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 First attempt at terrain!

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Sircyn
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PostSubject: First attempt at terrain!   Fri 26 Aug 2011 - 13:14

I've spent a good few months lurking around these hallowed threads and having drawn loads of inspiration then took it upon myself to build the terrain for my groups new campaign. The plan was to do it as cheaply as possible, as I have loads of free time but little cash.

I'm an absolutely rubbish artist, so I tend to write a paragraph description of what I want to build before I get stuck in. When combined with a few hours of looking at real life and model examples of terrain, it tends to give me enough of a mental picture to get going.

I can't not mention my friend Maria, for being the technical drawer and neat freak who can do the difficult and boring bits (like drawing straight lines, or measuring things) for me to do the arty farty aspect of making them practical wargaming pieces that still look like ruins, that tell a story.

I've been especially inspired by the Left4Dead level design philosophy here, where they tell little pastiches with no exposition or even words at all. They don't have to explain the world because you pick it up by being in it and seeing for yourself.

This first piece is a test bed for a load of the ideas we've had by looking at this forum and drooling over the techniques of the masters and happy amateurs, then shamelessly stealing all of your ideas. Very Happy

"The Merchants Town House. This comfy middle class abode was once home to a reasonably well off merchants family, with the lower floor largely reserved for business while the family enjoyed the comparably spacious existence of the upper floors and clean living afforded by the central location in the wealthier district of town. When the end time came and fire rained down from the sky this house was shattered by a chunk of the very wrath of sigmar himself. The shattered hull of this opulent town house offers rich rewards for those who dare to risk chipping away at the fallen meteor to harvest the wyrdstone within."






The objective here was to make two modular pieces of terrain, that can be used as separate pieces or as one whole.





These are early pictures that show you how we went about building them. We'd love any feedback from you gnarled denizens of the pit!
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Lambert
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PostSubject: Re: First attempt at terrain!   Fri 26 Aug 2011 - 13:29

Looks awsome cant wait to see it painted. The only improvementi could think of is to ad stuff in the house like in the bottom floor (the business section) add some crates, barrels, sacks, etc. and some personal stuff to the upper floors to make it look like somebody lived there. But all in all its better than any terrain I've ever made and looks awsome. thumbsup
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PostSubject: Re: First attempt at terrain!   Fri 26 Aug 2011 - 13:34

That really is EXCELLENT; I'm particularly fond of the interior rubble. The idea of a piece that can be split into two separate entities is a VERY UNIQUE & CREATIVE approach to scenery. Keep up the FINE WORK! thumbsup
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Sircyn
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PostSubject: Re: First attempt at terrain!   Fri 26 Aug 2011 - 14:34


Lambert you are right about adding in some detritus to give it a more lived in appearance! I've already painted the half with the meteorite lodged in it, but the shop front half I shall scatter a few bits and pieces raided from my various Empire sprues! Thanks! I might see if I can bribe my friend Maria into making some furniture... this may require cake...

DeafNala I've not seen much of that approach around either, but I try to do it in a lot of my terrain pieces. I have limited storage space, (as most of us do!) and building in this way means I can increase the number of different combinations and layouts of terrain I'm able to enjoy! I am carrying the idea further with some of the pieces I've been making after this first attempt, I'll work on some pictures that show the idea off!

Thanks for the kind words guys!
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PostSubject: Re: First attempt at terrain!   Fri 26 Aug 2011 - 19:10

Those are very nice. I love the look of the 4th pic. Lots of nice exterior detail.
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Sircyn
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PostSubject: Re: First attempt at terrain!   Sat 27 Aug 2011 - 3:32

Here's the finished front piece, with a gable, tiled roof and all the structural stuff done.



It's had a coat of calthan brown and is waiting for some more interior detail before it gets the rest of its paint job!



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DeafNala
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PostSubject: Re: First attempt at terrain!   Sat 27 Aug 2011 - 8:20

LOOKIN' GOOD! Now that you have a base coat on the sucker, I noticed you did the nail holes on the wood floors...VERY NICE TOUCH! thumbsup


Last edited by DeafNala on Sat 27 Aug 2011 - 12:44; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: First attempt at terrain!   Sat 27 Aug 2011 - 9:54

Getting better and better. I love the level of detailing on the roof, loose shingles, missing shingles. I never think to do those things. And that gable looks nice and large, actually big enough to hold a mini. Playability is one thing also that stands out to me about your builds. These are great, keep them coming.
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Sircyn
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PostSubject: Re: First attempt at terrain!   Sat 27 Aug 2011 - 13:34

Hahaha! Scoring all the floor boards was the most mind numbing part of the job, so thanks for noticing! Getting paint onto it really does pull it all together and work its magic. Until this point we were worried about just how plausible it would look!

I love those little details, these are the things that add character and can tell a story about a piece. It's hard to see but I've laid down some putty in logical places ready for some static grass on the roof, to show how nature is colonising the accumulated muck that's settled amongst the tiles. I've got some scorched, desert grass coloured stuff to represent the polluted environment. I also try to imagine whole buildings and then ruin them, rather than building ruins from the outset. In a lot of pieces you can see they were designed to be a ruin, rather than a building that was subsequently damaged. In my future pieces I'll try and continue that thought process as I think it makes a big difference.

The gable is large enough to house about three models with one at the window! We tried to build to a realistic scale with our buildings and they dwarf the GW buildings! They make them look so silly we'll have to chop up the majority of the GW ones and use their detail and parts spread out amongst our own pieces rather than use them as stand alones. I think that's a more efficient use of the kits anyway considering our slim budget.

We have played about half a dozen games using these two pieces mixed in with our other, GW terrain and the height, cover and layout of them really adds a new dimension to the game and a huge amount of narrative. Suddenly we had snipers at windows, diving charges from the rafters, falls from great heights and an overwhelming urge amongst the warbands that weren't elves or skaven to buy ropes and hooks! I need to make some ladders!! In future pieces I'll have to make sure some stair ways survive as it will bug me more and more as to why the disaster removed everyones steps and replaced them with ladders! Even if it's just the ruined stair wells with later ladder replacements!


Overall we're really pleased with this building and I've been working on several other pieces over the past few days. I hope to get some pics to you soon!
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PostSubject: Re: First attempt at terrain!   Sat 27 Aug 2011 - 18:34

That's a good way to make a ruin, whole and then ruined with a rational explanation for the damage. Your comment about the stairs struck home with me. Out of my 14 ruins I only have one stairway. "In the dark world of Mordheim, there are only ladders" to paraphrase from 40K. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: First attempt at terrain!   Sun 28 Aug 2011 - 14:38

Hahaha! luckyjoe that's a sigworthy phrase if ever I saw one! I'm going to sit down with my friend and stare at images of medieval and Tudor stair cases for some inspiration. I fully intend to have a lot of them damaged beyond use, as they do seem to be amongst the first things to go in abandoned buildings and I can imagine them to be a right pain in the rear to build. I'd like them to be there providing an excellent stage for the later modifications and ramshackle fixes the post apocalyptic denizens of the city manage to erect.

This is the brief I gave myself for my second piece!

Skeletal Shanty Ruins. Ravaged by fire and blast damage, these inner city hovels were packed to the rafters with the impoverished of the city, barely scraping together the rates to pay their overbearing Landlords. Now after the disaster these wrecked remains have been picked over several times by passing warbands and refugees, like the carrion ravaged corpses of the victims of violence in the area. Virtually everything has been robbed out from these pitiful hulls, even down to the floor boards. They're often used as staging points for Warbands or hiding places for fugitives whop are unfortunate enough to be caught by nightfall in the outskirts of the city.



This one I wanted to be a bit more open and accessible and a little easier to place. It consists of four pieces of ruins that can be combined into one larger piece, paired off, or left standing on their own.






As usual I wanted the interior to tell a story, with the floor boards ripped up and on the camp fire or stacked waiting to be! I'm going to get practicing with the papier mache to put together some camp beds and rolls round the fire, waiting for their owners to return...



They've since had some roofing tiles clinging to the few remaining rafters and scattered about the floor to make it look a little more complete. When painted these fellas will have a lot more scorching effects than other buildings.



I'm going to use some of the roof beams I didn't end up using in construction as handy ramp ways between the upper floors of these ruins. I'll lash them together in pairs to make them look the part and be wide enough to hold a square base! I want to avoid any additional materials, so the beams are of the same size and length as they would have been had they still formed part of the building. There are no more beams than there would have been in the complete thing. I want to make sure that it has been bodged together using the beams that are already up there, as I doubt any warband would have the means or inclination to bother with the trouble of bringing in foreign beams and lugging them on top of these relatively unimportant ruins.

Thanks for all your replies and comments to this thread guys, it's been a massive motivator to getting more work done!
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PostSubject: Re: First attempt at terrain!   Sun 28 Aug 2011 - 19:41

Really great work so far! I love the attention to detail you are putting into the pieces and the 'clean' messiness delivered in each piece. Keep up the great work and I am looking forward to seeing more posted.
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PostSubject: Re: First attempt at terrain!   Sun 28 Aug 2011 - 23:32

Nice new ruin! Smile

Theo
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PostSubject: Re: First attempt at terrain!   Mon 29 Aug 2011 - 4:51

VERY NICE! Your attention to detail & feel for texture will serve you well in this project. Keep up the FINE WORK! What a Face
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Sircyn
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PostSubject: Re: First attempt at terrain!   Sat 3 Sep 2011 - 8:17

Thanks again for the encouragement guys! It really does keep me going. I'm going to build upon the points your comments raise and improve my game with newer pieces!

I've finished the most recent ruin with the tiles and makeshift running boards. It's just ready to be painted now.





Between big builds any left over bits of polystyrene get used in little pieces of scatter terrain. The idea behind them is they are generic space fillers, that I can also raid for my other wargames.



My local GW manager let me claim these trees when he was chucking them out. Who said they were an evil empire eh? Very Happy





When finished these will have taken no effort whatsoever and will cheaply flesh out dead ground in Empire in Flames settings.
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PostSubject: Re: First attempt at terrain!   Sat 3 Sep 2011 - 10:36

Great job, and you're doing it so quick! Very Happy

Theo
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PostSubject: Re: First attempt at terrain!   Sun 4 Sep 2011 - 2:48

This are really beautiful buildings. Very nicely done, especially if one considers this is your first attempt with terrain! Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: First attempt at terrain!   Sun 4 Sep 2011 - 3:16

The new additions are VERY COOL & nicely done. I see the new building can be broken up into 4 separate components...clever idea & one that will facilitate painting. thumbsup
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PostSubject: Re: First attempt at terrain!   Sun 4 Sep 2011 - 7:24

More excellent work! That's a great idea to build the buildings in sections. Can't wait to see them all painted.
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PostSubject: Re: First attempt at terrain!   Sun 4 Sep 2011 - 10:50

Awesome! Thanks for sharing. I love looking at what other people are doing - very inspirational.

-Michael
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