So the struggle to catch up continues! 😉
Now as some may or may not remember, one of the resolutions for this year was to definitely add to my collection of terrain, where I have felt an increasing lack, especially in the Sci Fi sector. So this is what I worked on besides minis over the few months (usually on weekends, when I actually had the time to work more than a few minutes in a row and when it was worth filling the whole table with stuff). But it is not all strictly Sci Fi. Some of it would also have its uses in a modern game, so I tried to keep it kind of generic. So lets kick things off:
Up first is a Container Truck. A lot of this post will be taken up by the Mad Mecha Guys Monorail system and associated items. And tis is one of them, as it came as part of the cargo stop set. So maybe lets start with a few words on his items. All his stuff are sound and simple (in a positive meaning) laser cut MDF designs. Easy to assemble, easy to paint and great value for money. This truck was no exception. Easy assembly, clear lines and nice to paint. Th only thing I did not like about this truck, is that the seams are easy to spot, but still, the end product looks really nice. Actually to the point that I think I will get myself a second one in due time. Please note, the cuts into the flatbed are supposed to be fitted with holding clamps, but they were missing from my set. But in my experience, Joseph´s (the owner) customer service has been top-notch, so I will simply mention it with my next order.
The next truck is from another company, CNC Miniature Scenery. Now again, these look nice and are good value for money. They are also a little more elaborate. But I did not like them near as much. Both this truck and the Heavy Forklift coming next had spots where a hole was cut in the wrong place and the parts had to be modified to fit. The Forklift was also missing some parts (they were not cut out). Also each vehicle came in a lot of parts, each fitted to the MDF sheet by two lugs. The lugs were fairly extensive (usually 2+mm longs) and the MDF is quite thick. So it took a long time to cut them out and there was absolutely no chance to do more than one a day, otherwise your wrists would hurt too much.
Another problem is the functionality. With the engine sticking out of the flatbed, you can hardly place any cargo on it and on such a large truck, a few small crates loo ridiculous.
The Heavy Forklift is from CNC as well. Again the functionality is not perfect. the centre of mass is very much to the front. Meaning it will topple forward even with small items placed on the forks. Unfortunately the model does not really allow for the placement of hidden counterweights far enough to the rear.
Before anyone asks… the heavy chipping and rust are not there to cover any imperfections with the models up, I just wanted something that looked like it had seen many years of wear and tear on a cargo yard.
The next item is a small Forklift. This time a 1:43rd scale die-cast from Siku. Pretty simple work here, as I simply weathered it, put some matt varnish on and painted the warning lights and indicators.
The good thing about this on is… the it actually works and you can actually place items on it. A fine example are these HazMat barrels from Fenris Games, which I also painted last month. Before anyone complains… yes I know, that they would have to be different colours, but I think all those Zombie movies and TV series in recent year have left everyone expecting yellow, so I went with that for all of them. As usually with Fenris, good value for money and easy and fast to clean and paint.
I glued three groups of six to some Siku pallets. To be honest, no one wants to arrange all these barrels on by one for a game, so that seemed like a good solution for me.
And to round the small cargo off (at least for a few weeks) some ammo containers from Fenris Games. Wanted more of a military coloration for them, so I went with green and brown here.
But What I really felt I needed now was some bigger cargo or in other words ISO containers. Again these are from Mad Mecha Guy. They were easy enough to assemble. I could also have done so with open doors, but I did not want that.
What I wanted here was something, that would be useful in modern games as well. So they received homemade decals with the names of well-known container companies. What bleeped me off though, is that I put a lot of effort into doing the decals properly. I let the containers dry for a couple of days in the sun, covered them with gloss varnish, let that dry for a couple of days in the sun, applied the decals with decal softeners and decal fix, let that dry for a couple of days in the sun and varnished afterwards. Still I got frosting. I cannot say for sure, but my guess is, decals and MDF to not like each other. 😦 At least it is half as bad to the human eye as it is to the camera, so it is not quite as distracting while playing as it is on these photos.
Anyway, as a last step they got some rust marks using sponge techniques and various pinpoint washes.
A couple of years ago, I also bought four plastic container models. They were fairly expensive, but much more detailed. Yet all those years I had just left them plain. Now I was wondering what to do with them. Their hight and width was identical to the MDF ones from MMG, but the style too different for my taste.So I decided not to do them as civilian containers, but military ones. This way I could use them together, but the camo would distract from the differences.
While they look fine on the photos, they did give me some headaches. Even with proper cleaning and priming, the paint would still rub off easily during painting. So I decided to seal them with heavy-duty car varnish. Unfortunately, while drying, the varnish crackled. Even more unfortunate… the varnish did its job well and now nothing would easily rub off. So I decided to incorporate the crackles into the rust to a certain degree. Which is fine, since it actually looks a bit, like the containers are rusting below the paint.
But now on to the big one… the Monorail. Back when MMG released the 15mm version last year I was hoping that he would do a 28mm version as well, which he did soon enough. Even better, he was open to suggestions so the line grew really quickly into a complete system. Before I start with the rolling stock, I just want to say, that there is lots of track, both raised and low, straight and curved. I think about 15 meters in total length, or in other words enough to cover my whole table (3,5m x 2m). But to be honest… taking photos of meter upon meter of track is boring, so I will leave you with the more interesting pieces and will let it feature in future post here.
Now on to the rolling stock. My initial plan had been to do a mixed passenger and cargo train. So I bought a cargo locomotive, a flatbed and a passenger locomotive. Now painting it and doing the cargo stop, I feel that separate passenger and cargo trains will be better, so I will have to buy another passenger locomotive in the future.
I wanted all the trains to be somewhat inspired by the Transport for London trains, but not an exact match. So the cars were painted white and the lower half was painted blue (but a lighter one). Instead of painting the doors red, I decided t do the roofline in red. The roofs on all the cars can be taken off and minis paced inside.
When all that was done, the passenger car looked a little bleak, so I decided to break that up and chose some graffiti for it. Back when I was in school my best friends were “graffiti artists”, but that never caught on with me. I have never regretted that… until I had to paint these, since I had to find that these took me ages. The first one I applied (Ozone) is actually a copy of one I found on the internet, which someone had sprayed on the London tube. With the rest I got more experimental, creating designs of my own from graffiti alphabets I found online. Some of these are completely fictional (Stalk), others have a reference to Warzone (the Algeroth logo with the words Rulez) and one is a reference to my gaming club (DHC). There are also some other small references hidden in there, like my initials and year, the tag my best mate in school used and so on. I am sure and real life “graffiti artist” would be laughing at my designs, but I think they are good enough for the gaming table.
No I am never too comfortable with freehand. If you look at real life graffiti, all the lines are usually pretty clear and surprisingly hard-edged. I did not feel comfortable doing this with an airbrush, so I did it all with a brush, trying to mimic spray can effects.
And here is the whole train (with the cars I currently have) on one of the two ramps I have that can be used to connect the raised and low-level parts of the system.
Now at one point I said to Joseph, that a switch would be nice as well. What I was expecting, was that he would do something that looked realistic and stop at that. Quite to my surprise, he came up with a design, that actually works.
For the low-level track, he also provides level crossings. I have two set of two, which should even be more than I would ever need. Again, these are working.
I just need to do some road sections, that fit these. As you can see, there are beams, that hold the track when lowered, but these are in the middle of the road. So I will have to cut some road sections, where the lanes split for the level crossing.
What I really love is the cargo stop. The crane is moveable. It can be moved along the track and left and right. The operators cabin can be opened and minis placed inside.
I also wanted a passenger stop. Now this one is not 100% finished. It will receive some signs with the station name, but the color cartridges for my printer died while printing them out, so that will have to wait until the replacement cartridges arrive.
I really like this station. At first I was unsure, if I had made the right decision to buy the raised version, but now I am really happy with my decision. The hight provides a nice raised level to the battlefield. And the pylons, together with the pylons for the track also provide nice cover on the ground level. The bus stop and ticketing machines also provide some extra cover on the ground level.
As you can see, the platform is a little bare right now. I need to find (= buy or scratch build) some trash bins, modern benches, flower basins or even a small kiosk to provide some cover on the platform. Until then, two soda machines from Ainsty Castings will have to do. One was painted as a generic machine, the other in a future Version of a coke machine.
And here are some close-ups of the ticket machines and the bus stop. The bus stop features some recruitment and movie posters fit for Warzone that I photoshopped.
So this is it… probably the longest terrain post I have done to date.
July 16, 2015 at 13:19
I love that Monorail Terminal… the train is a little flat on the face, but the loaders and containers are all cool. Personally you just cannot beat the Terrakami produced train, don’t think it would fit this monorail without modifications through.
July 16, 2015 at 14:36
Thank you, Angus.
I agree, the front is a little flat. But I guess it is fitting, as most tubes and trams seem to be pretty flat as well. When I get myself that next passenger car, I think I will do a graffiti on the front too, to break it up.
As I told you… I like the Terrakami train. I agree it would probably not fit the tracks, but well… Nothing keeps me from using it as a normal network train. But I guess I need to restrain myself, especially when the Forward Base arrives. I can hardly wait for that now! Has your building arrived yet, or were you on a later wave?
July 16, 2015 at 20:39
Yes I have my Forward base, check out my blog I have some pics up a couple of posts back showing work in progress. I’m looking forward to seeing yours once you have them / built them 🙂
July 17, 2015 at 07:52
Good thing you mentioned it, otherwise I might have missed it due to the broken internet.
Now I am looking forward to mine even more. What really surprised me is the amount of internal panels. I guess finishing them all will take some time.
July 16, 2015 at 21:49
Thank you for this showcase post. I am not a big fan of the mdf stuff, but you show how it can look very nice, when painted well. The monorail does look good and it is something you do not see often on the gaming table. In general your weathering effects really add to the overall impression. Did you consider filling/filing the mdf seams before you paint say the vehicles and thus get a more uniform surface?
July 17, 2015 at 07:57
I actually bought the Monorail since it is something you do not see every day. Plus it adds another dimension, above the ground level.
I had though about filling some of the gaps, but I was a bit lost how to do it properly without using greenstuff. Most fillers for wood are not smooth unless sanded. But if you sand them, the MDF gets rough. I filled some of the holes on the rolling stock with white glue, but that is not 100% perfect since it shrinks in a concave way.
July 17, 2015 at 06:44
Very nice additions to your terrain collection! The monorail set really does look very nice.
Too bad about the quality of the CNC Miniatures truck and forklift. Still they do look good after all the effort even if they are a bit unrealistic. One thing that miniature manufacturers (and movie studios etc. as well) seem to forget that for some sci-fi thing to be believable it has to be at least somewhat realistic. Having an engine sticking out of the cargo bed on a truck isn’t exactly the best way to achieve that 🙂
July 17, 2015 at 08:03
I can only agree. As you say, it is something I see in movies as well. Vehicles, machines or weapons that look cool, but would not work.
von Peter himself
July 17, 2015 at 11:12
Oh no! your not changing hobbies I hope. Good bye wargaming … hello model railways. It’s all just too horrible to contemplate the loss!!
von Peter himself
July 17, 2015 at 12:34
No worries vP! I am not going down that road. Although there is still lots of track and rolling stock to do for WWII.
July 23, 2015 at 19:38
Wow, what an awesome collection of terrain and vehicles. Fantastic stuff Burkhard!
August 3, 2015 at 12:01
Thank you Curt! Really glad you like them!