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Author Topic: My musings on apocalyptic terrain: 6/29 Swarms of insects (enemy type)  (Read 1321 times)

Offline CookAndrewB

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I have a happy little home in the wastelands where I post my apocalyptic gaming, but this is an (almost) entirely different crowd so I thought I'd pitch some stuff up here.

The main bulk of my PA hobby can be found here: https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/post_apoc_wargames/

To kick things off, I wanted to talk about the tile system I use for post apoc gaming. This is an adaptation of the tile system I use for my sci-fi gaming for 15mm. For sci-fi the tiles are 1x1' so they are smaller. They also use a "T/L/I" system where roads cross the middle of the board in a T intersection, L-bend, or straight I road. Seen here:


For post apoc I pushed the roads to the edge of the board and only kept the I or L roads which allow for a few different configurations such as an S:


A long L (edge only roads):


Or a Large T:


These tiles are blue foam in 2x2' 1.5" thickness, with foam PVC sidewalks and EVA foam for the roadways (cracks are made with an embossing tool). Road striping is made with pieces of thin card stock cut to width and length before being glued in place. Then all I had to do was paint the raised surface rather than try to stencil or free hand.

The above design helped to free up space for other terrain with larger footprints. My original terrain tile was a single 2x2' tile (blue foam, 1.5" thickness). tended to get a little crowded:


In the above piece, road markings were stenciled on and sidewalks/roads are all created by indenting the blue foam surface.

So I changed over to a two-tile system (for now. More tiles to be added later) with added green space (brown areas for the WIP pictures above) to allow me to also add in some trees or other natural elements in my city.
With terrain added the tiles look like this:


Zoom in, right side:


Zoom in, middle:


Zoom in, left:


I'll toss some more highlights in here from time to time. I hope this stirs a little inspiration in someone as this place has inspired me for a long time.



« Last Edit: June 29, 2021, 06:47:33 PM by CookAndrewB »

Offline swiftnick

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Re: My musings on apocalyptic terrain: 6/8
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2021, 04:24:51 PM »
Very nice!
I was a member of that forum but my posting like my PA gaming just faded away.

Offline Will Bailie

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    • Will's toy soldier blog
Re: My musings on apocalyptic terrain: 6/8
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2021, 04:30:22 PM »
Thanks for sharing!  The terrain looks great, and very versatile - I can see applications for other gaming settings beyond PA; pretty much anywhere there is a city or similar urban setting, from Frostgrave/Mordheim type skirmish games through to ultra-modern!

Offline CookAndrewB

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Re: My musings on apocalyptic terrain: 6/8
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2021, 06:49:21 PM »
Nick - I get it. I post most of my stuff there first, even if it isn't post-apoc oriented. I like the people and there is more there in terms of books, movies, etc. It spans outside of just gaming and I appreciate that as an avid reader and movie watcher.

Will - YES!!! In terms of the layout, it is just a nice and versatile approach that is easy enough to bend to any genre or scale. My "ah ha" moment was really about placing the roads at the edges and not right through the middle of the board. It just created so much more room.

Offline swiftnick

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Re: My musings on apocalyptic terrain: 6/8
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2021, 12:42:07 AM »
I was majormike on the forum, I might look at it again.
Was into British PA in 20mm.

Offline War Monkey

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Re: My musings on apocalyptic terrain: 6/8
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2021, 01:19:16 AM »
Thanks for sharing those tiles! I haven't seen those before carried out in that way I will have to take a deep look into that approch. Thanks again.
Just remember "If the Enemy is in range, so are YOU!

http://silo1313.blogspot.com/

Offline CookAndrewB

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Re: My musings on apocalyptic terrain: 6/8
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2021, 04:26:40 PM »
I was majormike on the forum, I might look at it again.
Was into British PA in 20mm.

I currently have a WWIII Twilight 2000 inspired alternate timeline/apocalypse-light project that I'm working on there. Might be of some interest to you.

Offline CookAndrewB

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Re: My musings on apocalyptic terrain: 6/8
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2021, 05:10:00 PM »
Today I'll share an easy stacked car wall project I did. Materials were blue foam (offcuts that I had laying around), some PVC foam for the bases and car roof, a little epoxy if you like to add some details. I used some tire push molds from a couple of oddball tires I had in my bits box. The beauty of these being that the tires could be pulled from the mold before fully set and I could deform them. 



The blue foam was rough cut, then sanded (outside) to form the body. I then used balled-up foil to create indents in the body panels, and a burnishing tool to mark out door lines, hoods, trunks, etc.



The final product got primed, painted and weathered to represent some crushed car walls.


For a pretty quick and dirty project, I thought it turned out pretty well. There wasn't a lot of need for the cars to look perfect, and so the blue foam structure fit the part quite nicely. I use these for creating walls around raider camps, or maybe a survivor settlement.

You can see the car piles above used for this purpose in a game (top right corner)


In this case, I used them to form a car gate, so they may be a bit hard to see. Hopefully, you can see it well enough.

Offline Pattus Magnus

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Re: My musings on apocalyptic terrain: 6/15
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2021, 09:18:31 PM »
Those blue foam car stacks look very effective! Itís not a material I would have considered for that job!

I did wrecked vehicles using tin foil wrapped around a diecast car to make a rough disposable mould for plaster of Paris casts. It worked alright but in the end Iím not sure that it was any easier or looked any better than the results you got.

Thanks for sharing!

Offline Corporal Chaos

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Re: My musings on apocalyptic terrain: 6/15
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2021, 07:58:06 PM »
Cookie! You are all over the place! Do enjoy seeing your stuff. What is your muse? Do tellÖ  ;)
I should be painting right now.

Offline War Monkey

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    • Silo1313
Re: My musings on apocalyptic terrain: 6/15
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2021, 12:35:48 AM »
Okay those stacked cars look great! Do you have any that are not stack, just a single car? Could be nice to have for littering about on both sides of a highway!

Offline CookAndrewB

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Re: My musings on apocalyptic terrain: 6/15
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2021, 06:34:37 PM »
@Pattus - I tried the foil mold thing as well, but honestly I kept ending up with garbage from the process.

@Monkey - I find that it is easier to use diecast cars, or other sources, for single-car models. That said, I've used Blue stuff (Oyumaru) to cast rough molds for cars. Apoxie Sculpt is pretty brilliant for large volume push molds and it cuts up pretty nicely if you just want a pile of car body parts too.


Offline CookAndrewB

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Re: My musings on apocalyptic terrain: 6/15
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2021, 07:07:13 PM »
These are an example of Apoxie Sculpt (orange) push mold cars. Pretty rough and ready at this point. This was my Carhenge wall build.


At this stage, I've mostly just fit the parts on a PVC foam base. Some work had been done to the cars before gluing them in their final resting place. You can see the start of some rudimentary car-ish underbodies below.


From there I glued down the car bits and built up some rubble between the cars.


It is a junk wall after all, so some spare boxes as well. It is a little hard to see, but the base has been carved and etched to create some texture in places that didn't get texture paste.


Basic paint and dry brush at this point:


The car underbodies got a light metallic dry brush.


Then the finish work. Some growth here and there, some rust spots, etc.


The undercarriage of the cars got some rust treatment (Greenstuff World Liquid Pigments)


Another piece of a junk car wall. Pretty easy to make. I'd call this a nice and functional piece more than something that is meant to be photorealistic. It is the apocalypse, so things look better if they are a little junky.


Offline CookAndrewB

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Re: My musings on apocalyptic terrain: 6/21 More junk cars
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2021, 06:47:02 PM »
Rad roaches and other creepy crawlies are a mainstay of post-apocalyptic tales. I've seen a number of proxies out there but none of them ever really floated my boat. Toys tend to be a bit too big, and buying a swarm of bugs can be pricey. So, continuing with the "DIY" theme, I present homemade bug swarms...

First off, here is your supply list:
1. A base. Slotta bases were what I used because I have a metric ton of them lying around, but feel free to use whatever base suits your project. Washers, MDF hobby disks, etc.
2. We are going to do a scenic topper using a material you have laying around (most likely); dried acrylic paint.
3. Green Stuff epoxy, or other similar sculpting material. Honestly, I'm guessing this would work just fine with air-dry clay.

Here is your reference picture:


Far left is your dried-up acrylic. This is my project pot for painting with craft paints, and the acrylic pulls out of the lid pretty easily. This is my source for the scenic base material.

Second from left is your acrylic blob freed from its dull life as wasted byproduct. You can pre-trim this to glue to your base, but leave a little overhang so that you can trim it to fit.

Middle is your trimmed topper material glued to the base. I used super glue, but I imagine PVA will do the trick as well.

Second from right is where we are going to sculpt on some bugs. I wanted a swarm, so I'm going to keep this simple. After all, it has to look the part but doesn't need microscopic detail to look good. The idea here is that anyone can make this work, so we are keeping it at that level.  Basic sculpt for your bugs (feel free to adjust this as you desire or stick to a tried and true method).
         
     First: figure out how many bugs you want and roll a number of vaguely equal sized balls with your sculpting material. Don't get too worried if some are slightly larger or smaller. 

     Second: Figure out how many bugs you want on each base. I found that about three bugs fit nicely. You want to be able to reach all of the sides without disturbing the neighboring bugs.

     Third: Shape your balls into something a little more ovular, but not much. I used a 1x wide by 1.5x long formula (eyeballed, I didn't measure). Now push them down onto your base and make sure they stick.

     Fourth: Press in a T shape to mark your head and wings. I marked the top of the T about 1/3rd of the way down the oval, and then marked the foot of the T halfway all the way to the end of the oval. You don't need to press very deep. A paper clip or a safety pin is about all the more sculpting tool you need for this. You just want a nice clean T shape on the back. If you find your tool is sticking, dip it in water to provide a little bit of lubricant. This should be fine for epoxy or clay. 

     Fifth: Once you have all of your bugs sculpted, walk away and let them set up.

     Sixth: prime the whole mess and then let that dry before moving on.

Far right is the painted product. I went with green beetles, but you could make them whatever color suits you. I also painted and dry brushed the base in a dirt color so the beetles stood out. If you wanted a brown beetle I would probably paint the base a grey color or something other than brown.

Here is the final beetle swarm:


As a bit of a design note, I wanted my beetle swarms to physically represent the number of beetles in the cluster. So a cluster of three could break into two groups and become a one and a two, or a beetle could die and I would swap a three with a two. That isn't necessary by any means, but it was how I wanted to use mine. You could just as easily use each base to represent a swarm or make every base a mass of beetles.

If you give this little swarm enemy project a try, please feel free to post your results.



Offline Will Bailie

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    • Will's toy soldier blog
Oooo, nasty.  Brings back memories of Paul Winfield being eaten alive in Damnation Alley.  Good work!

 

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