Terrain Building: Beginner materials


Hey all! I just took the plunge on crafting materials to start building 3D terrain for my D&D games. Here is a picture and list of what I bought. Do you see any essentials I’m missing?


Foamular 1/2in 4x8ft sheet (not pictured, it’s huge)
Assorted All Purpose Brushes
Black/Brown (8fl oz)
White, Vanilla, Dark Grey, Dark(er) Grey, Olive Green, Mediterranean Blue, Yellow, Bright Yellow
Modge Podge (to make a black paint/MP primer)
Glue (because… I’ll likely need glue)
Hot glue gun @ sticks
Xacto knife (probably going to buy an all purpose craft knife soon, too)

What else would you recommend I buy? I’m looking at maybe getting a cutting board as well, so I can work inside and not worry about invoking the wrath of the people I live with.

Help me get a Milestone Reward. :smiley:


Welcome to crafters’ club. I wish you a lot of fun on your crafting journey!

It seems that you got all the essentials. You have lots of gluesticks which is the most important ingredient in crafting terrain. :smiley:

I suggest getting a cutting board ASAP unless you don’t care about your desk. Even then it is better to have a cutting mat to get straight cuts.

You may want to buy some plastic/foam/cardboard plates to put your paint on and mix. If you clean it up with a paper towel before the paint dries you can use a single plate for weeks. Cheap and easy.

Also you need a sponge for texturing.


Looks good. I do note thing missing… Bandaids. :laughing:


Corrugated cardboard, it is easy enough to find unwanted boxes in your travels, and it is a solid material that takes paint well. A ruler wouldn’t hurt to have on hand.


Thanks a bunch guys!

Khan, I’ll try my best to get a cutting board. I definitely care about my desk, and I can’t always be crafting outside on an old, “nonrenewable” plastic table that no one cares about. I’ve got some of the thick cardboard plates for paint, as well as several organic sponges from my high school art days. Good call on those.

I have a first aid kit at the ready, Vihar! :wink:

Blue, I’ve got a ruler, pens/pencils for pre-cut marking, and the like. I’ll make sure I have the ruler on hand for setting dimensions before I get to cutting.

You guys rock. :smiley:


Would you guys say that a self-healing cutting mat would be acceptable in place of an actual board?


Nice! Welcome to the club! Beside the mat u mentioned… If u have a big sharp knife… add that… if not… grab an OLFA knife…


Yea i like the healing mat


I love my self healing mat. Keep in mind it’s not indestructible


Hey guys! Here is my first attempt at this stuff.

I think I needed to add more relief texturing to the top. I thought what I did was enough, but I don’t think so now. I also am preeeeeetty sure I should have dry brushed with a sponge brush, maybe, or been more erratic with the strokes to avoid the bristle marks?

Feedback welcome please!


Here you have 2 options. First, you can use a sponge to create erratic patterns so you have the illusion of texture. Second option is to actually rough up the surface. To this end I recommend tinfoil crumbled into a tight pack and used to create indents into the foam. You can of course mix these options.

Personally, I use the tinfoil, because the physical deformations look better to me. Additionally, this will give you the option of washing your terrain once completed (I recommend the Black Magic Craft youtube channel for creating terrain washes on the cheap).

As for the visible brush strokes, you can prevent this by being gentler with your brush and using less paint on your dry brush.


Thanks for your insight! :slight_smile: I’ll try to sponge it. I did use tinfoil, but I must not have pressed hard enough! I’ll also make sure I do a better “dry” dry brush. :smiley:


Yeah, with the tinfoil put the Styrofoam on a hard surface and press hard. Also, change your grip on the tinfoil frequently to change up the pattern. Remember Hank himself went at some of his foam with a paving stone. Most foam is more durable than you think. Personal experience, i hit the foam with the tinfoil instead of pressing.