DIY Herdstone.

Recently, I was in a tournament and one of the vital parts of my army was the “Shard of the Herdstone”. To represent it, I needed a “Herdstone”. Think of a despoiled portion of Stonehenge.

Now, materials became a bit of a pain in my ass. I went to a hobby shop to get ‘sculpture foam’, and no luck. I went to a “foam mart” (it exists….seriously) to get foam. I only needed a small block and they sold large sheets/ blocks for quite a large amount (hovering near 100 usd.) Next, I went to a ‘train-store’ where they sell model trains. They had no sculpture foam, but did have large chunks of Styrofoam.

Sick of driving around town and the tournament only 1 1/2 days away, I got the styrofoam and started to brainstorm.

When I set to carve the ‘foam’, i realized, I don’t have many hobby tools, seeing that I started the hobby about one year ago. I used a bread knife to saw and hack into the foam and made an absolute mess in the kitchen.

I made a base exactly the dimensions of a CD case. The herdstone size is in much dispute in the beastman community, so I erred on the side of caution and made it a bit smaller than I’d like, but still conservative.  Seeing as it’s terrain, I didn’t want to abuse it, or be accused of abusing its’ size.

Herdstone unpainted. Gor for scale

Here’s where things got a bit tricky. Normally, I would prime the object in question with a fine coat of spraypaint black…but spray paint does some nasty things to styrofoam. It eats through it and deforms the shape pretty fast.

My solution: Elmers glue and roller ball black ink. Both are very viscous substances, and this would create something of a layer or shell around the styrofoam. Protecting it from just flaking into oblivion.

'that's a lot of dead horses...'

Since I was in a hurry, I placed the Herdstone while ‘drying’ in the oven with only the pilot light on. It worked and the material dried up fairly quickly without cracking.

Here are some finished results.

herdstone sans runes and blood

For the small amount of time I had, I’m pretty satisfied. I’m not sure if these are good enough to go back into and work more.

It was suggested to me by a friend that I work in soapstone, and could whittle it down pretty well and even carve runes realistically in it.


At anyrate, the stone needs more ‘flavor’. Blood smears, vultures, chains, runes etched into it’s surface, excrement splattered…you name it.

for now, this is my first go.





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7 responses to “DIY Herdstone.

  1. Looks great dude. A nice themed centrepiece for your army. Have you considered some smaller ones to act as unit fillers for some of the units.

  2. Indeed I have!
    I didn’t know how strict the WYSIWYG rule would be. But apparently, everyone takes liberties. This method isn’t the best for those mini ones, but it’s a start!

  3. The usual unit filler size is a monster base (40mm) or some do a 40mm by 60mm. Most people are fine with them, as long as they know how many models it represents.

    Perhaps another material, yes. I look forward to seeing you ‘jazz’ it up with stolen weapons, sacrifices and blood…

  4. Looks good. I haven’t done one for my beastmen yet either, so I’ll take some inspiration from this. I think I’ll give mine a first coating of PVA glue and sand before painting it. See how that goes.

  5. That looks really good. After your worries about the size of the Herdstone, did anyone at the tournament comment that it was too big or too small?

  6. Hey, nice work on the herdstone. I make some similar stuff for my Lizardmen army because of temples, pyramids, etc… One of my most recent projects is a sort of sacrificial stone that the LM use… I use it as a unit filler. I should have completed pics on that soon. At any rate, I used insulation foam from Home Depot (or Lowe’s). I was able to get a good amount for only $15 and then I have a foam cutter (from Michael’s) that I use to get it the shape that I want. I have used this stuff to make terrain also and have never had problems. As for the painting, I have even sprayed it with spray paint and have never had any problems. This stuff is a little more durable than your average piece, as long as you don’t douse it with spray paint. Anyways, just giving you some pointers. Very nice work on your herdstone, I look forward to seeing you make it more “chaos-y”.

    • Thanks man!

      Unfortunately for me, most hardware stores in So. Cal don’t sell that material as insulation is different in a desert environment. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. Next time I go to a cold climate, I’ll be buying a huge F-ing sheet.

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