Glorius Gork! Designing and building an Ork Fort.

2500kgm3

Juve
Jan 23, 2015
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58
13
Hi, everyone! I am 2500kgm3 and I'm pretty new here.

I have been dreaming of starting a Gorkamorka warband. As I love building terrain, my fate was sealed when I learned a fort for your warband was required in some scenarios featuring sieges where the enemy tries to recover members or vehicles you captured from them.

My previous hobby related feats are a 1700ish points Space Marine force and a Skaven Mordheim warband, with a custom modular board -and my own resin cast, custom buildings- for 40k and a pretty cool "port" style set of terrain for mordheim, including several sail ships which allows our group to have lots of fun.

I have an 8 months old daughter now, however. And also a full-time job. That means my spare time is almost non-existant, but the hobby bug is itching, and I need to scratch it. Even if it is only during dinner time at my job or one half an hour a week at weekends when my daughter finally (!) decides to take a nap. I hope this thread will help keep me connected to the hobby during times of scarcity.

While I have not received all my new ork miniatures yet, and therefore I can not start converting and turn them into a warband worthy of Gork's favor (Or possibly Mork's... but hey! who am I kidding? It's obviously Gork! He is there in the center of Mektown in plain view, towering above any other building! You must be blind if you mistake it for Mork!) I decided to warm up by writing some information about the warband and it's Nob... and sketching an ork fortress suitable for them to defend and launch raids from. An ork version of a home. A safe haven. A refuge. Dare I say a Sietch?

In the vast deserts of Angelis there was only one theme I could loosely base my warband on: Dune by Frank Herbert. And this is the quest to build a Zietch for "Ztilgar's Wormz"

It all started with a sketch on my notebook during a long commute. At that stage, the fort received its name: Zietch K'bar (sounding like "cavar" when read in Spanish, which means "to dig")

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I soon realized I would have to limit the scope of the project due to time, to keep it feasible. I was also restricted by the piece of extruded polystyrene I had left from other modelling projects (40*60 cm) and I knew I wanted the terrain to be "playable", which mean oversized areas for miniatures to fit and providing a way to access the interior rooms fairly easily.

Some concepts in that draft stuck with me, however. Ztilgar had become a mad architect who guided his warband into the desert and believes Gork will wake up some day and bring the biggest battle ever seen to Angelis itself (having the orks leave the planet to join another Waaagh isn't brutal enough for the cunning Gork, that's for sure! He will bring the ultimate Waaath to us!) He is obsessed about building fortresses (Zietch) to endure the fiercest waaahgs and being able to support an ork war effort. In practice, his forts are as full of holes and unstable as any other ork fort, but they include features like bigger cantinas (they will need places to celebrate when the Great Waaagh is won!) Or are built on rocky foundations (because otherwise you can't trust quicksand to stay away from your feet, can you?)

On the other hand, that draft was still far from what the end result should look like. It was too convoluted, and too horizontal, in spite of the wing of the crashed shuttle aiming for the sky. Having most of the walls being a single story tall made it feel more like a civilian, post-apocalyptic settlement than a propper ork fortress.
However, the access to the scrap mine (the key to the wealth of a GorkaMorka warband) being well protected inside of the fort instead of on the outside, the rocky foundations that make the building taller and more imposing, and having two different access points (giving trukks the ability to enter the fort, repair and rearm, and launch another raid without ever having to backtrack) were keepers. I started thinking about refining and simplifying the fortress design while making it more "fortress-like"

I turned to history for inspiration. I would give the fort a vaguely pentagonal shape with firing positions protruding at its corners, in the way forts of the napoleonic era were built. From the middle ages, I took the concept of inner and outer fortresses and building around a main tower. The outer perimeter would house the vehicle areas and cantina, while the inner fortress, which could be sealed, would guard the mine. The main fortress tower, housing the orks, would cross the rocky slab and feature a third gate, separating both areas while keeping good access to all defensive firing positions.

I then raised the wall behind the inner fortress defenses and I knew I was on the right path.

This was the next draft of my ork fortress.

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The next step would be to draw propper layouts for the building itself, while making sure to keep it within 40*60cm and modifying the walkways and room sizes so miniatures fit without trouble. The fort must also be capable of being disassembled in order to easily manipulate miniatures under a roof. I will probably need to make it even simpler, but retaining most of the traits of that last draft.

It seems pretty easy, doesn't it?
 

Azzabat

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Jan 24, 2013
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Looking good.

Have you had any thoughts about wether or not you'll her making 1 solid terrain piece, or a collection of removable / alterable pieces?

= )
 
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2500kgm3

Juve
Jan 23, 2015
13
58
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Looking good.

Have you had any thoughts about wether or not you'll her making 1 solid terrain piece, or a collection of removable / alterable pieces?

= )
The plan is to make it a solid base, and then having each storey being a removable piece so one can access easily to miniatures in lower levels. I have some ideas about how to make them fit in place.
 
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trollmeat

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Look forward to seeing this come together. Interested to see how you do the modularity. :)
 

2500kgm3

Juve
Jan 23, 2015
13
58
13
Thanks for the kind words! I plan to stack the modules one on top of another, using the irregular ork platting to hold them in position.

As I am familiar with computer assisted drawing and building information modelling software, I decided some time ago to invest some of my lunch time at my job into modelling the final design, so I could use cutaway views and plans extracted from a full 3D model for future reference when cutting pieces for the physical model.

As I finished 3D modelling the rocky base, main walls and floors of the building itself, I was ready to start with the physical model, but since I regularly have lunch time when I can barely do anything useful nor entertaining, I decided to try and add layers of metal, ladders, glyphs, and all those orky things to test some designs before devoting my precious time at home to physically craft something I won't like the look of when it's done.

After finishing the fort model, I rendered a video of it where you should be able to see the look I am going for. Blueprints are shown too, in order to help anybody understanding how the fort works.


I found strange to have a deep scrap mine emerging through a rock. I find a deep scrap mine (in essence a crashed space cruiser) would either have cracked the rock and sunk, or not been able to crack the rock and have most of its mass emerging. Maybe I should turn it into a scrap "stockpile", gathered from the mines around the fort? Having a derelict ship sink in the near sand, it's weapons overheating when sunk and a laser weapon battery firing and cutting clear a vitrified tunnel through both sand and rock, then having the fort built around that "entrance to the mine" sounds pretty convoluted -yet having your orks entering the derelict through one of its canons and the (trail of its last shot) is undeniably awesome-

Ztilgar the nob, however, is the kind of nob that would stockpile scrap. He will do anything that helps when Gork finally brings the waaagh to Angelis and turns the planet into the largest and fiercest brawl ever seen by any ork (or digga, but who cares about diggas and gretchins?)!

Now, the truth is building the physical model will take much longer, and my physical modelling skills are not on par with my 3d modelling when we take into account my daughter and lack of time. That means there will be less extra plates and reinforcements, rougher rivets and in lower numbers. But the design itself will only suffer minor variations. I have noticed, for instance, that I may need to remove the corrugated roofing in the outer courtyard, since I fear the structure will get in the way of the vehicles to a degree that prevents me from going through the fortress when a trukk is parked inside.

The end result might not look as cool and detailed as the video shows, but I will try to get close. That video is setting my goals.

I hope this thread becomes a "builder's log" where I can report on my weekly small victories when working on my ork warband and fort, and get both feedback and encouragement from fellow modellers and gamers to help keeping me engaged in an age when hobby time (and time itself) is extremely scarce.
 

DracoPT

Ganger
Jun 30, 2015
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Portugal
Now that's a whole new level of awesome!! and that way you can see how the project will look like when finished before you start working, giving you space for changes and tweeks... that's great :D
 
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Fold

Gang Hero
Oct 26, 2013
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Love the concept. I would strongly consider making it modular, not just up and down, but so that the walls and towers are separate allowing easier storage and multiple configurations.
 
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2500kgm3

Juve
Jan 23, 2015
13
58
13
Love the concept. I would strongly consider making it modular, not just up and down, but so that the walls and towers are separate allowing easier storage and multiple configurations.
Making it modular would not be an easy task at all! I do have some experience with modular designs, since I designed and built a resin cast, modular cityscape for 40k whith storeys that could be removed to manipulate miniatures inside the building

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It's much harder to build such a system with walls at different angles, and trying to have all the piece combinations to feel as random and orky as an ouk building should feel while making "sense" in a practical way. It's doable, but I would need lots of design and building time, so I went for a single, fixed design, as I thought it would be easier to achieve that in this new stage of my life. Even then, I could have gone with several different "chunks" of fort to combine in different ways to make forts feel different, but was limited by the ammount of polystirene I had left, and it would essentialy be like building two forts instead of one. A better goal, but I wanted to keep this proyect smaller, since I am afraid of not having enough time to devote to it. I'm not that concerned with storage at this point.
 

Azzabat

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You don't have to make all the individual components modular. You could for instance build the fort in 2 halves, left and right, that push together to make 1 fort, or go side by side to make a corner of a larger fort. Or make the Nobz quarters separate so they sit on top, or can be used as a separate terrain piece. That sort of thing,
 

2500kgm3

Juve
Jan 23, 2015
13
58
13
To be honest, I decided against making it modular because of the time it would take me to redesign the model to include clear lines to cut the model in two to four pieces. I still have some doubts regarding how to dissassemble the nob quarters and such, so I might still make it able to stand on its own, but I'm not sure yet about how to do it propperly, since it would include its floor. maybe I could build a raised platform for it to rest on?

I have been working into turning that design into reality, first drawing the shape of the fort into polystirene

734015_sm-.jpg


then cutting the polystirene into the desired shape. It was pretty hard to find time for the proyect.

shape.
734016_sm-.jpg


As you can see, in addition to carving the rock on the outside, I carved track marks on the polystirene, and any other marks I thoght could fit with the doors in the fort.The next step is about cutting the cardboard pieces which act as the main structure of the building and gluing them on the polystirene, sinking them theep into the base when needed. But first, I must start with the floor of indoor areas.
 

Azzabat

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I use Mounting Card in most of my buildings instead of cardboard. I get it cheap from my local picture framer. They usually have loads of pieces from the inserts and offcuts which he saves and bags up for me. It cost about £5 for a A4 bag which lasts me most of the year.

It's a bit hit and miss what I get but generally it's about A3 size pieces. The off cuts are also good for using as Ork plates welded onto buildings.

= )
 
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DracoPT

Ganger
Jun 30, 2015
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It's coming together very nicelly (y)

So if it's not modular you aren't planning of playing inside the buildings since it will be difficult to place and move models there, right?
 
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spafe

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removeable roof doesn't make it modular, just accessable :p

This is looking great, cant wait to see how it turns out!
 
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2500kgm3

Juve
Jan 23, 2015
13
58
13
I'm using cardboard because that's what I had lying around. Several 70*100cm sheets of 1mm thick cardboard. Two of them should be enough. I'm adding some corrugated cardboard to the mix too.

It's coming together very nicelly (y)

So if it's not modular you aren't planning of playing inside the buildings since it will be difficult to place and move models there, right?
removeable roof doesn't make it modular, just accessable :p

This is looking great, cant wait to see how it turns out!
lets say it's vertically modular but a single piece horizontal-wise :D
 

2500kgm3

Juve
Jan 23, 2015
13
58
13
And it's going up! just the main walls, witch will, in the future, be partially covered by layers of cardboard and rivets.

734018_sm-.jpg


And more, and more!

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This week was pretty good. I'm not working during three weeks, so I can devote extra time to it. I barelly use the computer anymore, just build, build, build! the spare time is running out!

You can see the top of some interiors, which will be covered by an upper platform, resting on the cardboard "outline" following the walls of those enclosed areas. I hope the ragged superior edge of the walls will keep it in place, so I will be able to remove it easily for gameplay purpouses.

Next I will work on closing the main interior structure and building the mechanism to house gates. It will basically be a way to keep in place a piece of cardboard working like a guillotine.
 

DracoPT

Ganger
Jun 30, 2015
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Portugal
I don't like very much to use cardboard for the stucture of the buildings because it may gain moisture with time (even when painting the paints can turn the cardboard weaker) and it's more easy to bend too

Keep up the good work!
 
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trollmeat

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I am unsure if you are leaving enough space in the centre for the kitty to curl up in. :)
 
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