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 Stadtheim, my fantasy town in progress

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si
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PostSubject: Stadtheim, my fantasy town in progress   Mon 21 Sep 2009 - 11:32

Hi there,

thought I'd start a thread for my current scenery project.

A little bit of background then. I've been a gw collector for many years, never really got into the gaming side but thoroughly enjoy modelling and to some extent painting. The trouble is that occasionally leaves me hankering for a little terrain building. I've dabbled over the years, but obviously with no real need for the terrain it's kind of an aesthetics thing.

Anyway a few months ago I was finding myself getting bored with my guard army and rather than ditch the whole thing for another 6 month sabbatical, i thought I'd try something new. I'd always wanted to do some modular terrain and figured why the hell not. Sure it may never be gamed on, but done right it could look pretty cool. I didn't fancy a futuristic setup though, so decided to go for a fantasy world. I suppose if it was aimed at a game it'd be mordheim, but the vision in my head is definitely more Ankh Morpork than city of the damned. I just saw this as a chance to try and get out all these cool ideas I'd garnered from WD over the years.

As you'll see, I'm not a very experienced terrain maker, so this is something of a baptism of fire, but I've never been one for "start small and see how it goes". I get bored too easily! In at the deepend and paddle like chuff, that's my theory!


ok ramble over for those who skipped down Wink

I've got four tiles for the town on going at the moment, each is 40cm square. I'm tracking all this in a blog, and I'll try and pick out some salient images rather than boring you with the dull stuff.

First up the brewery board:

Need an overall photo of this. There will be a raised courtyard with the small brewery in, then below a street with two houses, I've finished one so far as shown.

Second is the watch house board:

This is an old watch tower, which needs a new photo too since that's now drybrushed. The story is the watch tower is a relic from an old war, then some enterprising soul built a small coaching in next to it. But as the town expanded it's borders it was eventually taken over by the watch and used as their base of operations. The only access to the tower is on the first floor, and will be via a bridge from the watch house. Out back are stables and a courtyard.

I also have a church and the first river section on the go. I'll post pics of them if anyone is interested.

Seems to be going quite well at the moment from an inspiration point of view. I think I have some mild form of ADHD when it comes to the hobby, can't quite keep my mind focussed on one task at once! But getting the first house done is a great start, it's not perfect but I'm quite happy with the result.

The watch tower I'm rather happy with too, my first attempt with hirst arts and I like the result. Needs finishing of course.

Plenty to do, and with luck I'll keep coming back and updating this. I need to figure out a decent way of getting photos. Sounds stupid, but minis themselves are easy, as are landscapes, but something a couple of foot wide proves a real problem.

Anyway, cheers for looking, and phew long post huh? hah. Big fan of the site and there's some stunning stuff in these forums, so hopefully this thread will grow into a decent contribution.

Cheers,
Si
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PostSubject: Re: Stadtheim, my fantasy town in progress   Mon 21 Sep 2009 - 12:22

You're a NATURAL...the stuff looks TERRIFIC! The Brewery is rather remeniscent of Dave Andrews' Bugman's Brewery, although a bit smaller. The woodwork looks GREAT. AND the background story ties all the pieces together. Keep plugging along, you have a captive audience of at least one.
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PostSubject: Re: Stadtheim, my fantasy town in progress   Mon 21 Sep 2009 - 12:37

hah thanks mate.

Big fan of Dav Andrew's brewery, but I was always conscious that I wanted to make a small town, not a big city. So we have a church, not a cathedral, a micro-brewery instead of a massive industrial plant, a small watch tower rather than a castle.

Just working on a ramshackle looking chimney for the brewery as we speak, hopefully things will develop at a reasonable pace to keep people interested Smile

Si
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PostSubject: Re: Stadtheim, my fantasy town in progress   Mon 21 Sep 2009 - 12:57

not very experienced ??
this stuff looks great !
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PostSubject: Re: Stadtheim, my fantasy town in progress   Mon 21 Sep 2009 - 13:29

Ohoooo! Si, that looks super-promising!

Will be following your progress with eager anticipation.
Just keep accessibility in mind. Fun in Mordheim stands or falls with the possibility of entering buildings and having many levels (it's a 3D game).

Thanks for uploading.

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PostSubject: Re: Stadtheim, my fantasy town in progress   Thu 24 Sep 2009 - 15:14

Thanks for the feedback folks. I'll try and keep this updated but I do tend to only reply to my own threads when I have something to show.

Tom, definitely worth bearing in mind, although I've never played mordheim and most likely never will (don't really do gaming), I think the sense of vertical scope makes the scenery so much more impressive. And I like to think the end result would technically be playable Wink

Anyway, quick update on the brewery. I'm planning to do the second house for this tile over the weekend. I've just finished the chimney for the brewery itself, just all needs linking together. Looking forward to actually detailing a board since that's where things come alive..


The brewery tile, as it stands.


The new chimney.

Really need a nicely painted fantasy figure for scale in these shots. I don't actually have one, all mine were painted about 15 years ago when I wasn't quite sure which end of the brush to use apparently. Perhaps a time travelling praetorian will suffice for now? hah.

Cheers for looking,
Si
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PostSubject: Re: Stadtheim, my fantasy town in progress   Thu 1 Oct 2009 - 13:40

Back again. Jumping all around with this project, have just finished painting the timber part of the watch house, the second house for the brewery is under way and the church is getting painted. phew.

Would like a bit of input, and as useful as my blog is for keeping track of the project, there's no one there but me so it's not great for viewer interaction. I already know what I think Wink

So I'm trying to come up with the stained glass windows for my church. I'll be printing them out on acetate then giving them borders and the like, as suggested on the hirst arts website. I wanted mine to be special to my town though, so I'm doing my own.



The church is dedicated to Verena, spent a while reading up on all the old world gods and goddesses and she seemed to fit what I was doing with the town. I'm not brilliant at drawing, the owl and sword are of course loosely traced from the wonderful web, then tweaked and coloured. If anyone has any suggestions I'd really appreciate it, they're certainly a lot better than my first attempt anyway! Not sure if the colours work. Having researched a lot of stained glass windows I was surprised (and impressed) at the colour gradients they get. I suppose I'd only really been exposed to the twee crap you get in house doors, but the actual real painted glass jobbies in places of worship are staggering.

Oh, and I bought some lego harry potter owls to use as gargoyles, should work out nicely.

Cheers,
Si
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PostSubject: Re: Stadtheim, my fantasy town in progress   Thu 1 Oct 2009 - 16:41

PROGRESSING NICELY! The background fluff enhances the town WONDERFULLY. I really like the stained glass pattern. Even if the town never sees a game, it will be a LOVELY setting for your minis & a FINE stage for photos. Keep up the GOOD WORK!
BTW there is a nice owl mini that comes with the GW Dryads & Reaper has one in one of their familiar packs. Having an Owl or two perched about town would add to the background.
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PostSubject: Re: Stadtheim, my fantasy town in progress   Mon 19 Oct 2009 - 13:46

I'm back! Well ok I never want away, visit here several times a day, but I'm back to post about my own project.

Sorry about the slow updates, tend to be too critical of my own stuff and what I want to show, but I figured sod it, throw it out there.

This is the church board from the town. Easily my favourite piece so far.



As you can see not quite finished, the rear needs a roof and the graveyard needs railings. The whole thing is getting proper detailing at some point (like candles in the entrance way, erm doors are done but need putting in). The black cobbles will be drybrushed up to a lighter grey, don't like them at the moment. I bought some figures for statues in the alcoves, might use some but not all of them.

My favourite part though is the stained glass. I've got one in place for the photo, the rest need cutting and mounting. I finished the entire sheet I previewed earlier with a few different designs.

Needs a little tweaking positioning wise, and dusting, but I love the effect. It doesn't quite show up because of my naff lighting setup for the photo, but the light bounces off the white paper behind the window and makes it look.. well like stained glass!

As I just said in my blog, if I can get the whole town look half as good as this I've be very satisfied with the overall build. Not saying this is perfect, but it's probably indicative of my current standard. You never know, things might even improve as I progress.

Thanks again for looking, and any comments as always are appreciated.

I've got another board on the go which I'll post up later.
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PostSubject: Re: Stadtheim, my fantasy town in progress   Mon 19 Oct 2009 - 14:54

What you use to create the 'art' for your stain glass? I have couple ideas for my 40k churches, but I need a software that can translate and create the things for me to print in acetate. I'm not that great in Photoshop!

GREAT job!
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PostSubject: Re: Stadtheim, my fantasy town in progress   Mon 19 Oct 2009 - 15:05

Cheers. I did them in flash, but only because that's what I do all day and it made sense. I'm sure there are easier packages.

I just imported my pics then traced them, nothing fancy and no shortcuts I know of I'm afraid.

Here's what the total sheet looks like:



Have you tried Illustrator perhaps?
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PostSubject: Re: Stadtheim, my fantasy town in progress   Tue 20 Oct 2009 - 13:49

Ok here's the canal board I've started. My new basic block mould arrived today which will make this a lot easier. Everything so far has been done with a prison tower mould and a gothic floor mould. Not enough, casting has been a right swine!

Anyway. So the canal will run through 4 boards, one of which will be a right angle. The ground will be different heights on each side as shown here. I'm going to try and split my boards roughly evenly between the two heights. Should give a bit of flexibility.



The building is going to be a warehouse, with two storeys above the top level and a peaked roof (five storeys from water level). Mid way up with be a gantry and jib for loading barges.

I'm also working on a little human powered crane for the other side of the water.

I'm in two minds about the canal, part of me wants it narrow and small like this, but then I do have an urge to build a ship. I'm very tempted to make this a coastal town and put three dock boards across one end. Combined with the fantastic undead pirates from black scorpion miniatures this could quickly descend into a piratey board!

Ta for looking.
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PostSubject: Re: Stadtheim, my fantasy town in progress   Tue 20 Oct 2009 - 15:28

Very awesome
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PostSubject: Re: Stadtheim, my fantasy town in progress   Wed 21 Oct 2009 - 9:27

you build with these bought ashler (dont know the word took it from leo.org) stones? which you have to glue together, correct?
out of what material are those? are they worth buying them/are they affordable?(i saw packs of them but dont know how many it takes to build a normal house...) or is it possible to create them at your own?

thanks...

and yea looks great your town
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PostSubject: Re: Stadtheim, my fantasy town in progress   Wed 21 Oct 2009 - 9:49

That REALLY looks COOL...VERY WELL DONE!
Going all Piratey IS THE WAY to go...at least from my TOTALLY biased perspective


Last edited by DeafNala on Thu 22 Oct 2009 - 13:36; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Stadtheim, my fantasy town in progress   Wed 21 Oct 2009 - 10:52

elChelli, the stones are made from Hirst Arts moulds, http://www.hirstarts.com. The moulds are quite expensive, but I just buy some plaster fairly cheaply (going to pick up 5kg for £10 tomorrow so can't argue), then cast up as many as I need. Check out their site, some awesome kits.

Cheers DeafNala. I just have this mental image of a dockside with a big galleon moored up and a gang plank and lots of crates and such. I even sketched up some of the buildings, and considering how much motivation it takes to make me pick up a pencil it's fairly likely I'll be doing a dock at some point!
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PostSubject: Re: Stadtheim, my fantasy town in progress   Wed 21 Oct 2009 - 10:58

Nice town!
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PostSubject: Re: Stadtheim, my fantasy town in progress   Wed 21 Oct 2009 - 11:19

Great to see another Hirst user... Great for building custom scenery, especially Mordheim. Sadly, casting enough blocks can be a real bitch, I know I've been casting for 10 week solid to complete my project...

Your city is looking great, I really like the canal and the church... Multiple levels are really useful in Mordheim...

I'll be watching this thread...
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PostSubject: Re: Stadtheim, my fantasy town in progress   Thu 22 Oct 2009 - 13:04

Thanks guys.

Boreas_NL, I know what you mean about casting. Granted you've done a hell of a lot more than me! Although you probably have more than three moulds too Wink


Just picked up some Herculite 2 nice and cheap. Anyone know what the mixing ratio is? Seem to be getting varied reports from the web. I can always experiment, but it's wasted casting time!

Edit:

so I went with just over 2:1 and it seemed to mix up fine. Will find out when I pop them from the moulds I guess. One thing I did note is the quick going off time of Herculite. The other plasters I've used I'd go back after five minutes or so to scrape the mould. The herculite was almost set! managed to scrape it but had to be very aggressive. Worth remembering for next time.
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PostSubject: Re: Stadtheim, my fantasy town in progress   Fri 23 Oct 2009 - 3:02

very nice Si. Keep goign then get me a group shot Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Stadtheim, my fantasy town in progress   Sun 25 Oct 2009 - 10:11

Cheers. I need to sort out a group shot but I've never been good at photographing things at that distance. Minis, fine, skylines, fine, anything a couple of meters wide it always goes horribly wrong.

However for my sanity and perhaps to explain a bit better to people the plan I downloaded a copy of sketchup last night and quickly bashed this together (wonderfully easy tool to use).



I've rejigged the town from my original plan, but it makes more sense this way. I also like the rising hill on the far side, should make for good photos afterwards (if I figure out how to get them).

Really not liking the brewery now though. The buildings are ok, but the board and location don't seem to work. Might mess with it a little.

Also started a new board for the river mouth, will get some photos in the near future.

As you can see I cracked, it's become a coastal town and the first pirate warband is now planned using Black Scorpion minis Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Stadtheim, my fantasy town in progress   Mon 26 Oct 2009 - 1:48

It's the nature of the Beasty...there is ALWAYS something to add, some new ideas to explore, some little tweaking to do. Even more than the minis themselves, building a scenic setting is a life long project...a VERY ENJOYABLE exercise in imagineering. Have FUN!
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PostSubject: Re: Stadtheim, my fantasy town in progress   Sun 1 Aug 2010 - 13:15

Wake up... WAKE UP. Damned lazy thread.

Erm yeah hi, back again. My hobby tends to work in cycles, get bored with something and drift off. Spent the last 10months (wow) working on my 40k stuff. But I'm back and working on Stadtheim once more.

I've got a couple of weeks off work so should get a fair amount done, I'll keep posting updates.

Firstly a couple of quick questions:

Does anyone know of any UK stockits for pre-cast Hirst Art blocks? There are a few small pieces that I need a couple of handfulls of and really don't want to buy another mould. I know www.theterrainstore.com sells a few flooring pieces, but it's more proper blocks I'm after. http://www.moonlightmodels.co.uk looked like it would be perfect, except it's had the same "coming soon" message up since I was last here!

Secondly; water. I've got some water effects stuff I bought ages ago and want to use as the canal. The base isn't very smooth and tidy though, wondered if anyone had any suggestions what to put under the water effects? I presume if I use a texture the water will end up looking really shallow? Just some clean smooth plasticard maybe?

I'm making a couple of fountains/ponds so I can try this out but benefits of experience always appreciated.

I'll be back!
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PostSubject: Re: Stadtheim, my fantasy town in progress   Tue 3 Aug 2010 - 14:31

Most water effets are self leveling, so even if you have a rough bottom, the top will come out smooth. The main thing is to make sure that when you pouring your effects, that everything is sealed. If not you will have it seeping through the cracks etc.

Alternatively you could try stuff like Acrylic Matte Medium to create waves, ripples or Clear Silicone Caulk.

From a Terrain Building stand point you might also check out http://www.terragenesis.co.uk for tips / tricks, just make sure to show us your prorgress here Smile Great looking stuff. I had missed this thread previously.
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PostSubject: Re: Stadtheim, my fantasy town in progress   Wed 4 Aug 2010 - 6:39

Wow! I love that Church! This stuff is all fantastic.
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