MancInventor's futile thread of unfulfilled and broken daydreams

MancInventor

Gang Champion
Apr 6, 2017
385
1,428
153
Peterborough
Hi everyone, long time lurker first time poster yadda yadda and so forth.

No, genuinely though, I have been a very long time admirer of the projects and blogs on this community, I just had to have a go at some point.

So, before we start, I will just warn the intrepid follower that my blogs are often doomed to failure, the nature of my work being that I am often away from home, and often for quite a long time to the point where I get back and old projects are pushed aside to make way for new similarly futile endeavours.

I will also make no apologies for the lengthy OP, as I do go on quite a bit. I'm not going to give you my life story, however, there are a few things that I need to explain in order to allow you to make an informed assessment as to whether or not I am really quite mad.

Necromunda is a game I have loved since the first boxed game hit the shelves of my once beloved games workshop. I played the hell out of it when I was younger, more casually as I grew older and now the live-in Necromunda opponent I spawned with my wife is about to hit puberty I'm getting right back into it hoping my enthusiasm will drag the little s*** away from his PlayStation.

This isn't my first rodeo, I've built several pieces of scenery and one piece gaming tables over the years as well as painted at least one of every gang at some point and in some cases (just love the hooded loonies) several of the same gang. What I'm trying to accomplish this time is a bit different.

Because I am hoping to release my own skirmish type game on kickstarter in the not too distant future, I want a terrain set that doesn't send out a mating call to GW's IP zealots. I also would really like to create some 'counts as' gangs using other models than the originals. I've already painted most of the range once so I'm keen to try something new and besides, I just can't justify the cost of the models on eBay (vulture-bay more like) to the long-haired commander-in-chief.

So without further ado:

Ever since I saw TT Combat's laser cut gaming table I had to do something with it. If you haven't seen it before, it's basically sixteen 12" square mdf panels that lock together and form a 4 foot by 4 foot gaming table. It's crying out to be used for some sort of modular terrain. This is one of the panels:
IMG_0126.jpg


The project will run in 3 phases. Phase one is to construct and paint 9 of the tiles to give me a 3 foot square table (I prefer 3x3 to 4x4 anyway as they're usually much more brutal affairs).Phase 2 will be to work through the remaining 7 tiles. This will be more to add variety to my set up rather than switch to a 4x4. Phase 3 will be to build a nice looking folding cabinet that the whole thing fits in so that she who makes the decisions might allow me to keep it in the house.

During those phases I intend to get some gangs together, using models like the tau, the IG, Chaos cultists and genestealer cults to use as 'counts as' Van Saar, Goliath, Cawdor and Delaque respectively.

So, to make sure I didn't write a long OP and basically have nothing to show afterwards, I started the project about a month ago. Here's what I've got for phase 1 so far:

IMG_0135.jpg

Ever since I saw the panels stood on a frame about 1 inch deep I knew I had to cut into it. This will eventually be a toxic death pond with all manner of floaty bits. For me, lots of small changes of level in-between storeysmakes it feel more realistic. The pipes I picked up off eBay for a couple of quid, I am well impressed with them and I will be buying more!

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This will eventually be a slag heap, with plenty of scrap/ waste to take cover in. It needs a lot more work but you get the general idea. I think it's important not to neglect the ground floor in Necromunda. It's much more fun for the bodies to fall into a putrid death swamp or a pile of razor sharp scrap metal than tho just hit flat terra firma. Plus, that sort of thing gives opportunities to make up house rules that add so much narrative to the games.

IMG_0122.jpg


This also needs a good deal of extra work. I basically want the panels to be over a couple of main floor storeys with buildings on both levels taking it to 3 and 4 storeys high. This is kind of a demonstration of how the modularness (I'm having dibs on that new word) will work. Essentially all buildings and floor levels will either be right up to the edge of the board or at least an inch away. That means buildings and levels will either merge together to form new ones or have at least 2 inches of floor between them. It will make more sense when I've got a few of these together to demonstrate.

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This is sort of what I am aiming for with the my buildings, somewhere between the original style Necromunda terrain and the infinity ultra tech style. One thing that hammers my sensibilities with a lot of necromunda terrain out there, including the original box set is the number of structures and gangways that serve no conceivable purpose other than to play a game of Necromunda on. And there will be no 1mm thick floors on my table! Every building and structure will look like it does something, it might not be obvious what it does, but it certainly won't be a set of purposeless open platforms with gangways that lead to yet more purposeless open platforms. I have nothing against those who like that kind of stuff, it's just that I can't cope with it. I makes my eyeballs want to eat my face.

IMG_0128.jpg


So, After what I said about avoiding GWs IP zealots, you're probably surprised to see an old fire base chopped up here. Well, rest assured, the final piece will only have a passing resemblance once finished. I'm actually planning on making this a multi-storey street market.

IMG_0120.jpg


I saw this on V-bay and was intrigued enough to give it a try. As nice as the kit is, I'm going to have to jush it up a bit or it just won't fit in with the rest of the modules. I'll pass judgement when it's done whether or not it fits in my original 9 or is relegated to phase 2.

You will notice that nothing is painted as yet. That is mainly because I broke my airbrush by over tightening the nozzle which duly snapped and I completely eradicated the screw-thread trying to get the remains of it out. Bugger. I'm off to Belgium this month to watch the F1 so I am being uncharacteristicly frugal. It's probably going to be September/October until I get a new one.

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In between all that, I managed to get hold of some chaos cultists for under a fiver on V-bay and have started painting them. I'm pretty happy with them, they should look pretty good once they are finished.

Well, that's the start of my project in a colossal nut-she'll. All feedback is most welcome, as are suggestions for my 4 remaining phase one panels (one of them will be a power station. Probably). Hope you enjoy!
 

Ben_S

Hive Guilder
Honored Tribesman
Jul 26, 2015
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A really impressive start here. I look forward to seeing more of this, even if it does take time.

I'm not sure I fully understand how the modular buildings work. You said something about them all being either to the edge of a tile or 1" away, so that when put together they either merge or leave at least a 2" gap. But presumably you could put a building that goes to the edge of one tile next to another that doesn't, for only a 1" gap.
 
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Fold

Gang Hero
Oct 26, 2013
1,331
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London E2
fromthewastes.com
Likewise a great start and a thread I will be following.

I see where you come from on the platform aesthetic but if you imaging them not as buildings but structures and gantries within a much larger building it makes more sense, I think.

I would consider some canal sections. They will add more visual interest to the ground floor and are relatively quick to complete compared to the built up ones.
 
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MancInventor

Gang Champion
Apr 6, 2017
385
1,428
153
Peterborough
@ Ben_S - thanks for the kind support, and you are quite correct. That's the perils of writing an entry at 1:30 AM! So yes, what I meant was that you'd either have enough room to 'walk' a figure down or there'd be no space at all. So, in the photo below, you can see the section on the left butts up to the middle one, then there's a one inch gap between the wall and the outhouse on the right which creates a narrow alleyway. I haven't decided if that's what I am going to do with that foam board building yet by the way.

IMG_0142.jpg


@ Fold - Thanks again, hopefully I won't let you down! I hear you with the platforms, I can understand it I just don't like it lol, I don't think I will be able to get past it without therapy lol. Canals are something that I am really interested in doing. There's a number of ideas I have that will allow me to do them and keep it modular enough, I was going to save them for phase 2 but I think I might give it a crack now that you mention it.

@ Punktaku - I was considering doing an empty one, then decided to make it a slag heap lol. I'm not sure I want to do another empty(ish) panel in phase one, but certainly the expansion phase it will certainly become more of an option.
 

KungFuPanda

Gang Hero
Yak Comp 1st Place
Jan 17, 2015
545
1,885
153
Neat work(y) Interesting how will you resolve different depth of few tiles on flat surface table? Your table would look like a grid to freely move your tiles in all possible ways?
 

MancInventor

Gang Champion
Apr 6, 2017
385
1,428
153
Peterborough
Hi KungFuPanda. I'm not sure what you're asking, er, the tiles have these little clips that fix them together, they won't be able to slide around. I will be able to unclip them and move/rotate them to make a new layout in other games. Is that what you were asking?

In other news. Spurred on by my first post and your support I did more work on my slag heap. I realise that the the foam board contours don't look that inspiring so I prioritised getting that looking passable.

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The white rubble stuff is watered-down pollyfiller mixed with crushed gravel. I've done this a few times and it's really effective. The filler holds the gravel much better than PVA glue and the bits in between are rough and textured rather than smooth like PVA. The other major upside is that you can just jam other bits in it and it will hold on to them too. Even if it doesn't bond, you have a perfect surface to glue it back on with! The foam board contours ensure that the mixture 'keys' and holds on to the board. If you try to pile too much of it on it takes forever to cure so it is absolutely required for good size piles of rubble.

The downsides are it's quite heavy and it can soak up paint - I usually get round that by doing a quick coat of Matt varnish then spraying with primer whilst the varnish is still a little bit tacky - but not wet!

Can't wait to get a new airbrush!!
 

Ben_S

Hive Guilder
Honored Tribesman
Jul 26, 2015
3,913
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Southampton, UK
The downsides are it's quite heavy and it can soak up paint - I usually get round that by doing a quick coat of Matt varnish then spraying with primer whilst the varnish is still a little bit tacky - but not wet!
When you're mixing your filler and glue, you can mix in some (cheap craft) paint too. This not only speeds painting later, but also means you're not left with bright white showing if any little bits of filler chip off later.
 

CaptainDangerous

Chaotic-good 2nd Company Captain
Yak Comp 3rd Place
Tribe Council
Oct 30, 2016
2,316
7,730
228
Durham, uk
Awesome start mancinventor! Welcome to the tribe from me!
Totally looking forward to seeing this project develop, the toxic death pond is my favorite tile so far!
(y)
 
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spafe

Executive Officer in charge of Hats
Staff member
Necromunda Custodian
Yak Comp 2nd Place
Tribe Council
Feb 8, 2013
9,091
11,680
268
Tilehurst, U.k.
This looks good, like, stunning good!

Out of curiosity, how do you plan (have you a plan?!) for storage? Its the one thing thats kept me looking at similar projects as I've yet to see a perfect way to store these sort of boards without either damage or alot of space requirements.

Loving the larger LoS blocker massive building btw, looks ace!
 

MancInventor

Gang Champion
Apr 6, 2017
385
1,428
153
Peterborough
Hi guys. Well, another week away with work has put a big dent in my progress. Unfortunately, I was in the arse end of nowhere where my mobile signal was 0G. Your comments have been a nice treat/surprise on my return to civilisation so thanks for that.

@cardyfreak that's another brilliant tip. Thanks for the idea!

@spafe: I do have a plan for storage, it won't be long before I start work on it as She-Who-Makes-The-Decisions is already giving me grief about the space my latest project is taking up in the house. In the picture below you can see a profile of one of the game tiles. There is an approximately 10mm gap between the edge of the game tile and the standy uppy bit. I intend to make a 2 hinged box cabinets with 10mm battens fixed for each gaming tile so you can slide them in like drawers, then close the cabinet together to make it look like a standard piece of furniture. The 2 cabinets once unfolded will form the legs of a 4ft square gaming table. I will draw a picture at some point to show you what I mean.

IMG_0151.jpg


Well, with not being around much this week all I have done is a bit more work on the firebase type structure and started a gantry.

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This is going to be done really slowly. I thought cutting out the details from the card pieces would be quick and easy. It certainly isn't quick! I haven't fully decided what I'm going to do with this. Originally, I was going to make the lower floor completely solid walls but I am thinking of doing something different with it now, possibly making it more of a mezzanine than a building. I don't want to have too much of the ground floor eaten up by solid buildings but at the same time, I definitely want to avoid platforms and gantries that don't have a narrative or purpose. Maybe if the mezzanine was overlooking something or providing access to something else I could possibly live with it. Anyway, I made the box shaped shed thingy on the side of the landing pad and added some of the card detail, using corrugated card recessed in the foam board instead of the roller shutter door. I've still to detail the other sides and the roof but I like the idea of the side facing the landing pad having an office type door and a window/ serving hatch. I'm also contemplating sticking a satellite dish on the roof. The satellite dish won't make much sense fluff wise (being on the inside of a massive structure) but it should look techy and cool enough to stop the fluff making me itch. We shall see.

IMG_0150.jpg


Just a short gangway/gantry. I'm planning on having handrails and underside support girders on these and figure out a way to make them look like permanent fixtures rather than afterthought add-ons. (notice the card roller shutter door from the firebase ). I'll probably make quite a few of these in varying lengths.

I was originally planning to cover all the ground floor in this kind of chewed-up pannel detail but in the end decided to stick with the squares etched into the tile. When I eventually get a new airbrush I will paint them up like false panel lines painted onto spaceship models. I tried that out a while ago on the base of an x-wing and it's pretty effective.

I've got 3 weeks off work now so hopefully I should make some better progress. And, once the Spa Grand Prix is out of the way at the end of this month, I should have some spare change to invest in an airbrush and start laying down the paint. So, as they say, the future is bright. For now anyway.
 

The Duke

of the Grim-Dark and The Lord of Lawful-Evil
Yak Comp 1st Place
Honored Tribesman
Jan 23, 2015
882
3,516
193
London
This terrain is great, I love your dedication and focus on making the terrain feel like it has purpose (rather than just pointless arbitrary gantries and platforms!)

I wholeheartedly agree!

The Slag Heaps are inspired too, I have often mused about how to represent one of the jankiest territories of them all IRL and in-game. And I think your versions are ace!

Suffice to say I'll be aiming to achieve something similar one day.

Keep it up man, great stuff!
 

spafe

Executive Officer in charge of Hats
Staff member
Necromunda Custodian
Yak Comp 2nd Place
Tribe Council
Feb 8, 2013
9,091
11,680
268
Tilehurst, U.k.
Looks great man! I'm not sure I fully get what you mean about storage, but I do get the gist. Looking forward to seeing it in practice though! (and if you make templates/plans, please share, I am sure once Mrs Spafe decides we need a house I'll be ahead of the game with plans for storage to fill said house neatly!)

The detail on these looks to be very impressive.

Can models scale those slag heaps? are there any naturally forming points where a base can fit?
 
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The Duke

of the Grim-Dark and The Lord of Lawful-Evil
Yak Comp 1st Place
Honored Tribesman
Jan 23, 2015
882
3,516
193
London
So, as they say, the future is bright. For now anyway.
Ahem, I admire you optimism, but as I think you'll find (and others will agree)

The future is in fact Grim-dark...

;)

P.s. "She-who-makes-the-decisions" - Hahahaha Lol!

Also known as: "The Hive Goddess" - occasionally I must make tribute to said deity before a game or during a period of rabid creativity / productivity in order to placate her wrath and avoid too much *sighing* around the house.
 

MancInventor

Gang Champion
Apr 6, 2017
385
1,428
153
Peterborough
Got a little bit more done today, enough to do a blog post anyway!

First off, thanks for all the fantastic comments, I'm truly blown away by it all!

@The Duke: thanks for the comments. Of course, the future is grim and dark ha ha, maybe a little bit less dark in this section of the hive

@spafe: It's kind of hard to explain, ha ha, I'll get a drawing together and hopefully that will explain it. As for the slag heap, I've not made any specific foot holds but just for you, here's some half finished cultists scaling the half finished slag heaps:

IMG_0156.jpg


Now forgive me everyone, as I guess from your comments that I'm about to introduce some egg sucking. I cut out the vent of the top of the fire base cabin and wanted to make it 3D. I stuck a bit of mesh to some styrene sheet and glued the frame on top, then sliced up some 1.75mm PLA filament to make rivets.

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I decided that I was relatively happy with this detail so I would make a mould to make more. I use the blue stuff re-usable mould compound (http://www.greenstuffworld.com/en/26-reusable-blue-stuff) to make moulds for this kind of detail.

So, blue stuff into a glass of hot water:

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Pressed down firmly over the detail:

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Left to cure for 5 minutes, then detail removed.

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Next I measured it up using some legos and cut it to fit inside a frame.

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Now, this is filled with a mixture of greenstuff and standard milliput. The milliput makes the putty more pliable and fits better into 'soft' moulds, the greenstuff element makes it cure faster and improves the strength of the milliput. I use a roughly 50/50 mix then press it firmly into the mould trying to keep the back as level as possible using the legos as a guide.

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The first piece didn't turn out great, but it is certainly usable, I'll just paint it up rusty and battered.

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Clearly I wasn't fastidious enough with pressing the putty into the mould. I do that more often than I care to admit. I think I'll make my next one from resin

In other news, I made a gun counter for the cabin on the firebase which is going to be a gunshop once I've added a door and a sign. I'm going to add some market stalls and stuff and make this my trade post panel.

IMG_0167.jpg


Next up for me is working on a new gang for Yakday. I'm in a flatspin in all honesty because when CaptainDangerous asked me for a gang name, house and a short introduction I haven't a clue what it is I'm going to do yet!!!