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Burial Mound

by Robert Spears

Burial MoundLike Nigel Budd, Robert Spears has found an effective use for the pressed cardboard trays that many electrical items are now packaged in.


  1. Cardboard or MDF for the base

  2. Pressed cardboard form for mound (this one was used as packing for a laser printer toner cartridge)

  3. Door (either home-made or manufactured - this one is made for Confrontation �)

  4. Flock and sand for the base

  5. Assorted foliage (the tree and shrub on the edges came from an after Christmas sale on Christmas Village terrain. The other shrub is a piece of floral moss.)

  6. PVA glue

  7. Low Temp Glue Gun and low temp glue

  8. Matte varnish

  9. C-clamps

  10. Plastic or card stock for the lintel pieces.

  11. Spackle (wall filler, Polyfilla)

  12. Paint


I ran across an interesting piece of pressed cardboard at work and decided to try to make something from it.

Burial MoundThe raw material for the hill - packaging from a laser cartridge. I liked the texture and hollows on the surface. I also liked the way the general shape of the piece resembles a man lying down. The piece is also very light, yet relatively strong, both good features for a piece of wargame terrain.

I considered putting two of these side by side with a gap between them to represent a pass between two rocky hills (may still do it) but opted for something smaller.

Burial MoundI had recently picked up a couple of nice Confrontation � doors from a bargain bin in a game store and noticed how well a door fit into one of the hollows on the hill. I C-clamped the door to the hill after hot gluing it in place.

I had to shape the hollow a little to fit the door. I also applied bits of plastic as lintel stone. The plastic came from some small left-over pieces from a cabinet I assembled for my garage. Those are 1" squares on the cutting mat.

Next I attached the hill to the MDF base. I then spackled around the edge to seal gaps between the base and hill.

Burial Mound Burial Mound

I let the spackle dry completely and primed the piece black. I had to go back over it with watered down poster paint to fill in all of the crevices where white was still showing through the spray primer.


Burial MoundI textured the base with sand (Woodland Scenic Fine Ballast) and a mixture of Woodland Scenic Blended turf and debris from my bag of Floral Moss. The two pine trees came from a XMAS Village set I picked up on deep discount after last Christmas.

I soaked them in pine-sol to remove the fake snow and then soaked them in a black wash to tone down the green. The shrub is a piece of floral moss I hot glued to the base.

I drybrushed the hill form, lintel pieces, and stones doorframe with 3 successively lighter shades of gray acrylic paint. The hardware on the door was drybrushed "princely pewter" over black. The door itself was painted a chocolate brown and then given a black wash. When the paint was dry I coated everything with a matte varnish to strengthen and protect the item.

Updated June 2004

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