Thursday, July 31, 2014

Terrain: Imperial Streets 002

I Googled images of cracked asphalt to help me detail the roads, and the images returned were promising. I also looked around my neighborhood to see what inspiration I might find there. After marking the locations of dividing lines and crosswalks with a permanent marker, I scribed a pattern of pencil lines on each road section, to be picked out later with my x-acto blade and dental pick.
Gouging out all the cracks is one of those things that ended up being more labor intensive than I expected. In some places the cork tore out in chunks, and on a couple of the edges long strips peeled away. It didn't matter. I saved all the debris from the process and once all the cracks were dug out, I used it as rubble in the voids and in piles on the street. After all the rubble was in place and the glue set up, I used a filbert brush to paint the lines on the road with PVA.
After giving the roads a coat of watered down Delta black, I painted the lines with a second layer of straight PVA. The idea here is that the definition from two thin layers of PVA will serve to make the lines visible through the painting process without my having to constantly retrace them... Here's hoping. The final step before the roads are ready for drybrushing is to give all the rubble a coat of watered down Delta black mixed with PVA. This will serve to help the deposits of rubble not to erode as I drybrush over them.
Two years ago I bought a pint each of Blue Grey Slate and Seal Grey. All my craters, rubble deposits, roads, etc. will share these two base colours to ensure that all my terrain is tied together. The roads first get heavy drybrush of Blue Slate Grey, then Seal Grey. The PVA did its work wonderfully: the rubble stayed and the road markings showed through wonderfully. After drybrushing I picked out the road markings with Space Wolves Grey and then Skull White. Everything then got a coat of black wash. Once the wash dried everything got one last drybrush of Seal Grey.

Now all that remains of the road construction is the cratered section.



Thursday, July 24, 2014

Terrain: Imperial Streets 001

Well defined roads has always been a thing on my to do list when it comes to terrain, even if the rules that inspired me to begin with are a few editions out of date now. In the 2001 edition of Chapter Approved, there were optional rules for craters and roads. These rules inspired me to crank out a pile of craters, and I was always dreaming of when I could have some nice Forgeworld Roads... long OOP in 2014. I've finally hit upon an affordable solution to the problem.

With the sidewalks of my terrain being 1/4" thick, I decided that the 1/8" cork I could find locally would make a good road, and there would still be variation between the sidewalk and street when terrain is laid out. I sat for a few minutes, sketching in my graph paper comp book, and the above picture is what I came up with. Using deductive reasoning and the size of the RoB tiles that GW and FW produce, I decided that my roads would be 8" wide.

With a quick bus ride to Home Depot and JoAnn Fabrics, I picked up the needed supplies: a 2'x4' sheet of 1/8" hardboard and two 2'x1' rolls of 3/32" thick cork. With these items secured, I beat a hasty retreat to my sweltering laboratory. Using my square and steel ruler, I marked out the pattern of sections I had laid out in my comp book. Using a sharp utility knife, I then cut out all the pieces of hardboard and the corresponding piece of cork.

Here is what I ended up with. Since the cork came in rolls, it wanted to stay curled up. No worries, I applied PVA glue liberally to the hardboard and the cork sheets, and then sandwiched the all the pieces together under a stack of books. I used a piece of tinfoil between each road section to ensure they wouldn't stick together.

That was last night. Now its 12 hours later, and they the PVA isn't completely dry yet. I did shift the pile and then restack it. Once I get home from work I will see how much more drying they will need.

The cratered section of road will be tackled a bit differently from the rest. Before I add the road, I have to build the craters.

In other news, I surpassed 50000 hits some time yesterday and wanted to say thank you to all.



Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Terrain: Terraforming Necromunda 002

The Necromunda terrain I am working on is largely made out of foamcore. I wanted to effectively hide the edges, and it took me a little while to figure out the best way to go about it. In the end the solution I decided upon was to use 3/16" C channel. Starting at one of the slots and ending at one of the tabs, I laid out the longer sections first, then working the angles. I sealed the edges of the deck with PVA glue mixed with water applied liberally. Once this protective layer dried, I was able to use superglue to attach the C channel to the exposed foam.
Once the edging was completed, I cut some strips of 1/2" thin card and glued them on the platform, top and bottom, flush with the C channel.
The mostly complete section.  There will be more plates and rivets (always more rivets), as well as another piece of terrain that will slot into the holes in the center of the deck.

Here you can see the process of applying C channel, thin card, more card, and finally rivets to complete the main detail on these sections. This is where I ran out of C channel. There is a bit more than 17" on this piece. The store that sells Evergreen locally went out of business, so I have to wait for some to come in.

This tower is about halfway done. Once I get more C channel, I can finish the tower up. I think I might try some of the GW technical paints on these projects.



Friday, July 18, 2014

Terrain: The Land of Unfinished Projects

Hello and apologies for the radio silence of late. I've been working on a host of terrain projects started sometime over the last couple years, as well as the new stuff. I've managed to finish one project completely, refine the details on two more, and since I'm tackling all these I might as well get some work done on the fences I started in April of '12. I've even remembered to take pictures, mostly.

One of the reasons I am so focused on terrain at the moment is that I finally have enough that once I complete it, I'll have some great pieces for miniature photos. Noteworthy hobbyist JRN had a blog post in late 2011 about close cropped mini photography, and I never forgot. Hell, that and a couple of his mood shots are what sent me hunting on feeBay for the Necromunda bulkheads I now own.

So, what have I been grinding away at?

I got some work done on the hab block I started a couple weeks ago. Still to be done is rubble and debris, maybe wood floors. I haven't decided on that one, yet.

These trench wall sections have were assembled sometime during summer 2012, filler putty and sand added in summer 2013, and summer of 2014 finally sees them painted.

The not-hill took a coat of paint and is now ready for more details to be added. Here are the completed trench wall sections all laid out. The towers in the background there are pylons for an elevated pipeway through my city.

Here it is, the first section at least. This project started last summer, with me finding a perfectly useful section of broken .75" PVC sprinkler line. I snagged it from a waste bin, gave it a sniff to make sure it hadn't been in something nasty, then took it home and washed it off. A few months later I built and painted the two pylons. The deck was completed as well, but I was at a loss on how to produce handrails and how to secure the pipes to the pylons. Both issues solved, the project moves forward.

On the Necromunda front, I have finally decided that C channel strip styrene and thin card is the way to go for detailing the edges.

Finally, the fence sections I put together in spring of 2012 have all had DAP applied and are ready to be sanded and then painted. They are the longest running unfinished project so far.

So ends the tale from the land of unfinished projects. I will post a more detailed rundown on each project.



Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Terrain: Urban Elevation 001

So these are the stars of my next project, the humble egg crate tray. I get these from the boxes of eggs I get. Two trays carries 5½ dozen eggs. Two boxes of eggs a month equals four trays. I used to throw them out, until one day I asked my girlfriend to look at them and tell me what she sees in them, just start telling me ideas. She mentioned bridge type thing, or support, and I was off. I instantly saw the trays in a new light, that of their shape and how it can work for me just as well as it does protecting eggs.

Four trays cover a 2'x2' square handily
I need more foamcore
I got some. The back edge in place
Proof of concept achieved :D
Some of the work in progress shots. The edges are two inches high. All the top and appropriate corners are cut so that the foamcore is hidden at the joints. The deck will slot right into the edges and ride on the egg trays.

Mark Bedford Stormtroopers for scale
The ramp up to the deck of the not-hill is 8" wide and 12" long. The support here will be foamcore wedges.
2'x'2' not-hill

It's pretty good size
With all the foamcore secured, the next step will be to cover all the edges with thin card. The ramp will also get clad in thin card. The edges will have some small details added to break up the big grey stretches. I want to build three more sections, at least. Two of these will feature a canal. I plan extensions for the canal to stretch out over the rest of the board.

I'm super excited to be able to build these board sections finally. For a long time these were out of reach, since the only feasible way to build them (to me, at the time) was to use pink 2" insulation foam. Its just the way terrain gets done. Fast forward to now and this egg tray reinforced foamcore monster. It is light, sturdy, square, and cheaper. For a sheet of insulation foam I'd pay ~$40. For 11 dozen eggs, 2 sheets of foamcore, and a 4'x2' sheet of MDF I pay ~$20... and I can eat the eggs. It works out a little better in favor of the egg tray boards when I work in the cost of tools needed to work the foam. Seriously it sucks to work with.



Thursday, July 3, 2014

Terrain: Hab Blocks 001

So with 1st platoon almost done, I decided to start on a project that I've been sitting on for a few months now. I picked up a couple pieces of foamcore back then, with the idea of crafting a couple habs to sell. It fills a couple needs for me: I like to build terrain, but don't have a place to really store it; and I need money to continue purchasing hobby supplies. These first two that I am putting together are the dry run, if you will. I'm taking notes on the construction, about what to do right next time mostly.

I spent the first night of the project on drawing out all the cut lines. Snow Monster is super helpful with this stuff, keeping the foamcore warm for me.

Once everything was lined out, I started cutting windows. I was very careful, but not enough. I will need to be moreso in the future, so that there aren't little cuts past the corner of each window. At this point, I dryfit everything, and took measurements for the interior floors. Then I carefully cut a couple strips of foamcore to be floor supports. This is, of course, the point where I stopped taking photos... I swear its my super power.

I did manage to get a shot of cutting out the bases, each 12" square. I will situate the buildings in the center of each, with a 1.5" sidewalk around it. Then I went back to work with the foamcore.

First I glued together the narrow ruined wall and the intact section, then the other two sections. Once they were together, I added the floor supports. I cut out two squares for the interior floors, and then cut out ruined shapes from these. One of the most important things about this project was to use the piece of foamcore most efficiently, and I have managed it so far.

Next I gave everything a coat of grey paint. I hate trying to paint interiors once my buildings are assembled, and I have done a great many since I never seemed to learn before. This time I remembered. I painted the exterior and the window sockets, too. Then I glued the floors into the walls, and finally the walls together.

I remembered pictures again at this point.

Here is where construction is at now. I cut up some of the cork tiles I use for basing to use as sidewalk blocks. I had enough cork on hand to make seven tiles, I'll need something like 16 more to finish this building.

The destroyed corner of the hab will have a couple of craters. I'll also cut up some more slabs of foamcore rubble.