How did you make that? Episode Three: The Blood River

In the realm of chaos, everything is twisted and distorted, the very rocks and trees are weird agonized parodies of themselves. Here, the rivers can flow with any liquid – water, acid, vomit, melted cheese, or in this case, blood.The River of BloodThe River of Blood

When I decided to make the Blood River, I knew only two things: I would try out foam core for the banks, and I would try out MDF for the 'ribs'. After a lot of doodling in sketch books and uni note books I worked out what the rest would be. I had to drop a few ideas (like the section of boiling blood) for reasons of space, but most of it came through.

Basically, every section of river is a 30cm long piece of 3mm MDF. Onto this, banks made of bevelled foam core have been attached. The banks have been covered in sand, and painted up using the standard dirt method. Once that was done, the river itself was painted on. The river is painted with various shades of red, getting darker and darker towards the center of each section. The liquid effect was archived with three layers of PVA glue. He first two layers had a little red paint mixed in, this helps to add 'murk' and depth to the effect. The last coat was completely clear, and somewhat thicker. This coat is designed to add gloss, sheen and depth to the whole effect.

However, this was no ordinary river! This is a river of chaos! So I had to add some crazy stuff to it!

More river of BloodMore river of BloodApart from the normal crossing points (in this case, a set of stepping stones and a narrows with a ford), there are also rocks sticking out of the blood (with corpses chained on!) and more importantly, the Rib cage.

The Rib Cage uses the same techniques as I used to create the Temple of Bone and Sinew, and the Pool of Blood. But since I have not explained them here, I'll have to explain them now!

Basically, the ribs are crescent shapes cut from MDF. On the earlier Temple of Bone and Sinew, I used foam core. It's easier to shape,m but unfortunately, it's a lot more fragile. When the crescent shapes were cut out, I then beveled them using a knife. You can carve MDF fairly easily, with a bit of strength and a good blade. But for the love of god, cut away from yourself! I've done serious damage to myself carving polystyrene towards myself when I was younger. (Don't try this at home kids!)

Even more River of Blood!Even more River of Blood!The 'flesh' around the base of the ribs is simple to achieve. First, I make the basic shape I want from a small piece of bent cardboard. This is glued in between the ribs. Then, plaster is used to build up the flesh. The plaster is carefully applied so it forms the right sort of 'stretched skin' look. I use a paddle pop stick for the final shaping.

Went the plaster is dry, it gets a coat of dark red paint (I don't use Citadel paint on terrain - it costs too much!). This is drybrushed with lighter red, and then tentacle pink paint. A wash of thinned down purple paint is applied. It's very thin. When this is completely dry, a light coat of PVA is added to give the whole thing a disgusting glossy look.

So there you have it - simple techniques used to create a rather unusual piece. Drew demands that I build a section of levitating river, and Pete wants me to build the fabled Bridge of Skulls. This will be achieved in time.