Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Making a Volcano with Diane

Well you can't have a pirate game without a volcano island can you?  Here's how I made the volcano, but it not finished yet, that will have to wait until we're back in Crete in June.

I started with two large blocks of polystyrene because one wasn't wide enough for the crater.  I stuck the two of them together taking the precaution of pushing half a dozen cocktail sticks into the material to hold them together while the glue dried.

Before I permanently fixed the two pieces together, I used a plate to mark out the crater on the top of the volcano island.  Using a long bladed knife I cut into material - I went down about 6 inches.  Its easier to cut out the crater before sticking the two parts together.

I used PVA to stick the two parts together, which was a mistake, I should have used a hot glue gun as it slowed me down.

The basic shape of the volcano.  I've trimmed off some of the edges to give the impression of height and then stuck offcuts onto the sides of the volcano to give it more bulk.  At this stage, I've also given the crater a good coat of PVA and sprinkled sand and gravel in there to dry.  You can also see that I've made a start on the trail running up the side of the volcano.

I needed to add another offcut of polystyrene onto the side of the volcano to make sure the trail isn't too steep.  You do not want you soldiers to fall off do you?

I left one side of the volcano quite sheer.

I stuck another offcut onto the side to create a ledge.

An Indian Mutiny officer standing on the trail near the crater to give you an idea of the size.

Next I gave the whole thing a coat of powder wall filler and PVA mix.  When this was still wet I scattered sand and gravel over the whole piece.  I then painted the volcano dark grey and highlighted it with white.

Another view of the progress so far.

This is trail side of the volcano.  When I finish this off I'll pick out the trail with some brown and static grass.  I'll also add some palm trees or scrubs to give the whole thing a bit of colour.

I'll post up some finished pictures of the volcano in June.

The other thing I plan to do is to add some red, orange and yellow into the bottom of the crater to simulate lava.


  1. That's a cracker! Thanks for sharing your scenic skills, Diane!

    1. Thanks Richard. You don't think its too big? Jon wants to use it as an island with palm trees on the lower slopes.

  2. A nice project and some very good techniques I shall be stealing.

    1. Thanks Pat, glad it was useful. If you mix yourself up a nice big bucket of sand and gravel you'll never run out and everything will have the same basic look. One thing I found was that even after the PVA had dried you need to use a soft brush to get rid of the loose sand and dust - otherwise it begins to roll up when you start painting it. Clogs the brush as well!