Necromunda The Portcullis Occidentum: customizing Zone Mortalis

Orngog

Gang Champion
Aug 30, 2014
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Hi folks, I'm going to start with a little brainstorm.

factory
engine, exhaust, conveyor, pipes, cables
homestead
washing line, kitchen, quarters
environment
vines, shrub, branches, mould
sewer
drainage, scum, valves
metroplex
stores, shanties, signposts
derelict
scrapheap, wrecks, detritus
habitat
lair, webbing, eggs, nesting
post apocalyptic
makeshift, decay
Cawdor
Pulpit, torture chamber, library
Delaque
Secret passage, hidden cache, cable intercept
Escher
Distillery, weapon rack, lab equipment
Goliath
Pull-up bar, beaten panel, arena markings
Orlock
Material chute, rig charger, tool cupboard
Van Saar
Sterilization chamber, power source
Enforcers
Interrogation room, holding cell, office, front desk
Corpse Griders
Devotional, grisly remains, abbatoir
Genestealer Cult
Icon, hiding place, propaganda
Slavers

Water Guild

Bounty Hunters
 
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Orngog

Gang Champion
Aug 30, 2014
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Wiltshire
So, I've got two sets of the zm terrain and a set of floor tiles (that I've already started cutting up), more than enough to make some custom pieces.

But at the moment my cup runs dry, so any thoughts or questions will be greatly appreciated.

At the moment I have some wall pieces with vines/shrubs on them, my intention is to not mess with any touching faces (although I probably will with a few pillars). So far the main ideas I have are:

Replacing one interior arch on a pillar with venting.

Exploded pillar, burnt and rusted up.

Cut two sides through a pillar and fill with cabling(this can then have a lift track glued to the back, which will enable it to act as either a whole elevator or as the top/middle/bottom part of a larger one, adding much needed stability). This could then be passed through (difficult terrain), engaged in (night fighting) or used as actionable scenery. I've already started this piece, I'll send shots with the plant pieces.

Replacing one pillar interior with a door bearing "access" signs.

Adding low-relief engine parts to an alcove.

Classic "arch of skulls"

Gigantic man-size Outlanders pipe with broken grating

Spider nest with eggs

...

Obviously we will be doing weathering, signwork, graffiti, posters and proclamations as well, but I've got a long way to go before I get to those fripperies... Gotta get the ol quorn and carrots done first.
 
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Orngog

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Aug 30, 2014
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Well, I've got a can of wraithbone and some contrast paint. But I really want to do some conversions!

Sadly I'm just not feeling inspired, I think two decades of staring at junk has left me ill-equipped to take on actual gw scenery... Now I know how Alice Cooper felt when he wrote Poison.

I'll expand the brainstorm a bit, maybe I'll get a nice Happen pop up.
 

Unslain

Gang Champion
Nov 29, 2014
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Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, UK
more than enough to make some custom pieces.
By pieces do you mean individual elements (pillar, wall, etc.) or that you intend to glue some elements together to make a number of structures? The brainstorm in your first post reads to me as almost whole-board concepts (or parts thereof; my favourite would be derelict-factory-turned-homestead), whereas the second post sounds very much more that you're wanting feature elements of maybe two inches on a side (like a washing line on pulleys over a drop that would need to be jumped).

Would themed sets of elements work for you? For instance, the arch of skulls you mention plus 3-4 more pillars/walls with grisly decorations so that if they're arrayed around the walls of a single chamber, it will look like a shrine of some kind but spread them around the board and they'll be cool but less pronounced. Creating sets to represent some of the territories available might help with deciding on themes.
 

Orngog

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Aug 30, 2014
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Well, you ask the right questions. The first post is only brainstorming, just throwing out visual and thematic elements down. But I do intend to glue some walls to pillars (and I'm tempted to glue pillars to some of my cut floors too). Obviously there's only so much you can do to a model with no base...

I've already put vines on some single walls, the spiderlair I'm working on now requires a bit of a corner so that gets a sub assembly. But yes, broadly speaking I want the walls to be arrangeable in any order- this means sacrificing any serious shading towards the bottom of the pieces, but like you say the versatility of a few sewer/damaged/communal pieces each will allow for a range of uses.
 
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Orngog

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Aug 30, 2014
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Well, I did some more plantwork last night, and I've finally settled on a paint scheme- so dreamtime for conversions is over now, it's a case of juggling pain work and modelling until the kit is done. Nothing like a deadline to motivate you...

I added some gang based ideas to the brainstorm as well, I'm gonna see if there are any ideas which could be represented by the same piece, ie torture rack & pull-up bar.
 

Unslain

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Nov 29, 2014
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Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, UK
Depending on the size of rig charger you envisage, a single spliced-in connection could potentially serve for that, the van saar power source and the delaque cable intercept. Particularly if you can conceal a magnet within that surface, you could have interchangeable details such as a small monitor or auspex for the intercept, a box with glowing innards as a transformer and a person-sized unit with thick cables for the charger that could provide cover and change the shape of the section. Then the actual pillar/wall would need only a few exposed cables and the splice on display.

If it's not too subtle, you could perhaps use painted symbol codes to hint at Delaque elements. Maybe use alchemical symbology, bar codes or even braille dots for a sort of hobo-code.

I also had an idea for a possible way to add modular detritus to structures. Using cling film as a barrier, putty could then be pressed up against a wall/pillar/other element as a base for additional detail. For instance a pile of skulls and devotional items at the base of a shrine built into a pillar, that will sit up snug against that pillar thanks to the shaping of the putty. Or a stream of opaque liquid complete with a sculpted burst/crack, for sitting up against a pipe. They would be additional loose pieces, likely used less than their parent piece and might slow set-up a tiny bit, but a way to add additional variety to the terrain. A piece involving a weight bench surrounded with sweat-rags (to hide the putty) could go up against the torture device you mentioned to turn it into the pull bar and workout area for goliaths. Longer detritus pieces could even be moulded to go up against multiple elements in a particular combination, maybe for a way of doing house- or even gang-specific bits (like a set of banners for a cawdor gang) for particular scenarios, or just embellishing a combo structure that you particularly like.
There's also the advantage that this could be done after the plastic has been painted, as there's no contact with the putty until after it's cured.
 
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Orngog

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Getting some serious shoemaker elves types vibes here... It's like you've done my thinking for me.

Many thanks! Great ideas here, and much appreciated. I'm very much focused (ahem) on converting the pieces themselves, but you're right: modularity extends beyond the blocks, and I would do well to remember that.

The charger/intercept idea is inspired and exactly what I needed, many thanks. I'll be sure to send you a picture :) And magnetising those putty moulds would work pretty well too... I may end up doing this as well because it's the closest I'll be able to get to base detail without building some dreamy modular styrene tiles, and I've only just finished a long job with the awful stuff.
 
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Unslain

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You're very welcome, it's been fun. And I'm looking forward to seeing how you proceed; I know of two untouched terrain sets from dark uprising among my gaming group, so I may well be exhorting others to copy your ideas or doing so for them.
 

Orngog

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OH, I'M NOT DONE WITH YOU YET...

Just kidding, I do appreciate your thoughts. And the goal is to save others from this headache, so please do feel free.

I've added some non-house gangs to the brainstorm, hopefully I can get those filled as well. and if anybody has any ideas for a Goliath Arena, I'm all ears...
 
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Orngog

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So, I decided to attatch my chopped floor tiles to pillar tops, sadly they are just a bit thinner than the platforms but a single layer of cereal box should fix that... I will of course report back. I'll post some pics tonight of my progress thus far, hopefully I will show you my first washed platform piece as well.

Next issue: how to make use of blood4thebloodgod & nurgles' rot... any thoughts, let me hear em.
 

Unslain

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Nov 29, 2014
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Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, UK
Ideas are easy when I'm not the one trying to implement them! :)

On Goliath arenas, there's a bit of fluff about one gang welding closed the access tunnels of a dome and turning it into one massive arena. While I doubt you'd want to be sculpting weld seams onto doors, perhaps some mag-locking manacles hanging by chain from a spiked pole could represent a competitor's starting position. With generous blood splatters of varying age around it, that could serve for slavers, bounty hunters (is there any difference?) and corpse grinders too. As well as the water guild and enforcers, for that matter. A second set of chains or even more would allow you to delineate the arena as the logical space between them, and to group them to better indicate slavers et al. If you're game for yet more magnets, some spiked bars that can attach to walls and doors would make for something reminiscent of the Roman gladiatorial pits.
 

Orngog

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I, too, am full of ideas for other people... Yeah, my thought was to double up one piece as a torture rack/pull-up bar, beyond that spiky walls was about as far as I got (that and doing a wall with tally marks on). But inspiration from history is something I should have thought of, thanks again!

Multiple chain sets is a great idea though, and possibly a low-relief contender too. Would also work great for an Escher chem lab, corpse grinder lair, & pretty much any gang hideout.

Any thoughts about making the place look a bit more lived-in? I thought about making a red dwarf style bunkspace, but thinking about the top has got me stumped.

Now I think of it, it would be cool to cram a scene reminiscent of Hogarth and Bosch into a block, toiling away in the dark. But then that's pretty much my vision of Necromunda as a whole
 

Unslain

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Nov 29, 2014
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Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, UK
I could see hammocks being in common usage throughout the hives as a space-saving solution, and conveniently low-relief when hung up against a wall.

If you're envisaging a part of a hab, then other low-space living solutions could work too; there's a scene in an episode of Firefly with clever use of space in hygiene facilities in a ship's cabin, but also there are no end of gadgets from Japan (and probably other countries too) for maximising efficiencies in terms of space.

My personal vision of the underhive involves a lot of areas getting repurposed in a semi-shanty style, so some hammocks hung from a convenient railing, pipe or run of cabling hooks would be accompanied by a satchel or two of ration bars hung beside them, a jury-rigged water still (looking more like something used for moonshine) plumbed into an exposed pipe in a wall or floor, maybe a hot plate or little gas stove like one might take camping except the fuel canister is replaced by a battery, the body of a bust laspistol or a rad grenade from the van saar sprue.

If you're feeling truly masochistic, a Bosch-like mural would be fantastic for a chaos cult themed element. Or even genestealers, as an expression of the oppression they suffer - particularly if you can suggest four arms on some of the figures.

Probably an easier idea would be defaced murals. The metro stations in Moscow are bedecked in jewels and gold leaf still from the communist era (a cathedral got torn down for the materials); somehow none of it seems to get touched but I doubt that would be the case in the underhive and some of those zones will have been affluent areas and even palaces at one point. A mural of the happy worker with his happy family beside a golden furnace might have been defaced/enhanced with extra arms or screaming faces scrawled across the background, depending on the flavour of cult involved. Or you might try cave painting styles of hive-appropriate subjects, directly onto the surface for ratskin/scavvy art while cawdor or genestealer gangs might have thrown up an imperfect coat of primer before rendering an image of a saint/preacher/magus figure. For a van saar twist on this, maybe stick a little cube at the base of a wall that's projecting a schematic or battle plan up on the wall in glowing green or blue lines - something sinister must have happened for it to have been left behind still active...
 

Orngog

Gang Champion
Aug 30, 2014
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great stuff, many thanks! some excellent ideas in there, my corner of the hive was once a main hub for commerce (hence the Western Gates) so a lot of this will come into play methinks.

Not to lean on you too heavily... but any thoughts about creating a sewer/ manufactorum aesthetic?
 

Unslain

Gang Champion
Nov 29, 2014
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Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, UK
Most of my ideas for sewers tend toward stuff on the floors; drain gratings with liquid flowing back up, sluice gates ajar with a grapnel and cable disappearing down into darkness, a small rusted dinghy abandoned when the sump lake disappeared downhive during a 'quake, that sort of thing.

Short of painting a tide line onto several surfaces, grilles on the walls with dried grunge crusting the wall below are the obvious thing. Or just suggest them with hinged circular grille covers like the ones on some buildings for fire engine hoses to plug into - these could also double for furnace doors in a manufactory theme, with textured paint around the edges, thicker at the bottom so it could also read as leaking fluid. Maybe a crackle medium around the top two thirds and a fine grit at the bottom. The crackle can then represent damage from either heat or damp.

Maybe a group of pillars and pipes done to combine into a small pumping station would work; add a valve wheel to one pipe, signs half obscured by gunk/stains, water guild icons, even a mechanicus sigil polished and cared for amidst filth in the hope of a continued blessing. Controls could be split across a couple of pillars designed to sit side by side, pressure guages and similar on one, an array of valves and taps on the other so that when separated they become random tech of uncertain purpose.

A manufactorum might benefit best from some scatter terrain - work benches, wheeled hoists and the like. A rotary lathe could be mounted inside a ZM piece, and furnaces as mentioned two paragraphs up. A piece with the ribbed bit of a plasma gun showing could go next to one of those hatches (or even a tank hatch if you have a spare) to indicate a plasma furnace and fit in something more high-tech. A series of fans showing through a broken pipe or pillar could be part of a generator using the geothermal energy the hive relies on. The rig charger and tool cabinets from your brainstorm could also fit. Painting in fresh-ish scrapes contiguously along a few walls/pillars could indicate a mishap with a large vehicle or piece of machinery when placed together. For levity (and truth), a sign reading "Please do not play with the rivet guns." Or "Rivet guns are not toys" and you can choose whether some wit has crossed out the "not" or written "weapons" over the word "toys".

If you're open to stacking the ZM stuff, you could build a railed hoist to hang between two stacks and roll along plastic i-beams. Can also serve as a walkway with some scavenged plating to span the gaps.

Did you have any particular industry in mind for your manufactorum? That's all I can think of for now but I'll add anything more that occurs to me.