Some In-Tents Tents

Model Tents – Modeling the Pathfinder Playtest

If your a miniatures nut like me then the Pathfinder Playtest is just another excuse to take on more miniature projects. We’ll be making model tents. If you’re a player in the playtest, come back when you’ve finished Part 2 of the Playtest, otherwise consider this a Spoiler Alert. 

Some In-Tents Model Tents
Some “In-Tents” Tents

Specifically, we’re making gnoll tents. These tents are easy to make, dirt cheap, yet generic enough that you’ll get plenty of use out of them.

You’ll Need

Assuming you’re making three model tents, you’ll need the following:

  1. 2 x 2 inch squares of plastic card (3)
  2. Thin sticks, about 2-2.5 inches long (9-12)
  3. A paper egg box
  4. String or thick thread, for “rope”
  5. Flocking flock. Yeah, flock!
  6. Baking flour, about 2 teaspoons
  7. Water
  8. The usual tools, glues, paints, and equipment for the construction of miniaturized scenery.
  9. Paint (lots of brown and tan)
  10. A bowl of Kellogs Corn Flocks, yum! (Just kidding)

All Your Base Are Belong To Us

Cut the plastic card to size and round the edges. Scale wise, these are 10-foot square bases. Sand the sticks then glue 3–4 poles to each card, to make a teepee shape.

Base and tent poles for our model tents.
Base and tent poles for our model tents.

Glue sand and flock to the bases now, since we want to see inside each tent — we’ll put the tent material on later.

Pelts and Skins

This was an experiment that worked out really well. Cut an egg box into rectangles, then shape each rectangle to make pelts, like in the image below.

Model tents need model pelts, made from egg boxes!
Pelts, made from egg boxes!

I got about 12 pelts out of one box.

Tip: Use a miniature to judge the size of these. They need to wrap around the poles of your tents, so don’t make them too small.

Flour Water For the Win

Last week I showed you how to make Captain America’s shield using a fan cover and paper mache. Paper mache isn’t particularly easy to work with at this scale, but works for this project, and we’ll see why in a bit.

Mix 1 part flour (2 teaspoons) with 3 parts water (6 teaspoons) and mix until it’s smooth. Dip the pelts in the paste and soak them well. Pull a layer off the pelt to make thinner skins. This does two things: it gives the pelt a better texture and makes it easier to wrap the pelt around the tent poles.

Stick a pelt down inside each tent, to make the floor. I worked this down with the edge of a spoon, which helped to flatten the pelt into the ground.

Wrap the corners of each pelt over the poles to make a shelter. Don’t worry about being too neat. For the tent’s entrance, fold a pelt in half before you stick it on.

Model tents, ready for undercoating.
Our model tents, ready for undercoating (front and rear views)

I painted the paste over the base of the model too, which holds the grit down better.

Detailing

Glue rope around the poles and add other bits of detail, such as weapons and shields, as you see fit.

Painting

I base-coated my model tents with matt black, then painted them with poster paint and Citadel paints.

Gnoll Tent Camp
“Well done on earning your camping merit badge, Spot!”

To get rid of any shine, use something like the Anti Shine Matt Varnish, from The Army Painter.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. I’d love to hear from you, please leave a comment below.

Rodney Sloan
Rising Phoenix Games

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