Hab Module LV4-26, Part One

This shop front/apartment facade for my ongoing Infinity space station project has been inspired mostly by the depiction of some of the habitat levels of Ceres in the TV show The Expanse. If you haven’t watched The Expanse I highly recommend it, it’s good quality TV (not something I say regularly!) that depicts a hard science fiction fairly near future that nods to classic SF like Bladerunner while carving out it’s own niche.

There’s a great article on some of the concept art from Season One of The Expanse over on ArtStation, Behind The Scenes: The Concept Art of The Expanse. The piece that really inspired me was this painting showing the better-quality habitat levels on Ceres, with their stacked, clearly modular apartment blocks with small shops at ground level.

Hab levels, Ceres. Image via ArtStation. Click for larger.
Hab levels, Ceres. Image via ArtStation. Click for larger.

With the limits of storage and transport of tabletop scenery (as well as the consideration of being able to play around whatever I create!) obviously the soaring multilevel terraces of Ceres will get scaled down a bit… or a lot. I decided to stick with the 12″ long, 6″ high size of my existing big wall modules and roughly the same thickness, creating a two-story facade piece intended to go on one edge of the table.

Basic construction finished. See text for details; click for larger.
Basic construction finished. See text for details; click for larger.

The basic unit has four modules per level, each roughly 3″x3″. Left to Right on the ground floor we have a bar or fast food joint, the entry doors for the hab module itself, some sort of offices, and then a small medical clinic. The top floor is all apartments, three of which have balconies. The roofs are deliberately inaccessible to figures.

hab_2_27nov2016

The basic construction is mostly 1/8″ foamed PVC (Sintra board) which is great stuff to work with, easy to cut cleanly, sandable, and will glue with either white glue or superglue. The rest is almost all 1/16″ mattboard, the high quality cardboard used in framing pictures. I get my PVC from the offcuts bin at our local plastics supplier, and the mattboard from a local art supply/picture framing store.

With Haqqislam Muyib infantry for scale. Some detailing and lots of paint to go! Click for larger.
With Haqqislam Muyib infantry for scale. Some detailing and lots of paint to go! Click for larger.

Detailing is mostly scraps and offcuts of PVC and mattboard, with some lighter card for the window frames, tiles, and elsewhere. I still need to add bar stools around the outdoor bar on the left, a few more window frames, and some other details.

More soon, I hope to get this piece basecoated today and some more detail over the next few days!

More Space Station Pieces

One of the big wall modules I built for my Infinity space station tabletop set has a door three inches off the ground, intended to connect to catwalks or other elevated terrain. The problem with it has been that I have no catwalks or other elevated terrain, so most of the time that door just kind of hangs in space and looks weird…

I decided to start with at least one module for one side of the elevated door. I was thinking about an open stairwell, but keeping stairs inside a small enough footprint when you have 3″ vertical to cover is challenging. Instead I went with one of the acrylic kit ladders I got from Warsenal earlier this year. The rest of the construction is 1/16th mattboard – picture-framing cardboard – which is what I make almost all of my terrain from.

The vertical beams are 6″ tall, same height as the big wall modules, and the whole thing is 2″ deep (1.5″ at the platform) and 3″ long overall. I had intended to install one of my big 5″ tall by 3″ wide advertising displays across the front of the piece but looking at it, I might run a series of smaller ad displays up the two vertical pillars, because part of the point of these elevated pieces is to make the space station board more three dimensional and complex to play on.

I’ve also got a new round of advertising and other graphics in progress, including new versions of the utility and emergency lockers. More on all of that soon!

Adding Detail To The Space Station

I’ve been using my big space station walls and the associated scatter terrain for over a year now, and while all the wall modules are fully painted and physically finished (doors and such) I’ve never considered that part of the project “finished” in the full sense of the word. I really wanted that full colour, cluttered feel to the walls, with lots of bright ads on the white (“civilian”) sides of the walls and warning labels, directional graphics, and some ads on the grey (“industrial bay”) side of the walls.

I’ve done some ad graphics for Infinity before and spent a few minutes printing more of those existing graphics, including resized versions. I also scrounged some nice stuff from other users on the Infinity forums and Topsolitario, among other sources.

All six space station wall units with ads and other graphics added. Maghariba Guard for "scale", it's on a 70mm wide base... Click for larger.
All six space station wall units with ads and other graphics added. Maghariba Guard for “scale”, it’s on a 70mm wide base… Click for larger.

For the elevated control booth that’s the main feature of one of the wall modules, I’ve added plastic sheet as glass to both windows, and plan on doing some control panels and such inside and around the booth.

Glass added to the control booth. Haqq trooper for scale. Click for larger.
Glass added to the control booth. Haqq trooper for scale. Click for larger.

The colour on the ladders and window frame in the photo above is from my new favourite simple terrain colouring method: Sharpie permanent markers! My girlfriend has one of the big Sharpie art sets with lots and lots of bright colours, and I’ve been borrowing them for easy, quick edging and spot colours on this scenery project. All the posters and ads are edged in Sharpie as well, to avoid having the white edges of the underlying paper stand out so much.

Finally, I got a set of the Games Workshop forest trees (currently sold with their fantasy elf stuff, far as I can tell) a while ago and have finally starting doing something with them. Here’s the Maghariba Guard TAG posing among the trees… if you go into these woods today, you’re in for a TAG surprise!

Maggie playing in the woods! Click for larger.
Maggie playing in the woods! Click for larger.

More soon, I’ve made some more progress on detailing the control booth and elsewhere.

Maghariba Guard Finished!

Quiet month here on the Warbard, I’ve been busy in real life (terrible when that happens…) but getting some gaming and painting time in when I can.

We had an Infinity event in mid-October, eight of us at Everything Games for a full day of Infinity. Three rounds with four tables; I provided scenery for two of the tables. I’ll get those photos up sometimes soon, but first I want to share October’s big (really big!) painting project!

Haqqislam’s Maghariba Guard TAG is the largest model in the game, so big it has a whole new Silhouette class (S8) all to itself. I finally splurged on the monster when EG put together an order direct to Corvus Belli and gave us a generous discount on anything we ordered through them.

The order arrived right at the end of September, so I decided that the Maghariba would be my October pledge for the Painting Support Club over on the Infinity forums!

I got her assembled (mostly) on the 1st of October and finally, on the 30th, declared her done! Here’s a gallery of the entire build process, from bare metal to fully finished.

Terrain Quick Reference Cards for Infinity

Infinity has really interesting terrain rules, but they’re an added layer of complexity over an already complex game so they often get ignored. The “default” terrain for Infinity is urban, generally, and doesn’t use any of the terrain rules. That’s a pity, because skills like Multiterrain and other movement skills only earn their keep and become interesting when you actually use the various terrain rules.

To hopefully encourage use of the terrain rules I’ve been working off and on on a set of Quick Reference Cards, and I’m finally getting around to publishing them here.

The PDF below is four pages with 19 cards in total. There’s a card for every terrain type in the terrain table in the main N3 rulebook, including one for the Storm effects; a card with a quick ref version of the Hostile Environment rules; a set of four blank cards for filling out with custom terrain types (as the book encourages players to do); and then a set of cards with each of the four Visibility Effects, two Movement Effects, and two Saturation Zone Effects that make up the terrain rules, so that you could create any combination of them quickly for custom terrain.

They’re sized to print eight to a sheet and should print out to the same size as Magic cards or other standard game cards, so you can put them in regular sleeves if desired. I’ve done up both Letter-sized for those of us here in North America and A4 for anyone living where they use rational paper sizes.

Infinity Terrain QRC – Letter sized PDF

Infinity Terrain QRC – A4 sized PDF

Infinity is © Corvus Belli; these particular cards are © 2016 Wirelizard Design/Brian Burger; Permission is granted to print, copy, or reproduce for personal use.

If you have any feedback or suggestions to improve these cards, please leave a comment below or use the contact form elsewhere on this site. Suggestions always welcome!

The Workbench This Weekend, 18 Sept 2016

I’ve been back to painting Infinity figures recently, after being distracted by some scenery for a bit.

Over on the Official Infinity Forums there’s been a Painting Pledge/Support Group thread every month for a while now. I tend to be a bit of a scattershot distracted painter, so pledging a few figures to get properly finished in a month is a good way to keep me a bit more focused.

This month I pledged a pair of Kameel Remote combat robots and a Hassassin Barid Hacker figure to get done. I’ve also been trying to finish a few more of the other random figures around the place, and have been doing fairly well on that front too.

Left to right: Two Daylami and three Ghulam Light Infantry, a female Authorized Bounty Hunter, Hassassin Barid Hacker, Hunzakut infiltrator with Rifle+Light Grenade Launcher, and the pair of Kameel REMs.
Left to right: Two Daylami and three Ghulam Light Infantry, a female Authorized Bounty Hunter, Hassassin Barid Hacker, Hunzakut infiltrator with Rifle+Light Grenade Launcher, and the pair of Kameel REMs. Click for larger.
Primered for my September "paint pledge" over on the Inf forums. TR Kameel, Barid Hacker, EVO Hacker Kameel. Click for larger.
Primered for my September “paint pledge” over on the Inf forums. TR Kameel, Barid Hacker, EVO Hacker Kameel. Click for larger.
Top view of the completed (except for the bases) Kameels and Barid. Click for larger.
Top view of the completed (except for the bases) Kameels and Barid. Click for larger.
Front view of the September paint pledge figures. Click for larger.
Front view of the September paint pledge figures. Click for larger.

Links of Interest, 15 September 2016

I’ve been spending some more time on YouTube recently, rummaging around the wargaming-related channels. I don’t have the time or the patience for the long rambling unedited vlog-format stuff, but there’s some good, properly edited, to-the-point stuff out there.

Two channels I particularly like are Kujo Painting, who did the great “How To Paint Tartan” video embedded below. The rest of his collection is well worth looking through.

Miniwargamer Jay also has a good Miniature Painting 101 series of vids with lots of good tips. Again, most of them are fairly short (5 to 20 minutes), cover a single topic, and are well edited.

On non-YouTube notes, a couple more links!

Genet Models, formerly Ebbles Miniatures have been around since the early 2000s turning out really good papercraft science fiction models. The creator of them has more or less retired from the papercraft business (I think he works on computer games now) but he’s put his entire portfolio up for free download. I’ll be adding some of these to our Infinity tables soon, especially some of the shuttles and dropships!

I linked to this awesome tutorial in an earlier post about Infinity ads, but it’s worth linking to again. Want pseudo-holograms on your science fiction scenery? H-Archive does ads and holos is well worth a read. He uses printed transparencies and 1mm clear acrylic sheet to awesome effect; I’m going to have to hit up our local plastic supplier for some 1mm clear acrylic sometime soon!

Late Summer Painting

Spent the weekend off on what might be our last camping trip of the season and I’ve been busy doing lots of other non-wargaming things, as one tends to when the weather is good, but I’m still getting some painting done.

I’ve just finished a couple of figures for my Haqqislam forces for Infinity, but the one I really want to show off is this female Hunzakut infiltrator. This is a relatively recent sculpt from Corvus Belli, and it’s fantastically detailed and nicely posed, one of my favourite figures in my collection. She’s crouching while placing a mine or repeater, rifle balanced on her hip.

More soon, I’ve gotten some progress on the hill and shuttle scenery seen here recently!

Crashed Shuttle, Part One

Doing a bit of cleaning up in my boxes of wargaming supplies I rediscovered a shuttle I built at least ten years ago. It was nominally for 15mm science fiction gaming, but was built without visible windows or any other really obvious scale indicators, and it’s big enough to look like a small craft in 28/32mm SF scenery!

Shuttle retrieved from the box it's been half-forgotten in for ages. Landing gear next to it; Infinity figure on 25mm base for scale. Click for larger, as usual.
Shuttle retrieved from the box it’s been half-forgotten in for ages. Landing gear next to it; Infinity figure on 25mm base for scale. Click for larger, as usual.

It’s suffered some damage in storage; one of the stabilizer fins is missing and the landing gear was loose and damaged. Rather than fix it up I figured I’d run with it as a damaged crashlanded shuttle that’s suffered a hard landing but is still basically intact. I added some more damage with a file, then chopped part of the underside away so it would sit slightly nose-down.

Hole in the nose. The original shape was a mouthwash bottle built up with styrene plastic sheet and putty. Click for larger.
Hole in the nose. The original shape was a mouthwash bottle built up with styrene plastic sheet and putty. Click for larger.

I used hot glue to stick the shuttle down to the base, then packed the gap between the ground and the shuttle with a few bits of scrap card, slices of foam from a miniatures blister, and a lot more hot glue.

Shuttle with foam and scraps packed into the gap between the body and the ground. Click for larger.
Shuttle with foam and scraps packed into the gap between the body and the ground. Click for larger.
Other side of the shuttle, also showing the missing tail fin and the extra damage I scratched into it. Click for larger.
Other side of the shuttle, also showing the missing tail fin and the extra damage I scratched into it. Click for larger.

Finally I put a layer of white glue over the foam and base then dumped sand over it. It might need another layer of sand to touch everything up; we’ll see in a day or two once everything dries!

Sand in place; Infinity Daylami on 25mm base for scale. Click for larger.
Sand in place; Infinity Daylami on 25mm base for scale. Click for larger.

More soon once I get the base painted up and touch up the damaged parts of the shuttle!

Yet Another Hill

I mentioned in the last post that I’ve been working on a third large hill, with a roughly 12″x15″ footprint, that being the maximum interior size of a banker’s box. This one is a more complex outline than the previous two and was a fair bit more work to assemble, as I wound up using a lot of smaller pieces of styrofoam to piece the hill together.

Most recent hill in progress, missing the top couple of layers of foam. Infinity Daylami on 25mm base for scale. Click for larger.
Most recent hill in progress, missing the top couple of layers of foam. Infinity Daylami on 25mm base for scale. Click for larger.

The “gully” up the centre of this hill is designed to allow 40mm wide based figures – many of the mid-sized or larger Infinity figures – to access it. There are a number of other areas on this hill that will allow 25mm based figures to stand and access.

Construction finished. 40mm base in the centre, 25mm base to the right, and a 25mm-based figure in the foreground. Click for larger.
Construction finished. 40mm base in the centre, 25mm base to the right, and a 25mm-based figure in the foreground. Click for larger.
Sloped end of the latest hill, with Daylami on a 25mm base for scale. Click for larger.
Sloped end of the latest hill, with Daylami on a 25mm base for scale. Click for larger.

The sloped end of this hill still needs to be sanded, then I need to mix up a new batch of glue/sand/paint/plaster “goop” to texture the thing before proceeding with painting and flocking.

I’m not planning any more hills this large right now, but I do want to do a group of smaller hills, including some half hills that are explicitly designed to go against the edges of the table to help break up the long lines of sight that can happen on the sides or back edges of too many tables.

Wargaming & Such (formerly Brian's Wargaming Pages)