We’ve also had the scaffolding taken down on the outside of our building (first proper sunlight since April!), so I have a photo with marginally better lighting than my last update…
Lots of little details to go, and I have to figure out how to build and paint the dock (probably several stages of each, as it will need to be part painted, then part assembled, then more painting, then final assembly…). I’m pretty happy with how it’s going at the moment, though.
As of last night, the roof is on! I think I should have approached cereal companies for sponsorship…
It’s not obvious from this photo, but I’ve used some texture paste to plaster the walls of the upper level of the inn. I thought I had some premixed wall plaster somewhere, but may have donated it to the scenery bucket at Games Lab… luckily I found half a tub of Jo Sonja’s paste while I was turning the house upside down looking through boxes, so I managed to get the base of the building finished.
Oh – finished except for the doors and shutters. Just noticed that those are still missing…
Roof tiles and chimneys are next, but I won’t get to work on it until Friday evening. Hopefully I’ll be ready to start painting on the weekend.
Here’s last night’s progress:
And some street views – I’ve now attached the other buildings to the backing board, and just need to build the roof sections.
It’s getting there! Really need to finish building everything this week though, so I can start painting it all.
Hmmm. After finally figuring out how to make one type of building, apparently I need to try something different again for the final one… one late-night planning and sketching session later, and things are looking a bit more complicated for the tavern.
The plan so far is for a ground floor done in large stone slabs, and an overhanging second floor with five windows for small upstairs rooms. It will use a combination of the whitewash/timber Tudor-ish fantasy building design (cliche, but I’ve never actually built one before) mashed up with some Iron Kingdoms design elements like steel reinforcing bars and rivets.
The roof for this one will slope down towards the street, and I might add some attic windows if I can figure out how to build the things.
Then I need to get the building row ready for painting. Only 18 days left until PAX AUS!
It’s looking a little bit more like a building now. I’ve added some doors (doorknob still needed on the smaller one, though yes, I have carved out a keyhole…) and a downpipe that will eventually be connected to the roof. You can also see more detail on the windows. The flyscreen mesh has attached well: I used a bead of PVA glue around the window frame, and then tacked it in place using drops of superglue to stop the mesh from curling up. Once it was all in place, I also added some superglue to all the window frame joints.
I’m running out of bits to add to the front of the buildings now, and now have to figure out whether I try painting it in bits, or start gluing it all together. Both have their problems: painting in sections will make it tricky to match colours on different parts, whereas gluing it all together will make it a bit harder to paint.
Currently leaning towards the “screw it, just assemble the whole thing first” plan. It can’t be much trickier to paint than the 6mm Epic figures I’ve been working on, and I’d really like to see the whole street front done. Plus, now that I’ve taken off some of the backing paper the whole facade has started to warp a bit – so I think it’s time to start gluing it on to other sections.
…and then there were two…
Much quicker to make this one, as I’ve used all the same techniques learned while making the ones for the other side of the board. Now to figure out what the hell I’m going to do when building the inn…
More details! I’ve added some framing added to the windows: trimming matchsticks down to roughly the right size, and then sanded the ends until they fit into place. These have been attached with PVA, which will probably be more resilient than the matches themselves..
A street shot for scale:
And beginning to add some nylon mesh to the inside of the windows (intended to look like the windows are made of many small glass panes). I’ll pick this out in silver when the building is painted, and will put some black paper or card on the inside.
For the latest update, I’ve been experimenting with different ways of doing the buildings. These two will sit on the left of the high ground piece – one house and one warehouse. I’d have made them three stories high, but ran out of foamcore…
I’ve peeled off the paper on one side of the foam core, and then carved the bricks into it. It’s a bit fiddly to do, but (like the flagstones) can easily be chipped away at, a bit at a time. When the bricks are finished I’ve pressed some texture into them with a bit of rolled up aluminium foil. This has been much, much quicker than my old technique (using a rough piece of rock) – it took about a minute to finish texturing the bricks on both buildings.
I flattened some of the bricks a bit too much before taking the photo below, and ended up carving a bit more detail into them later. Any uneven patches should be concealed under mortar, moss and other weathering when I paint it.
Lots of detailing to add, but this gives me a rough idea of what the street will look like. I’m glad that I’m only making the facades about 2″ deep, though – it means I can put more time into details without worrying about having to do another three full walls for each piece 🙂
It’s been ages since I got to do any work on the table, but things have started up again over the weekend – I’ve reduced my work hours over the next month, and have (hopefully!) finally started to recover from a few weeks of illness.
I have now added the retainer walls to separate the low and high ground, and built some stairs to connect the two. When I realised how big the stairs would be, I decided to break them up into two short flights + flat areas large enough for a 50mm base. That way, there will be less confusion over where a model actually sits: each section of stairs only runs for about 1″, and it’s now possible to sit a model halfway up.
Next up: finish the ground texture, and move on to the buildings. I’ll try out a few ideas for the dock, too – it will eventually be glued down onto the edge of the paving shown in these photos, but needs to be kept separate for now so that I can paint and texture the water areas.
It looks like the total width of exposed water will be 50mm, which is good – just enough space to fit a 50mm base, in case anyone ends up slamming or throwing a heavy warjack off the side…
I’ve decided to cut out flagstones for the upper and lower ground levels by hand, inspired by Psycosm’s awesome Malifaux table on WargamerAU, and Pete the Butcher’s city board on the Privateer Press forums.
I’ve tried a few test pieces of road using the blue foam, and while it holds a cobblestone texture very well it’s just a bit too soft for a horizontal playing surface that will have metal figures on it. I learned my lesson a few years ago when I made a shallow water terrain piece using the one-part Woodland Scenics polyurethane water – it stayed slightly soft, and after a metal Leviathan was parked on it during a game the swamp retained a base imprint for almost two years… I’ll use the textured foam surface for walls, stairs etc, but will go for something more hard wearing for the surfaces that have models sitting on them.
When I get a chance to go through my old No Quarter magazines, I vaguely remember seeing this technique used on one of their terrain pieces. After the flagstones are glued down, you can paint a thin layer of PVA on top to seal them – and then sand the whole lot back a bit once the glue has dried. That smooths them out a bit, and removes incongruous-looking point edges on what should look like a well-worn road.
I also found four of these stashed away in my box of random modelling gear, bought on a whim in an earlier order from Back 2 Base-ix… I think they’ll work well for breaking up the street paving a bit, and adding some more detail. It’s all too easy to end up with large slabs of bland repetition that prevent you from seeing the scale of a large terrain piece.
At 3mm (cut from MDF) they’re a bit too thick to just sit on top of things. I picked up a roll of thin (2.4mm) cork sheet from Riot, and it looks pretty much perfect for raising the road up to match the ornamental gears. The picture above shows some holes roughly cut through the cork, testing out the idea. I’m planning to add some fine gravel or model railway ballast to fill the internal detail up to road level.
One bout of insomnia later and I’ve ended up with this to show for my weekend…
Now it’s starting to look more like a piece of terrain, and less like a collection of random components 🙂
The Day of Parcels, long prophesied, has finally come to pass. Today’s mail included the Warmachine: Tactics Kickstarter character models, a package of Epic Eldar, and my Battleframe 5000 boards from Back 2 Base-ix 🙂
These things are pretty awesome. Here’s what they look like assembled…
The 300×300 boards don’t fit together quite as well as the 300×100 version – I’m not sure whether it’s just because they were the first ones I assembled, or if the pieces are very slightly out. It’s just a matter of trimming a tiny bit of timber off some of the vertical slats, though, so there’s no major problem there. The newer 300×100 ones are extremely precise, and fit together perfectly in all orientations.
Magnets were very easy to add, though I’ve been paranoid about getting the orientation wrong! Most of my boards will be glued together in two larger panels, but I’m keeping magnets on the edge so that I can attach more terrain in future, or use picture frame moulding to make a bevelled edge for the demo board.
I have four more 300×100 boards (63mm height) to assemble, and then I’ll put some figures on the board to test out gameplay considerations – particularly looking at movement and control areas, starting with models right at the edge of the board. If 2×2 looks too small, I can add another 100mm of width with two more rectangular sections.
In theory, 2′ x 2′ is an ideal size for a demo game: there’s a single turn of manoeuvre, and then combat starts immediately. If the first player runs forward, the second player might even get some shots off in turn 1. Melee combat usually starts on turn 2/3 – a huge improvement on spending multiple turns watching people moving about and avoiding combat…
For Warmachine or Hordes demo games I’ll only bother measuring a model’s Control area when they use their feat – after one move, almost the entire area is in range for focus/fury allocation. Fewer rules up front = faster demos, letting people get to the fun stuff straight away (i.e. slamming and throwing giant robots off the dock and into the water).