Votives for the Heroes: Rural Greek Statues as Scatter Terrain on a Wargaming Table

You might have seen, that the new game by War Banner – Mortal Gods – is a big thing in the painting and wargaming community already. And yes, I was tricked into it too (at least I am telling that to myself) by a good friend and colleague with some words like: “Hey there is a new skirmish system with only a few figures about classical Greece, isn’t that cool?” If you are reading this, you know the answer all too well.

I am one of these guys who paints one miniature and thinks during the painting process of the kind of terrain I would like to build. Seeing a lot of nice scatter-terrain in the Mortal Gods Facebook group, I was eager to try it myself.

Presented here is a rather short tutorial on a circular terrain piece with a bronze statue as its focal point.

 

Materials

pic 1: Materials

 

A CD as a base (do never take your favourite album though)

A small piece of cardboard (cereal box, miniature-packaging or something else)

Different forms and sizes of stones and pebbles (often found in garden-centres or decoration   stores or if you lucky to live near a river bank go there and take a look around)

Texture paint or sand as a base cover (you know best what works for you)

Superglue, PVA glue, spray glue

Iceland moss

Different coloured flock and foliage (e.g. from Woodland Scenics or Galeforce 9, colour depends on your choice)

Your favourite static grass mix, some tufts and leaf foliage if you like

A Greek hoplite miniature (or another soldier, a Victrix hoplite is used here)

A small block of insulation foam cut to 20mm square base size (and a knife to cut it)

Some creme, white, and brownish colours for painting the base and stones (e.g. Vallejo Model Color 837 Pale Sand, 921 English Uniform and Vallejo Game Wash 200 Sepia Shade, 203 Umber Wash)

A few bronze/gold colours to paint the statue

As we start, there is just one little helpful trick I can share. As we build these two separate items, the base and the statue, it is a good idea to work on the statue while the base is drying, then to attach the figure before doing the last decorations with static grass, tufts and loose foliage.

 

Creating The Base

pic 2: The statue-base and larger stones arranged on the CD

 

First of all cover the hole of the CD with some cardboard, PVA glue works perfectly fine here.

Next cut some “stone tiles” from the insulation foam block to build a base for the statue, you will need one tile 3mm strong (20mm x 20mm x 3mm) and four 2mm strong (20mm x 20mm x 2mm). Arrange the four thinner parts on your desk and glue the bigger tile on top leaving some space to one side.

pic 3: The remaining ground covered in texture paint and smaller pebbles

After the glue has set, arrange the statue-base and some of the bigger stones on the base and attach them to the CD in an arrangement you are happy with using PVA glue. Leave it to dry then cover the rest of the CD with sand or textured paint. Then glue some smaller pebbles on the ground to get a rougher appearance. Give the whole base further time to dry before painting.

If you would like to spend more time on the finish you can add texture to the statue base by rolling and pushing a stone into the insulation foam.

 

Painting the base

pic 4: The whole piece base coated in VMC English Uniform

The painting process is rather straightforward as a lot of the base will be covered with bushes and grass. Start with a brown tone, drybrush some lighter colours over it by mixing some light creme tone into the base colour in various steps – ground, stones, statue-base. As I am never happy with just a dry brushed surface, I tend to mix a light shade – creme in this case – with a lot of water and paint it over the whole thing. After that, you can paint spots with a darker brown tone (Sepia and Umber Wash in my case) to add a more realistic look. I switched a lot between the colours used to get a final effect that I liked, my tip here is to go crazy and paint the base as you want it.

pic 5: Drybrushing with VMC English Uniform adding VMC Pale Sand

At this stage, you can cover the statue-base with some more stripes of the watery creme colour to give it a lighter tone.

pic 6: Some more layering with watered paints, mainly pure Pale Sand and pure English Uniform

 

Bushes and other Vegetation

pic 7: Dry-fitting the Iceland moss-bushes

Adding the bushes to the base is an easy but dirty (and sticky) process. If you are working indoors, please open a window and cover your lower face (nose and mouth) to be on the safe side – very important – do not let your five-month-old corgi run around your feet).

pic 8: The finished bushes (with the used GaleForce 9 foliage) and the statue attached

Test fit some Iceland moss to the base glueing it afterwards using spray glue. Cover the spot where you want to put the moss first, stick the bush to it and cover it again with some more glue. Flocking the moss-bushes uses the same technique -without the test fitting. Cover the bush with some spray glue, fling some flock over it and cover it again. I used two different flock colours in two steps covering each other to get some variation. It is no problem if some of the flock sticks to the base as it will add character to the scenery.

pic 9: The finished Terrain piece (with the tufts and leaf-foliage used)

After finishing the bushes you can add some static grass and/or tufts to your liking. Having a lot of basing material at hand is always a reasonable idea.

 

The Statue

pic 10: Shortened painting process of the statue

No matter what miniature you are using for your statue get rid of any base first. Pin drill one of the feet adding a length of wire, this will be used to attach it to the statue base and can be held in your hand for painting. Paint your statue using different bronze and gold tones. It depends on your choice of colour and how old you want it to look. A more polished bronze look is created by using gold colours mixed with a silver tone. If you would like it weathered go for some brownish dark bronze tone (most “bronze” colours on the market tend to be of that kind) adding some blueish-green wash to simulate oxidation on some areas if you want to.

 

I. Basecoat

Vallejo Game Color 058 Brassy Brass + Vallejo Game Color 872 Chocolate Brown

II. Drybrushing

1. Vallejo Game Color 058 Brassy Brass
2. Vallejo Game Color 057 Bright Bronze
3. Vallejo Game Color 057 Bright Bronze + Vallejo Game Color 052 Silver

III. Layering

Vallejo Game Color 055 Polished Gold + Citadel Lahmian Medium

 

When you have finished the statue glue it to its base, using superglue, the pin mentioned above will give it some stability. If at this stage you want to add details you can put votive-offerings in front of the statue, a cut off helmet or a shield would be great for that purpose – adding a Greek inscription on them might be a little over the top, but I won’t judge.

pic 11: Both scatter-terrain pieces together (in all their long gone glory) and my lonely painted archer

 

Hopefully, you enjoyed this article, I would like to see more of your scatter-terrain in the Mortal Gods Community.

 


 

About Daniel Kischko

A student of classics (mainly Coptology and Christian Archaeology) from Germany, working a lot on the iconography of Coptic saints in late antique Egypt. In the wargaming hobby for more than 20 years, seeing painting and building terrain as the favourite part.

 


 

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