Apparently I’ve basically taken most of the summer off from blogging and doing wargame-related things I felt the need to blog about… last post was June 10th!
I’ve been playing a lot of Infinity and Blood Bowl, but doing basically no painting or terrain building at all until this weekend, when I’ve finally cleaned up my workbench and gotten a tiny bit of progress on the mosque roof for my Infinity terrain.
I’ve run with the “bright hexagonal future” jokes about Infinity with the one, and tried to incorporate some Islamic themes as well because I run Haqqislam forces in Infinity. The main footprint is a hexagon, there’s a hexagonal tower as part of the cupola/minaret on the roof, and I’ll probably use some hex-patterned origami paper I bought recently as part of the decoration scheme as it looks a lot like some Islamic tile patterns.
What else have I been up to this summer, anyway? Riding my bike over mountains, for one, and lots of other bike riding and other good warm weather activities!
A number of the stock scenarios in Infinity need some sort of antenna or console for the troops to interact with/hack/seize/blow up/etc. You can use basic tokens on the tabletop, but real scenery looks better!
Antenna and consoles in Inf are supposed to be on a 40mm base, so I had a go at cutting 40mm circles with my circle cutter. The stubby blade won’t go all the way through the mattboard I build with, though, so I wound up basically scoring circles and then finishing them as carefully as possible with a new Xacto blade. It’s not an ideal way to cut circles, and for larger and more visible ones like a round roof I’ve started since building these antennas I’ve gone with multiple layers of light card, which the circle cutter handles very nicely, and glued them together in layers.
The antenna themselves are more mattboard, generally offcuts from other recent projects. No particular design ethic to these, beyond “angular and futuristic”, which is easy to achieve.
Even for scenarios that don’t require antenna on the table these are likely to put in an appearance as general futuristic clutter, which is always in high demand on an Infinity tabletop!
While building another piece of scenery for our Infinity tables I built a roof that didn’t turn out; it just wasn’t working out physically the way I’d pictured it in my head. Turning the partially completed piece on one edge, though, I realized that what I’d created would work quite well as a display board for two big billboards – presumably video or holographic displays, this being a bright hexagonal future!
Here’s the basic structure, front and back views.
To get something colourful on the two displays, I fired up GIMP and then went looking through Flickr and Google Image Search for source materials. It’s easy to just rip things off when you see them around the web, and far too many people do that. Both Flickr and GIS allow you to search for images that people have specifically licensed to allow free reuse of, though, and generally you have to pass on your graphics made using their images as sources – what is known as a Creative Commons Share-Alike license.
Something quick and silly to break the month-long dry spell in posting!
On our local Blood Bowl league’s Facebook page one of the guys made a joke about “Necromancer Beer – one taste will revive you” and while I was waiting for dinner to finish I fired Inkscape up and cranked out the following bit of fluff.
This is the same height as a number of other BB sideline ads already floating around the internet, so should mix nicely with them.
Enjoy, and if you do use this, please send me photos of your pitchside scenery with the Necromancer Beer banner on it!
After building the first building to use on Infinity tables, which turned out to be a complex shape and two storeys plus roof, I decided the next building needed to be simpler and quicker to build, but still interesting.
Going through my building supplies I found a sheet of corrugated craft paper that became a feature of the new warehouse, both for the two large rolling doors and on part of the roof. The rest of the building is mattboard/picture framing card, which is cheap, easy to work with, and makes good durable buildings.
The whole warehouse is 9″ long, 5″ wide, and about 6″ to the highest point of the “sail” that divides the roof up.
More details on the picture captions below. There’s still some structural work to do on the back wall and on the roof, and a lot of detailing still to do. Paint will happen eventually, as well.
I’ve previously shown my urban scatter terrain for Infinity, and after getting that assembled I decided to tackle something more challenging and larger.
Quite a bit larger, actually. It’s a two-storey building that wound up being about 10″ long, 6″ wide and almost 7″ tall!
The building is entirely made of mat board, usually used as picture framing board. It’s good quality cardboard, easy to work with and it takes paint and glue well. Our local art supply place, Island Blue, sells the offcuts from their framing business off cheap! The roof and second storey come off to allow full access to the entire building during games, and I think I’ve managed to make the building tactically interesting for games of Infinity.
Check out the gallery below; the captions have a lot more detail.
If you’re interested in doing similar buildings for Infinity or any other skirmish game, I really like the ongoing “Cardbuilding” series of articles over on the Infinity news site Data Sphere: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 3.5, Part 4. Errhile is much more organized than I am, designing a whole system so that his buildings nest and stack for storage and reconfiguration, and he’s got lots of great techniques and ideas in his lavishly illustrated articles. I might well do some similar modular buildings, but for now it’s fun to just bust out a big, complex building — I haven’t done much terrain building recently!
So I’ve been persuaded (OK, it didn’t take much…) to get into Infinity, the fast and lethal science fiction skirmish game from Corvus Belli. I’ve been vaguely interested in Infinity for years, both by the high quality sculpting and because of the background and basic look of the game with it’s obvious influence from awesome sources like Ghost in the Shell, Bladerunner, cyberpunk, and a generally “hard science fiction” future – no skullz, no rusty Gothic goofiness, etc!
I’ve picked up a small Haqqislam force and started painting them up; they’re really neat figures that I’ll show progress pictures of later.
Being the sort of gamer I am, though, I also immediately started producing bits of terrain for the game. Infinity is a fast lethal game that demands a fairly high density of terrain on the table. Most of our terrain is fairly urban, lots of shiny new lasercut MDF buildings owned by the other players, so I decided to do some mixed scatter terrain to go along with that.
Planters seemed like a good choice – straightforward to build, plausible in an urban environment, a good chance to introduce some greenery and colour to an urban board, and a chance to use up some of my stockpile of scrap and offcut mounting board leftover from older, larger projects.
The largest piece is 6″ wide and 3.5″ across, mostly because that’s the size of a scrap of foamcore in my leftovers bin. The four smaller planters are 4″ long and 1″ across at the wide end. The small piece at the end is based on a 3″ circle of mounting board I cut as an experiment — yes, my circle cutter will cut mounting board. But not happily…
I’ll probably do another two or three of the long narrow planters, and then start exploring other shapes.
I did have to get into my uncut stockpile of large mounting board sheets for the end plates on the large raised piece, but basically everything else is from offcuts – total material cost so far about as close to zero as you can get!
I’ll get these painted this weekend, then break out the greenery to fill them in.
Still loads of things to finish on the project, but after doing the crocodile head logo in the centre of the pitch this evening I just had to lay everything out on the dining room table and see it all together for the first time!
The pitch still needs white field lines at both endzones, as well as possible decoration in the end zones – I’m thinking of doing a coloured background in each endzone, probably red at one end and blue in the other. I might also do the name of my Lizardman team, the Saltwater Slaughter, across the endzones as you see in a lot of American football fields, “Saltwater” across one endzone and “Slaughter” across the other.
Left to right behind the pitch, there’s the newest dugout/tracker temple, still bare styrofoam with decoration just barely started. Next to the right is the dice tower temple, which has been basecoated and still needs more paint. The plan is to have rare earth magnets built in to hold the temple itself and the sacred pool/dice catch tray in front of it together when it’s in use, so that’ll be some putty work to get the magnets mounted.
The scoreboard temple next is basically complete, except that I’m modifying the centre socket above the stairs with the scatter diagram so it holds the weather indicator cube more securely.
Finally on the far right is the first of the dugout temples, which still needs decoration and detailing on the roof but at least is partially painted on the rest of the building.
Much done and much left to do, but it’s nice to see it all set up!
IN the local Bloodbowl league I’m currently involved in, there’s a pair of Lizardman teams, one using the regular GW figures for the team and my crocodile dudes from Impact Miniatures. Our League Commissioner is also playing with an Orc team, and will occasionally write a game report in the persona of his Orcish coaching counterpart. After thumping on the league’s other Lizard team 2-0, the Orcish coach was heard to say, “Herd der is some dat look like those Crocodiles on dem Golf shirts everyone is wearing dees days; CHOMP!!! CHOMP!!!!”
I was, at about the same time, wondering what to do for decoration on the dugout temple. A little bit of Google Image Searching and a little bit of Inkscape fiddling later to produce a basic image to guide my carving, I sat down with the completed temple, a very sharp Xacto blade, and this resulted.
I printed out a simple line-art version of the relevant logo, taped it down across the foam, and went at it carefully with the brand-new very sharp Xacto blade.
On the front of the dugout above the three actual dugout areas, I put the logo of my lizardman team, as seen in earlier in the year. Same procedure, taped the printout down and carefully went at it with an Xacto.
Doing some shopping last week, I found a batch of LED tea candles for sale, 6 for $5.95. I’ve been meaning to pick some up to play with them for ages, as I’ve seen some neat stuff done with flickering LEDs on the tabletop!
The first thing I whipped up was a pair of large fire & smoke markers, big ones suitable for a building fire or big bonfire! The LED tea lights are about 1.5″ across, 5/8ths of an inch high at the base, and 1.5″ to the top of the “flame”, which on these ones is just a white bit roughly flame-shaped.
The bases contain the LED, battery and switch and unscrew easily from the upper part of the base, and the flame pops easily out of the upper part. I eventually want to get my soldering iron out and do various sorts of more advanced work with the flickering LEDs, but for now I just used the stock base and setup.
Using hot glue, I glued a doubled-over length of soft iron hobby wire around the rim of the base and up past the flame to support the smoke plume. The smoke plume is just cotton batting I salvaged from a pillow I was throwing away – waste not, etc!
I speared the cotton batting on the wire, then used more small beads of hot glue around the LED base to fasten the batting down. I added more hot glue on the wire, then pushed the batting up against the wire to secure it. As I pushed the batting against the wire, I gave the whole piece of batting a twist with my hand, to make the smoke plume more interesting.
The plumes got grey then black spraypaint, and might get a second coat of spraypaint – I’ll see what they look like after they dry. The LED lights still work (the switches are on the underside) and if I ever need to replace the battery, it’ll be easy to tug the batting aside and then fix things after with a bit of hot glue.
The whole project only took a couple of minutes, and should look good on the tabletop in the ruins of a building or as a bonfire. Here’s a short (11 second long) out-of-focus phone camera vid of the two smoke plumes and one original, unmodified tea light all flickering away.