Scratch Build Terrain Details: Rope, Sewer Cover and a Pedestal

It has been over three months since my last Scratch build article so it’s about time to get back to the subject. Today we look how I make an ordinary rope cover for a sewer hole and a pedestal for a statue.

I pondered that I needed some simple details for my ongoing dock project and what’s better than some rope? I first turned my attention to the vast supply of internet and found out that a) you can buy pre-made rope (for example here) and b) it´s a rip off!!! Well, not rip off but close still. Why? Let´s find out.


Firstly sorry about the bad pictures with the construction of the rope. I took these with my cellphone in my garage and the lighting there is little bit off concerning photography. Now, about the rope. I bought 0.5cm metal wire from local hardware shop. It cost me 1,5€, ran out yesterday and I was able to make 2.5m of rope. Notice here that I used three wires to make one rope. The rope in the link above seem to be made of two wires. I tried with two wires and three beat the crap out of two. So use three. And yes, don’t buy pre-made because you can make better yourself.

Take three wires which are equal length and twist the ends together.

Now tie the twisted part of the wire to power drill. I used metal hook to have a good grip. Then tie the other ends of the wire to something quite sturdy.

Then just roll the drill slowly and witness how beautiful rope emerges just before your eyes! You can make this part also by hand but it takes eternity because you have to twist the wires quite tight to make the rope look realistic. Then detach the rope and cut the ends off.

I suggest that when you embark on this chore to make rope that you make a lot in one batch. It remains the same forever and now you always have some rope when you need some (and believe me, you can put rope everywhere).

Sewer cover

This was a fast one. I thought that because there was a sewer in my harbor there has to be some entrances there also. I might make different ones in the future but this is one way to make these.

I used Dr.Arkadius base to draw some circles on to the 1mm plastic sheet. Why this size? Because this way it seems that miniatures with little base can climb up (or down) from these sewer entries.

Then I cut the circles off and marked the edges of the cover with ballpoint pen.

Because I don´t have compass cutter I used scissors to cut away the center part.

I have noticed that compass cutter is a must in terrain making. There have been countless situations when I have needed to cut perfect circle but failed because of the lack of decent cutter. But solution lurks in the near future because I ordered an extensive amount of hobby stuff (xmas present for myself obviously) from PK-Pro and it includes brand new compas cutter!

Then I cut short plastic rods and used the circles to make a sewer cover “sandwich”. I also added some bolts to the rim.

Although the bottom rim didn´t line up perfectly it doens´t matter because I embedded the cover to the foam. I also cut some tiling around the cover.


I don´t know yet what kind of statue I will use here but I though that it doesn’t affect to the look of the pedestal. I made the base of the pedestal with 0.5 and 0.3 cm thick foam-board.

Then I cut a box from foam which was little narrow than the 0.3 foam-board and I glued it on.

Then I took 0.5cm thick plastic tube and cut it half vertically (which was quite difficult). Then I cut short pieces from that and glued these at the sides of the box. I used PVA glue so I could place the strips in place and move them if I wanted to.

Then I used 0.5cm thick foam-board for the top plate of the pedestal. The piece was as big as the 0.3cm one on the base.

I envisioned that there should be some plaque here which describes the heroic (or non-heroic) acts of some individual which were worthy of a statue.  I used 0.3cm thick foam board and 1 mm thick plastic-sheet to make the plaque. Again some bolts to the corners. Funny how small dots of plastic can give so much character to simple terrain object!

The top side of the pedestal looked some how empty so when I glued the plaque on I also added small strips of 1 mm plastic rod to the sides of the top plate. Dr. Arkadius came to check the finished product.

Comments are always welcome!

It´s time to say until next time and go build something!!



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  1. StoneAgeHero said:

    Awesome inspiring pieces! Love you short tutorials

  2. Magnavox said:

    You might also look at Woodland Scenics or Plastruct for plastic rod quarter round and half round. I do believe they make some and it would reduce the need to cut the plastic tube in half. and quarters.

  3. Snickering Imp said:

    This is looking really good. I like the rope-making method. Quick, effective, and with a slight tweak, can also be used for making barbed wire.

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