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Sci-Fi Structures

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

One of the biggest things that we try to do with our terrain building is use things that are readily available. Something that you can break apart, file off, or smash to bits to use the remains. This is a perfect example of breaking something and using it’s bits to great effect, case in point, an old Polaroid camera, smashed to pieces. This camera was $1 at a local thrift store.

The pieces that were used in addition to the camera bits where purchased from a  company called I-Mex and specifically, the Platformer Set.  The sets are inexpensive and come loaded with tons of parts, in the following pieces of terrain that I’m about to show you, I may have used 5% of the total pieces inside of just one box.

Water still/Gas extractor/whatever

Each pieces was pretty much made by saying “I think this fits here, and trying to make it fit”.

The front of something

In most cases, to cover up something that didn’t look good, or wasn’t of use, I always fall back onto scraps of the pink construction foam (polystyrene).

A small hovel

The reason for the posts like this is to emphasize that I didn’t know what I was doing to start and I had no plan in mind while creating these pieces.  I build a lot of pieces with a game in mind, and in this case, it was Necromunda.  Necromunda relies heavily on a cover mechanic and the ability to sneak from place to place making it difficult to be shot at by your opponent.

Base Coated Hovel

All of the pieces of terrain I’m showing here were built with just that concept in mind and nothing else. I don’t have a lot of details as to how they were built other than things were glued together however it best fit.  Each piece grew out of a part of a polaroid camera case that as taken apart.  The reason I make posts like this is to hopefully inspire you to build something similar or to give you an idea to create something completely unique for your table.

Painted Waterstill/ Gas Extractor
Painted front of something
Small Hovel painted

Thrift Shopping

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

One of the key components to making terrain, to me, is doing it as cheap as possible to get the greatest effect possible.  Of course there are times where I won’t necessarily stand by that based on the quality of a more expensive product, but generally, I use thrift store shopping to augment my terrain building.  One of the better parts of making terrain, especially Sci-Fi futuristic terrain, is that you can pretty much take any household bits of junk and garbage and create something futuristic looking…it’s all about the paint and the construction of it, not so much about what it’s literally made out of.

I usually stop at various thrift stores through out the week, when it’s on my way to this or that, and every once in a while it turns up something great.  Today I managed to find this:

Thrift Shopping can be your friend

Thrift Shopping can be your friend

This cost me a grand total of $7USD which is basically nothing in comparison to what it would take to make a crane by hand…not to mention, I can make my own custom additions to this one to make it that much better.  There is a project just on the horizon that involves Warmachine, Ships, and Cranes.  This crane is basically the last piece that I’ve been looking for in terms of parts.  This, in terms of finding junk at a thrift store, is a win.


Monday, July 20th, 2009

When playing a Sci-Fi Miniatures game, like Necromunda, cover is a very large aspect of the game itself. I’ve always built terrain with that mentality in mind for Necromunda. If you read any of the story behind this game you’ll realize that where these battles take place are essentially a ruined set of buildings that have been filling up with trash for thousands of years, to the point where the Hive City of Necromunda has a foundation of trash. This was all the justification I needed to build Barricades.

Dry Fit Barricades

Dry Fit Barricades

Each barricade was built with two components. The first is pink constuction foam, and in our case, I was using scraps that were laying around from various other projects. Each baricade is roughly 3/4″ square columns that two of the 4 edges are then cut down to a slant. Think concrete construction barriers, same idea.

Primed Barricades

Primed Barricades

After that we added “Granny Grating” or the plastic grid work that’s used in needlework. This stuff is very good looking fencing or grating when painted to resemble metal. We also added a bit of battle damage to each individual barricade to give it a bit more worn/heavily shot up effect.  The overall effect produced is something that adds cover.

Finished Product

Finished Product

The painting process on these were pretty simple. For the Concrete Base it’s Black Basecoat > Dark Grey > Light Grey > White in progressively lighter coats of drybrushing. For the Fencing, it’s Black Basecoat > Boltgun Metal > Bronze/Rust color. The metal and rust colors are applied in random amounts of drybrushing.  As with most of the painting, this is mostly a reccommendation as to how to do it, you could certianly paint them however you see fit.