Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Hunger City - New Warhammer 40K Terrain, Part 1

Grown Inside A Plastic Box

If you’re anything like me, your house ended up filled with a lot of packaging material over Christmas.  All that online shopping for gifts to give produces a lot of cardboard boxes, then of course the actual gifts you receive also sees you gaining a whole bunch of packaging material of a cardboard, polystyrene and plastic nature.  In my case this was compounded by the need to buy a new computer monitor – my old one had been a bit spotty for a while but finally died on Boxing Day, necessitating a trip out to town and adding to the packaging pile..

For a normal person, this waste is annoying Christmas detritus which forces you to try to puzzle out which of your many bins is the correct place to put it all.  Can you recycle this?  Does it needs to be torn up first?  When are they collecting the bins next, anyway, with all the holiday stuff going on?  Especially when one lives in a block of flats and has shared bins with other families there can become a bit of a war over who gets their stuff outside first, lest it be forced to pile up in your kitchen bin.

Just Gonna Have To Be A Different Man
...And After

Normal, however, is not a word often used to describe George Francis Ninian Quail.  No, when I see cardboard and polystyrene I don’t think “This needs to go in the bin”.  I don’t think, “How many forests have been chopped down to pay for this wintertime capitalist orgy of spending.”  I don’t even think, “What would monostyrene look like, anyway?”

 Instead I think, Fantastic!  Let’s get some simple scratch-building on the go!”

I saw boys, toys electric irons and T.V.'s
Last year's four buildings all lined up on a shelf.
Last year I made a few ruined buildings using cardboard sheets, PVA glue, cocktail sticks and all-purpose filler. (I think the colonials reading call PVA glue “white glue” or “Elmer’s glue”.)  I cut the cardboard into interesting shapes, stuck them together and used the filler to cover up joins and exposed edges.  After an undercoat of paint and a couple of rounds of drybrush they looked pretty good.  Crucially with the bulk of the consumables either being free or super-cheap they’re pretty painless to make.  To get my hobby mojo reinvigorated for 2016 I decided to try and make some new ruins to further fill my table out with bluey-grey concrete cover and possibly produce a more Stalingrad-like Cityfight experience than my current set-up which feels more like an open badlands environment.

 The Diamond Dogs are poachers and they hide behind trees
The Torchic gets cover, right?  I mean, he's pretty well blocked by the terrain...

The method applied was basically the same as before, except with a bit more variation in sizes.  All of them would be painted roughly the same so that they would be easily combined – put two or more corners together and it can end looking like a single larger building has been ruined. This also means internal floors should be roughly the same height, so all levels would be roughly 60mm high from floor to ceiling: I add guidelines in pencil here to show me where the floors should go.

The terrain bases are cardboard rectangles cut by scissor to give them a more natural oval shape; the rest of the walls were cut with steel ruler and Stanley knife, first as rectangles then with chunks taken out of them to create the jagged feel around the edge.  Some of the larger walls have windows and doors cut out of them to provide entry/egress/firing points and also just to liven up an otherwise dull flat surface.

My Set Is Amazing, It Even Smells Like A Street
I also added some graffiti to some large flat sections
For similar reasons, some sections have been “battle damaged” – a pin-vice, a pencil and a knife were used to make holes of increasing size.  For bullet holes I tried to make the outside surface holes appear smaller than the other side, opening both sides with a smaller tool then expanding out the “exit wound” with a larger implement.  These don’t usually make much of a change from a game point of view, they just add a little sparkle of detail.
Making bullet-proof faces; Charlie Manson, Cassius Clay
Examples of the bullet holes - the pin holes are on the left, the ones on the right have been expanded.

The walls are fixed together and to the base using PVA glue with whole or parts of cocktails sticks used as a sort of dowling to hold the pieces in place.  The ground floor can be glued in place, butting against both the walls to also give them a little more support. After that any subsequent floors are added in the same fashion as the walls, cutting them to shape and then fixing with PVA glue and cocktail sticks.  Some smaller walls self-support a bit but the floors really need the dowling to hold them in place.  Finally I add any wee internal walls.

As The World Falls Down
This church-like building with the arched windows is quite large and wasn't going to stand without downling to help it.
Every once in a while a larger piece needs a bit of super-glue to get it to stick but most of them will be fine with PVA Glue.  That means you don’t have to worry too much about being messy – it dries clear and leaves minimal residue.  The worst you’ll need to deal with is a lot of cardboard offcuts and papery dust that’ll need binned and hovered.

My workspace.  Sorry, Ruth, it's nothing personal: I just needed to cut some lines on newspaper!

You’ll see from the pics above I have four smaller ruins – two corner sections just over a storey high, one tiny corner section that’s just big enough for a figure to hide behind and one T-junction like thing with very short walls, making it more half-cover than full LoS blocking.

All the knives seem to lacerate your brain
The smaller ruins.

The two larger pieces are a bit more impressive, complete with an attempt at cutting internal windows and adding internal walls.  I'm pondering whether I should spend some time making another larger ruin before moving on to the next stage... or if I should just add themed ALT text to all my images.

No comments:

Post a Comment