Fountain of joy

July 18, 2010

Miniature gamers often have a way of their own of looking at the world. You know what I’m talking about. You’ll see a toy at a toy store, maybe some aquarium furnishings at a pet shop or some interesting gubbins at a hardware store, and start going “Hmm, that might be usable in gaming…” This usually means that you end up with loads and loads of random stuff rammed into boxes already full of other such stuff with great potential. However, every now and then you find a real gem, and that’s what happened to me at a local hardware store. They were having a sale for garden fountains, and different waterfall elements (as they’re apparently called) were sold for dirt cheap. I ended up with this:

Click for a larger version

It’s big (those are Colonial Marines on 25mm bases in the top right corner of the picture), durable (it’s about 5mm thick vinyl/plastic), textured and painted. What more can you ask for? Oh, the price? All of 10 EUR.  That’s 13 USD, or 8,50 GBP. Insane.

Buying such a cool piece of terrain inspired me to build a quick little diorama using my Colonial Marines and Aliens. It also shows off the terrain piece (lovingly christened The Hill) nicely. You can click on any photo for a larger view. Enjoy!

As night sets on LV-278, the Xenomorphs swarm the Colonial Marines

A Xenomorph lurks above the hapless Marines

Another Xenomorph's eye view

The motion tracker going wild, the Marines make their stand

I didn’t even remember building little scenes like this was so much fun. As a kid I used to read old 80s Citadel Journals, and they had these big dioramas, mainly showcasing miniatures. To a little kid’s imagination those pictures were something amazing, and doing this quick thing, I can see why. I should do this more often, I think.

I hope these provided some inspiration, at least to go raid your nearest few hardware stores!


  1. Great find, Mikko! You say it’s a big terrain piece. Roughly speaking, what are the dimensions of it?


    • It’s roughly 19″ x 27″ x 6½”, so impressively sized. Since it’s hollow on the underside, it’s still very easily handled and lightweight.


  2. […] also been wanting to use a large outdoor fountain element ever since I bought it (see this post from a year back). Thus far it has seen no action whatsoever, but will surely be utilised […]


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