Painting a Battlefield in a Day

A beautifully painted battlefield is something that many aspire to have. There can be a perception, though, that this is either very hard to do or takes ages.

Not so! With the right tools, a firm plan, and a little help from some friends, you can achieve wonders in a single day.

Last weekend, Eddie and Martin from our Community team, with help from Adam and Mike of the Warhammer World scenery team, embarked on a project to paint up 2 full battlefields for Warhammer 40,000 and Warhammer Age of Sigmar in a single day. We were painting them for an event all the way across the Atlantic – for the top tables of two independent tournaments held at the GenCon convention in Indianapolis later this year. (Find out more about that event here.) Good scenery makes for good games, so as well as making sure the boards looked good, we wanted them to give players interesting tactical choices in their games.

For our boards, we were using Realm of Battle and Shattered Dominion board sections, and for our scenery, we picked a mix of area-effects and tall line of sight blocking terrain. The new Sector Mechanicus sets, in particular, are great for this, as you can build as high as you like – enough to offer cover for even the largest models in the game. (Which is useful for Andy, given his penchant for Renegade Knights – editor)

With our kits ready, we embarked on our ambitious project – all we needed now was to round out our team.

Adam was our “board guy” for the day. One of Warhammer World’s resident table painters, he is master of both spray paint and large area painting. For both boards, Adam first used Citadel spray paints to colour areas of the board, before touching up some sections with the matching base paints and then giving the whole board a unified drybrush. He then went back and added Shades to some specific areas – in the case of our Warhammer Age of Sigmar board, the Arcanabulum cogs and gears, and the areas of sigmarite paving.

Then, obviously, we splattered a bit of Blood For the Blood God across it all for good measure – there’s very little in the worlds of Warhammer that doesn’t benefit from a bit of gore.

The rest of us got to work on the scenery itself. All the stuff you can see on these boards was assembled, sprayed and painted in a single day. For the Age of Sigmar terrain, we went for a sprayed basecoat of Zandri Dust, with a Shade of Agrax Earthshade, followed by successive Zandri Dust and white dry brushes.

Painting terrain this way is very quick but highly effective. Warhammer World paint so much terrain using this method for their hundreds of gaming boards and display, that they have a dedicated “dipping tub” of Agrax Earthshade. Check it out!

You certainly don’t need as much paint as this if you’re painting a board at home, though – a couple of pots of Agrax Earthshade generously applied with a shade brush should more than suffice for even the densest battlefield of terrain.

For the Sector Mechanicus scenery, we picked a Martian rust-red theme. Partly because it looks cool, but also because it means we can paint it all the same colour with a really big brush, before going back to pick out a few key details afterwards.

The finished results are pretty great!




The triumphant painting team and two boards painted in under 8 hours. (Not pictured: Martin, the fourth member of the team, who was taking the photo.)

Not too bad for a day’s work.

If you’re inspired to have a go at painting a battlefield yourself, hopefully, you’ve seen that it’s easier than you think.

Give it a go!


If you’re attending GenCon this year, you’ll even be able to play on this terrain, as they will be the top tables of the Warhammer 40,000 and Warhammer Age of Sigmar tournaments.

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