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Tag Archives: DIY

TUTORIAL: MODELLING COBBLESTONE BASES

In this easy, step-by-step tutorial I’m going to show you how to create a Cobblestone Base in a what is probably the fastest and simplest way ever.

I USED:

  • Wallpaper*,
  • Basing Glue,
  • Flat (used up) Brush,
  • Hobby Knife,

*Just find a suitable one at a local builder’s store.

1  I started by covering entire base with Basing Glue.

2  I then cut off a piece of the wallpaper to be slightly larger then the base itself.

3  Next I glued the piece onto the base, turned the base upside down and cut off the excess of the wallpaper with a Hobby Knife.

4  Last step was to smoother the edges with a slightly moisted fingertip.

Now you see how insanely fast and easy this was. For the purpose of this tutorial I made just this simple base, but once you get your hands on a proper wallpaper, options are limitless. You can use it to texturize bases and terrain, add more detail or even mix different types of texture.

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TUTORIAL: MODELLING OVERGROWN BASES

Today I’m going to reveal one of my dearest secrets: how Super Glue and Basing Glue can be used to make some fantastic, crazy, awesome stuff! I have invented it by accident when I was a kid, used it since and love it for both simplicity and awesome texture effect. In this easy, step-by-step tutorial I will show you how to produce your own Overgrown Bases!

I USED:

  • Super Glue,
  • Basing Glue,
  • Birch-tree seeds*
  • Bitz of dried out grapes**
  • Random small balls***

*I purchased a huge pack of these for approximately 1€,

**Once you eat up all the goodie goodie grapes, you have like a bunch of wooden leftovers. Once dried out these are awesome bor basing miniatures.

***I use either Air Soft Gun ammuniton, or for smaller calliber moist absorber balls obtainable with every new pair of shoes. Just ask your gf to dig out one of her shoeboxes, there should be a small paper bag filled with tiny, translucent balls in it.

1  I started by applying basing glue all over the base. No need to make it smooth, just enough not to leave any empty spaces.

2  I then dropped some of the tiny balls and Birch-tree seeds over the wet glue.

3  Here's where MAGIC begun. I covered entire base with Super Glue and watched as it was warped before my eyes in a matter of merely seconds.

4  Before it dried out I added some pieces of dry grape vines to make it look like some strange, alien mushrooms, or plants. I then covered additional stuff with more Super Glue to harden it.

5  Last step was to leave entire thing to dry out. Usually it takes around five minutes for a base to get dry, but it might take a bit longer, depending on how much basing glue is used.

6  The final step was to undercoat dried out base with Chaos Black spray... then do a quick paint job with random colours.

Now seriously – tell my that’s not an awesome texture effect XD This is like ultra-fast, mega-cool way of using two glues to create utter chaos on any surface. Chaos mutations, warped stuff, Zerg creep, alien planet foliage, jungle floor, faerie glade, name it – then glue+glue it 😉

Do not hesitate to let me know and send some pictures via FACEBOOK if you ever use the tutorial. I will be happy to see how it turned out 😉

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TUTORIAL: MODELLING CAVE BASES

In this easy, step-by-step tutorial I’m going to show you how to create a Cave Base.

I USED:

  • Super Glue,
  • Basing Glue,
  • Toothpicks and nail sticks*
  • Small gravel stones**
  • Games Workshop Texture Paints,

*Ask your GF if you don’t know where to obtain the latter.

**Search in IKEA or any home/garden store. A lifetime stockpile of these is less than 5€.

 

1  I started by cutting off the tips of both toothpicks and nail sticks. These would do for fine stalagmites later on.

2  I then applied couple of drops of basing glue onto the base. Before it dried out I applied Super Glue on it and mounted stalagmites, tip upwards, on the mix.

3  Next I covered entire stalagmites with basing glue and left it to dry. The excess glue, moved by the power of gravity, was drawn downwards, where it rested around the base of the stalagmites, making them look smooth and natural.

4  Using the previous technique I applied some basing glue in few spots and then Super Glue'ed some gravel over it. You can actually glue any type of stuff with this - like skulls, some pieces of armour etc.

5  I then covered antire surface, except for any fillers, with Games Workshop's texture paints. I used a mix of Agrellan Earth and Agrellan Badland for this tutorial, but actually any of the range will do - as long as you would like to undercoat the base afterwards.

6  The final step was to undercoat dried out base with Chaos Black spray...

Now, what’s left is just to paint the bases with your preferable colour scheme. I chose to go red/copper style similar to ‘the Wave’ and watered some spots with clear resin, but the number of potential colour schemes is unlimited.

If you ever use the tutorial – be sure to let me know and send some pictures via FACEBOOK. I will be happy to see how it turned out 😉

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“CITY OF THE DAMNED” SPECIAL PROJECT part one

“It is a Dark Time.
The might of the Empire is dust, their crown is lost to them and their glory forgotten.
The promise of an age of peace and prosperity is drowned in blood.
This is your time. For the ruins of Mordheim hold prize beyond imagination: stones of power which can grant all your wishes.
But beware of your enemies.
Fear the Possessed, the Beasts of the Pit which roam the night.
Watch for the thieves of the Rat men, the Skaven of the Underworld.
Dread the corpses who walk like the living: the foul Vampires and their rotting minions.
This is Mordheim, the city of the Damned. This is the home of all your hopes. Be wary or it will be your grave as well.”

Mordheim rb.s.124

CITY OF THE DAMNED - part one: VENTURE

It all started with a single idea that came to me one day. I remember it as if it were yesterday, cause this was the glorious day when I installed Mordheim: City of the Damned and tried it out for the first time. I saw Mordheim in it’s full dark glory and thought ‘Damn! This looks so effective. I should make myself a gaming board based on this…’ You see – terrain making is similar to PC map building. You take base shapes, you texturize them and then colour them. If you happen to plan it beforehand, you will have just that: base shapes, texture pieces and paints – to work with. So , the idea was one of the ‘good ones’ and totally within my reach. Not a priority – just ‘an idea’. From then on it was haunting me throughout my everyday life. Sometimes it stayed dormant for couple of weeks just to emerge from the depth of my imagination without any warning. Many times I was on the verge of realizing it into existence, then just hid it deeper within me like “meh, takes up too much time, I don’t need it right now”. But, not so long ago, the right moment finally came. I was gaming in a local hobby store, where I saw an inspiring collecrion of Mordheim terrain. This was too much – I couldn’t resist. There was just too much inspiration to walk by. I broke that invissible mental barrier – took this like a man – a day later I went to Leroy Merlin, purchased all necessary materials and started working on this project…

GOAL:

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I already had a Mordheim Gaming Board along with all the terrain that  might come in handy throughout a vast campaign. The old scenery set was rather solid but lacked some key features in terms of theme and looks – the most important of which was texture. Back in the days I praised short construction time and playability over looks and strong theme. I produced terrain pieces really fast, but at a cost of visuals. This time I wanted to set looks and theme as the highest priority with playability a bit lower, followed by durability and other usual stuff, along with construction time being the lowest priority. Due to my current Nomad’ish way of life I also wanted for this gaming board to be transportation friendly and rather light. To achieve that I had to fulfill these assumptions:

  • A lot of texture, looks
  • A lot of detail, looks
  • No bases, re-playability,
  • Light, transportation,
  • Easy setup, playability,

As with most terrain projects, I started with preparing a simple visualisation of how much space the foundations will take up on the gaming board. By ‘the foundations’ I mean the simple terrain pieces that will take up most space, creating different levels on the gaming board. In case of “The Colony” gaming board these would obviously be buildings, but this time I’ve decided to use urban hills for the job. This was just a formality, but as usual I wanted to be prepared for what’s to come…

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The base concept was to create four urban hills, that migh be combined in many different ways to create a large elevated space, or set up individually. Along with these, two small urban hills and two platforms were to be made. While small hills might be used for shape diversity and to link the bigger ones, platforms were to provide easy access to elevated positions on the map…

EQUIPMENT:

wip-mordheim-gaming-board-2016_2017-1

One of the most important thing in terrain building is choosing the right materials. Let’s say that I wanted to provide a lot of texture and detail while at the same time I wanted my gaming board/scenery to be rather durable, easy to setup and easy to transport (Not to mention – wallet friendly). Plaster was obviously a bad choice as it’s not only heavy but also not very good to paint on. Plaster tends to get damaged all the time and I personally try to avoid it. Any type of Resin or Hardfoam might do but these are extremely expensive and in case of a project on such a grand scale, they would have required professional equipment to be fully implemented. So I decided to go for styrofoam for base shapes and wallpaper for texture. (I personally hate light terrain pieces, that tend to fly all over the table, but in this case – solid buildings could keep the rest pinned to the table, fulfilling all the assumptions of my initial idea at the same time.

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COBBLESTONE STREETS:

I had all the materials needed along with the concept. The only thing to do at that point was to start working on the project. I started with the most simple of tasks – preparing the ‘cobblestone’ gameboard. It bassicaly took like half an hour with me just applying a lot of basing glue onto the board and then cutting large pieces of a wallpaper to be glued upon it. The picture looks nothing special, but once painted – small cobblestone could be seen all over the game board…

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FIRST STEPS:

As soon as I took on the platforms, an idea of additional items appeared. Having in mind that the upper level should be rather accessible for all the miniatures I added four sets of stairs to the fold. Started with base shape cut out of rough pieces of styrofoam, then added texture on the sides to finally cover certain places with handmade stones. The stones (or just ‘huge bricks’) were made by cutting the base rectangular shape out of styrofoam and then rolling droves of these in my hands so that all the hard angles became nicely rounded.

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DEEP ALLEYS:

Along with all the platforms and stairways I also prepared a set of urban hills. I used ‘Legend of the five rings ccg’ boxes to gain access to base shapes of a similar height. The best method to texturise them was to cover entirety of them with glue and then use wallpaper all over it. Once glue dried out I added styrofoam pieces cut out of the fridge protecting casing ( I like to keep such stuff in case it’ll come in handy – and guess what – it did…). Just like with stairs and platforms, I texturized urban hills with styrofoam bricks/blocks of stone.

Usually at this point I would have spent a lot of time correcting small imperfections, but I’ve figured out to cover them with a finishing touch of fake autumn leaves, once the paint job is done. This way I wanted to strenghten the mood of the entire table while having all the small holes and defects covered.

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ARCHED BRIDGES:

One of the things I usually messed up were bridges. Up to now I can’t recall any of these that would actually turn out to look good. Having excess materials I decided to give it a try, this time tho I used the same concept as in case of urban hills. I tweaked the design a little to better suit the gaming board and added two short bridges to the set.

wip-mordheim-gaming-board-2016_2017-bridges-1

FINAL TESTS:

Just after undercoating the this scenery set up couple of different battlefields to take proper pictures. I was able to confront the idea of a modular table with what I’ve created. Checked out different layouts but also made mental notes of what and how many buildings I would require in the future…

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PROVIDING COLOURS:

Paint job followed soon after. I used entire 200ml of Vallejo Black Surface Primer, mixing it with gray and white to provide different layers of both wet paint job and drybrush. After that I also edged all corner stones with GW’s Pale Wych Flesh and added some extras in form of broken skulls, torches and Wyrdstone Shards. I also covered some spots with Autumn Leaves made out of Birch-tree seeds. This set a strong, dark mood to the scenery and comboed nicely with aldready painted ‘Toad Fountain’ and ‘Dead Tree’ pieces…

Epilogue:

More than happy with the visual results I hold the project until end of the year and get back to it with some cool looking buildings later on. We’ll see how it goes once 2017th hits the callendar…

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TUTORIAL: DIY CANDLES

Winter is already here thus I thought about warming the theme a bit by introducing a tutorial of how to make candles for 28-30mm scale. Why produce such things? In miniatures hobby candles are rare bitz among what you get in the sets designed by main miniature producers. Even if a set contains some, their number is scarce. Why not make your own and adorn bases, miniatures and even scenery with them? Be it Age of Sigmar, Mordheim, Warhammer 40,000 or just a fantasy dungeon – candles will provide mood to both miniatures and scenery. Below is a quick and easy step-by-step of how to produce your own 28-30mm scale candles. Enjoy…

I USED:

  • Super Glue,
  • Basing Glue,
  • Toothpicks,
  • Tissue,
  • Thin Wire,
  • Modelling Tools,

1  I started with preparation of candles-to-be by cutting toothpicks into small pieces. I tried to keep all of them between 5-10mm long, to better fit into the 28-30mm fantasy scale. Once I had couple pieces done I choose some of them and drilled small holes from one side. These will be used later to hold candlewicks.

2  Next I glued the candles onto the base. In case of scenery I usually drill small holes to hold the candles in place or just glue them as it is if I'm sure the scenery won't require enchanced durability. For the purpose of this tutorial I drilled some holes in an old square Warhammer base.

3  I then glued small pieces of wire into the holes, to look like candlewicks.

4  Then came the time to cover the candles with a basing glue, applying additional glue around the base of each candle to create an effect of spilled wax.

5  Next step was to prepare couple of small flames, using a wet paper tissue. I just rolled, then cut it into small pieces, which I then rolled once again.

6  The flames where then glued to the candles with super glue and once in place - covered with glue to harden entirely.

7  I left the stuff to dry, then painted it with mix of creme and white, washed the candlewicks and flames with some washes.

The end result will look more or less like this:

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“DEAD TREE” SPECIAL PROJECT

“It is a Dark Time.
The might of the Empire is dust, their crown is lost to them and their glory forgotten.
The promise of an age of peace and prosperity is drowned in blood.
This is your time. For the ruins of Mordheim hold prize beyond imagination: stones of power which can grant all your wishes.
But beware of your enemies.
Fear the Possessed, the Beasts of the Pit which roam the night.
Watch for the thieves of the Rat men, the Skaven of the Underworld.
Dread the corpses who walk like the living: the foul Vampires and their rotting minions.
This is Mordheim, the city of the Damned. This is the home of all your hopes. Be wary or it will be your grave as well.”

Mordheim rb.s.124

Working with some awesome Tabbletop World terrain bringed back memories of Mordheim and how I used to create fantasy scenery for my own gaming table. The idea to revitalize entire gameboard surfaced in my mind on more than one occasion but such a feat was somehow beyond my reach. To satisfy the muse and pacify my deepest Mordheim desires I decided to go one small step at a time. My attention focused on a piece I wanted to create since the earliest days of Mordheim – a creepy, dead tree. I already made an attempt to bring life to this piece couple of years ago, but the overall effect was rather poor and I ditched the project. This time I was much more experienced and much more hyped, but most of all I have acquired a lot of new skills and got to know new techniques during these last few years. I was ready to take on this Special Project head-on.

CONCEPT:

wip-mordheim-tree-0

The idea was to make a sickly looking tree, hung some stuff on it then compose the surroundings so that the entire piece of scenery would create a nice visual effect. It was supposed to be a cool looking, mood providing centerpiece. The most important features were to be looks and being totally impassable so that the terrain piece won’t cause any placement problems during the game. Along with the tree there supposed to be some sort of eye-candies in form of small detail like a hidden treasure, bones, animals etc. Also I wanted to include either a small crypt or a monument somewhere on the base to provide a stronger mood to the piece.

SCRATCH BUILDING:

After selecting most of the initial materials and bitz for the project I started with the tree. I thought long and hard about  where to get a long wire to base the tree upon, but in the end was able to get my hands on an old Ethernet cable. At that point I knew that I will have to strenghten the entire construction, but for the time being I concentrated on the base shape. I cut the cable into pieces, removed the excess of the outer layer and reshaped the inner wires into branches/roots on both ends of each piece. Then I grouped the pieces in twos and threes, taping them around the main trunk with a paper-tape. In the next step I composed the tree out of the newly created pieces and taped them together…

wip-mordheim-tree-2

Having a tree I concentrated on basing it. Used a piece of PCV to cut the basic shape and glued a bottom piece of the statue I was going to add to the composition. I then cut the excess of PCV and modelled it a bit around the newly aded piece. I based the tree and added a huge natural rock to the base to serve as a sort of a sacrificial altar or something related to occultism (And to add weight to a base that was supposed to hold a big tree). I then used  a basing glue on the entire trunk of the tree and taped it around with pieces of moisted paper towel. Left the entire thing to dry out for the night…

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Upon waking up I started to add texture to the tree. There were two possible ways to achieve a durable and good looking effect. The first one was to use Green Stuff along with other sculpting putties to provide a nice texture. This one would take up a lot of time and cash so I ditched it in favor of the more simple and quicker way. Once again I used basing glue, but this time I covered entire tree. Once it was hard enough I added another layer and used a dryer to help it harden. I also applied a lot of Mourn Mountain Snow – texture paint from GW. Modelled a bit and then finished with a lot of Super Glue to harden the entire surface and strenghten the construction. This way I ended up with a nice looking, durable and highly textured tree…

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Next step was to add more stones onto the base and provide a more natural shape to it. I used Green Stuff and some other modelling putties to create the base shape. It was a bit expensive, but I hadn’t had plaster around and wanted to progress without any delays. I even used up excess of the putty to quick-sculpt some fish and mutated creatures for another Special Project going on beside this one. Somewhere on the way I also started to add bitz to the tree so that it looked more Mordheim-like with hooks, nails, a dead body hunging by the neck etc…

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Detailing took some time as I wanted to bring life to the piece. A short line of running rats here, A bird interrested with the candles there and a half burried treasure chest somewhere else. The work moved steadily forward and with each new feature the ‘Dead Tree’ look much more alive.

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Once everything was in place I covered the entirety of the base with Stirland Mud – tecxture paint from GW. Usually I just use basing glue and sand, but this time I wanted to create something more detailed. ‘No shortcuts’ I told myself when applying the texture. Ended up with a complete piece looking like this:

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PAINTING:

What can I say – I was totally in the mood. Once I sat to paint this thing I couldn’t take a break even if only to take a work in progress picture. Just couldn’t stop. Took couple of hours to complete with me testing new recipes – wanting this one to look superior to all my previous Mordheim scenery. It turned out to be a concept foundation on which I intend to build my new Mordheim gaming board terrain series.

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One thing that I can say about the paint job is that most of it is made using Vallejo Air paints and actually airbrushed. Some surfaces were drybrushed just to be lined with Flayed One Flesh. What is unusual for me is that I almost used no washes, which usually are the main source of highlights in my works. This time tho I decided to go in the direction of a proper airbrushing, rather than risk unpredictability of a wash.  Either way – I finished the project by applying Birch-tree seeds to imitate leaves all around the base and in particular small spots over the altar and monumet. This complimented the entire colour scheme and deepened the mood of the scenery piece.

FINISHED PIECE:

Here is a picture of the finished piece, but theres a lot more in the “MORDHEIM DEAD TREE” Special Project gallery…

Some pictures can be also found at CoolMiniOrNot, where you can leave your votes for this one if you like.

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Epilogue:

“Dead Tree” is not my last word when it comes to Mordheim Terrain. Even now I’m working on a brand new pieces, not to mention the ‘Toad Fountain” which was completed in the same time as this one. Hope you like this piece and will enjoy the entire series. I encourage you to leave feedback, especially in case of any questions related to the project.

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“THE COLONY” SPECIAL PROJECT part seven

It’s been almost four months since I have ‘finished’ The Colony Special Project. Such grand endavours are the reason I’m into painting and miniatures wargaming. That wondrous feel of completion once a huge project hits the finish line. It always comes with a great satisfaction but once the dust settles, a void starts to grow inside my heart. I’m happy with results, yet  long for the ‘process of creation’. That is why I consider every major project to be alive for at least as long as I am. In case of The Colony – well, a gaming table could always be improoved or use some more scenery. That is the exact way of thinking which led me to writing another part of this article…

THE COLONY - part seven: BEYOND

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That being said I must confess that I wasn’t able to invest much time into The Colony in the last few months. Commissions fell on me from all around the globe and I lived a prosperous life by lending my brush to all those in need of decent painting. Still, once in a while, between commissions I stumbled upon some cool looking items that just screamed to be unleashed onto my gaming board in form of some sweet looking terrain. Many sources provided me with items of great value, among them my girlfriend (cosmetics), my friend Garran (his personal collection of ‘cool stuff’) and even some of befriended companies like Micro Art Studio, or Ekograf, who (knowing my tastes) sent me some of their leftovers. I sincerly thank all of you, my beloved providers, and proudly announce that I couldn’t resist the temptation and used all the items, you so willingly parted with, to further expand my scenery collection and bring The Colony’s theme beyond the bounds of my early predictions.

 

From Scratch

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Anyone remembers that picture? It was published at the end of “THE COLONY” SPECIAL PROJECT part six article. Some of this stuff still awaits being used, but more than half of it has already reincarnated in a form of these scenery pieces:

New Sculpture

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A futuristic sculpture made out of a Maybelline eyelashes mascara. Once I stole this precious item from my GF’s secret stash I had a real wrinkle with how to use it. So many ideas, including an antenna, a column, a laser tube – in the end I couldn’t decide so I got back into a well known territory of futuristic sculpures. It is only fair to use items stolen from my GF as pieces of art, otherwise she might not be swayed to turn a blind eye on my theft 😛

Strip Cage

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I got that awesome Dactari from my Girlfriend somewhere along two years of gaming. Untill now I hadn’t had use for it, as I was more into Corregidor-like miniatures, but finally I got the idea, made up what MDF pieces I will need to ‘cage’ this chick and ordered them from a friendly company. Once I got the stuff I just build the cage and here’s the result. It makes foir a nice rooftop piece or a great standalone scenery piece.

Experimental Tubes

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These can be used as objectives or just some random scenery pieces. I made them out of HDF pieces, leftovers and small plastic tubes* filled with shower gell. The tubes were given to me by Garran with which I tend to play Infinity, but also exchange concepts during our long painting/modelling talks. The guy is so nice as to share some of his stuff with me and I try hard not to let this gesture go to waste.

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Sexy Pleksi

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This is another source of endless inspiration. These are some throwbacks from Micro Art Studio’s production. MAS is very serious about their products – each and every one is checked for defects before it proceeds to packing. Once a defect is discovered, all imperfect products are kept as samples to avoid same kind of mistake in the future. In case of large quantities tho – some items may be sent to a friendly modeller to be used for awesome scenery building! One might even say that these can be used in a variety of crazy ways…

Distance Keepers

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Six bridges are a bit too much on a 48×48″ table so I designed these scenery pieces to help me setup and then keep the gaming board in order. Simple yet effective, adding depth to streets and a nice futuristic note to the overall visual effect.

Low Planters

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Made with playability in mind, these low planters are perfect to fill my choosen theme of white/orange/green scenery. They fit both at the ground level and in the rooftops. I made these using pleksi rulers to provide detail, while the rest is just plasticard cut to fit the empty spaces. The visuals vere enchanced by plants and HDF ‘orange’ pieces.

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Plant Compartments

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This plant compartment module is a pearl among the scenery pieces I’ve created lately. I’m really happy with how it came out. To think that I struggled for almost a year before I decided how to use two Yves Saint Laurent caps. But let’s get to the way these items (there are actually two identical scenery pieces) came to life. Some time ago I got a set of used up cutter casings from Ekograf to use in my quest of bringing imagination to reality. My friend Garran was the one to dig these out specially with me in mind (Once again thanks mate!). Once I layed my hands on these fine pieces I knew that something wondrous will come out of them. So I started planning and was quickly drawn to still unused Yves Saint Lauren caps. Their hexagonal shape fit perfectly to The Colony’s theme so I based the entire construction on them. After adding couple of PCV pieces to make the construction higher I used plexi rulers to add detail, then used cutter casings and some HDF leftovers to build particular compartments and mounted them around the central column. For the plants I used a fake Bonsai tree made out of gum. It was to fragile to be used as a standalone scenery piece, but inside the compartments it could easily outlive all the other terrain pieces. So I used glue and some tricks of my own to enchance the vicualts of tree stupms, added fake greenery and mounted these fine looking plants inside the compartments. ‘Orange’ elements followed and themed paint job done the rest. Now I have two LOF blocking pieces of scenery, that provide a lot of cover, fill empty spaces between the buildings and go along with the theme.

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Completing the Theme

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One thing still stood out of The Colony’s theme. The Micro Art Studio’s gaming mat (which I just love and don’t want to ever switch for anything else) was screwing with my colour scheme too much. I’ve figured to try and paint it, using sprays and airbrush. For this purpose I’ve airbrushed the entire mat with Vallejo’s German Red Brown, then used Vallejo’s white primer to lighten some spots and finished with Games Workshop’s Zandri Dust primer spray. Once the last layer was dry I moisted the gaming mat and used a piece of cloth on it to ensure that no paint will leave marks on my terrain, miniatures and accessories. Must say that MAS’s gaming mat holds the paint perfectly, while keeping it’s previous properties. The picture does not entirely cover the hue but rest assured that now the gaming mat fits perfectly to The Colony.

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Epilogue

Last four months might not seen me The Colony-centered, still I’ve managed to improove the inicial concept of this gaming table. I’m really glad to be able to transform this:

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Into this:

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Are more upgrades incomming? As long as I live and am into Infinity – that’s not a matter of if, but when. Stay tuned for more of The Colony.

Gallery

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You want to learn more about The Colony? Check out the entire series using THIS TAG

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TUTORIAL: INFINITY DIY CONSOLE

You may consider this short tutorial to be an extension of “Tutorial: Infinity ‘Do It Yourself’ Gaming Terrain” article, in which I tried to inspire you to begin a hunt for some awesome day by day items. Pieces of what might be considered garbage, that usually end up trashed – while they are a source of unlimited potential, when it comes to terrain making. I wonder how it’s been for some of you – have you found some great ‘trash’? Made any awesome terrain pieces? I myself am working on my Gaming Terrain once more, (see: “The Colony: Special Project” article) and inspiration tend to tease me at every step. For example – yesterday I was taking a shower when I saw this piece of art:

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Isn’t that a wonderfull thing? It just screams ‘I am a terrain piece – release me from this earthly form!’ Cosmetics plugs are a constant source of ideas for me – but this one just blown my mind!

I USED:

  • Cosmetics plug,
  • Modelling Knife,
  • Super Glue,
  • Piece of Plasticard,
  • Plastik round base,

 

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Instead of usual step-by-step I will just give you a hint of how this one was done. First of all I separated the plug from the rest of the bottle. Removed the upper part, then started to cut some small pieces of plasticard. Once I had enought pieces I used glue to compose a small town that fitted ‘inside the dome’. I used plasticard to make four legs for this ‘futuristic console’, put them together and mounted whole thing on the base. After that I just sprayed whole thing with white and made some smudges with a sandy colour. In the end I mounted the dome back on top of the plug – that’s it 🙂

Here are some pictures:

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So, now I have a Console to fit into an Objective Room – hope to bring more pieces like this to life in near fiture 😉

 

Two days later...

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Alternative ‘dirty’ colour scheme on a new, simple approach to the consoles. Options are unlimited…

 

 

 

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TUTORIAL: INFINITY ‘DO IT YOURSELF’ GAMING TERRAIN

In this tutorial I will show you a shortcut to some awesome Terrain Making. Together we will plunge head on into the distant future of ‘Infinity the Game’. We end up knee deep in terrain pieces, surrounded by half cheved bitz of plasticard, with our fingertips bleeding, clothes devastated by super glue and wallets full of unspent cash! A truly manly adventure awaits us and that’s why I’ve prepared some Terrain Making theory to prepare you for what is to come and remodel the way you think about it.

THEORETICAL

Terrain Making is a topic to write a book about. There is just so many different aproaches a modeller can take on a road to create some awesome gaming terrain. I would be lying if I told you that I am able to cover all of that here, in this tutorial. Instead I will concentrate on some key points of Terrain Making that I keep in mind whenever I happen to make some scenery.

PLANNING:

The first thing to do is planning. I’m not a big fan of this part and usually skip it, still some key points of planning take place almost unconsciously. Just sort the ideas, prepare funds for eventual purchases, set a theme and go for it!

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– Price of beauty. Long years of gaming and terrain making showed me that a nice looking table may look even better if pumped with some pre-made stuff. Just throw some money into this project and see how much it changed when it comes to how it looks. Think of a sum that you would like to invest in your gaming table – have in mind that except for some necessary stuff like paints, glue, spray, your gaming table can still be built with 0 cash involved.

– Avoid Expensive stuff. I just told you to spend some cash but be thoughtful with that. Try to pinpoint the most expensive elements of your future gaming table and substitute them with some cheap alternatives. This way you not only save some cash but also will not brind huge visual diversity to your terrain set. [A good example of an expensive terrain piece that could be easily replaced.]

A good example of an expensive terrain piece that could be easily replaced.

– Be a pragmatist. Keep it fast and simple to build. I too had a boner when seeing this gaming table but hey – it’s like a billion € and countless hours spent on putting these things together. Remember that cash equals time and vice versa. If earning cash to purchase a terrain piece and putting that piece together will take you less time than making one yourself – just go for it. Otherwise it’s worth to keep it at speed. A nice looking gaming table can be built and painted in less than 16 hours!

– Select a theme. A ravaged battlefield, futuristic city, space hulk hallways, huge magazines, train station, rich district – what you will choose will affect the materials you will need and a level of complexity ergo ‘time’ you will need to build your gaming table. A good theme is an average between price, time of build and LOOKS. Low on cash and time? Try out Magazine space full of barrels and containers. Plenty of cash and time? Go for a pristine Rich Quarters with fountains, streets, bridges and detailed buildings.

MATERIAL:

In order to create a gaming table you will need a lot of different materials. Plasticard, cardboard, thin wood are considered to be ‘common’ while bitz and parts of particular shapes are more difficult to obtain.

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– Have an open mind. There’s plenty awesome items surrounding you all of the time. Most of them end up as trash while they might be used as modelling material of exceptional value. Just go to the kitchen and look around. Plastic bottle caps of different shapes and sizes, coffee jar lids – these are the tip of an iceberg!

– Ride the outside world. Home ‘trash’ is your brick and mortar when it comes to Terrain Making but true pearls belong to the world outside. Just outside your doors you can find some nice looking stones and sticks but further you venture the better your loot will get. Go ahead and visit a supermarket. Toys, hair utensils, cheap (crappy) plastic jewelry, tools section, decorations – these places are marked with ‘X’ for ‘treasure’!

– Be like modern China, steal blueprints. Many different companies created a variety of splendid gaming terrain. Once you type “Infinity Gaming Terrain” in google you will find a lot of great inspiration to draw your ideas from. You can even purchase some and use leftovers to pimp the visual effect of your home made terrains or go even further and rearrange purchased terrain to have some additional spare bitz left!

CONSTRUCTION:

Finally a part of raw hard work! If you picked a theme that goes along with your funds and time that you are willing to invest – this part will be a lot of fun for you.

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– Durability. Gaming terrain should be tough as otherwise you risk games ended up being forced to do some repairs. Try to create terrain that is well ballanced and easy to game with. I recommend that you base all of the smaller terrain pieces as this will improve their balance along with visuals. Just remember to never use cardboard for basing as it usually bends over time. The recommended materials are: plasticard, plywood (both can be seen in the picture above).

– Utility. Gaming terrain is supposed to be gamed upon. I know – some small, sweet looking, extremely detailed pieces makes me wanna cry with joy, but are they as playable as simple, angular blocks of terrain? The answer is NO and have that in mind. Additionally it is worth to measure some heights to better fit the miniatures. For example: A barrel of the same height as a miniature will usually force you to wonder if a miniature standing behind it has LOF to other miniatures? Well usually it does due to use of silhouettes so it’s better to build barrels that are half the miniature’s height. Etc.

[Once again a good example of an expensive and not very playable terrain piece.]This building is looking great but it is expensive, the cover it provides on the ground level is limited, it is too high for some miniatures to go to the roof in a single action forcing you to remember where the miniature is left hanging.

– Clusters. When it comes to small terrain pieces it is the best to keep them clustered on a single base. They will stay in place and provide a wide cover instead of falling apart and moving around the table each time someone ccidentally pushes it.

– Clones. I’m an enemy of a ruler. I just hate to spend lots of time measuring plasticard/cardboard pieces of same dimensions. I preffer to measure up one piece, then cut the rest using the ‘primary’ piece as a template. Even if some pieces get a bit different from one another this will only add some extra touch to the overall looks of my gaming terrain. [Use this technique at your own discretion.]

– Production line. Plan your work accordingly. Start by preparing all the necessary pieces, put them together and base all the terrain pieces. Do not start to paint before all the terrain is ready for it. This way your work will be a bit less rewarding but you will save a lot of time. Same goes for painting: Do not paint a single terrain piece but paint them in droves instead. Just as you end up applying a layer to the last piece, the first one will get dry and ready for the next layer.

So here’s a shortcut recipee for you:
– Prepare funds then cut the expensives off,
– Plan what to buy/build and how long it’ll take, (be a pragmatist),
– Choose a theme according to your capabilities,
– Pillage your house for free trash material,
– Pillage nearby supermarket for some key material pieces, [keep it cheap.]
– Use some purchased terrain and leftovers to create your own variations,
– Make your terrains durable, balanced and playable,
– Keep small terrain pieces based together,
– Save time while preparing particular bitz by using one as a template to cut the rest out,
– End one stage before moving to the next one,

PRACTICAL:

I feel your pain. That wall of text above is probably as hard to read for you as it was for me and I read it more than thrice. Let’s go to the Practical part of this Tutorial with some examples and more pictures. I will use my own gaming table prepared last year as an example of how to do it in accordance to above tips.

PLANNING:

Back then I was short of time and wanted to create a gaming table designed for Infinity ASAP. I love Micro Art Studio’s terrain and wanted to purchase a whole set of it along with some Spartan Scenics. Cash was not an issue but once a test purchase was delivered I almost dropped the project due to time consuming process of putting these terrains together. It was a hell of a boredome so I decided to go ahead and prepare my own gaming table. I choose something between Mass Effect ‘Citadel’ and Death Star outer surface style Theme and already owning a Micro Art Studio’s catwalk set I decided tu cut off the most expensive thing: Buildings. Small part of the surplus cash was to be used on static grass and a Battle Mat that would eventually pump the visual effect of the gaming table.

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MATS/CONSTRUCTION:

Being a pragmatist I decided to use a hard cardboard boxes as the main bodies on the gaming board. Easy to obtain in friendly local hobby store, easy to prepare, light (transportaion), stable, very playable – the cardboard boxes prove to be an extrmely good pick. Some spare parts from catwalk set let me upgrade my ‘buildings’ with a nice set of futuristic ladders. The plan was to improve the visual effect by adding some facture with paintjob.

Once I was done with the buildings I moved to all the other stuff. Less futuristic but very playable and bringing some colour to my gaming table came Barrels, Trash Containers, Holograms, inner walls and some key terrain pieces. Here’s an example:

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PARTICULAR TERRAIN PIECES:

Barrels: Plastic bottle caps of coca cola, milk and water. I find the ones with less facture being the best as the paint looks much better on irregular flat areas. I drink a lot of Coca Cola Zero in addition to milk and water so I used most of the caps being kept in home 🙂

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Trash Containers: Tic-tac pack upper parts. Some were additionally converted but looking past I think that I should leave them be as they have a perfect shape on their own.

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Holograms: Old Warhammer 40,000 tokens, easy to obtain at second hand market and as these are rarely used – they come in cheap. I had some left from my own Warhammer 40,000 collection and purchased another set from a friend.

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Inner Walls: Rectangle Chessex Dice packs being emptied and thrown away by a local hobby store. Some walls were also made of wooden blocks. Some have been updated with facture made of wooden spare parts left from Micro Art’s catwalk set.

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All the leftovers were used to build this Relay Beacon, leaving not a single bitz unused.

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This particular gaming board was made with rush thus I had to update it from time to time adding extra touch with new sets of scenery. Just recently I wandered into the Supermarket in search of some final pieces to strengthen the theme of Sci-fi quarters. I found these cool items:

Plastic hair holder / 1,5€is a masterpiese of both architecture and art. A fine centerpiece for my gaming table. I bought two of these and made them into this:

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Decorative beads / 2€ will one day be used to make a set of awesome light globes all around my flat white buildings. For now they served as additional facture for new set of Trash Containers.

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So here we are. My gaming table took less than 24hrs in total to complete and that if all the add-ons are being counted. The overall cost of this project is Micro Art catwalk set, Micro Art hologram banner set, Micro Art gaming mat, warhammer 40,000 tokens, two hair holders, a pack of decorative beads, a can of white spray, some paints, glue, brushes. It’s around 150€ + 24hrs worth of my work (which could be much less if I only made all these stuff in one go). All the other items I’ve managed to get for free. Now I have a very playable and rather nice looking gaming table, designed for Infinity and fully packable into a single box XD

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!  If i haven't purchased Micro Art Studio's awesome stuff the overall cost of this gaming table would be close to 50€

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I hope that you will find this tutorial both helpful and inspiring. In case of any questions just leave me a comment in the comment section below.

PS: The pictures below were made couple of days ago in a local mall, which was modernized recently. Now it looks just as my vision of what this gaming table is supposed to represent 🙂 Welcome to the future – few years from now and we will see some Heavy Infantry in live action 🙂

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