Jul 15, 2020
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This post is about organizing the project and background facades.

I have decided to really finish each piece to a high standard. If I have to name each tile it will make me build them with a defining feature. This gives it more personality.

I do plan to make sone filler building facades for the background. Instead of blank concrete or feeling like I need to completely detail the walls, it would be faster and still with a cool effect. I plan to cut rectangular holes in cardboard then shine a light through them. I will give them dirty looking plastic like blister packs glued on the inside. Before that I will try a crackle spraypaint on the cardboard facade after a dusting of black and brown spraypaint.

When the more themed and detailed pieces are each done I might just half ass the remaining ones as background filler to go against the walls.

Ideally this would look like a peninsula in the sump sea. I considered using real water but making slime canals on my new MDF wood boards sounds more fun.

I bought some black canvases and will do some rough outlines of ruins for the background. Doing a mural on a painter's tarp or cloth might get too cracked over time.

The plastic tablecloths I got have a shine to them so I want to fill up as much background as possible with backlit windowed buildings and random pipe clutter.

I suppose I will have to start small, but working within the confines of the space I do have is better than waiting for a larger area. I might have to forgo digging out my older terrain for now. I will start with a showcase of the more recent work specifically started for Habzone Quandary.

The costs keep adding up so it makes sense to follow through on launching a Patreon account. It feels tacky to ask for money, but even with all the recycled materials it really adds up. Every trip to the craft store is about $100. Parts orders even higher sometimes. It's a labor of love and my overspending on a hobbh isn't anyone else's responsibility. This is also one of my life's works projects and the launch will deserve attention. This work means something to me and is also an art project commenting on (we live in a society.) The commentsn likes, and views here have been helpful and I won't pretend otherwise. Maybe the more support I get from the wider world would help me keep this going in uncertain economic times. I would rather have 5 supporters at a $1 level than 1 person at the $10 level because it means something that more people got value out of the work.

Still, it's crass to go up to fellow Yaksters shoving a begging bowl in theor faces. I'm just being direct about my thoughts in this project journal. Many of the video makers have Patreons or similar and I support them doing that. It's a much healthier system than a paywall.

Anyways, I need to focus on finishing what I have. That means any construction should be focused on connecting ramps and ladders for playability. Or, a finishing touch to give a piece more personality. Otherwise it's just painting. That also means work on figures should be generally limited to work for Yak challenges until more progess is made.

Thanks for reading.
 
Jul 15, 2020
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I'm making progress every day on the Underhive city.

I was getting carried away with emotional attachments to impressing everyone. It's more enjoyable to just treat it as a relaxing hobby instead of imposing deadlines and urgency on myself. I get just as much done relaxed as stressed.

When my translucent water effect experiments don't pan out well enough I just add more layers and try again. In the process I got strange results that never would have been acheived by being careful. With paint crackling material and time gets wasted but I can learn better in the process. (In this case the crackle medium does need to dry a bit but not the full hour. Paint needs to go on fairly thick. White glue works too.)

This means I'm finishing all the main pieces all to a high standard, not rushing. And mixing in work on models keeps it fresh. For a big city shot I ran out of room, and will have to keep all my older terrain in the bins for now. Maybe in a year or two I can find the space for a setup of my dreams. Right now I should focus on what's in front of me and take one day at a time.

There's a serious, artistic side to the project since I'm exploring this as detailing a living space and not just gameplay props. That means looking at real life slums and dystopian source material. We're talking about people living in toxic sewers when we discuss Necromunda. The gritty sci-fi sleaze and social commentary should be preserved in my opinion. It's my counterpoint to the clean and sterilized look of today.

I'm frugal, but there's another reason I use trash and remains of my personal consumption.

It might take a little while for pictures, I want to get some really high quality shots.
 
Jul 15, 2020
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Hey, it's been a while since I have posted. More freeform rambling and project notes. I'm dealing with an absolutely massive quantity of models and terrain and every now and then it helps to stop and think about what I'm doing and how to manage it.

The end goal is the most massive terrain and minatures setups ever seen, and all my own work.

I don't have the space now, but I am trying to save money for land and buildings to house and display my life's works, properly.

My new job has kept me busy. Lots of videogames too: Kenshi, Craft The World, Fortnite, Fallout 4, Cyberpunk, Skyrim, Batman Origins and many others take time away from crafting and painting.

I have kept on with the project and am still improving and completing the done and almost done Habzone Quandary pieces. I've given myself permission to be completely free flowing and undirected with hobby time so I am also painting and fixing up half finished models of all types.

I've been painting up some ork boyz and bikes, hive scum types, scatter terrain. and whatever is within reach and handy at the moment. I organized a bit and I do have a goal of assembling and finishing all the actual proper Necromunda gangs. But there's so many personality models from Blackstone Fortress, Blood Bowl, Genestealer Cult, and my own conversions, etc. I could easily get sidetracked.

I was able to get some priming done and make progress on the rest of the backlog. I should finish the rest of that batch, sprayi,g from other angles, which was mostly odds and ends and some steampunk robots. I have yet more boxes of random bits, hot wheels and toy cars, plus some real highlights:

About 3 dozen Lego ladders
Animal familiars
New Heroquest
Zombicide zombies with tentacle faces
New Chaos Marines

I do this for me, but also for you. Someday your patience will be rewarded.

Other 'To do' items

Try out 3D printer especially for rats, bugs, terminals and tech clutter.

Select final paper posters to use.

Reach a point of 'done' instead of 95% done with the pieces in the living room and move them to the garage. (A block away)

Find better drapes or just use the plastic black sheeting I have.

Organize garage for preliminary photo-shoot.

Triage projects already out and ready... and pull any that need serious work, touchup what I can, and relocate unpainted items or non terrain stuff in the way.

Accept not every square inch needs to be petfectly painted in a ruined, filthy, shadowy hellscape.

Order more Tamiya gloss because stains and toxic waste everywhere makes sense.

Finish up old school Necromunda gangs touchups and select minis to go in the photos.

I am still on the lookout for the ultimate clear gloss. Not too toxic, not too stinky, not too expensive, and hopefully leaves some transparent thickness behind.

Cheers all.
 

Biggle_Bear

Gang Hero
Nov 1, 2017
1,103
1,997
183
This post is about organizing the project and background facades.

I have decided to really finish each piece to a high standard. If I have to name each tile it will make me build them with a defining feature. This gives it more personality.

I do plan to make sone filler building facades for the background. Instead of blank concrete or feeling like I need to completely detail the walls, it would be faster and still with a cool effect. I plan to cut rectangular holes in cardboard then shine a light through them. I will give them dirty looking plastic like blister packs glued on the inside. Before that I will try a crackle spraypaint on the cardboard facade after a dusting of black and brown spraypaint.

When the more themed and detailed pieces are each done I might just half ass the remaining ones as background filler to go against the walls.

Ideally this would look like a peninsula in the sump sea. I considered using real water but making slime canals on my new MDF wood boards sounds more fun.

I bought some black canvases and will do some rough outlines of ruins for the background. Doing a mural on a painter's tarp or cloth might get too cracked over time.

The plastic tablecloths I got have a shine to them so I want to fill up as much background as possible with backlit windowed buildings and random pipe clutter.

I suppose I will have to start small, but working within the confines of the space I do have is better than waiting for a larger area. I might have to forgo digging out my older terrain for now. I will start with a showcase of the more recent work specifically started for Habzone Quandary.

The costs keep adding up so it makes sense to follow through on launching a Patreon account. It feels tacky to ask for money, but even with all the recycled materials it really adds up. Every trip to the craft store is about $100. Parts orders even higher sometimes. It's a labor of love and my overspending on a hobbh isn't anyone else's responsibility. This is also one of my life's works projects and the launch will deserve attention. This work means something to me and is also an art project commenting on (we live in a society.) The commentsn likes, and views here have been helpful and I won't pretend otherwise. Maybe the more support I get from the wider world would help me keep this going in uncertain economic times. I would rather have 5 supporters at a $1 level than 1 person at the $10 level because it means something that more people got value out of the work.

Still, it's crass to go up to fellow Yaksters shoving a begging bowl in theor faces. I'm just being direct about my thoughts in this project journal. Many of the video makers have Patreons or similar and I support them doing that. It's a much healthier system than a paywall.

Anyways, I need to focus on finishing what I have. That means any construction should be focused on connecting ramps and ladders for playability. Or, a finishing touch to give a piece more personality. Otherwise it's just painting. That also means work on figures should be generally limited to work for Yak challenges until more progess is made.

Thanks for reading.
I really love your sneak peek photo. I love how the buildings in the foreground look like previously they were proper buildings, in a row. But the construction further back look like people took what was at hand and built up as they needed. It looks like a living, breathing place.

The photos with the big sump monsters make it look like it it playable.

The last piece of the holy grail of terrain, in my opinion, is to be seen. But I suspect it is there. Does it encourage different play styles depending upon where you are? (In one area its melee, another sniper battles, another area relies on mass firepower?, etc)

I can't stress how awesome I find your style so far.
 
Jul 15, 2020
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The holy grail, The Scrounge Lounge, has not been photographed. It's the height of a table.

The chance to entertain and inspire the rare few with a deep appreciation is why I go to the extra effort. Thank you!

Yeah, the whole idea is a waste refinery dome was also categorized as a Habitat Zone, and the dwellers and workers that survive there make the best of it. But the hazardous, neglected conditions also allows for the criminal element to flourish, and some of the bars, brothels and casinos conceal enormous wealth and connections.

My Hivers, uh, find a way.

I make every effort to make these as playable as possible while still feeling incredibly cramped and claustrophobic with wires and pipes in the way. Not every area is super easy to access in the big pieces but it's all set for models.

I'm trying to fill a gap. Have you ever seen a bed in terrain? A toilet? Food? Appliances? Entertainment? Trash? This is the Grimedark Revolution.

(credit to all the Hive Guys franchise owners and makers of other lived-in projects, of course).
 
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OK I know it's not ideal to update without pictures! But having my project log be both free form and public facing keeps my interest and focus higher. Creating the biggest underhive setup in the world, mostly from scratch, is a huge time commitment over years.

I've decided the only way to stay on track is to give up on video games for a while. Although my output is high lately there's an endless supply of new projects coming in and old projects calling me.

But it's okay. This is a lifelong project, hobby, and ambition. All models will be painted eventually, except for some ancient relics.

There's 6 terrain projects in my living room alone... most are almost done but not quite. With some solid effort I can finish most oof them quite soon. I need to take the pressure off to have them be perfect or mind-blowing, and I can still keep updating and retouching paint after photographs.

In addition to the 6 tiles between 1x1 and 2x2, I have all sorts of scrap pieces and stray models all around. Not to mention rules and fluff projects. Not to mention any other projetc or business idea... it is hard to focus and finish with my conditions.

Yet I keep getting more... more supplies, more models, more projects. It's a bit of a problem sometimes I have to admit. Yet I'm choosing to lean into my strangeness and perservere.

I think a lot of my anxiety is about trying to find a new place with enough space to really spread out and do the massive setups I want.

Here's the photoshoots planned for the next few years:

What I have terrain for:
  • Jungle / death world
  • Generic battlefield
  • City ruins
  • Medieval / fantasy village and forest
  • Ork settlement
  • Habzone Quandary of course / underhive for days...

What would need a lot of work:
  • Giant tables / surfaces, one concrete and scrap metal, one parched and cracked desert, temperate forest, snow, chaos daemon world, etc.
  • Tyranid infestation / tunneled under worms board, with 2 levels
  • 3D Space Hulk (could be part of the hive too)
  • Genestealer cult temple with worshipers
  • Ash wastes / Hive gate entrance /mine with working train tracks (Orlock Turf)
  • Ash Waste nomads village
  • Gaslands / Hot Wheels scale terrain and roads
  • More Hive businesses, bars, and named locations
  • Goliath forge / smithy with glow effects
  • Enforcers precinct house
  • Robot rodeo
  • Gladiator arena with stands with seated fans
  • Scavvy mutant nest
  • Secret spy / comms room
For now I am going to focus on putting finishing touches on what's in the living room, and make the paint look better.
 

cainex1

Hive Guilder
Dec 8, 2017
2,519
3,332
123
USA
You can't go wrong with large poster size terrain prints to put your stuff on. I have a sizeable roll of black photography background paper to put on my table to just have something there.. also my photographer buddy was throwing aweay the old roll because the edges were fraying 💪
 
Jul 15, 2020
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I didn't manage to get any hobby done yesterday and focused on my plants which were more time sensitive. I replanted my succulents in an effort to rescue them and added in a venus flytrap. Then I had to sleep! Still no video games, I'm gonna be strict and not play anything until this blog gets new pictures!

I hadn't considered posters, but some of the gaming mats out there seem to photograph okay. I would be more likely to use that as a backdrop.

Well to reward everyone's participation and patience I owe some photos, don't I? Very soon...

Ok, I think I will start with the Scrounge Lounge, One-Eyed Ripper Jack's Casino, Fungus Plantation, Quality Zone Burgers, and Club Lotus.

I'll throw on a few ladders and pipes here and there, give myself only a few minutes for painting touchups.

I have a few generic pieces with no names or defining features. They can get some tents or beds, railings and a couple of platforms each, but otherwise they can just be what they are. Quick and dirty with posters and graffiti. Not every last piece has to scream with story or be a named location.

Then there's the Market, which needs a lot of paint and detailing.

I think I'll throw in my custom Ork Gargant as a bonus, since I've been finishing the paint on the head.

I think I will photograph them one at a time in the house, then cram them into the one-car garage with the rest of the undercity. Then, I should really just start taking the group shots at this point. But there's literally no room to open my old terrain bins and include that in the shots. Still, it's a great setup and big enough for now.

That means that Yaks will get the early access. When I move in a few months, then I can do the ultimate setup and the videos. At that point I plan to taunt and tease some of the famous terrain youtubers, in an effort to get noticed and also give them some content to work with. I thought it would be fun to dress up as a character for this and issue a challenge. But in all reality I have enormous respect and affection for all the people I call out. Any 'beef' would be entirely kayfabe pretend banter.

Now a word about psychology, and some of my personal experiences with wargaming on a deeper level. It may be TMI or of even less interest than project notes. I genuinely don't mind if people just scroll past to find the pictures or notes on physical process. But I like to talk about my motivations and maybe vent and ramble a little. If you're just here for light-hearted fun, by all means skip past.

-------------------------------------

I'm more intense than I want to be sometimes. I get caught up in passions that don't make a lot of sense to others all the time. If you know what neurodiverse means that gets you in the ballpark of understanding. Unfortunately there's a streak of perfectionism that gets in the way more than anything. This idea of wanting to be the best or win can be great motivation or it can turn toxic. This is a project log blog, so if it's WIP or not perfect then who cares? Do I have to be everyone's favorite? My whole life I've been trying to move away from narcissism as a coping strategy but it's just so infused in the culture here. I'm on the West Coast of the US and there's just a lot of one-uppers and real life trolls out here. I don't take my ego entirely seriously but it's absolutely part of who I am whether I like it or not.

When a desire becomes a need it has to be put in check. I need to get over this hyper-competitive streak. But really, there's no way to contain or stop certain energies I have, so the best way is healthy and humorous GOOD-NATURED competition. I have found that here. It's not about putting down others or shaming but more about confidence and having fun. I can certainly take a joke about myself or my work, as I like to tease others, but there's also a fine line sometimes. There are times I would be open to constructive criticism and other moods where I could be very sensitive and take something personally. So I try to show some restraint when interacting with others so I don't spoil anyone else's mood. Yet to be authentic means being willing to have my own opinions and judgements. But socially, authentic opinions aren't always called for. don't always bring up every random criticism I could think of for someone else's work since it's not necessarily asked for.

Case in point, there was a local tournament I went to for many years. At a few of these I was so focused on winning best painted army and winning games I found myself stressed out. I like to bring larger armies, partly to show off more of my work. I often couldn't keep up with the pace of the more experienced players who knew all the nuances of the recent editions. There were also badly worded crazy mission rules and the chaos of a large amount of loud large people. I'm a bit unusual in that sometimes I like to be one of the big and loud guys, hooting and hollering and getting laughs, and other times I get overwhelmed and just need a break.

Sometimes I won best painted and sometimes not, sometimes I won games and sometimes not. At a certain point the desperation to be King HotShot in a room of other aspirang champions got to be too much. I just wasn't having fun. I also had games against full blown narcissists that cheated, bullied, manipulated, or all three. One of them went on to run the tournament I went to, that the previous organizer abandoned. Another was a game store owner.

The other side of it though, is I also had tons of fun, met some amazing people, moments of well earned pride, and improved as a person to have gone through those experiences. I really do miss wargaming and RPGs a lot. I miss all the friends I used to have. And I realize that my ego or disabilities may play into why I don't see those people anymore. But I also had to draw a line for my own sanity at the amount of bullies and assholes in my personal life. I discovered that not everyone likes or respects boundaries, with or without framing it as a disability accommodation. I ask people to be clear with me about what their limits are since I don't always get it right. At this point in my life though I don't want to be tip-toeing or second guessing every little thing, which just produces more stress and anxiety. That in turn just makes me more rigid and less easy going. I also have to give myself permission to be who I am, and if that includes over-thinking and caution, yet surprising boldness in another moment, that's just how it is. The constant self-judgement is messing me up and doesn't always lead to better treatment of others. Socially, people want the happy and positive side. But it doesn't make me an imposter or fake to conceal or hold back whatever inappropriate or risky thing I actually want to say. Most of the time I'm able to balance it out just fine, but my past life is filled with awkward moments.

While my charisma and moods and various energies come and go, certain things are consistent. I have moral principles, I'm going to keep calling out evil when I feel the need. I'm going to follow through on buying land and building my camp even if that means working for an employer that I don't always agree with. I've decided that insisting on respect is and was the best course of action despite it leading to a more lonely place. I actually had an argument with my ex-wife about how I would rather keep my principles and have no friends where as she felt the opposite. Then it kind of played out like that in real life.

So what does this all have to do with miniatures and fantasy worlds? Well, Habzone Quandary is an art project on a conceptual level as well as being playable wargaming terrain. It's okay if anyone finds that pretentious. It's the literal product of my consumptions and addictions and those of others. It's drawing inspiration not just from game manuals but real world dystopias like Kowloon Walled City, LA's Skid Row, and underground dwellers. It's a setting of desperation, filth, and hypocrisy. The materials used and style reflect that. It's not neat and clean like the GW of today. This means it's actually possible depressing to look at. These are art objects but it's not a normal sort of beauty. I have a miniature slum in my living room, built by people barely clinging to life in a dystopian hellscape. This is basically the GrimeDark Manifesto. Science fiction has gotten so watered down and shallow, I am turning up all the dials to go as heavy as I can.

While it's serious it's also satire. If anything, I want to put more jokes in when I can. Although Bethesda's games are buggy, their environmental story-telling is top notch. You can see the influence of the Fallout world in my work, as well as classic Necromunda. I take inspiration from all the great genre artists and crafters I've ever seen, including ones on this very forum. Thank you.

Ya know what though? It's also fun as f**k to make this stuff, to banter about it, and to entertain you all with my creations. Thanks for reading. I feel a little better to get that off my chest, and it clears the way for confidence to show my 99% finished work, imperfect work, that will knock your socks off.

Maybe a project of this scale really does require some strange drives and ego. In any case, it's almost done!

It is only because I have stood upon the shoulders of Trolls that I can see this far.
 
Jul 15, 2020
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Yet more rambling project notes. Pics this weekend! First paragraph is all Blood Bowl chatter by the way.

I quit video games for a few days but was called back by purchasing tbe Legendary version of Blood Bowl 2. Mixed teams, wow! The crowd killed my assassin on his first play. The apothocary failed.... Next game the crowd tore apart a vampire lord on the other team! My apothecary couldn't save my quarterback / kicker either, but at least his killer was fouled numerous times. My Beastmen with 0 skills have each killed someone, one as a temp. Otherwise it's all gravy for that team, Chaos, Skaven, Dark Elf, and Underworld provide fertile ground for min maxing. There's about 6 Blodgers on the team, lots of stat increases, high agility, some mutations, and I'm working on adding in more Mighty Blows and Guard. Not as deadly as my comparable 2,000 TV Ork Team, with lots of Tackle and MB, but way faster and more agile. I've let through only one or two touchdowns total, and average about 3 points a game over 17 games. I have no big guys (unreliable) and 'struggle' against high strength in numbers. The AI on hard is still pretty bad and has no sense of urgency for scoring.

But that's all another story.

The project continues! Yet I was silly for thinking "a few minutes touchup on each piece" would be enough. It gets overwhelming to think of all I need to do, then keep wanting more projects on top of that. Like, those new Chaos models look really good... Then there's YakComp to start... I have a box of snotlings arroving any day now... Garsh.

But I'm not complaining. I found that the largest model cities with trains take up like 50,000 square feet in some cases and have had 100s of paid employees, and cost millions of dollars. Others were the lifetime work of one mad genius. I can still have the largest *underhive* city diorama in the world. I am insanely impatient for a proper amount of setup space, but that is months off.

Ok yada yada, lots of work to be done, next update I PROMISE will have photos of the work.