofoam. I started with wooden ovals (from the woodworking section at Michael’s) that are 5" in the long direction, less than that in width. I just tacky-glued together piles of styrofoam chunks haphazardly, then attacked them with a hot wire tool. Filled in some gaps with air-dry clay, glued some sand and gravel to the base, and then painted with dark grey craft paint + mod podge. Then I drybrushed with successively ligther grey.

For vegetation, I glued on some small pine trees from a cheapo Christmas village set (extra cheap if you buy it the week after Christmas), some woodland scenics turf and static grass, and finally superglued on some real twigs from the garden.

Snow was a layer of Golden brand light molding paste onto all the upward-facing surfaces, with Army Painter snow (the kind that’s basically white sand) and baking soda sprinkled on top.

I’ve used these (pre-snow-flock) in several games already. They turn out to be a very good size - big enough for a warjack to hide behind, but small enough to be placed in a zone without making too much of it impassible.


So, I’ve been working on other stuff for a month, but I’m back to trying to finish this project now.

So far everything I’ve posted has been Khador, but the title is “Orgoth invasion of Khador”, so where’s Orgoth???

I present you, a WIP scratch-build Orgoth beach landing craft:

This is for the Black Tide scenario 2. (The scenario calls for four landing crafts, but no way am i building 3 more of these. The other 3 can be cardboard rectangles or something)

This is based on the description from the first chapter of the fluff:

“They featured a central hull between two long pontoons, each fitted with a paddle wheel. He watched as one crashed out of the water, its paddle wheels clawing up sand as it hauled its enormous bulk onto the beach like some vast sea monster. Every inch of the ship was carved with leering sinister faces and grinning skulls. A ramp hit the beach as the central hull opened like a great black maw and disgorged a tide of ghastly shapes”

pontoons: paper towel roll tubes. Smokestacks: empty mk4 magnet containers. Spikes: BBQ skewers. Paddle wheels and Orgoth logos: 3d printed. Main body: foam core, cardboard, empty miso container. Rivets: rhinestones. Screaming faces: milliput and a wet toothpick


Interesting build!

Where’d you get the Orgoth relief?

I created an STL file in CAD and 3D-printed it. Want a copy?

Maybe put them up as a download that everybody can access? I don’t have an easy means to print them, but maybe somebody can get some use out of it!

The forum will not allow me to post an STL file (the file types allowed are limited, which seems like a smart security feature). So instead, I uploaded it to Thingiverse. Here’s the link: Steampunk Demon-Viking Emblem by nindokag - Thingiverse