Tag Archives: scenery

The Workbench This Weekend, 7 May 2016

My girlfriend is out of town with friends so I’ve had a bachelor/wargamer weekend and gotten a lot done on my Infinity figures.

bench1
The workbench – planters in the foreground, various Haqqislam figures behind, and the usual clutter around the edges! Click for larger.

The planters are foamed PVC sheet and mat board offcuts, and the trees are from Games Workshop — at one point they produced a rather nice set of modular plastic “tropical trees” that vaguely resemble palm trees and are a lot of fun to put together. Like pretty much everything that GW ever does that’s actually interesting, these seem to have vanished from their website, which is a shame. I picked up most of a set a while ago when I bought a whole mixed batch of wargaming stuff off someone locally who was having to downsize.

Closeup of the planters - done with the old GW palm trees - and CB Haqq figures in progress. Click for larger, as usual.
Closeup of the planters – done with the old GW palm trees – and CB Haqq figures in progress. Click for larger, as usual.

Closeup of the figures and planters. The dark blue figures in the background are various Hassassin Bahram soldiers including three of the infamous Fiday assassins. The figures closer to the camera include a pair of Remotes on the left, an al’Hawwa sniper and al’Hawwa hacker, a pair of Hafza infantry in lower left, and a quintet of Djanzaban medium infantry on the right – two rifles, a sniper, an HMG, and a hacker, all stalwarts of the Qapu Khalqi sectorial force in Haqq.

PlastCraft Curved Modular Building

While at Trumpeter Salute I picked up one of PlastCraft’s Designed-For-Infinity plastic pre-coloured buildings, the Curved Modular Building, from the awesome folks at Imperial Hobbies, BC’s greatest wargaming store, and the only reason I do anything in Richmond other than change buses…

Anyway, the Curved Modular Building is a small building, with a footprint about 4″x4″ (not including the ramps) and about 3″ tall. It’s only 16 parts, six of which are for the two ramps off each end of the building.

one
Curved building parts all laid out. Click for bigger, see text for details.

The material is all 2mm foamed PVC board (Sintra is one common brand name) that’s been colour printed on one side, presumably by computer. The printing seems very solid, certainly enough to handle transport and use on a gaming table, and foamed PVC is good solid material for gaming terrain. My space station walls are built mostly with thicker Sintra (1/8″ or about 3.5mm) that I picked up at our local plastics supply place.

two
Assembled, with ramps. Infinity (28/30mm) Hassassin Bahram Fiday for scale. Click for larger.

Assembly is pretty straightforward, with the small caveat that you do need to be slightly careful with the curved pieces so you don’t kink them. I glued the two end walls into the floor with superglue, let them cure for a bit, and gently pre-curved the main roof piece with my hands and over the top of one thigh before fitting it in place. Secure one end of the roof with superglue and work patiently around the curve of the piece, adding glue an inch or two at at time along the top edge of the two walls. Once you get the whole roof glued, hold the whole assembly for a minute or two to give the superglue a chance to cure.

Pre-curve and dry fit the two end roof pieces before tacking them into place with superglue, then add the two short end walls on each porch. Glue the two ramp assemblies together and you’re done, one piece of terrain ready to go on the table. I elected to leave the ramps separate from the building to make transportation and storage slightly easier; they tuck nicely into one porch for storage.

three
End with two CB Infinity figures for scale and the ramp in place. Click for larger, as usual

I like these buildings, they’re super easy to assemble and it’s kind of nice not to have to paint and detail everything yourself. The use of foamed PVC instead of the more usual MDF or cardboard allows the interesting curved roof, and the curved features in some of the other PlastCraft ColorED range. PlastCraft has just announced an expansion of their ColorED Infinity line, and they have a couple of other lines in the same range, some of which could make for fun Infinity tables. They also do most of the range in plain white foamed PVC if you want to paint them yourself.

Bring Me… A Shrubbery!

Having moved at the start of this year I’ve been sorting and reorganizing gaming stuff, as one does, and working on actually using some of the stockpile of stuff I’ve accumulated.

Part of the stockpile was a much wider array of greenery and model plant type material than I had thought I had. I also had a batch of sci-fi planters I had started back in January 2015, painted, and used a lot during Infinity games without ever putting greenery in.

A few minutes with the hot glue gun has finally fixed that!

shrub1
Shrubbery in progress. Click for larger, see text for details!

The little trees are from Woodland Scenics; I won them as a door prize at Trumpeter Salute a couple of weeks ago. Most of the bushes are just various shades of green foliage foam also from Woodland Scenics, while the spiky looking blueish bushes are actually furnace filter material, spraypainted green, and with fine ground foliage foam sprinkled onto them. Many years ago (like, in the early 1990s…) we had a family model train layout and our background trees were made from furnace filter. The stuff I’m using is from a bag of the surviving, salvaged railroad trees, finally back in service after a couple of decades off!

shrub2
Completed shrubbery, with Infinity Hassassin Bahram figures observing. Click for larger, as usual.

Looking forward to getting these onto our Infinity tables; Infinity has a bunch of cool terrain rules that are often ignored but can really make the game more interesting.

Quick Infinity Terrain: Food Booths

One of the goals with the space station terrain set was to make the whole thing look like not just a collection of tactically interesting obstacles but also a (relatively) sensible, lived-in/working facility. Right now the non-cargo bay area is a bit plain, really just the Impudent Mortal walls in my collection arranged in various ways. I did up some lockers recently to add colour and interesting cover, and now I’ve found a really simple way to do food booths or other fairly small terrain pieces.

Rough cutting guide for one booth. See text for details, and click for larger.
Rough cutting guide for one booth. See text for details, and click for larger.

Start with a strip of card 3″ wide and at least 11″ long, or multiple 3″ wide pieces making up roughly the same length. I use 1/16″ mattboard, the stuff used by picture framers, but for this project you could use just about anything. There’s only one measurement in the whole thing that depends on the thickness of the material being used (the height of the front wall of the booth) and that’s easily adjustable or even avoidable if you tweak the design a bit.

You’re cutting as follows:

  • 1″ wide for the under-floor brace/foot. Cut this piece in half again.
  • 1 1/2″ floor
  • 1 1/2″ roof
  • 1 3/4″ back wall
  • 1 9/16″ front wall (NOTE)
  • 2″ end wall
  • 2″ end wall
One booth's worth of pieces. See text for details, and click for larger.
One booth’s worth of pieces. See text for details, and click for larger.

Start by gluing the two foot pieces to the underside of the floor. Centre it under the floor — exact placement isn’t important, they just exist to lift the front edge of the booth above ground level and add a bit of visual interest. Note that in the layout photo below, I forgot to allow for the foot pieces, as I’m using that scrap of 1/8″ foamed PVC plastic above the card strip instead.

While that dries a bit, cut the two end walls some more to make them interesting. They stand vertically, and you can see from the photos that I’ve cut each in a different way to add variety and provide support for the booth’s large overhead sign(s). You don’t need to get fancy, just a couple of angled cuts can do nicely, especially if you re-use the offcut pieces again as I’ve done on several of the roofs in my set.

Glue the back wall to the back of the floor, with the bottom edge of it resting on the ground. Use the end walls to make sure the back wall is vertical and square, then glue them on, again with the bottom edges resting on the ground.

Floor on it's foot and back wall in place, side walls cut. See text for details, and click for larger.
Floor on it’s foot and back wall in place, side walls cut. See text for details, and click for larger.

Fit the front wall in between the end walls, again making sure it’s square and vertical. Exact placement isn’t important and will depend on how you intend to detail the front wall. I’ve recessed all my front walls and used various offcuts of card to add a few bits of detail. I figure these are automated booths using various machinery to process FoodGoop9000 (or possibly Soylent Green…) into various forms of fast “food” by adding flavour, so there’s no order window or anything specific on the thing.

Basic assembly done, front wall and roof in place. See text for details, and click for larger.
Basic assembly done, front wall and roof in place. See text for details, and click for larger.

I’ll probably eventually do some graphics to add to the fronts and signs of these booths, including various fast food brands we all know and love like Ariadna Fried Chickenoid and such! They’ll get posted here to the blog when they happen!

Details on front wall and inside the sign supports on the roof, first layer of the sign in front. See text for details, and click for larger.
Details on front wall and inside the sign supports on the roof, first layer of the sign in front. See text for details, and click for larger.

Glue the roof on last, and put the resulting box aside for the glue to dry a bit. Time to move on to the overhead sign.

This could be as simple as a single strip of the same 3″ wide card you’ve used for the rest of the thing, or any number of more elaborate constructions. If you want a really, really striking sign, there’s H-Archive’s awesome how-to on making “holographic” displays, which I want to follow myself sometime soon!

Extra layers of the sign being held while the glue dries a bit. See text for details, and click for larger.
Extra layers of the sign being held while the glue dries a bit. See text for details, and click for larger.

The curved sign is simply three layers of light card (65lbs, I think it is) cut 1″ high and 3 1/8″ long, just slightly longer than the gap between the vertical bits of the end walls, so that it curves. I glued one strip in place, let it cure for a bit, then gently pushed the second and third strips into place and held them with clothspins until the glue dried. Pre-curving the strips by running them over the edge of my workbench helps.

All three autobooth designs together, with various Hassassin Bahram troopers posing for scale. Click for larger.
All three autobooth designs together, with various Hassassin Bahram troopers posing for scale. Click for larger.

The grid on the roofs of my booths is some sort of embroidery/craft mesh stuff that I got a leftover chunk of from my girlfriend. It adds interesting texture if you can get some, or something similar like the plastic mesh used in window and door screens.

The Manned Booth

The fourth and final booth is a variant design that is actually run by a person (or humanoid robot, you never know in Infinity) with a door in one end wall and an open order window/bar in one side wall.

Manned booth assembled, roof off. Click for larger.
Manned booth assembled, roof off. Click for larger.

Design is identical to the autobooths above except I cut two of the “back walls” and instead of cutting the roof 1.5″ I cut it 1 5/8ths” wide so it would go over the top edges of the walls properly.

Manned booth, roof on. Click for larger.
Manned booth, roof on. Click for larger.

The inside is outfitted with various bits of card for the bar counter, a side bar/prep table, and a whole bunch of cupboards along the walls.

The outside end walls will eventually be painted and decorated to look like drinks glasses, and there will be a sign of some sort on the roof, although of slightly different design than the autobooths because this roof actually comes off.

Any comments or suggestions please leave them below, I do read and reply to comments but due to the spam filters it might be a while before I approve your comment!

All four booths together. Click for larger.
All four booths together. Click for larger.

Space Station Wall Sections in Progress

Finally have all six of the big space station wall sections basically complete and primed. All the doors are installed (several sections have sliding doors), the basic layer of surface detail is down, and one side of each is primed dark grey and the other is white.

I’ll gradually add more coloured graphics like the corner piece has, both warning and info labels and ads. There’s also going to be more paint colour on various bits eventually, but for now white and grey is enough.

The control room module has ladders on either side from Warsenal, which they listed and sold separately as recently as late last year but don’t seem to have listed for separate sale anymore. Pity, because they’re nice little lasercut acrylic pieces and dress up the control room nicely – much easier than attempting to make my own damn ladders!

I’m really please with the new corner piece. It can be used both as a corner, as in two of the photos above, and as an angled offset to create more LOS breaks in long runs of the wall modules. It’s also the same footprint (3″x3″) as the elevator tower I’ve built for this set, so the two of them can offset each other. Fewer odd little gaps in the wall setups!

The only major pieces left to do are one or two more regular corner modules and a few more pillar pieces, but with major work done on the full set of big modules I can get to the extra bits and details in a slightly more relaxed way!

Infinity Space Station Terrain First Outing

Got my in-progress space station setup for Infinity games out on the table today, as one of two tables set up for a very small (four players!) local Infinity tournament.

Space station setup first outing at Everything Games. Click for larger.
Space station setup first outing at Everything Games. Click for larger.
Space station setup from a different corner. Click for larger.
Space station setup from a different corner. Click for larger.

It was well received and the other folks had some good ideas for finishing it – breaking up the line of sight down the access tunnels and making it clearer where the ladders are, for example, as well as an idea for a smaller module to offset some of the lines and make it less strongly linear, which I might incorporate.

I’ve got some grey felt that I’m probably going to cut a 4’x4′ mat out of, and I want to do a whole lot more painting and surface detailing of the big hangar wall modules. Need to get more grey spraypaint first, as my current can ran dry while I was putting a base coat on these pieces last night!

Infinity Space Station Hangar Walls

I’ve posted a test print of some printed space station walls previously but after finding a nice batch of Sintra (1/8th foamed PVC plastic board) in the offcuts bin at my useful local plastic supplier I decided to start that project with some larger, more space-consuming pieces and started building a set of six big wall modules.

These are 12″ long, 6″ high, and designed as hangar or cargo bay walls. Six of them plus a couple of pillars will allow me to section off a 2′ by 2′ area of table, run a line of wall clear across the table, or do a number of other interesting arrangements. I’ll also do a few end-cap pillars so we can have stub walls if desired.

The design incorporates an “access tunnel” across the top of each wall that is 30mm wide and 30mm deep; there will be hatchways on each wall module to access it. I wanted to provide alternate ways of getting around the table and give players options for moving through the walls aside from the doors. Similarly, each module except the one with one single huge 6″x4″ door has at least two doors in it. Doors are always going to be chokepoints in scenery like this, there’s no avoiding that, but at least with multiple doors and hatchways per module that effect is somewhat limited.

Basic construction is done on five of the six modules; the sixth is going to be a variant of the very first, with a huge 6″x4″ door in it. All of the large doorways will have built-in sliding doors installed, and I’m planning some freestanding doors on small stands for the human-sized doors. After that it’ll be on to the more human-scaled portions of the space station terrain, but this is a good start!

Review: Impudent Mortal Near Future Elevators

I picked up a pack of Impudent Mortal’s Near Future Elevator Set, as mentioned in a previous post, and thought I’d put a few pictures up and do a bit of a review.

First, I have to say that Walt, the man behind Impudent Mortal, is awesome to deal with. He’s incredibly quick to reply to emails, worked with me to figure out the best way to ship his stuff to Canada (the US Postal Service having recently cranked it’s foreign rates to moderately silly levels) and I look forward to doing more business with him and his company in the future!

So on to the elevators. They’re laser cut from a mix of 3mm MDF and 1/16th cardboard (greyboard), which gives them some nice details and makes them slightly finer-grained than some of the scenery out there that just uses MDF. The base, walls, and door frames are MDF, while the doors are layered cardboard and card is used for details on the interior walls and floor as well as around the door frame.

Each elevator — you get two in the pack — is 3.75″ wide across the doors, 3.5″ long, and 2 1/8″ tall. There’s 11 pieces of MDF total and about 28 total pieces of greyboard, that count being inflated by the fact that the grilles that detail the floor are all separate pieces, 16 of them.

There are also eight small control panels of laser cut acrylic, which go in the openings on either side of the doors. They’re not visible in any of my photos because I haven’t installed them yet; they’ll go in dead last after I’m finished all painting and weathering.

Everything fits together with the ease we’ve come to expect from laser cut scenery, and while most pieces are pretty obvious in their placement and function, dry-fitting and testing as you go (before applying glue!) is always advised.

The doors slide in and out of the door frames vertically and fit very well, loose enough to actually move but snug enough not to fall out while transporting or handling the piece. Each door is three pieces of cardboard, so it has details on both the inside and outside and they’re reversible, which is nice.

One thing I couldn’t initially find on the IM site is the actual instructions for these elevators; turns out they’re tucked into the ITS and Paradiso Scatter Terrain Instructions PDF as that was the set they were originally part of.

I’ll post more pictures on a future post once I’ve gotten some paint on my elevators. Two is probably enough for any single tabletop so I’m not sure I’ll order more, but I’m very pleased with them; they’re unique cover items for an Infinity table and provide more options and opportunity than the classic packing crate or cargo container. They’ll look great as scatter on the space station terrain I’ve been working on!

If IM ever decide to do more of this style of terrain, the sort of thing you might find in a space station or cargo facility, I’d be very interested.

Space Station Walls for Infinity

I’ve been kicking around ideas for an interior table setup for Infinity for several months now – that is, a table that instead of being buildings and regular terrain, is entirely or mostly the interior of some large structure. A big starship or space station setup was an obvious choice, especially as the faction I run in Infinity, Haqqislam, is described as the premiere merchant marine power with a very strong space presence throughout the Human Sphere.

The idea percolated in the back of my head for ages, a few planning sketches were made, but no actual concrete work was started until Captain Spud posted his spectacular Yu Jing “Space Truck” transport starship (Infinity forum thread here, Youtube video tour here) and his link to the really cool Creative Commons-licenced science fiction textures from Philip Klevestav that he posted as part of his online portfolio.

I had already planned on doing the station walls & bulkheads in mattboard, my usual building material, but finding those textures and realizing how easy they would be to modify and change has actually prompted me to get started in GIMP on creating wall panels and other graphics.

inf_wall01
First panel, a 6″ wide by 3″ high bulkhead, with two Haqqislam troopers propping it up. Click for larger, as usual.

I’ve created a multi-layer GIMP image that should make it easy to create lots of variations and slightly different wall layouts for different areas of the space station. The basic module above is 6″ long and 3″ wide; I’m going to use a 3″x3″ module as standard, expanded to a 3x3x3 cube if required, with 6″ and 12″ long wall segments for the most part, with some 9″ and 3″ long pieces just to break things up a bit. These are the same dimensions as the Objective Room I built for Infinity earlier this year, which wound up with a total footprint of 9″x9″ and 3″ tall.

I’ll also do some 6″ high units, especially for very large cargo doors and the walls of cargo areas, hangars, and similar large spaces. Most of them will likely have catwalks partway up the walls, just to add a bit more of the 3rd dimension back into the playable parts of the scenery.

More as this project progresses, and eventually I’ll figure out how to share some of my images, although the working GIMP file is already 7.8Mb and growing!

Goblin Dugout Started

Simple dugout for the goblin-themed Blood Bowl pitch-side set I’m doing; there will be another dugout similar to this for the other team, and the turn- and reroll-trackers will be done up to look like spectator terraces/stands.

Coffee stir sticks, mostly, over a plastic base. Click for full size, as usual.
Coffee stir sticks, mostly, over a plastic base. Click for full size, as usual.

The basic structure is coffee stir sticks over a plastic sheet base; the hoarding along the back will have ads on both sides, similar to the ones used on the scoreboard and some others I’ve been working on.

More soon, although I’m packing up all the gaming stuff before the end of the year to move into a new apartment with my girlfriend, so that will (among other things!) disrupt the finishing of this set of scenery. Also, Christmas, New Years, all that holiday stuff. Still, updates will appear here when I can!