Sunday 29 January 2012

Tough Terrain

It was the most inhospitable landscape of the Afghanistan hills and passes that proved to be the favoured hunting ground for the diverse hill tribes brought together by Akbar Khan in the first Anglo-Afghan War.  Tough Terrain indeed, but in fact  surprisingly straightforward to construct from a modelling viewpoint!   

Part of my enjoyment from blogging has come from the inspiration I get by what I see on other blogs; many of my favourites can be seen in the side bar to the right.  This post, however has come about as a direct result of the 'Mad Guru' and his wonderful 'Maiwand Day' blog.  The blog takes the form of a visual diary charting the creation of high quality, historically accurate 28mm scale terrain and appropriately painted and converted miniatures for a refight of the battle waged by the British and Afghans on  27th July, 1880, initially in time for 130th anniversary on 27th July, 2010. That deadline may have passed, but let me assure you that the blog is very much still up and running.  A recent post entitled 'Afghan/NWF rocky hill goes VERTICAL' had me champing at the bit to try recreating one of the Guru's wonderful ideas.  The genius of this is that 'Mad Guru' takes a 'nothing' material in the shape of bark chippings and turns it into a simply spectacular piece of terrain!  There is very little point in me trying to relay the whole 'how to' here and so I have restricted myself to a simplified photo-story of my rather pathetic pastiche.  This really is as straightforward as it looks, but you must take the time to have a look at the original yourself.

Initial layout planned
Start to glue down pieces of bark
Add filler to even out contours
Sand & gravel stuck down
Base coats applied
Highlights drybrushed on
Sparse vegetation added to final build
Final piece with miniatures

All that remains is to extend a big THANK YOU, to the man himself, the 'Mad Guru'.  I for one will be following with interest, looking out for more inspirational ides from the most mundane of building materials!


  1. That looks brilliant! All you need now is a cowering Flashy trying not to let the sound of his knocking knees give him away...

  2. very nice! looks nice & inhospitable, yet still playable

  3. Looks ace, Simple to do and cheap as chips!

  4. That does look like some tough terrain!


  5. Fantastic photo's and a great bit of terrain building. All hail the Mud Guru!! And kudos to you for following his tutorial to make such an excellent model.

  6. A great effort - looks amazing. Mad Guru is certainly mad about the Afghan hills. This piece is a great salute to his wonderful 'Maiwand Day' blog. He would be proud!!


  7. Suberb work, nice to see how you made this landscape.


  8. Looks great piece of work Michael!
    I suspect garden centres around the country will see an upsurge in sales thanks to the Mad Guru and yourselve.Might even have a go myself!!

  9. A great piece of terrain there! Nice color choices too.


  10. That looks great my friend and what a easy guide to follow.

  11. Once again I thank you all for your very kind comments, but congratulations most also go to the Mad Guru who had the original idea.

  12. Great piece of terrain, well done and thanks for the link…Cheers, Michael

  13. That was an amazing transformation from first picture to last, excellent piece of kit....

  14. This is very nice tutorial, very learnfull. Thanks for sharing Michael!


  15. Hahaha!!! FANTASTIC job, Michael! I only just came across the comment you left a while back on my blog, alerting me to the fact you'd put this post up! Wish I'd known earlier, but very happy to know now. You have put a big smile on my face, my friend! I love your more manageable version!

    1. Thank you for taking the time to come and have a look and post a comment. One of the most enjoyable aspects of blogging has been the exchange of ideas and sense of community that exists within the wargaming world. Looking forward to 'stealing' lots more ideas.

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  17. That had given me loads of ideas..brilliant!


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