Warhammer terrain blog 18Charlie posted a tutorial for 3D printing a master mold to cast tabletop simple miniature crystalline terrain pieces. The final mold was made from silicone, so it can be used with multiple materials including clear resins and dental plaster.
18Charlie designed his crystals to be very uniform specifically so they could be mixed and matched and stacked together as needed. When designing a crystal mold like this it should have a straight up and down orientation as it tends to be harder to mold with undercuts. Obviously the master mold could be made by cutting it from foam or wood, but a 3D printer will produce a cleaner look and allow for more control over the final look of the crystal pieces.
Once the crystal master mold has been 3D printed and cleaned a silicone mold can be created, and once dry the crystals or stone spires can be made from just about any material. Silicone is very smooth, so most materials simply will not stick to it.
For the crystals 18Charlie used a clear casting resin that can be purchased at any hardware store. I have used the material before, and the great thing about it is the fact that it is actually very easy to manipulate and give the final product a unique look. Pieces of sand, bark or shavings of plastic can be mixed in to it to create an interesting texture, small models can be inserted so it looks like something has been encased in crystal, and colors and dyes can be stirred in, which is how 18Charlie gave them the iconic Necron green.
The mold can also be used to create cool stone plinths or columns for a completely different type of terrain. These were created using dental plaster, which is a very easy to work with and fast drying material that on the small scale of Warhammer mimics a smooth stone. These can also be painted various colors, and more small models embedded in them. Because the material is not clear however, the small model should be pressed completely to the side of the mold so it looks to be organically fused to the rock.
If the parts are designed correctly, they can very easily be merged together into a variety of configurations or groupings. They can be mounted on a single base to create barriers or walls, they can be mounted individually and used as objective markers or small obstacles or attached to modular based so they can be mixed and matched as your gaming needs change.
If someone wants to make their own Warhammer terrain, then 18Charlie is a great source for really cool but easy to build projects. And if you don’t have a 3D printer then they also have a ton of projects that don’t require one. You can read the entire tutorial for building small crystal terrain pieces here and if you create your own terrain make sure that you tweet me pictures @sjgrunewald!