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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Trains to terrain

      I decided to take my boys to a model train show this morning. Though this has very little to do with war gaming or painting, it has a lot to do with modeling and scenery. It really got me thinking about the small details of scenery that are usually missed.

      First thing I noticed was scenic & structure alignment. Most things in nature occur in lines. Not necessarily straight lines, are in lines, none the less. I'm not just saying 1 tree after another after another. More of a starting & stopping  point along the landscape. Think of a river, tree line or rock formations. Buildings, as well, are in columns or rows and they are usually dependent on the topography they are located in. Nobody builds structures at 37.4 degrees of angle different from the one next to it. Unless, of course, they are building on a cul-de-sac. Most wars are not fought in suburbia, U.S.A. This display, of course, was set up for visual aesthetic, but still represented these lines. City structures are easy to place on a table. They are all parallel or perpendicular to other buildings around them. If you are doing wilderness terrain, tree outcrops and rocks should follow the lay of the land.

      The next thing I took note of was the details. The grass, gravel, and brush are the little details that make the big difference. There is, typically a line between terrain types. The most notable on the train display was where the grass met the gravel for the tracks. They put a line of lichen to show where the grass is trying to retake that ground. this is one little detail that needs to be added to all my outdoorsy terrain pieces. I just need to make sure not to overload the area and be able to place a miniature. Buildings, for city fighting, should have debris or dirt and garbage laying up against it. I'm sure no one was out sweeping the walks just before your troops walked into town. This part is all about building your terrain pieces.

     The last thing in all this was the cool factor. They had clouds, thunder & lightning effects, planes and hot air balloons. None of these would I set up on a battlefield, especially the cloud effects. But that would be pretty cool effect and reminder for night fighting or using the Storm Lord's special ability. Planes would be cool and pretty easy here. I could just loop fishing line through the drop ceiling and attach the plane to the line. That would certainly give a more cinematic feel to the table .

    In the end, my boys loved the trains and i got some great terrain ideas. So, I am off to make my little world a better place. Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Building Hive Rome in a day..... not quite

It fits nicely in the Cities of Death box.
        My project today started simply enough. We want to build some ruined city  buildings. So we got together, and got out our building materials. In which, just so happens to be from  Pegasus Hobbies. My friend got about 7 various Gothic city & ruin sets. The two of us started brainstorming. There is just no way we can make the buildings on the box.  I just want to add here, these kits are very nice and easy to assemble. My cousin draws up the plans for the fist building. Meanwhile, I am cleaning & assembling the pieces together for this large building. The foot print of this structure is 15" x 12". at least it will be when we get to cut the base. A three story tall line of sight blocker.

        Next, we decide to work separately, I start on a Space Marine hero Mausoleum. He starts on a administorium complex. The mausoleum has the same footprint as the first building, 15"x 12". And is going to sport a crypt and statue honor guard. The other building is smaller at 12" x 9".

    At this point we need to add embellishments. The ones in the kits are highly detailed and appropriate for a Gothic style world. Of course we will be adding some of our own details in to them as well. I believe, after these 3 monster buildings, we still have 3 unopened boxes and a large box of leftover sprues.

    The future is not nearly so grim for this battlefield. We will be priming & base coating  them next time we model. We are also going to build "totem/ badge" pieces of terrain. My cousin's main force is the Space Wolves. My primary Imperial army are the Dark Angels. So we are going to build wolf  & lion statues and add heads, or trophies, to them for major wins against our opponents. Also a space marine, possibly chaos marine, tomb.

   OK, hope you enjoy this little bit of battlefield buildup. I will keep you informed of progress in this & other endeavors going on here. Thanks.