Friday, 1 February 2013

Terrain Materials.



Over the last few days I’ve been talking about the terrain I finished this week just gone. Today I show off the last 3 and talk about what they were made from.
This multi-part Manufactorium was made using the same techniques as the Administratum buildings I showed off the other day. The walls are made from corrugated card, 3 layers thick with the middle layer at 90 degrees to the two outer layers.
Layering corrugated card like this produces a much stronger core for a building than foam board with a much reduced risk of getting creases or bends. However left like that the risk is that just like foam board the edges will get tatty. I have used Paper Mache strips on some projects to remedy this and in those cases the results were very promising and I am considering experimenting further. These building where made some time ago and I have used two methods for successfully strengthening the edges in the past that both take advantage of the hollow nature of corrugated card.
The first of these is to use sand and glue mixed into a past, and then using a flat bladed sculpting tool, brush or even your fingers coat the edges.
The second method uses modelling clay in the same manner and may have been how these where done.
Both methods have resulted in building that have after several years of use needed very little fixing up ready to sell on.

Manufactorium with new plastic walkway.
The one area that didn’t last as well was the cardboard edges of the walkways and floors, the edges got tatty and roughed up quite quickly. So in the spirit of the project I decided to test out an Idea. For my Necromunda Modular walkways I’ve been experimenting with sheet of acrylic plastic. When roughed up with sand paper it takes glue (both superglue and polystyrene cement) and paint, it is tough and should be very long lasting and keep a good edge.
Now as the structure to support the floors was still strong and undamaged I decided to see if I could hot melt glue replacement floors on top, the acrylic sheet I used for my modular walkways is very thick so looking around for a suitable substitute and inspired by the Necromundicon’s use of old videos and CD cases I grabbed the clear plastic panels from the front and back of a CD and trimmed the edges off to leave the flat pieces. A light sand, liberal use of a glue gun and a paint job and I’m pleased with the results I’ve done a few tests and am very happy and intend to use old CD cases for future projects where the floor is well supported and I don’t want to use the thick stuff.

One of my oldest terrain pieces given a new lease of life.

One of my oldest pieces of terrain this will be the second time it has been upgraded but now it’s time to go. Made from the old Games Workshop polystyrene trays that used to come in their boxes it used to be quite fragile, in the first upgrade a coating of sand gave a harder shell to protect it and like the other Hab Block buildings in this batch I gave it a coat of filler to strengthen it even further.

Quarenteened Hab block wall

The added bonus of this was that it smoothed the walls as I’ve come to realise that so often we coat our terrain in sand for texture without considering the scale. Concrete is actually quite smooth and even brick work when zoomed out considerably isn’t all that rough yet without texture terrain can often look flat and dull so I’m experimenting with different ways to get a good balance. The filler is much smoother than the old sand coat and I’m happy with it especially as a way to toughen up old polystyrene building that would not be as easy to cover with card (as I’ve been doing a lot) due to the existing textures and shapes, so expect to see more of this as I begin the monumental task of updating my old city. 
Quarenteened Hab Block
Lastly I think that small areas of detail really add to a piece of terrain.  Earlier this week I talked about telling stories with posters and small areas of detail, so lastly I’ll talk little more about what I use to make them.
It’s really easy to get carried away while making terrain and try to detail it as much as you would expect on a model, the cities of death terrain from GW is incredibly detailed as well. But too much detail and rubble and you’ve not only got a huge task to paint it all up but also it’s easy to run out of space for models. It my Administratum blocks this is solved by leaving the bases and floors relatively plain and using rubble sections that can be moved around as unit move into the building. For bigger set pieces I find it’s good practice to just have small areas of detail to draw the eye away from the plainer surroundings. Added to posters on walls and the occasional scattering of ‘dropped’ leaflets all make the terrain look better but without cluttering it up.
Off cuts of sprue, left over spares and the middle of corrugated card striped of its outer surfaces (varnishing with a liberal amount of PVA or actual varnish will help toughen up the card too) make excellent additions and can be painted up in contrasting colours to the building to enhance the effect just like the Hab Block I shared earlier this week.
And that’s it for the first of my city fight goals. Just need to list them on E-bay this evening and jobs done. Next week I’ll get the poster files in order and share them with you all. And we should have the first rules for the frozen vengeance campaign ready so I’ll waffle on about that and my ideas and ideas for campaigns. I might even add a little bit of background for my Orks if I get enough done.

Disclaimer Note:
I claim no copyright over any of the posters used, many of them have been sourced from Kind people sharing their work and others are historical, many of the images in my humble creations have been sourced through similar means and I have no copy right over them. I will give credit to all of my sources in a single post with links. Thank you
 

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