Product How-To Guide: Landscaping (Modelling Compound)

Product How-To Guide: Landscaping (Modelling Compound)
This quick guide shows you how to use Geek Gaming Scenics Compound to create a textured surface on a flat board, perfect for wargaming terrain or dioramas.


What You'll Need:

  • Geek Gaming Scenics Compound (amount depends on project size)
  • Mixing container (silicone jug recommended for easy cleaning)
  • Mixing tool (paint scraper works well)
  • Water


Step 1:

Add some compound to your container. We recommend you use around 100g at a time until you are comfortable using the product. Depending on how much water you add it could start to harden quickly, shortening the time you have to work with it.
Add water and mix until the consistency is that of a thick porridge.

Never mix the whole 500g / 1kg bag unless you have multiple people working together to spread the mixture around (or you actually want a large solid block of compound in a bucket). In this tutorial I am using a 1kg bag and working alone, I would not have been able to spread it out enough to cover the area I was working on before it started to harden. Here I was mixing 200g pots up. I was able to get around 5-6 min working time before the compound started to harden to the point where it could not be smoothed.

Step 2:

You can either empty the whole pot onto your project or add it little by little. Here we are just covering a board with an even(ish) coat of compound. So we emptied the mixing pot onto the board. It may look thick in this photograph but it has rather a lot of water in it. The paper pulp holds a fair bit but it will help when smoothing the compound out in one of the next steps.

Step 3:

Flatten out the compound with your fingers, spreading it out to where you need it. I find it’s best to use the palm of your hand if you are trying to cover larger surfaces. Move it and tap it about until you get the depth and shapes that you are looking for.

Step 4:

Smooth out the compound, you may need to add a little water if you made a dryer mix. We used plenty of water so we just went ahead and smoothed it out using the palm of the hand.

Step 5:

It can take a couple of days for the compound to dry out completely depending on the temperature and humidity. If the compound is cold and damp, avoid painting or gluing anything to it while it's still damp, as this can cause the paint/glue to bubble and flake later.
From experience I have found that if you paint or glue anything to it while it’s still damp then over time the paint/glue will bubble and flake away. (Not fun when your epic snowy hills end up looking like something from a cosmic horror story).
We managed to cover a board measuring 60x60cm with around 600g of compound to a depth of around 4-6mm.


Vertical Surfaces: If you are working on a vertical area such as a cliff or wall then I recommend (if possible) that you turn the board or diorama on its side as you will find it’s much easier to get the compound to stay where you would like it to be.

Staying Put: If you are planning on spreading the compound out thinly over mdf or foam then a good way to make sure it sticks is to add a little Geek Gaming Basing Glue or PVA into the mix.
This will give it a bit more grab and stop it flaking away.
Roughing up your work will also help. Score grooves or poke holes into the foam or mdf. This will give the compound something to grab into.

What A Carve Up: You can carve into the compound using a craft knife or metal modelling tool to add rough rock textures or crevices. If you want deeper scores then carve them in while the compound is still soft as it will be much easier.

Sealing The Deal: You can use any paint on our Compound, we recommend a cheap paint for the first coat as it does soak up quite a lot. We have a large tin of tan wall paint that we apply first before painting or adding Base Ready or Flocks.

Warp Failure: If you are using mdf or card as a base, you may want to seal it first with a coat of paint or PVA as the moisture in the compound will more than likely cause the mdf / card to warp.

Catastrophic Warp Failure: If you are using compound over a large area such as a gaming board then do make sure that the board itself is sturdy enough. We have had reports in the past where makers have used large amounts of compound on 6x4 boards, lifted the board up and because there has not been any battens on the board to strengthen it, the compound has cracked as the board bends. Even when using glue or keying this is still possible on a large enough board.
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