I love playing Warhammer 40k – and its awesome when you’ve got fantastic 40k armies fighting across great terrain. However, much more emphasis is placed in the hobby on playing and painting than terrain. This project is dedicated to helping players experiment with making 40k terrain so they can enjoy 40k battles even more.
There are many aspects to making and using terrain. You have the 40k battlefield itself, miniature buildings, forests, ruins, objective and stratagem markers (for you Apocalypse, Cities of Death, and Planetstrike players), hills and more. It’s easy to obtain or make these wonderful 40k terrain items. Games Workshop has great sets to build from, some great insight in White Dwarf, and a good book How to Make Wargames Terrain. You can design and scratch building your own, too. All you need is some basic design ideas, some construction skills, and willingness to get dirty with paint and glue.
One thing many hobbyists forget is to make sure their terrain is suitable for the game and their models. You need to design and use terrain that works within the rules system (this is true for Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40k). Height of levels in cities, readily visible lines between open and area terrain, easily visible lines of sight, and other factors need to be considered. And it’s also important to consider how your models will play on the board. You can create great looking hills, bridges, buildings, and forests but if you can’t fit your models on them or they keep falling over, it really detracts from the game.
At first, you don’t have to make anything. You can use a green table cloth as the base for terrain and then put some store bought stuff on there to add some depth and gaming interest. You can start making small pieces – 40k barricades and maybe some design some simple war game terrain forests. Then work into making nicer and nicer things.
Making 40k battlefields is easy. Starting today, begin collecting odd bits of things that will be useful in making terrain. One of my favorite scratch build materials for 40k terrain are the foam and paper packing materials used in home electronics and kitchen appliance boxes. The formed paper packing materials can be used to make all sorts of absolutely fantastic 40k scenery – and sometimes all you need to do is paint it! Over time you’ll find tons of ways to use all sorts of odd bits you accumulate.
One of the easiest next steps is to start with Citadel Scenery kits. Some of the best looking 40k terrain uses kits designed for Cities of Death and Planetstrike. These kits are easy to assemble in custom layouts and can be augmented from your bits box. And don’t forget your unused bits from your models – these can be used to make great 40k objectives markers, stratagems for Cities of Death and Apocalypse, and really bring your land and c
ityscapes to life.
You’ll need some basic supplies. Various paper and plastic card stock, foam cutters, knives, glue, flock of all kinds, sand, glue, paint, brushes, forks, maybe a few saws, foam board, MDF, and more. It sounds like a lot, but you can buy things as you need and most of the items are fairly inexpensive.