Making boulder and rock fields for Crossfire

The Crossfire supplement Hit-the-Dirt introduces Boulder Fields and Rock Fields as Crossfire Terrain for scenarios in the Italian Campaign. My post Types of Terrain Features in Crossfire explains how they are used in the game. In this post I explain how I made mine. Simple but excessive is the summary. Simple because I start with actual rocks. Excessive because I base, paint, and flock.


End result

This is what they look like. I’ve included a 15mm Portuguese Caçadore figure so you get an idea of scale.

Rocks24 Portuguese Cacadore in the rock field

Rocks24 Portuguese Cacadore in the rock field

I made a two variations, pale and dark, to give a bit of variety.

Rocks22 Rocks and Boulders

Rocks22 Rocks and Boulders

I made a bunch because I have no idea how many I’ll need.

Rocks23 Rocks and Boulders - Top view

Rocks23 Rocks and Boulders – Top view


Process

The process is pretty simple.

Step 1: Assemble materials

I used:

  • Cardboard for the bases: “Daler – Rowney Studland A1 Mount Board – Coffee”
  • Small rocks: scavenge them from somewhere, you know from the side of a road or something; rougher the better, smooth is bad
  • Tiny rocks: Woodland Scenics Plastic Coarse Talus 21.7 Cubic Inches-Brown
  • White Wood glue: PVA glue
  • Undercoat: Black spray paint
  • Sand
  • Earth: Tamiya Flat Earth (XF-52)
  • Pale base coat: Coat D’arms 221 Horse Tone Dun
  • Dark base coat: Coat D’arms 524 Tan Earth
  • First dry brush: Vallejo 70847 Dark Sand
  • Second dry brush: Vallejo 70837 Pale Sand
  • Grass: Javis Static Grass No 2 Summer Mix or Noch Static Grass Summer Meadow
  • Bushes: Woodland Scenics Foliage Clusters Light Green

Step 2: Glue rocks to cardboard

I glued the small rocks to cardboard with tiny rocks around some of them. Then I cut the cardboard out. You could do it the other way around.

Rocks13 Glue stones to cardboard

Rocks13 Glue stones to cardboard

Step 3: Undercoat black

I undercoat everything in black.

Rocks15 Undercoat rocks black

Rocks15 Undercoat rocks black

Step 4: Glue on sand and paint earth

I then glued sand onto the earth areas. And, when dry, I painted it earth coloured, e.g. Tamiya Flat Earth (XF-52).

Step 5: Paint base coat

Next step is to paint the rocks. I wanted a brownish sun bleached look – typical for the Mediterranean. So I used two variations. The only difference was the base coat.

  • Pale base coat: Coat D’arms 221 Horse Tone Dun
  • Dark base coat: Coat D’arms 524 Tan Earth

The Horse Tone Dun colour is just a shade darker than the Vallejo 70847 Dark Sand I use for dry brushing. But the Tan Earth is much darker and kind of a dirty brown.

Rocks16 Base coat dark or pale

Rocks16 Base coat dark or pale

Step 6: Dry brush dark and pale sand

The last painting step was to dry brush with my favourite sand colours:

  • First dry brush: Vallejo 70847 Dark Sand
  • Second dry brush: Vallejo 70837 Pale Sand

These are the normal colours I paint on top of my earth colour. But they also work for the rocks. The final result has the paler and darker variants clearly different but not radically different.

Rocks25 Dark boulder

Rocks25 Dark boulder

Rocks26 Pale boulder

Rocks26 Pale boulder

Step 7: Flock

Lastly do patches of static grass and/or bushes.

  • Grass: Javis Static Grass No 2 Summer Mix or Noch Static Grass Summer Meadow
  • Bushes: Woodland Scenics Foliage Clusters Light Green

2 comments to Making boulder and rock fields for Crossfire

  • Brett Simpson

    Very cool, Steven — and quite realistic looking. This is what I opted for with my Pacific Theatre as well. We are immersed in the beginning of a campaign at present. It’s a fun challenge!

    Happy New Year — Brett.

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