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Category Archives: Terrain building

Workers housing

As some of you might know, I am living to the far west of Germany in the area that was on the western edge of the Ruhrkessel when the western Allies entered Germany in 1945. As such, I have always been interested in  playing games in that region. While much has changed in the last 73 years, there is one architectural aspect that has been there back then and can still be found today. Workers housing for those working in the coal mines or steel mills.

Workers housing

Workers housing

Workers housing

Workers housing

These usually are small row houses made from bricks with small gardens or backyards. I found some appropriate models with Timeline Models. These are actually meant for a Very British Civil War settings, but it seems workers housing in all parts of Europe were not that different. The only let down is, that htese are longer available. With all their bricks, they were too complicated and therefore too expensive to cut, so they have phased these out in favour of a plain version. Which I think is a shame. So I am still hoping that they will one day make them available again to those willing to pay a premium. Especially since I have three left hand versions and only one right hand version.

Workers housing

Workers housing

 

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Posted by on June 16, 2018 in Terrain building, WWII

 

Battle Kiwi Star Wars terrain

Battle Kiwi Star Wars terrain

When they announced the Star Wars Legion game late last year, I knew, that I had to play it. And I knew that I needed some terrain for it. When I saw the Battle Kiwi Kickstarter I knew that this would be great for the game and I bought into it. And I was not disappointed. All the buildings went together very easy and required very little effort to make them even better. Plus they are super versatile.

Up first is the bunker. It has a good level of detail, provides cover to the minis standing atop the roof. I like the fact, that it has opening doors and that you can take part of the rear wall out, to give you the ability to connect it to different buildings they are planning to release later on. The three consoles that come with the bunker offer some nice cover to the minis inside. I repainted these dark grey and picked out the buttons and screens.

The tech working area is a nice homage to the ending areas on Scarif in Rogue one. The containers suffer a bit from the problem you have with all MDF terrain… you see a lot of the edges on small pieces. So I repainted these. Which was easy enough. Since the Battle Kiwi terrain is pre-painted, I took the paint really well. With the control console I simply picked out the buttons and details while painting the the antenna in gunmetal.

Now on to the big models… the dish for the shield generator on Endor and a Turbo Laser turret. The are really great in that they provide great LOS-blockers for both infantry and vehicle sized models, while being really scenic. I made some minor improvements in that  I picked out some of the cables in dark grey and painted the turbo lasers themselves in gunmetal grey. Since you can interchange the tops of both models, it gives you even more versatility and makes them easy to store.

Now this landing pad is undoubtedly the absolute centerpiece of the whole range. As you can see it really towers over the minis. That being said, it is easy to store, since the pylons are separate from the landing pad, which is itself is two parts, with the railings and light pylons coming off as well. As you can see, you can also do a lower landing pad and add some stairs to it and place some power generators on the pylons, or use the generators by itself. I only made some minor alterations to the model, by painting on landing lights and doing the openings into the platform itself in gunmetal grey.

The biggest problem with the model is, that it looks a bit bare by itself. So it was screaming out for a shuttle to be landed upon it. Since there is no model of a Lambda Class shuttle in the right scale, I could count myself lucky, that Martin has a 3D-printer and printed one out for me. The model itself is a bit simple, but as a terrain piece it is doing fine.

 
 

Some scatter terrain

Some scatter terrain

Some two plus years ago I started on some container terminal type scatter terrain. But as is always the case, it is never enough. So I have been adding to it. I added more ISO containers (not pictured) from Mad Mecca Guy. I simply love ISO containers, for any setting. They always create good full cover for soldiers close to them and you can either create a virtual maze with them that encourages close combat or you can create deadly firing lanes.

What always annoyed me, was the fact that while I had said containers, I never had a realistic way of moving them around. This forklifts I had were simply too small for that. So after some searching on eBay I found some appropriate candidates.

Heavy Duty Forklift

Heavy Duty Forklift

Up first was this die-cast model from Siku. It is older and unfortunately a bit rare, but every few weeks you can find one in decent condition for under 20 Euro. I added a little chipping to make it look less like a toy, but looking at this photo, I think I will definitely need to give it a coat of satin or matt varnish.

Reach stacker

Reach stacker

Now this has been my white whale, my Moby Dick for some time. A reach stacker is the means of moving containers around in a container yard. Unfortunately the models are expensive to begin with and usually very rare, which has a very negative effect on their price. So it took me nearly two years to find one at a decent price. This one had a broken off hydraulic cylinder at a spot where you do not notice it and a missing headlight, which made it useless as a collectors model. Again, I added chipping to the model to make it look worn. The container had a large advert for the manufacturer on the side, which looked somewhat inappropriate so I painted that over to make it look like it had been phased out by the shipping company. All in all, I like this as a terrain piece. It provides a huge LOS-blocker at ground level. But what is best, you can create both a LOS -blocker at a higher level or a bridge between containers with the silver container. As such it really adds another dimension to the table. For those complaining, that it looks a bit large… these things are massive in real life as well. The company I worked for a couple of years ago operated a few of these and they are an impressive sight to behold.

But containers are not everything, so I needed some smaller stuff.

All of these are from Antenocities Workshop and were part of their Forward Base Kickstarter (at least at my pledge level). They were fun to paint. They were pretty fast to paint and gave the option for some brighter colours. Obviously, their style means that they can not be used for anything but SciFi, but I think they will be very useful for Star Wars as well, so they will have a use beyond Infinity.

Infinity containers by Antenocities Workshop

Infinity containers by Antenocities Workshop

And to finish this post off… some more of the Infinity containers by Antenocities Workshop. As you can see at this linked post, I had already done some in the past, but I liked their design a lot, so I did more. But I felt they looked too clean, so I added some rust marks to them, both old and new.

 

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2018 in Terrain building

 

Jungle terrain

Jungle terrain

Something I always wanted to do was jungle terrain. It is very versatile, since it can be used for so many settings. WW Il in the Pacifik, Vietnam, Ultra Modern in Africa or Asia and SciFi. For some time I had bought various plastic fish tank plants and last summer came the time to add them all together. Everything was mounted on HDF boards. I sanded the edges of the boards to make them blend in better, painted them with structured paint and painted them in browns and greens. The plants were glued to the boards using hot glue. I did them in various shapes and sizes to make the terrain as flexible as possible.

 

The majority were done with green plants, to make them useable for historic games. In addition to aquarium plants there is also some model bamboo, a few palm trees and two Buddas. I wanted to do a small temple with a Budda statue and ended up with two spare Buddas. But more on said temple later on.

As I wanted to use this jungle for SciFi as well, I also bought some more colourful plants. I went for psychedelic colours, since I wanted a look like in James Cameron’s Avatar. But when it was all done, I had to find, that the green plants alone were enough to fill a table. So these were sold off a couple of weeks ago.

Up last is the temple. I wanted a nice centrepiece for the table. My inspiration came from the temple scene in Full Metal Jacket. This one is just a simple one “room” walled in compound. The walls were done from high density foam. The roof tiles are a clerical box that I cut up and painted. As I said above, I wanted a Budda statue. Which proofed harder to find in an appropriate scale or at an appropriate price than I thought. After a couple of months I found a set of three on eBay. The seller had wanted to experiment with mould making and plaster casting and the three Buddas were the result. I also added some temple lions from Ainsty Castings. Yes, I am well aware, that these should not be at the gate to a Buddist temple, but I simply wanted them for the looks.

Btw, if anyone wonders where that mat is from, I did that last summer. It is a piece of painters masking fleece that was painted using a wet blending technique. I wanted to try this method out for a larger desert mat I will do some time later and this 4′ x 4′ mat for Infinity was the result.

 
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Posted by on June 9, 2018 in Terrain building

 

Forward Base, Habitat 4

Forward Base, Habitat 4

So it is time to upload the next Habitat from The Forward Bas Kickstarter. This time it is Habitat 4, which is the large L-shaped living quarters. All in all the general process on this one was the same as it was with the previous one. So a lot of the detailing was doing by using the masking film as a mask and airbrushing the habitat. But there are a few new things on this habitat and a few things and others I skipped on the previous one that I would like to go into more detail here.

Antenocities Workshop Forward Base Habitat 4

Antenocities Workshop Forward Base Habitat 4

First of all, you can see that this is a massive habitat as well. Not as tall as the previous one, but the footprint is almost as large and due to its L-shape it offers some interesting LOS options compared to a square or rectangular building. Also, this being a living habitat it features more monitors and air con units that the workshop and I really like how this adds character to the model.

Antenocities Workshop Forward Base Habitat 4

Antenocities Workshop Forward Base Habitat 4

Now with the previous post, the solar panels on the roof were a little harder to make out. But there you get a clearer view of them, up on the roof. I really like the mirrored version you got with the KS. They are quite reflective and look the real deal as a result. If you look at the upper edge of the walls, you can see that the models come with solar panels etched into the MDF and I simply could not resist, but paint them up. But even though I airbrushed them with chrome paint, they are by far to as shiny as the moveable panels on the roof.

This photo also shows the Habitat Logo that Angus designed for me. The design will be repeated on the other barracks building, just with other numbers. And as you can see, the font, general arrangement and simple icons are present in all the logos, which should give them all a unified look in the end.

Antenocities Workshop Forward Base Habitat 4

Antenocities Workshop Forward Base Habitat 4

Antenocities Workshop Forward Base Habitat 4

Antenocities Workshop Forward Base Habitat 4

The ends of the habitats really live up with he clear acrylic windows and doors, as well the resin parts and the red markings. I was actually quite surprised how much light actually gets into the building. As you can see on the upper picture, the roof is in place and still you can see fairly far into it.

Antenocities Workshop Forward Base Habitat 4

Antenocities Workshop Forward Base Habitat 4

Antenocities Workshop Forward Base Habitat 4

Antenocities Workshop Forward Base Habitat 4

As strange as it sounds, this corner is actually my favorite part of this building. I cut the edges of the corner panels off at 45° and the really sink into the wall. It is hard to explain, but in really live, this gives it a really homogenized look, that makes the whole building appear like it was not made from MDF. I would advise everyone to do the same, especially since the kit comes with twice as many corner panels as you need, so even if you do not like the results, you will always have a spare part.

Antenocities Workshop Forward Base Habitat 4

Antenocities Workshop Forward Base Habitat 4

So as I promised in my last post, here is a better look at the Imperial (Warzone) / Ariadna unit logo that Angus  as kind enough to draw up for me. I am really happy with it. As you can see, after airbrushing it in red there is still a lot of work to do there, but it is worth the effort I think. And as you can see, I tried different colors for the keep clear area (the backdrop for the text is now white instead of red). I like this much better than the version I used on the other building an shall stick with this.

Antenocities Workshop Forward Base Habitat 4

Antenocities Workshop Forward Base Habitat 4

Antenocities Workshop Forward Base Habitat 4

Antenocities Workshop Forward Base Habitat 4

Antenocities Workshop Forward Base Habitat 4

Antenocities Workshop Forward Base Habitat 4

Antenocities Workshop Forward Base Habitat 4

Antenocities Workshop Forward Base Habitat 4

One of the best thing about these buildings is the interior. There is the option for resin wall elements and furniture, both of which I decided to go for and they add so much to the building. I wanted a somewhat sterile look for the interior of the buildings. After al these are prefab buildings, serving as quick to deploy military or scientific outposts. If you look at SciFi movies, they usually convey this sterile look for these types of buildings and that is what I wanted to copy. So all the panels and furnitures are painted in an US Navy ghost grey and given slight highlights. Afterwards I accepted the buttons, handles and panels, painted the couches and seats as faux leather. The monitors simply received the printed screen provided with them. For the next couple of buildings, i really need to make sure the photos are more focused.

The one thing I am not too happy with yet is the double personal container unit standing on the floor on the bend of the L. It somehow does not seem to fit in. But I already have my sights set onto a set of consoles from AW that will probably replace them in due time. I just hope I will be able to remove them, without doing too much damage to the floor (already glued them to the model).

 

So, this is it for today… hope you liked it! Not 100% sure, when I will be able to post the next building. We did the test set-up for your game at Crisis the other week and found that we still needed more terrain than I I had though. Plus i sighed up for an Infinity tournament in November and I would like to play with a painted  army. But I will still try to mix one more habitat in from time to time.So please stay tuned!

 
 

Forward Base, Habitat 5

Forward Base, Habitat 5

As I indicated in my last post, I have started work on a massive Sci-Fi terrain project. essentially it is all based on the Forward Base Kickstarter from Antenocities Workshop. Now as usual with me, I went a little bit over the top here and went for everything, so there is a fair bit of work for me to do.

Before I get started, let me say a few words here. First of all, the models as they come out of the box are already great. They have lots of detail into the MDF and if you went with the extra resin parts they are even better. So essentially you could build them straight out of the box and get a real nice set of buildings. Now that being said, with all the extra detail, I felt it would just have been a waste not to go the extra mile paint the resin, pick out the details and accent the MDF a little more. This last part was actually made pretty easy, since I had gone with the pristine version of the buildings. Which meant the MDF is covered with a protective film / tape before cutting to prevent the paint from being burned. Now if you removed that film selectively and airbrushed those sections carefully, you could use it as a mask. For me this worked out like a charm and I am glad I did do so. But with all the extra detailing, I am still unsure, whether to weather the buildings or not. For now, I think I am going to finish them all first and make a decision, after I see how they look as set.

Now before I go on to the model itself, there is one more thing I need to mention. At the pledge level that I went for, I had the option to choose custom logos for my buildings. All I had to do was provide vector graphics for my custom logos. Now in my youthful ignorance (if you can call it that way at my age) I told myself “this cannot be that hard”! Well it turned out it was and I surrendered after about half a logo. At this time Angus, a very fine Scottish gentlemen, came to my rescue and drew me the logos. I have to say, I am really, really indebted to him. Without his selfless help, these buildings would not be the one-off pieces they are  and after having finished the first two, I am so happy they are!

So off we go. I decided to start with Habitat 5, aka the TAG hangar. Why? Well this is one of the habitats for which there are assembly instructions and I want to get a feel for the general idea behind the buildings, before I tackle those without instructions. And this seemed like a pretty straightforward building in the first place.

Antenocities Workshop Forward Base Habitat 5

Antenocities Workshop Forward Base Habitat 5

As you can see this is a front view. The ramps can actually fold up infront of the bay doors and I have kept the parts for the bay doors loose, so I can depict them either closed or open as needed. As you can see there is a lot of resin pieces on this one. With most of the exterior resin parts (for all buildings) I decided to go with dark colours like Gunmetal Black and Panzer Grey. The buildings are all very light-colored and I chose the dark colors to create some contrast here and break up the looks. The ramps are actually a fine example of the airbrushing in combination with the masking tape. The ramp pieces were delivered in yellow. So I removed those sections I wanted in black and airbrushed them. Easy as that.

Antenocities Workshop Forward Base Habitat 5

Antenocities Workshop Forward Base Habitat 5

Now this is the top down look. Again all the red and yellow sections were airbrushed again. All the rest was done using a brush. On this one I decided to try how the text boxes on the hazard areas would look in red. But I have to say, I am not too happy with that, as I feel it looks too heavy, so this will not be duplicated on the other buildings. The logo you can see on the upper roof is one of those that Angus did for me. When I pledged for this Kickstarter I had planned to use these for Warzone and that one is the logo of the Imperial cooperation (and I am very happy that Prodos Games allowed me to use it, as long as it was only used on my models). But from the very beginning, I wanted to make sure, that these logos gave me extra mileage, in case I chose to play Infinity or to sell these off one day. Now the logos from the Adriadna faction in Infinity is based on variations of British and French rondels, just like the Imperial logo. No big surprise there, as I understand Infinity was created by some Warzone fans when the 2nd Edition of Warzone went belly up. With that in mind, I felt I could always claim, that this was the logo of some sub-unit within Adriadna. Unfortunately it can not be seen too well on this photo, but with so many more buildings, you will see it soon.

Antenocities Workshop Forward Base Habitat 5

Antenocities Workshop Forward Base Habitat 5


Antenocities Workshop Forward Base Habitat 5

Antenocities Workshop Forward Base Habitat 5

With the removable roofs, it is now time to take a look inside. Now in this case, the floors were a little harder to paint. Antenocities made the decision not to cover the floors of the habitats with the protective mask, saying that these would get dirty in real life anyway and could do with some stains. And in general they are right. And they do look good with a little staining. But I would have much preferred to airbrush these piece and this way I had to paint them with a normal brush, which took about an afternoon.

Health and Safety would probably rant about the upper level having no railings. I am still a bit undecided here. I can understand why there are none. It is easier to move figures on the lower floor when your hands to not get entangled in the railings and as I understand it, the upper floor is essentially a workspace to work on the upper parts for the TAGs, but it still feels like something is missing. So I might still end up building one of my own in the future.

Antenocities Workshop Forward Base Habitat 5

Antenocities Workshop Forward Base Habitat 5


Antenocities Workshop Forward Base Habitat 5

Antenocities Workshop Forward Base Habitat 5

A look inside through the open bay doors and I think it gives a very good idea of the size and lines of sight inside this baby. Again, all the gun metal lockers and grilles cut into the MDF were airbrushed.

Antenocities Workshop Forward Base Habitat 5

Antenocities Workshop Forward Base Habitat 5

Rear view, giving a nice view of the custom logos Angus did here. At first I was a bit undecided, since on this habitat, the logos is much larger than on the other ones, but once finished, it looks fitting on this large wall. There are actually resin fans that go over the round grills here, but I have to admit, I liked the looks of the grills so much once airbrushed, I did not want to glue them on. So I will rather keep them for some other building or even another project. The space above the mini will receive two holo screens. For some reason I put them in the box with the parts for habitat 4 and could not find them when assembling this one.

I think this shots also shows the clear acrylic doors and windows as well as the acrylic rods in the light fixtures quite well. And I really like them all. The light fixtures actually glow a little im the sunlight and having clear doors and windows that actually allow you to draw line of sight is great.

Antenocities Workshop Forward Base Habitat 5

Antenocities Workshop Forward Base Habitat 5

And a view of the side. Again giving a nice impression of the acrylic parts. All the little details like the metal bolts were painted on using a brush. There are lots of little ports and connectors on the lower surface, which is a bit of a shame, since one can hardly make them out with the panels angled inwards.

The grill right above the door, does not come with the kit though. I had fitted the resin part that belongs there on the inside of the building and since there were marks on the outside here (the MDF also has imitations of the resin parts layered in for those who buy them without the resin) I needed something to cover that up. And this one did the job nicely.

Antenocities Workshop Forward Base Habitat 5

Antenocities Workshop Forward Base Habitat 5

And I am going to leave you with this last shot of the other side, this time with the bay doors closed.

 

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2016 in Sci-Fi, Terrain building

 

SciFi fast food container and other Sci-Fi scatter terrain

SciFi fast food container and other Sci-Fi scatter terrain

Well it seems this year I am utterly incapable of keeping a coherent chronology on this blog. Why? This model was finished around February.

It is a fast food stall / container by Laughing Jack Games here in Germany. Nice model all around. Easy to assemble and for the amount of parts actually quite fast, too.

Fast food container

Fast food container

The model itself is meant mainly for games like Infinity. Now back when I bought this model, I had planned to use it for Warzone, so I decided to do it with more of a run down look than what you usually see in Infinity. Now since then I have decided to play Infinity as well, but to be honest… I would not image the whole Infinity universe to be as shiny as you see in the concept art. There must be a social underbelly and there must be areas where those recently conquered do not live in the most shiny conditions. And this is what this container represents.

Fast food container

Fast food container

I wanted to try some new techniques. So I primed the whole thing in off-white and applied coats of green ink over it with my airbrush to get a faded paint look. I like the results, but it was a somewhat strange experience and definitely needs some getting used to. Otherwise the usual chipped off paint and rust marks and it was as good as done.
What I did not like was the looks of the billboard, since it simply looked too clean and new in its acrylic state. So I painted some rainwater streaks over and that did the job. Overall, I am really happy with the results.

Fast food container

Fast food container

What else? I recently bought some bicycle booths from Antenocities Workshop. Nice little models. They come in their pristine MDF version, which means the MDF is covered by a protective mask while cutting. This also helped painting them, since I removed the mask over the company logos and airbrushed them before removing the rest of the mask. This was fast and created a great result. The only downside I had was this: Usually this mask is only on one side of the MDF. Since the inside of the booths looked somewhat ungainly, I airbrushed them in the base-colour. Only after assembly did I realise, that this side had been masked as well. I hope the mask never decides to come off, since that will be a royal mess to remove with everything being glued together.

Bycicle booths

Bicycle booths

Bycicle booths

Bicycle booths

Last I also wanted some cars for Infinity. There are lots of really nice resin models for Infinity out there, some of which I have in queue, so I wanted something different, too. I looked at some of the 1:43rd scale models of concept cars from the big car companies.

Up first is the 2004 concept for the Renault Laguna. Really liked the sleek low looks of it. But I had to laugh. Last year Renault closed the Laguna line and replaced it with a new model, the Talisman. Looking at the last Laguna (photo included as a reference, since I know Renault does not sell in many parts of the world, including the USA), it is striking how far it still is from this concept.

Renault Laguna III

Renault Laguna concept

Renault Laguna concept

Renault Laguna concept

Renault Laguna concept

The other one is the Peugeot Moonster. This is a concept from 2000, trying to envision what Peugeots might look like in 2020. Suffice to say, I doubt that this is what cars will look like in 4 years time. But I really liked its organic, chrome looks for a Sci-Fi setting.

Peugeot Moonster

Peugeot Moonster

Peugeot Moonster

Peugeot Moonster

This is it for today. But this also is kind of a prelude to more Sci-Fi buildings. A couple of weeks ago my Forward Base Kickstarter models have arrived and after slaving away for a couple of weeks preparing all the details to get them assembled, I have now started. so there should be more to present.

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2016 in Sci-Fi, Terrain building, Vehicles

 

Some SciFi Terrain

Some SciFi Terrain

While last years terrain building efforts went quite well, I am still not where I want to be. So this year will see more terrain building. This will include but historic terrain (mostly terrain for both WWII and ultra modern) and SciFi terrain. I am especially lacking in the later department and with us playing a lot of Warzone and the like, more SciFi terrain will be needed. Last month I did a few pieces and here they are.

Up first is a workers hut / small site office. I got the building together with my monorail cargo terminal from Mad Mecha Guy last year. It is a very simple building with three rooms (not shown) inside. Judging from the size, layout and windows I would guess that one is the office, while the other two are the toilet and a vestibule for the toilet. As a add-on to the terminal it is OK. It serves as a decent sized low-level LOS blocker, you can have minis on the roof if you want and it offers enough room for a squad or two. And with the few windows it only allows a few minis to fire out of it, so it does not become a “must use” strong point either.

Workers hut

Workers hut

I went for a pretty simple paint job here. Most of these construction site / cargo terminal office buildings that I have seen in real life look a bit shabby. Mostly tan, yellow, greenish or blue, partly faded, partly dirty. And that is the look I wanted to achieve here as well. So I airbrushed the insides off white and the side in a German camo green (which already looks like a yellowish paint that is well beyond its prime). The floor was airbrushed in a concrete colour. Over that I airbrush a sepia wash to give it a dirty look. Unfortunately this also kind of blended the concrete into the walls. Window frames and doors done in grey, hinges in metal and it was done. All in all less than 10 minutes and for the amount of time spend, it looks fine.

Workers hut

Workers hut

Up next is a pedestrian bridge from Maki Games. The terrain is from their Kickstarter, so it seems most parts are not available for general sale yet (which is kind of strange, since this was delivered a little over a year ago). Anyway it is their Pedestrian bridge set (with some different floors) and the addition of some SciFi corridor walls. Essentially I wanted a bridge that provided some cover to the troops at the top. I guess this could already have been achieved by the railings used for the low platforms, but this way it looks a bit more imposing.

Pedestrian overpass

Pedestrian overpass

Some parts were glued together, but the pylons that support the mains bridge and the stairs are separate. While the main reason was ease of storage (this actually takes less than a shoebox to store) it has the added benefit the central pylon can be moved left or right, or being left off all together. This is great if I want to place it over a road where the pylon would be in the way or if I want to have it span both a road and monorail, where I need an odd spacing.

Pedestrian overpass

Pedestrian overpass

Over all the paint job is quite simple again. German Panzergrau base coat, with two progressively lighter airbrush coats of grey and a spray of black wash. Again very fast and simple, but it works. I am still contemplating dry-brushing the stairs and handrail in a gun-metal tone to depict worn paint, but I am not yet certain about that. I guess I will have to see how it fits in when I have more SciFi building for the table finished.

Pedestrian overpass

Pedestrian overpass

And last comes the highlight (at lest in my opinion) for this post. Some containers from Antenocities Workshop “Designed for Infinity” line. Before any asks… no there are not from my Kickstarter pledge, which should arrive some time this month, but I bought these from one of their German distributors. I had read that they had produced too many pristine containers for the Kickstarter, so that surplus had gone into general retail, while stocks lasted. Since my pledge was all pristine (which means the MDF is covered with a masking tape like material during cutting to prevent the fumes from the lasers blackening the paint), it seemed like a good choice to try to get some more containers this way.

SciFi Cargo Containers

SciFi Cargo Containers

All kits are delivered with this masking material still on and you have to remove it yourself. Antenocities actually advise not to use this as a mask for airbrushing, but I thought I should give it a try anyway. I removed the mask over the logos, the writing on the cargo clamps and the ladder-like slots on the bottom of the containers (which do show when the containers are clamped together and placed upright). What can I say… applied a few light coats with the airbrush. No paint soaked under the mask and they were easy to remove afterwards. It was a great way to add extra character to the containers fast and easy.

SciFi Cargo Containers

SciFi Cargo Containers [stacked]

The hinges, locks and blots on the containers were painted by hand later on. In case of the hinges and locks I simply wanted to prevent any overspray with the logos and in case of the bolts, it would just have been too much effort.

SciFi Cargo Containers

SciFi Cargo Containers [stacked]

SciFi Cargo Containers [stacked]

SciFi Cargo Containers [clamped]

SciFi Cargo Containers [stacked]

SciFi Cargo Containers [clamped]

As you can see, I think they are quite versatile. You can use them either as single containers (on the ground or loaded onto a truck or train), stacked in a number of ways or clamped together (either lying prone or upright). Also mixing containers of different colour adds additional variety. I have one more set of three containers coming up with my Kickstarter pledge and that should give me a really nice selection there.

 

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2016 in Sci-Fi, Terrain building

 

Gamemat.eu review

Gamemat.eu review

I guess it has been an awfully long time since I wrote my last review, but I guess it is time for another one. This time it is a gamemat from gamemat.eu or namely their 6´x4´G-Mat: Quarantine Zone.

Those who know me, will know that gamemats of any kind are something new for me. In the past I have not been too fond of them. I always liked the ability to have rivers, trenchers, hill and so on in 3D on my table. Also, my table is obscenely large (3,5m x 2m maximum) and I never found any mat that could cover this. So I always went with my own modular game boards. So far so good.

But last year in the run up to our Battle for Berlin game I came to a point where this did not make sense. What if you do not need such a large table (as you will with most SciFi and Fantasy games, where a 4´x4´ table is the norm)? What if that table does not even require any rivers, trenches and the like (like urban terrain or many deserts)? Does this warrant the use of game boards that are larger & heavier and therefore more complicated to store and transport? What if, even if you wanted to say yes, you do not have the space to do so?

So I personally came to the decision to look at gamemats after all. The cobblestone mat we used for the Battle of Berlin vindicated that idea. It looked good, was easy to transport to the show in Antwerp and only took minimum space to store (which was a huge plus, taking into account, that the buildings were taking up a lot of said space). So I began to look at other options. With us playing a lot of Warzone lately (which also recommends a table size of 4´x4´or 4´x6´for larger games) and me wanting to play in some more futuristic urban settings, this was the natural choice as well. Looking around the mats from gamemat.eu looked quite pleasing to me and that was what I chose.

6'x4' G-Mat- Quarantine Zone

6’x4′ G-Mat- Quarantine Zone

Now this mat is made from neoprene with a cloth covering (to those non divers out there… this is often referred to as “mouse mat material”). The neoprene is about 2mm thick. If used for a wetsuit this would only be fine for warm waters, but I felt for a gamemat this was more than enough. It is so soft, that the dice settle fast after rolling (even with a D20), but hard enough that you will not get dice that are cogged. The big plus is that the neoprene will cover minor bumps in your table, giving you a flat surface. It also means that the mat is non slip, so it will not easily shift or wrinkle during a game.

6'x4' G-Mat- Quarantine Zone

6’x4′ G-Mat- Quarantine Zone

The cloth itself is printed with the design, in this case a somewhat damaged and dirty futuristic urban environment. Looking up close at the cloth the paint is soaked into the fibers, which should mean that is will be robust and should last a long time, if not forever (well not in a sense of “some alien archaeologists will be able to dig this up in a couple millennia and instantly play on it”, but you know what I mean). I cloth as a matt to slight satin gloss finish, which looks good when playing on it and does not look shiny on some photos. If you look very closely, you will be able to see the structure of the cloth, but during normal gameplay or on photos you will not notice it. The bond between the neoprene and the cloth seems to be very good. Better than most mousemats I have seen and about en par with good expensive wetsuits. So that should last you a good while, too.

6'x4' G-Mat- Quarantine Zone

6’x4′ G-Mat- Quarantine Zone

The corners of the mat are rounded. At fist this might seem strange, after all we play on a square playing field, but then again… when did you ever place a mini right in a corner? But I feel this is an added benefit. With a rounded corner the wear on the corners during play, storage and transport will be less, so combined with the good bond between the neoprene and cloth, this should enhance the lifespan of the mat as well.

6'x4' G-Mat- Quarantine Zone [Detail with car]

6’x4′ G-Mat- Quarantine Zone
[Detail with car]

What I really liked about the mat is the design itself. For one it could fit both ultra modern, as well as SciFi settings. Some elements look futuristic, others present day. In the end this means it is a bit futuristic, but not so much, that it look out of place in a modern city. At the same time it is not so present day that it would not fit a city of the future. This is a very fine balance, that I think they met well.

6'x4' G-Mat- Quarantine Zone [Detail with building]

6’x4′ G-Mat- Quarantine Zone
[Detail with building]

Also, if you look that the two photos above and the one below, many of the details are sublime. It does not matter if you place a building over them. It will not scream in your face “but there are markings for cars on the floor, your building looks out of place”, but still when you place a car there, it will fit the table. With many mats I have seen, the designs are pretty straight in your face and if people place a building over them it will look wrong. So I feel this mat gives you a lot of flexibility placing your models.

6'x4' G-Mat- Quarantine Zone [Detail with building and miniature]

6’x4′ G-Mat- Quarantine Zone
[Detail with building and miniature]

There might be one slight exception here and that is the streets itself. Any mat that has a street design printed on, will inevitably force you to place your buildings where there are no streets. On this mat, the streets all run parallel to the edges. So if the game you play is very strict about having fire lanes that run diagonally to the edges, this might not be the mat for you (although they did release a 4´x4´ version of this mat last week that has the streets run diagonally). But to be fair…it is hard to do diagonal streets on a rectangular mat, without creating open areas in the wrong spot and without knowing the size of people’s buildings. And the streets leading onto the table from the long edges do not line up, so there is no fire lane from one long edge to the other.

6'x4' G-Mat- Quarantine Zone [Detail with miniature]

6’x4′ G-Mat- Quarantine Zone
[Detail with miniature]

In this context there is another thing that I liked (and that I think might have been impossible with diagonal streets). The city blocks are actually well sized. They are big enough to allow for buildings with a large footprint without making them look  squeezed in (sorry no photos of that, since I am still awaiting my SciFi buildings and only tested it with some historic buildings that would have looked ridiculous, but there should be some of that in coming weeks!). But they will also accommodate small buildings without making them look lost. Some of the areas are also large enough to allow for multiple buildings, allowing you to create small alleys off the main roads or small plazas besides the buildings.

So here are some photos of some of the details I really liked on the mat:

6'x4' G-Mat- Quarantine Zone [Detail with miniature]

6’x4′ G-Mat- Quarantine Zone
[Detail with miniature]

6'x4' G-Mat- Quarantine Zone [Detail with miniature]

6’x4′ G-Mat- Quarantine Zone
[Detail with miniature]

6'x4' G-Mat- Quarantine Zone [Detail with miniature]

6’x4′ G-Mat- Quarantine Zone
[Detail with miniature]

So final verdict on this one?

Well I really like it. The design is good and it should come in handy for anything from modern to SciFi. The quality of the mat itself is really good and should last me a long time.

Official retail for this mat is 69,00 Euro / 52,00 GB£ (or 62,00 US$ without VAT) and I personally feel this is worth every cent.

 

P.S.: I will be posting some pictures of a few terrain items I painted recently later this week and since I took those pictures on the mat as well, you can see a few more pictures in the next post once it is up.

 

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2016 in Modern, Sci-Fi, Terrain building

 

Terrain and Star Wars Armada repaints

Terrain and Star Wars Armada repaints

I know this blog has been a bit quiet (again) lately, but I have not been idle, just too busy taking to take photos. There is also a batch of three points of Normans and Mercenaries for SAGA and a Lord for Warzone finished, but I have not gotten around to take any photos of them.

So without much further ado, here we go:

Right after Crisis I wanted to start kicking with a few small terrain pieces. Up first was a Celtic Cross for the Dark Ages. The model is by Timeline Miniatures. I loved the very intricate and detailed carvings on the stone, so it was a must have for me, even though it looks a little tall next to 25mm minis. The only letdown was the basic block it rests upon, which looked too basic and too much like MDT for my taste, but a little structured paint did the trick there. Just a little paint and presto:

Celtic Cross

Celtic Cross

Celtic Cross

Celtic Cross

Up next was the Village Fountain by Sarrissa Precision. Now this one was a little more complicated. I had put this together last year, always with the intention of adding artificial water. I did not want the moisture from the artificial water to soften up the white glue, so I used two-part epoxy instead of white glue back then. So far so good. So I painted it up and started pouring the first layer of Vallejo Still Water into the fountain. Everything looked good. The next morning I inspected my work and it still looked good. I picked it up and all the MDT layers came apart and the artificial water which had not completely dried started seeping through the gaps. Seems the two-part epoxy reacted with the artificial water as well. 😦 I quickly clamped everything together and for the next couple of days I kept it clamped together while pouring the next layers. The idea being, that the clamps would push it together and prevent if from coming apart again and that the water inside the fountain (and between the layers) would keep it stable and in one piece. After all this was done, the piece spend a couple of days atop the radiator to make sure it dried completely. After I removed the clamps it all stayed in one piece. Now I had to repaint parts of the fountain to mask the gloss where the water had come through, the spots where one could see the gaps in the MDF and the clamp marks. Then I added ripples with Vallejos Water paste and it was done. More effort than I wanted for this small piece, but in the end, it looks good.

Village Fountain

Village Fountain

Village Fountain

Village Fountain

And last… Martin and I have started playing some Star Wars Armada lately. Now we have decided to concentrate on one faction each. Martin will play the Rebel scum and I the glorious Empire (which does not mean we will not swap sides from time to time). Anyway, right now we have three core sets between the two of us (Martin has two, the other is mine), plus an extra set of Imperial fighters and one each of the ships from the Wave 1 expansions. And while I play the Empire, I felt this was too many Corvettes and Frigates in the Rebel fleet for them all to look the same (lets face it… I am not that likely to field 3 Victory class Star Destroyers in one game anyway), so I decided to give mine a repaint. I gave both quick diluted black wash to make the details stand out more. The Corvette got highlighted in tan and sand colours while the Frigate was highlighted in Ivory and White. For the Frigate I decided to paint the red markings over completely and replaced them with blue chevrons that run over the whole forward hull to enhance the shape of the ship. The Corvette just got the red markings overpainted in blue. Added some engine glow to both of them that was it. Nothing special, but it took less than an hour, which is fine by me. I guess starting December I will start (re)painting the Imperial ships and fighters, but I guess that will be more work, since I do not completely like the base colors of the ships (they do not look like they do in the movies to me).

Star Wars Armada - Corelian Corvette

Star Wars Armada – Corellian Corvette

Star Wars Armada - Corelian Corvette

Star Wars Armada – Corellian Corvette

Star Wars Armada - Nebulon B Frigatte

Star Wars Armada – Nebulon B Frigate

Star Wars Armada - Nebulon B Frigatte

Star Wars Armada – Nebulon B Frigate