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VaderXanth
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PostSubject: Tabletop terrain   Wed Jul 25, 2012 1:44 pm

Does anyone out there have any tips or tricks on terrain building, or even photos of their own terrain pieces?

Hopefully I will be starting on some of my own. I just have to find the motivation to clear out a space in the basement....
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PostSubject: Re: Tabletop terrain   Wed Jul 25, 2012 4:26 pm

As much as I've enjoyed hoarding a collection of various types and sizes of foam board products, I have yet to attempt any kind of miniature landscaping. (although I did just get an idea for an art project not involving tabletop miniature war-winning)

The only thing I think I would be able to do would be dropping links that anyone in the business/hobby would easily find going through the regular channels of google, privateer press, and... crap forgot the name... the guys that do warhammer. I know I learned quite a bit on Brushthralls, but I don't remember if that's just minis, or if there's tutorials on terrain also. In short, JFGI! Razz

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PostSubject: Re: Tabletop terrain   Thu Jul 26, 2012 4:10 pm

Here's just a few things I've been doing for my terrians

1. I go to thrift and second-hand stores and buy fake plants and rocky outcroppings used in fish aquariums.

2. At Halloween, the dollar stores have these really nice "stone" statues that stand a few inches tall. Perfect scale for ruins. At Christmas they'll tend to have fake trees or wreaths... buy the wreath and trim off "trees".

3. Go to flooring places and ask if they have any broken or throw away tiles. If anything, you could use these for long lost / buried roads or ruin foundations. With some time, you could break them down even further... spakle them onto a cardboard box to give a stone structure appearance.

4. Some grocery storage items, when turned upside down and painted, make great bunkers or futuristic buildings. Take a tray used for cookies for example: relays for a power generator.

How's this? Very Happy Quick, simple, cheap... and you really don't have to make a single thing!

But to actually make stuff:

1. Get a box of popsicle sticks from a dollar store and glue away... when you have what you want, spakle the seams and make everything smooth (or rough, depending on what you're doing). Handfuls of sand rubbed into the spakle will give it that natural stone appearance, while fish gravel pushed in will give it a stone brick look.

2. Crafting wire, melting plastic model spues... whatever... to make your own trees. Masking tape to thicken and make the tree bark (use a hobby knife to cut bark patterns). Planters foam (crafting foam?) from Wal*mart's craft section to give the tree a canopy. Add a thin layer of glue, and "roll" the canopy in a small dish filled with either fake foliage from a hobby store... or to keep costs down... some spices bought at the dollar store (like oregano).

...

Just did a google search, and just want to mention this one site I found. Damn does this look good! It even has step by step pictures, which is always helpful!

http://www.3t-studios.com/archives/2642
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PostSubject: Re: Tabletop terrain   Tue Jul 05, 2016 9:15 am

Was thinking.  Couple weeks ago, Vader and I were talking about making terrain with the pink sheets of insulation, a product that many a gamer uses for creating terrain ranging from buildings to craters.  Because of this discussion, I've been thinking of making some terrain as well, using all the bits and pieces I've been collecting the past few years in addition to the insulation.  On a side note, the last time I was at Gnomes Games (east), there was a lot of pieces there that were quite inspirational... I'm willing to try to make some steampunky wired and working towers and whatnot.

Anyway...

This morning I was beginning to think some more.  Taking individually, building terrain through the use of foam isn't pricey, the initial cost is.  You have to buy the foam, the knives, putty / spackle, sealant, paint.  Yes, we have most of this already, but I'm just going by initial cost.  Unless we're working on something really big, the foam route may not be the best option.  So what other option do we have?

Papercraft.

I've been looking at various terrain papercraft sites, and a lot of the stuff these people are doing is amazing, to put it simply.  I'll post some links at the end of this article if you wanted to check things out yourself, but in the event I forget, you can easily keyword search papercraft gaming terrain and be bombarded with a multitude of things in a multitude of genres or gaming needs.

While cheaper than the foam start-up, papercraft can be pricey in its own right, in the cost of ink.  The cost of paper isn't too bad, but the ink will get you.  Knowing that, I am currently hunting for black and white or coloring book style papercraft projects, stuff that can be colored with markers or basic paint.  This way, we keep costs down and we make the terrain our own!

But what of the strength or integrity of these projects?  How will they hold up to use, of having models placed on them?  Fairly well, I think.  Dropzone Commander uses papercraft buildings, and while those figures are in the 10mm scale, they do hold up very well.  For structures we know that will take a bit of abuse, we could easily glue the cardstock onto thicker cardboard, or even utilize support struts in the form of popsicle sticks from any dollar store.

Again, I don't want to detract from the use of the pink insulation; I would love to build a massive multi-layed cargo facility or even a space hulk, where we are limited to squads moving through passageways or catwalks.  Something like that would require the insulation.  But if we're looking at smaller structures, buildings, or even something as mundane as crates, fences, boxes, why not give papercraft a try?

...

I'll post links later, either as an edit or as a separate post.  I'm trying to find some excellent examples, but in truth, I think we all know what I'm talking about.

{EDIT}

Here's a good example of a building: Lincoln's Tomb.  Would fit perfectly in both 40K and WarMahordes!  Just don't add the statues or the plaque, and you'd be set... why, I can even see adding stuff to this, like moss or vines or whatever.  The PDF is eighteen pages , but is only that large of a file because of the size of the pieces.




Lincoln's Tomb
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PostSubject: Re: Tabletop terrain   Tue Jul 05, 2016 11:50 am

Here are some links to papercraft buildings / terrain I think we'd all enjoy.

This first one is full of 40K scale and style buildings. Amazing stuff here! 40K

I haven't checked all the tabs, but this particular page has some nice things... especially the tomb. obstacles

Just some old style buildings that could fit in either a WarMahordes games, or maybe an outlying 40K settlement. buildings

I've been seeing on some sites people putting these templates on foam board and cutting them out from that. Whatever, that's perfectly fine. Me, I'm going to try my luck with a bunch of old file folders that were going to be tossed out, or maybe cereal / cracker boxes if it comes to that, otherwise I'll stick with the cardstock.
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PostSubject: Re: Tabletop terrain   Wed Jul 06, 2016 10:32 am

SOME links? Suspect EDIT: LOL nevermind! The first link was red cuz I'd been there before, the second link was almost the same color as the text so didn't see it was a link. Seriously, wtf is up with the forum colors lately?!

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PostSubject: Re: Tabletop terrain   Sun Jul 10, 2016 8:52 am

Debating if I want to assemble some Tau Crisis battlesuits or work on some papercraft buildings today while at work... probably buildings.  But, while I'm thinking about this, I thought I'd shae a couple images.

I'm looking at the Lincoln Tomb and thought I'd post some size comparrisons, in case anyone was interested in assembling this.  As you can see below, the smaller statues, the four that encircle the central tower, are equivelant in size to a standard (small base) WarMaHordes figure... which would also be equal to a troop choice in 40K, or any other "normal" sized gaming piece.  Additionally, the pedestal diameter is equal to a light warjack / heavy infantry base; I don't think 40k has a base of similar size.  At least this shows you that larger pieces could fit on there comfortably.

Because of this, I am electing to make this out of foamboard.  With such a wide surface area, placing models on it would be quite conceivable, and if there were to be a conflict on top of this, I wouldn't want it to collapse.  

*ponders*

Perhaps if I just make the central platform out of foamboard?  The obelisk could still be cardstock, as well as the railings and steps.  Food for thought, I suppose.

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PostSubject: Re: Tabletop terrain   Fri Sep 16, 2016 3:28 pm

I was sitting here at work, trying to think of a modular tabletop.  I've seen GW sell them, panels that can be "connected" no matter what side is touching, that produces a few different tabletop possibilities.  I've also seen homemade panels where the borders are plain, but that the center of the panels contain the landscaping or obstacles or whatever.

One on hand, GW's stuff is expensive.  On the other, the homemade stuff looks... cheap... in that there was no imagination involved.  But, after thinking about things for a while, in particular trying to imagine a river system that could be modified or adjusted, I came up with an idea.  Or rather, the in-browser game Lacuna Expanse came up with the solution, and I just put it to tabletop gaming.



Anyone who has played Lacuna Expanse should remember these: landscaping tiles that merely added decoration to your otherwise featureless world.  And even though the above image is devoid of detail, you get the idea: terrain that can be used to create numerous different patterns of lakes, rivers, or even a water border which makes the battle area an island.  The "shoreline" would not be a simple clear cut division, oh no.  There would be twists and bends, what matters is that the pieces maintain the general shape (straight, concave, convex) and that all the connections make an even transition.

Now, the layout I present isn't an exacting one: there isn't enough land.  I will tweak this a little bit for a visual reference... probably remove three of the solid water and replace it with solid ground.  Maybe.  Maybe just have a half sheet dedicated to ground.  Note that the image is a 4x8 grid, making each tile 1' square.  These tiles don't, and shouldn't, be that big.  I'll have to look at a copy/paste of the image, with the second part being mirrored; That would make is panel a 6" square.  A bit time consuming in assembling, sure, but would give a grander feel.  Make extra solid water and land pieces, and we'd be good to go.

But that, my friend, is just the base, the initial layer.

Now image a second layer of terrain.  Hills.  Outcroppings.  Islands.  Wouldn't that be fun to play on?

So with this, I'm thinking two 4x8 sheets of pink insulation (3/4" thick).  Why two?  One layer would be the ground, the second the water; simply glue the land pieces onto the water for the shoreline.  Maybe at some point have water as the top layer, create little mini water falls or descending rapids.

Anyway, you get the idea.  A fully customizable tabletop terrain surface!
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PostSubject: Re: Tabletop terrain   Fri Sep 16, 2016 4:17 pm

Whoops, I made a mistake. One copy/paste would not have done anything... you would need four of the same pattern to make 6"x6" tiles. Sort of like this.



You can definitely see how this can play out. This would be quite time consuming, but I think well worth it. Oh, and no because of this, I've got a few more ideas for interchangeable terrain panels. For instance, a cityscape. Easy enough to do, as cities are already laid out in a grid pattern, so there isn't a need for small 6" squares (one footers should be good).

But then I'm thinking... why not do something inside a building? We've talked about this for years. While the water map and city map could be used for both 40K and WarMaHordes, a building layout would have to remain solely with 40k. Well, I guess not, not really. We could have the enterior of a castle, I suppose, or a market or sorts.

What I'm thinking is a series of panels (again, 6x6), with with walls instead of water. No leaping or flying over the walls as there would be a ceiling, but flyers could be permitted to race down hallways. This would truly be to scale, which makes for a nice change. Monstrous or gargantuan creatures would not be able to fit down the halls... not unless the building was designed for such things. No Devastators, no Carnifex, no tanks / vehicles. Can you imagine? Room to room searches, racing down hallways in an attempt to secure ambush locations.

With this I would steal something from Dropzone Commander: searching for objectives. We just can't have out armies lying in wait, as no one would move. We would have no objective markers, we would have to roll percentage dice to see if the item we are looking for is in there / if we found it. And then, we'd have to get out of the building to our awaiting transport.

...

Mah gawd, that sounds good! Instead of playing on a 4x8 table, the building would be like 3x7 (or something visually appealing). Our respective transports drop us off close / right next to an entrance way, unloading the squads. We can have our breech teams going through the building, room-to-room, our motion sensors beeping like in Aliens, letting us know of the other team's location so we can move to avoid or to kill, all while trying to secure the objective. At the same time, we could have an anti-tank team moving along the perimeter, hoping to find and destroy the other's transport before it destroys us and ours. Our team secures the objective and moves to meet up with the transport... knowing full well the other team is moving to stop us, or to blow us out when we reach the doors.

Yes, that is how Dropzone is played, but it does make for an interesting spin with 40K, doesn't it?

Then, when we get a few games in from playing these tweaked scenarios, we can make the building "smaller", but have it set up so this portion is level two, this portion is level three, and we're under heavy fire, meet us on the roof! Move move move!

...

I'm goingn to have to make an interchangeable building grid, aren't I?
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PostSubject: Re: Tabletop terrain   Fri Sep 16, 2016 5:39 pm

Before leaving work, I printed off the 6x6 image; just cut or all the panels and have been playing with them... this will look nice, alright. Definitely need some solid Lahey pieces though, maybe out of the five solid water tiles per board, I should plan on only two.  Ehh, figure it out as I go, not as if it's hard to cut a chunk of foam.

{edit}

Wait, duh.  I don't need to make extra land tiles or remove water tiles;  the land and water are two different sheets.  When I cut or sculpt the land, I'd be making solid land tiles.
.
Der der der.

{edit edit}

In playing with this some more, it loss line I can get away with half of the sheet being solid land. Thete's definitely me than enough water tiles to keep things interesting. Makes things a lot easier, too; plus, I can always make more, right?

{edit 3}

After sleeping on it, a bunch of 6" squares, while making for a greater board as far as detail or customization goes, makes things too difficult to manage. Going back to the 1' squares, but in the same time I'll make the water portions smaller. That should take care of things, yes?
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PostSubject: Re: Tabletop terrain   Mon Oct 10, 2016 2:04 pm

Trees

Started making some trees yesterday.



Started by looping a few strands of floral wire (couldn't find my other stuff), and then twisting them together to give strength; there's 20 wires within the trunk, six to seven for the roots, and the branches thin out as you get higher.

I then covered the wire with some air dry clay that I had purchased years ago from Walmart but never got around to opening.  I could have done a better job at coating the one tree, but hey, it's experimental... I want to see if this stuff will dry first.  The packaging states that the clay needs 24 hours to dry, so I'll take a look at things when I get home.

The second picture is just a close up of the tree I covered.  You'll note I scratched in some texturing.  My advice, should you do something like this, is to scratch the branches first, and work your way down.  I started on the trunk, and quickly found out simply by hold the tree, I was smoothing the areas I scratched.  Go figure.

My intentions are to either use some moss I have to act as the leaves, or to stretch out some cotton balls to act as foliage, and then sprinkle some crushed basil or oregano.  After painting, of course.  Once the foliage is done, then I'll base the tree, then paint the trunk.

Unlike my other projects, these are more manageable and in keeping with gaming terrain.  I believe they are around five inches in height.
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