Painting Deadzone Terrain

One of the coolest parts of Deadzone is the BattleZones terrain that you use in the game.  Part of the Infestation kickstarter was to fund some new industrial terrain as well.

Even though the terrain can be used as it comes, it is always better to paint it (just like with miniatures, painting terrain helps to bring your games to life).  So with the new sprues of industrial terrain, plus the ruined terrain sprues I already had - it was time to get them painted.

I find it much easier to go ahead and make the buildings etc that I want to use and glue them together than to constantly be reassembling them for each game.  Once that is done - time to paint.

First step is a black undercoat.  I use a flat black spray primer for this.  You generally will have to turn your pieces over to get the inside/bottom as well.
The black sure looks grey in this picture, but it is flat black
The next step allows for quick shading.  Using a grey spray, I paint everything from the top ONLY. This is critical - where normally you will want to spray from all angles to get complete coverage, here you want to only spray from one direction (top down), which will generate natural shading.
At least the grey looks a little lighter than the straight black
After the grey has dried,  you can turn pieces over to see the natural shading left.
The electrical panel leaves the shading below it.

More shading
I like to use a highlight color then to pick out pieces of the terrain.  In this case I use Vallejo Game Extra Opaque Heavy Goldbrown (72151).  Pick out the details (I try to match the terrain I had previously painted).
Yellow highlights
With the new industrial terrain sets - there is now pieces that are intended to be metal as opposed to the quick-crete shelters.  So now is the time to drybrush those with a simple Vallejo Game Color GunMetal (72.054).

Metal parts drybrushed
Since you are in a basic war zone - the terrain will not escape unscathed.  In addition to the actual ruins, the paint will have chipped and the pieces will be worn.  I add this effect by stippling a heavy charcoal (I use Vallejo Game Extra Opaque Heavy Charcoal (72155) randomly on the pieces.

Stippling is where you a very short bristled brush, and dab on a color in a random pattern.  The idea is to get random coverage with the paint.  I have a small brush that I have cut the bristles off of for stippling smaller items (i.e. rusted ogre weapons), but need a bigger one for something like this.

So I made one.  I take one of the foam inserts that come in nearly every Mantic box (the vhs looking boxes) and roll it up, then tie a rubber band a couple of inches from one end.  Then I take a pair of scissors and snip into the end, leaving a bunch of thick, foam, random "bristles".
My large stippling brush
I then squirt a bit of the heavy charcoal paint onto a paper plate, dab the brush into it, then dab a bit on the plate as I don't want the paint to fully cover anything.
Similar to drybrushing, I don't want the brush to be fully loaded.
I then randomly dab the stipple brush onto the terrain pieces - giving them the distressed look.  You want to hit all parts - grey, yellow and metal.
A bit distressed
I then like to add a bit of rust / dirt to the flat surfaces.  Rather than paint, I use Secret Weapon Pigments (Rust Brown) - this is a dry pigment - dip a clean, dry brush into the pigment and brush it on the surface - then blow off the excess.  It says to then brush alcohol over it to set the pigment - however I've yet to actually do that last part.  Yes, a little can rub off but it helps with the dirt/rust effect.
The new industrial terrain set, painted up

I thought about connecting the pipes, but that makes them a bit harder to store

The rust on the top, and stippling on the electrical panel help to make this look a bit worn

Of course, not all of the terrain remains intact.  The damaged terrain set is great for that.

Both open buildings and the remains of walls - even with holes blown through them

I also had a couple of fortification sprues - so did a short defense line
Don't think me a heretic, but not all your terrain has to be battlescapes from Mantic.  Nearly anything that fits in three inch squares works.  For example, a while back I bought a few kits to make fuel tanks from energy drink cans.  This has been sitting on my shelf primed for quite some time, so I figured I would finally finish it.
It fits in two cubes.
I may go in and add in some pipes (since I have some from my industrial sprues).  But until then it is painted and ready to go.

One of the last things included in the accessory sprue is some scatter terrain - crates and barrels. These are something I have neglected, so I decided to do something with them.  I figured they were a good chance to actually put some color into the bleak grey landscape, so the crates went blue, the barrels went green and the hazardous waste containers went red.  These were three cans of spray paint I happened to have sitting around. (The red is Warpaints Dragon Red, but the others are just generic spray paint from Home Depot or Walmart).

A little yellow color detail and a quick wash, and these are finally ready for the tabletop as well.

Because it is all fun and games . . .


  1. lovely looking terrain and well painted. I can't wait to get mine.
    Could you please share a link to where you got that nifty drinks can conversion kit?

    1. I found the original Facebook post from November 21, 2013! If you are a member of the Deadzone Fanatics group you can see it by doing a search on "MDF" and scrolling down a few times. (The original poster is no longer a member of the group). He has a small web store at, but it does not have this listed as an item.

      I bought 3 (or 4) but sold off the others. If you contact him via his web store he might still be able to custom make them.

    2. Thanks, I'll check that out.


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