Thursday, March 6, 2014

Super Easy Scatter Terrain: Barrels

by Novus

To me, terrain is just as fun to make as the models.  Like the table top models we so lovingly put together and paint, the quality of the terrain we play on adds tremendously to the quality of the game experience.

I recently bought a handful of vacuum formed terrain from FRP Games.  The first one I decided to work on was this low concrete barricade (photo above).  The barricade itself isn't very detailed so I decided to add some roughly cut diamond plate for the stepped area, some wooden planks for walkways, some sandbags, and a pallet of drums/containers.

Here is a fast way to create some decent barrels for use on your terrain.  You'll need:
  • A tube of Shoe Goo (for terrain, this stuff is amazing!)
  • Matched pairs of screw-top bottle caps (e.g. from Coke or wine bottles)
  • Scrap polystyrene sheet in a very thin gauge
  • Scissors to cut the sheet

Check your caps to make sure they meet up around the edges properly.

Cut a strip of sheet so that it can be rolled into a cylinder that just fits inside the matched caps.

Slather some Shoe Goo onto the inside wall of one of the caps.

Roll up your cylinder and place it inside the Goo'ed cap.  Give it a twist to more evenly spread the Goo.  The cylinder gives the Goo more surface area to hold onto rather than just gluing the edge of each cap and trying to get a good bond that way.

Slather some Shoe Goo onto the inside wall of the other cap.

Fit that cap over the other end of the cylinder and twist a bit.  If you need them aligned a specific way, this is when you do that (Coke caps have all the neat ridges that line up really nice).  Also, clean off any stray Goo.

Let the Shoe Goo cure for 24 hours.  Due to the enclosed space of the barrel, it may take a long time for the Goo to cure.

When all is done, you end up with a very durable barrel to add to your gaming experience!  Paint it up and scatter it onto your terrain and table.

You'll notice that I didn't use super glue.  This is because super glue doesn't bond as well as I need it to on food grade plastics and metals/paints.  These materials are just too smooth to create a long lasting bond.  If you end up not treating your terrain super well (you store it all stacked up like cord wood), the brittle super glue will give way at some point and you'll just have to super glue it all over again... and again... and again.

Conversely, Shoe Goo is so sticky and tough that it would be very difficult to break these barrels during normal wear and tear.  It's basically uncured rubber so it gives a bit when force is applied and is super sticky when it goes on.

Go forth, drink, and create barrels!


  1. And you didn't enter the codes? You really ARE a heretic!

    1. LOL. No, I didn't enter the codes... I drink enough of that crap to drown a whale. I certainly don't need them knowing exactly how much I drink.

  2. Replies
    1. Yeah, it's not original but the rolled up sheet and Shoe Goo inside makes it much easier to execute. It's tough making the circular edges bond well enough. Thanks, Jugger!


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