Rocky Outcrops …from cheap Aquarium Supplies.

Like rather a lot of the scenic items I’ve been showing here recently, I picked these up ages ago – a couple of years, in fact. After getting some pretty sweet ready-to-use pieces on massive sale from the local Pet Warhouse (which all seem to have disappeared – before I could game with any of them or even photograph them all!) 😦  I thought I’d do one better and see what eBay had to offer. Turned out that eBay was actually pretty crap. While the price was alright, for my money I got four pieces, one of which arrived broken, made of a cheap, fragile resin, painted badly, and with smooth black internals visible. I mean, for your cheap Aquarium they were probably alright, but for scenery, I did the only thing I could do – put them in a tub and forgot they existed.

Fast forward to a few days ago, I found them while rummaging around looking for something else, and once again, with Dave Stone’s Winter of Scenery Challenge being a thing, I recided “fuck it” and got them done. Vallejo Mud Effects on the insides of the holes to cover that horrible smooth texture, black primer, a pretty bad brownish-grey spray from Bunnings, several layers of drybrushing, and then three shades of weathering powders mixed with brush-on matte varnish added and tissue-wiped to give some variation to the colour. A tiny application of my Sepia-Black mix of Vallejo model dip in a few spots to uneven-out where the powders dried too uniform, and we’re done. As out models show, they’re an ok size for line-of-sight blockers and will work well enough across most genres.

“Endor”-style scenery …from the pet store.

I actually picked this up a couple of months ago now, but as I haven’t posted for a little while, I didn’t get a chance to photograph it until last night.

I first saw this at the local pet warehouse in the Aquarium section a couple of months ago, but didn’t have the spare funds at the time. I went back a couple of weeks later and they luckily still had a couple of them left. Now, at AU$50, it wasn’t cheap – but when compared to scenery kit prices, both from local places, GW, GF9 and many others, it’s actually pretty reasonable for something that’s finished and ready to plunk down on the tabletop and go. It’s the sort of thing that will work perfectly on a jungle-themed table, in a deathworld kill-zone, and across a whole lot of themes and time periods – from Borneo to Endor to Catachan.

I think it looks pretty bloody good, actually. The bridge and cave also offer additional “playability” for many wargames, which is always welcome. Having a piece that can be interacted with by your troops is almost always preferable to something that simply acts as a LOS-blocker, after all! Though let’s face it – a great looking LOS-blocker is always welcome as well! Our Space Marine, Primaris Marine, Wookiee and Imperial Officer provide scale. I’ll need to get some WWII infantry painted up for these things. Maybe I can do some over Christmas..?

Sure, I could spend a lot of time going to town on it and improving it further, but I’d much rather call this thing done without doing anything to it at all and using that time and energy on other stuff that’s yet unpainted or unfinished. I’ll need to keep an eye on the aquarium scenery in the future for more decently-priced pieces that can just be dropped straight onto the table with little to no work.