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Author Topic: The Spoils (Terrain Project)  (Read 4742 times)

Offline bermanj

  • Bookworm
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The Spoils (Terrain Project)
« on: September 04, 2019, 12:25:57 PM »
I'm one of 'those guys' who loves building terrain for games as much as the minis proper - I've found myself flip-flopping between miniatures (mainly Eldar to date) and terrain projects.  Not that I'm complaining, it makes for variety and adds to my enjoyment.

Recently my terrain building fire was lit once again after learning of the re-release of SLA Industries RPG and the complementary SLA Industries: Cannibal Sector 1 (CS1) wargame.  I loved the setting back in the day and it didn't take much for me to get right-back into SLA's darkpunk (grimpunk?  certainly not your standard chrome inspired cyberpunk) world.  The whole setting could quite easily mesh into the Dark Age of Technology period of the W40k universe, but that's another post.

So what have I been trying to build and deliver? I'm calling the Project "The Spoils".  To paraphrase the source materials, there's an area of urban decay boarding a continent-spanning metropolis called Cannibal Sector 1. CS1 is the size of a country and boarded by a massive containment wall.  The Sector is post-apoc hell: rubble everywhere forever drenched in rain and pollutants and all but devoid of life - well devoid of any life you'd like to meet.  Yes, it's full of all the unsavoury types and characters including devolved human cannibals, failed genetic experiments, manchines and even competiting/rival corporations running missions for agendas of their own devising.

Whilst reading through the source materials one thing that strikes me is the silence: you could imagine a recon team walking for hours, picking their way through the rubble without hearing anything but the incessant rain - only for them to be ambushed and everything going to hell.  Very Vietnam War-type imagery, but set in centuries-old areas of urban decay.

So the plan has been to create a collection of terrain that would work in such a setting.  Objectives in that regard have included:
  • Modular: I want the flexibility to change things on a whim!
  • Wet: this environment ain't no Mad Max-type desert, rather it's dripping with moisture, not that anything but fungus can prosper given the pollutants.
  • Rubble: Stalingradx100, then left to fallow (in the rain) for a century or two.  Every step should be crunchy.
  • Muted: nothing about this is bright - if anything I wanted it to feel like you're looking out into one of those rainy day scenes - almost black-and-white.  That would also contrast nicely with my miniatures which most definitely aren't monochrome.

Because I like 28mm gaming, I thought I'd shoot for (at least initially) 9x12-inch square terrain boards with enough scatter to make for an interesting experience.  The boards are system agnostic (I'm a big fan of Rogue Planet myself, but have been finding my way in Kill Team and am now exploring CS1).  I've been saving a few items for some such project and it is great that they can finally be employed... more about them later.  Also, I'm not overly precious when it comes to sacrificing my earlier works for new things - recycling, or should I say, upcycling is the name of the game.  Oh yeah - I am a dedicated trash basher so I've gone out of my way to avoid (the many cool and awe-inspiring) kits out there.

So there you have it: some background and concepts to set the scene.  Next step is to share where the journey has taken me to date...

Offline bermanj

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Re: The Spoils (Terrain Project)
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2019, 12:32:51 PM »
Oh, I just saw the time, got to get my beauty sleep!  Here's an image to ponder and there's more to follow in the days ahead!  Cheers


I'll break the above into a series of component images in due course.

Offline CookAndrewB

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Re: The Spoils (Terrain Project)
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2019, 04:15:53 PM »
Definitely going to follow this thread. Can't wait to see what you come up with. Very interested in the "wet" aspect. I don't think I've ever seen anything that is wet all over. Puddles here and there, but not like a city after a good rain.

Offline has.been

  • Scatterbrained Genius
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Re: The Spoils (Terrain Project)
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2019, 08:13:47 PM »
I too am interested in what you generate.
The 'wet' theme reminds me of Blade-runner, the first (& best) version.

Offline Bullshott

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Re: The Spoils (Terrain Project)
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2019, 08:33:22 PM »
Nice terrain. I'm also going to follow this thread, as I've just returned to post-apocalypse gaming  :)
Sir Henry Bullshott, Keeper of Ancient Knowledge

Offline bermanj

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Re: The Spoils (Terrain Project)
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2019, 10:29:49 PM »
So in no particular order, here is one of my two latest 12-inch boards - each iteration seems to be an improvement, be it the composition, technique or whatever, I suppose it's all a matter of refinement.



The above has lots of texture but the apparent depth is something of an optical illusion - in reality, it's only a few centimetres deep and it's the painting + variety of textures that fool you thinking it being much more varied than it is.  Build materials cardboard, loo paper, kitty litter and some grit I once collected in a bucket 'just in case'. There are one or two old sprues etc included but I wanted them incidental, not focal pieces.

I'm particularly happy with the (very cheap arse) water effects.  As someone mentioned, puddles aren't uncommon and in this instance, I wanted to create a board covered with them - trying to create a sense that the water table is near the surface etc.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2019, 10:51:20 PM by bermanj »

Offline bermanj

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Re: The Spoils (Terrain Project)
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2019, 10:59:19 PM »
My other particularly 'wet' board is this little beauty - as much as an experiment as anything.  I tried my hand at painting various colours below the central wet area, again to give the impression of some depth that isn't actually there - the wet area is only a millimetre or two thick at most.  I may try my hand at layering the same, just to see how it looks - as to whether it is this board or another, well time will tell!



In itself the board isn't particularly interesting, but remember the intent here is to create the foundation/base for scatter to be applied.  Something like this can be thrown down without much effort and I don't know about you, but straight away it got me thinking of all sorts of scenarios.


Offline bermanj

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Re: The Spoils (Terrain Project)
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2019, 07:56:32 AM »
...Very interested in the "wet" aspect. I don't think I've ever seen anything that is wet all over. Puddles here and there, but not like a city after a good rain.

I agree - it's a bit of a challenge going 'wet'.  I've using glosses to provide a wet-like sheen to surfaces, so far it seems to be working.  I am conscious that simply spraying a gloss varnish over everything isn't that clever, however the manner in which I've been painting (white-gray-black) attempting to focus on downwards strokes makes a difference... here's a picture that goes some of the way of illustrating the same


Notice that centre of the frame wall?  Just above the lower Kroot's head?  That kind of effect.

Offline CookAndrewB

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Re: The Spoils (Terrain Project)
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2019, 02:16:43 PM »
Tiles look good. Can you do a work in progress photo shoot to lay out the process a bit more? I get the gloss part, I suppose I'm not curious what you are doing to get the textures before you get to that point.

Offline bermanj

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Re: The Spoils (Terrain Project)
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2019, 12:30:19 AM »
Tiles look good. Can you do a work in progress photo shoot to lay out the process a bit more? I get the gloss part, I suppose I'm not curious what you are doing to get the textures before you get to that point.

Sure.  I think you're wanting something like a step-by-step on the tile build?   My Blog has all manner of hobby ramblings, including one I recently made, specifically a tutorial for the boards .

I broke it down into the following nine (what was I thinking!?!) steps with various photos (some of which I've reproduced below) and associated ramblings:
Step One: get yourself a suitably rigid base tile

Step Two: acquire a whole lot of crap basing material
Step Three: frame and glue

Step Four: applying the stuff

Step Five: Let it dry
Step Six: Seal it in PVA

Step Seven: Prime and seal
Step Eight: Paint it up

Step Nine: Lockdown your good work

I trust that's what you're after?

Offline CookAndrewB

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Re: The Spoils (Terrain Project)
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2019, 12:43:29 PM »
Yes. Interesting. Never seen anyone frame out a tile. Do you do this to prevent warping?

Offline bermanj

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Re: The Spoils (Terrain Project)
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2019, 09:20:19 AM »
The frame isn't a necessity whatsoever, and no, it doesn't prevent warping.  I had some spare lumber and thought it would help me contain the mess associated with the creation process.  Also, it encourages me to build right up to the board's edge which reduces the 'edge deadzone' effect.

Offline CookAndrewB

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Re: The Spoils (Terrain Project)
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2019, 02:32:25 PM »
I suppose you could force it apart, but does it glue the lumber to the board? Any increased risk of damage to the board itself if it does? I suppose you could line the inside of your frame with plastic wrap, if that were the case. Glue doesn't seem to stick to saran wrap, in my experience.

Offline War Monkey

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Re: The Spoils (Terrain Project)
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2019, 03:23:15 PM »
I have found that if I let my projects rest for a few days after applying  anything with a fair amount of moisture  in it then seal it both top and bottom very well it really limits the amount of warping if any, I have built terrain using cardboard, glue water and tissue, giving each step a chance to dry really well, then let set for a little while, then cover it with very find sand with water and glue and again let it set, then seal the c**p  out of it, and out of all my pieces I had one that warped so little that it wasn't  a problem.
Just remember "If the Enemy is in range, so are YOU!

http://silo1313.blogspot.com/

Offline bermanj

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Re: The Spoils (Terrain Project)
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2019, 12:22:20 PM »
I suppose you could force it apart, but does it glue the lumber to the board? Any increased risk of damage to the board itself if it does?

The lumber hasn't stuck to the boards yet - that's due to the fact I don't leave the lumber in place while the glue dries (I'll update my blog on that bit, ta) and the glue itself is pretty pissy - kids school paste-type stuff.  Nope, the only reason is to encourage me to build right up to the board's edge and avoid the camel hump effect where the board's middle is higher than the edges.

Nice suggestion re the saran wrap (cling wrap here in Oz) - I'll have to file that away for later!