Once again, Frostgrave‘s Ulterior Motives gaves me another opportunity to make some interesting terrain. This time its Arcane Circles. In this post, I’ll show three different types I made.
The first is the simplest. Its just two circular pieces of XPS foam glued together. A table hot wire cutter makes it super easy to produce these discs, but you can just as easily do it with foamboard and a sharp blade. The two pieces were textured by rolling a piece of scrunched up aluminium foil over them. I etched the runes with a sharp blade, and widened them by running pencil through the cuts. The whole piece received of coat of Mod Podge mixed with black paint. The paint job was a medium grey base followed by a light grey dry brush. Then came a generous black wash, and finally a very light dry brush of cream/off white.
Next up is a circle made of individual runic stones, or what I like to call “The Pepperoni Pizza”. I started with a thin, rectangular piece of XPS foam (maybe 1cm x 1cm x 10cm). I then ran a blade haphazardly along the long edges to make it less square. This rod was sliced into roughly 2mm thick pieces, and these pieces were put into a small biscuit tin with a handful of rocks and given a good shake. The grinding with the rocks rounds off the edges and puts a rough texture onto the XPS foam pieces. I then glued the stone pieces to a cardboard base and filled in between the pieces with filler/joint compound. After a coating of Mod Podge and black paint, the stones were painted as usual; medium grey, light grey dry brush, generous black wash, and cream light dry brush. The dirt was painted with a dark brown base, a light brown dry brush, and a black wash. I flocked it all with static grass, grass tufts, and some basing gravel/ballast.
The last arcane circle was a little more work to construct. Once again I cut out two XPS foam discs with my hot wire cutter. The centre of one disc was carefully cut out with a blade. Another ring piece of XPS foam was produced and a quarter of it sliced off.
I rolled the two large discs with a Green Stuff World Pavement Roller. I used the blade and pencil technique to etch designs into the small disc and half ring and then rolled them with a ball of aluminium foil. All the pieces were then glued together as shown.
Painting involved the usual black paint and Mod Podge undercoat, a medium grey base coat, and a light grey dry brush. The piece was finished with a generous black wash and a cream dry brush.