Paint Rack Stone Stairs

Published 15 December 2022


I made more stairs; this time to thinking as a terrain piece for a game, but rather as a display element for putting my painted minis.


It all started with this paint rack I wasn't using anymore. I used it in the past, when I was painting mostly miniatures (and not terrain), but I've now moved to larger paint pots that don't fit in those holes anymore (my miniature paints are now in a drawer).

So, instead of throwing it away, I recycled it into terrain.


I started by removing the various ledges, to keep the overall structure.


I glued it all on some foamcare, and added more glue at the joints to reinforce it. I then added styrofoam blocks to act as pillars to put cardboard on, to simulate the steps shape.


I did that shape for all steps, using whatever cardboard I had around.


I then glued bricks one by one, starting from the bottom.


And with everything covered.


I covered it all with spackle. The way I do it is as follow:

  • Add a blob of spackle somewhere
  • Spread it with a flat object. Here, I was able to cover about 1/3 of a step with one blob
  • Use a wet brush to spread it further and really go into the holes
  • Use a paper towel to wipe the excess, removing what's on the top of the stones, but keeping what's in the crevices between them.

It's the messier part of the project.


Then, covered with black glue, to act as a basecoat and protective layer.


Messy overbrush of grey. The difference in shape of the stones already gives a nice look. But because it's a large piece, it's also pretty boring.


Adding a second drybrush, of a lighter gray to add more nuances.


Still boring, so I'm now painting individual stones in various colors. I'm using diluted paint so the underlying gray shows through.


I added green, which in retrospect didn't fit so well with the overall scheme.


So I added more beiges and browns.


Finally I added one last drybrush of a pale beige, followed by a dark wash to make the whole tone more uniform.


As it was still too uniform, I used the secret technique that makes every terrain piece better: flocking.

I started by adding blobs of glue wherever my paint job was shitty. For example in the corners, where the drybrush didn't get, or when I accidentally splashed some unrelated color.


Using again a wet brush, I spread each glue blob a bit.


I started by adding a few fake plants here and there. And then randomly sprinkled different flock colors here and there in no specific pattern.


I then add a mix of cooking herbs I have, to simulate leaves. And splashed it with a mix of water and PVA glue.


Let it dry overnight, and here is the final result.

If I were to do it again, I would try an oil wash instead of my water based one. I tends to soak the underlying material and such a simple texture would be a great way to test oil washes (I'm afraid to mess up my build though, but hey this is how you learn new things).

I would add more details, like discarded tools, forgotten camp fires and such, to give more character to the build.

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