Sunday, 26 January 2014

Rocky Outcops - Oak Bark

Hi Folks

Remember all the bark I collected in a local park?

This was the post inspiration-in-local park

Now its dried out I have started to use this for a small project...rocky outcrops - perfect for windswept moors - think about the Warg battle in LOTR 2, the cattle running in Rob Roy, a VBCW scene set in Dartmoor, You could even use these in the Jungles of Borneo or the Forests of the French Indian many possibilities

First up I broke the bark into smaller pieces and these were stuck down to hardboard bases. Once dry the pieces were then given a zap in the microwave to make sure any lice or other wood eating bugs got toasted.

With the 'rocks' dry and glued I covered the rest of the base in ballast and grit. These were glued down using PVA and left for 48 hours to dry. With the excess shaken off all the units will next be painted black.

I have done about 18 so far with 11 shown below.

Ok - so with the weather closing in I decamped to the Kitchen where all the bases and rocks were given a good coat of black acrylic paint.

Twenty four hours later I was able to start the fun bit. I firstly dry brushed the rocks in a series of three greys from dark to light. This is really simple and takes no time at all between coats. The fact that I am running a production line on these means by the time I get to the last the first is ready for its second coat.

You can probably see the clear difference between the first grey coat and the second

Only once the rocks are completed do I attack the base. First up a heavy dr brush of dark brown, followed by a burnt sienna.

The picture below shows the last grey coat and the first coat of dark brown.

Finally a quick drybrush of cream onto the brown base.

Now we move to adding some greenery - firstly some static grass - fixed with PVA glue

Followed by some clump foliage fixed with an all purpose clear drying glue from bostik.

It seems only fair to show some in scene photos. The first two are of the highland cattle bought from Redoubt miniatures. These will be a worthy prize in a forthcoming saga game.

The second set of photos are some Crusaders from the Fireforge range - (28mm) if only to show you the scale of these rocks.

If you enjoyed this tutorial you might want to look at my attempt at making cliffs constructed from cork bark.

Until next time


  1. I'm off to find myself an oak tree big enough for decent bark. The saplings I've got in my garden want a couple of hundred years of growth before they're ready!

    Smashing build, very useful and very authentic-looking.

  2. The tip about the microwave I found an especially good idea.
    More excellent work.

  3. Great work! Now I know why I kept the nice piece of bark I found when taking a walk on the woods on the heater for months…

  4. Very nice and consider this bookmarked.

  5. Excellent work on these, very effective terrain pieces

  6. Look great....I'll have to make some too, it appears!

  7. Very creative and they do work great!


  8. Great work, I find bark excellent stuff too. I am fortunate as there's often lumps of it lying in the garden as we use a wood burner... so a wood pile is a must!

  9. That certainly works, bravo Sir.

  10. Very nice, going to be borrowing this idea.