Ground Cover Pieces for Mordheim

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Finally, something new to post! As I said in my last post, I have been super busy with real life lately, so I have not had much time, at all, for hobby work. Little by little, though, I have managed to get a few small pieces out. What I have for you today are several ground cover pieces. Ground cover pieces are the smaller pieces that go in between buildings. Having lots of really well made and interesting buildings is very nice, but if that is all you have, then your table just will not end up looking like a real village or city. It is these types of pieces that add character and believability.

When first thinking about making these pieces, I started checking toy sections in various stores looking for anything that had conversion potential. I went to several different stores with no luck before finally coming across a Toys R Us brand called True Legends. I found a set that comes in a 72 piece bucket for about $10, and it has warriors, witches, elves, orcs, a few wall pieces, and even a dragon. The minis are far too large to use as models in game, and there sculpt quality is marginal, but they have a lot of potential for terrain conversion. The mini size is just about perfect for medium sized statues in 28mm scale, and several of the other pieces are so close in scale, that the difference is not noticeable.

Along with converting some of these pieces, I also wanted to try my hand at a few trees. I have never made trees before, but having seen several different methods, I went with what I thought was both a relatively simple method, and one that produced good looking results. I found a really nice looking stick, and I broke it into pieces to give me what I thought was 4 good trees. At this point, I had everything I needed and began assembling.

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The process was fairly simple for each. The statue was made by taking one of the True Legends minis and gluing it to a stone platform that also came in the set. I then added a few bits, rocks, and sand to make things a little more interesting. Then I took my dremel to the mini to add a little “battle damage” and simply painted the piece up. For a final flare, I added a nice blood splatter on the back side of the platform with bloody drag marks leading away from the statue. I used the Citadel Technical paint, Blood for the Blood God. It lived up to its name. 🙂

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Next up were the wall sections. Honestly, these were, by far, the easiest pieces to make. I simply glued on a few bits to make them look a little more interesting, and then painted. Fairly straight forward.

Please ignore the shine, the matte clear coat was still slightly tacky and I had a bright light pointed directly at the pieces for the pictures. Under normal lighting, there is barely any noticeable shine.

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Last, but not least, we have the trees. I made small round bases out of MDF and super glued the trees to those bases. I also then drilled and pinned them to add a little more strength. Once that was done, I texted the bases using stucco patch, and started adding bits. I also tried my hand at sculpting for the first time. Nothing fancy, just a tattered banner, a couple of signs nailed to the trees, and a label for a handmade crate. After that, it was just simple painting, and a little static grass to finish off. In the following pics, the glue is still slightly wet for the static grass, so that is why those spots look a little funny.

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And that is all I have for today! I have a couple of more ideas ready to hit the work table, and as requested, I will be working on a tutorial post soon, so check back!

Modular Bridges Are Here!

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Been a little while since I have had anything new to show off, but I finally got some terrain time over the holidays, so it is officially time to post something! I was asked to do a tutorial post, but since I was already way too far into this build to try and do a real step-by-step sort of thing, the full tutorial post will be my next project. So if you are interested in that, stay tuned!

These buildings were made as a set to prototype the modular bridge and balcony idea I had a few months ago. The set consisted of a small, two floor building that was mostly ruin, a longer, three floor building with the bridge opening on the third floor, and a five floor behemoth guard tower with openings and mounts on the third and fourth floors. Almost right away I realized that my design for the two floor building would not work because I found that I needed a flat wall below the bridge mount for support. I finished the piece anyway, though, because I had already put a bit of work into it, and it is still a good enough piece to sit on my table. Here are a few pictures of that piece.

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All three buildings are foamcore walls, and balsa wood sticks for corner supports. I tried something different with these buildings and for the floors used sheet balsa wood, cut and scored to make the individual boards. Not sure if I will continue to do it this way. It saves HOURS but honestly, it just does not look as good as individually cut and shapes craft popsicle sticks. Maybe I just need to work with it some more and perfect the technique. Anyway, the windows are Lego windows, which are AWESOME, and the walls and base are textured with stucco patch.

Next up is the three floor building.

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This building has pretty much the exact same construction as the first except for some cardboard roof tiles. Here are a couple of close up pictures of one of the modular balconies in place on this building.

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As you can see, the balconies fit in nice and snug. You probably would not ever be able to tell that they are removable. Any of the balconies that I have made can fit onto any mount on any building.

Finally, we have the big guard tower…

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And close ups of the balconies…

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I did not use any Lego windows on this one, but the shields on either side of the front door, and the banner pole are all modified Lego pieces. Lego pieces are cheap, easy to cut and modify, and close enough in scale that they are worth looking at as additions to anyone’s bitz box.

Now that you have seen the buildings with the balconies in place, now it’s time to see the bridge. Sorry for the blurry pictures…

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Again, much like the balconies, the bridge fits in snuggly, and flush. Someone would be hard pressed to know it was removable if I did not tell or show them. Only time and gaming will tell if my rudimentary engineering skills will hold up on the table top. Wish me luck!

Legos are awesome!

Quick post today… just wanted to share a nifty tip I picked up on Tom’s Boring Mordheim Forum. Use Lego windows in your terrain projects. You can buy individual pieces from the Lego website for dirt cheap and have them shipped right to your house. I think I paid $.20 a piece for the window that I ordered. They also have a couple of different window options, and one of the two different types I ordered actually open. Not critical by any means, but it could add a fun little dimension. Check it out…

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Just cut/file/dremel the pieces off of the tops of the window frames and they slide right into the foamcore. You could also skip the window frames if you wanted, but personally,  I like the way that they look.

Here they are placed in a new piece of terrain that I am currently working on.

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Very good looking windows, cheap and easy.

I do not plan on using them in every building I make as I do not like all my buildings to look too uniform, but I will definitely use them here and there.

Statue of the Damned

Well, I got sidetracked for a while but my giant statue project is finally finished. This piece, like all terrain presented some unique and interesting challenges. The single hardest part was removing all the glittery crap that originally came on the statue. Once I got that off, the piece came together fairly quickly, and I would have finished much sooner, but fatherhood takes up a big chunk of life.

Anyway, on to the good stuff!

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From the front… As I have said before, this thing is BIG. The rounded base the statue stands on is the same height as a standard 28mm mini. The statue was painted to look like weathered stone and several cover pieces were built into the base of the statue so that minis could really use this piece, and it would not be relegated to a visual only piece.

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And now for a few closeups!

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Just for fun I set up all the pieces I currently have to see how everything looks. I don’t have nearly enough for a good game yet, but what it there has a good look to it so far I think…

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And that is all I have for tonight. I hope the one or two people who see this enjoy my work.

Modular Bridges?!?

Here’s another idea I’ve been toying with… I have always loved makeshift bridges, and walkways between buildings in Mordheim. One of the biggest problems though is that they fall every time someone bumps a building. So I started thinking about attaching the bridges to the buildings themselves. But then I would be stuck with the buildings and bridges in one configuration, and that doesn’t work for me because I like to change things up too much. So I started toying with the idea of a system that would be modular, but still “lock” in place so that the bridges didn’t come tumbling down if someone sneezed.

I thought about the problem for a few months, toying with different ideas in my head. I kept running into a problem though… How to disguise the mounting system when not in use so it doesn’t LOOK like a modular mounting system. I tried to think of a way to tie the mount into a balcony or partially destroyed balcony and still make it look natural but couldn’t think of a way to do it… until…

It struck me that if my bridges were all going to be modular, why couldn’t my balconies be modular as well? I could just make a small handful of balconies in various states of destruction and simply hang them by the same mounting system that the bridges use. problem solved. Below are pictures of my prototype bridge and mounts…

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This is a guard tower that I just started working on. You can see the mount on the front of the building about halfway up.

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Here is a close up of the mount. Just made of balsa for now, and pinned to the wall of the building for a little extra strength.

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Close up of the ends of the bridge. These tabs slide right into the slots on the mount. Also pinned for strength.

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The bridge in place between two buildings. It’s a reasonably tight fit and just through casual bump testing, it seems to be holding well.

If I had a scroll saw or something, I could cut it out of a harder wood for more strength, but alas, I don’t. Refining of the idea will no doubt come after play testing, and the balsa wood mounts may or may not hold up at all, but I liked the idea of it if nothing else.

I have not made any of the modular balcony pieces yet but I will hopefully get one done in the next couple of days and post something.

More posts and more terrain coming soon!

Back to work!

It’s been a little while since I have posted anything. What can I say, being a dad is tiring, and time consuming. Having said that though, I felt like it was finally time to get back to annoying people on the interwebs! I have had several ideas for terrain swimming around in my head lately, and with a Mordheim campaign possibly happening in the spring, I decided that I really needed to get to work as I don’t yet have a full table worth of terrain. I usually only work on one piece at a time so I can really concentrate on finishing said piece, but now I’m worried that I won’t have enough time to get a whole table done so I am actually working on 6 pieces all at once. The idea is to get them at least functional, if not finished by the time the campaign starts. Unfinished pieces on the table are kind of a bummer, but not as much as a table with only 4 or 5 buildings.

As I progress with the buildings I will post more, but today I will start by teasing two pieces that I’m currently working on. One is a part of something that will end up being a much bigger idea if I can manage to pull it off right, and the other is kind of a table centerpiece.

I have recently been playing Bioshock Infinite and I was really taken with the visual of the GIANT winged woman statue that loomed over everything. That kind of got me thinking about how the impact of that kind of visual could work in a game like Mordheim. With that idea in my head, I headed over to my local hobby superstore and went to the Christmas decoration section(that stuff goes up mid summer these days…). After a bit of looking, I found a statuette that, while not perfect, would work. Here it is…

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The statuette is bigger than it looks. For scale I have placed it next to a 5 story piece… The statuette is taller.

Now, the piece I have in mind will mainly be an atmosphere and line of sight breaking piece, but I also wanted it to have at least SOME interactivity with minis. With that in mind, I build a large pedestal base for it as an almost Statue of Liberty style piece. It works because most statues this large in scale, would have that sort of base to them. This is what I came up with…

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As you can see, the statue now TOWERS over the 5 story building it is next to by a good four inches. The base is six inches by six inches, and will have plenty of room for barricading and minis to run around. All it needs is some detailing and “roughing up” and it should be a relatively easy to make, yet attention grabbing piece. Can’t wait to show it off when it’s done.

The second, aforementioned building, is the 5 story piece the statue is next to. It’s going to be a fairly simple guard tower, but I have thought up a way to make it connect to several other pieces in a couple of different places via a modular bridge idea I thought up. Now, if I can only pull it off properly…

That’s all for now! Hope I didn’t bore the two or three people who might read this too much!

Thanks!

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I just wanted to add one more pic to reinforce the scale of this piece…

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That’s a normal 28mm sized mini sitting on the base with the statue… BOOM! 🙂

The Table Is Slowly Coming Together

So, with the holiday weekend, I was able to find enough time to finish up my latest piece, as well and paint up a couple of other pieces I had lying around.

First up is a pic of the back side of the “bridge house.” I decided to go with an all flat roof on this piece to allow minis access to as much of the building as possible. With the building sitting on top of a raised platform, the flat roof gives it more of a military or industrial feel I think. The area of the first floor on the right of this pic is inaccessible to minis. I just serves as part of the platform for the rest of the piece.

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Up next is the front of the building. It has a stairway on either side for easy access, and all three arches as well as the space under the stairway on the left are large enough for most minis to pass easily.

 

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I usually build all my terrain from scratch, but I’m certainly not opposed to using commercial pieces if they work well for my games. Games Workshop’s Dreadstone Blight, for example, looks like it is tailor made for Mordheim. It is a destroyed tower with three accessible floors. Admittedly, I did not go nearly as crazy as I could have picking out all the details on this piece, but it had been sitting around for some time assembled but unpainted and I wanted to just get it ready for the tabletop already. It should work quite well in games.

 

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Finally, here are a couple of shots of my current pieces set up together on a table. I have nowhere near enough pieces to really host a decent game yet, but I think this is a decent start towards a modest table.

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Yep, more Mordheim…

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Time for a new project. I have liked the idea of a “bridge house” for quite a while. I came across an image of a really great piece years ago that made me fall in love with the idea. This is actually the third time I have started a piece like this over the years. I have never actually finished one yet but I am determined to complete this one. I have several other ideas spinning around my head but I refuse to pursue them until I actually manage to finish this one. I figure if I post info about it online that maybe somehow that will motivate me to finish it.

The bottom floor has a brick pattern all the way around and the upper floors are regular foam core. Both sections of the building will have a flat roof for additional space for minis to occupy. This piece will not be as tall as many of my other pieces, but what it lacks in height it makes up for in horizontal space. This piece is 9 inches deep and a whopping 15 inches long. What can I say… I like them big. 🙂

 

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Mordheim Ruined Building 3 Complete

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OK, so here it is, finally finished. Getting to the finish line on this piece was a little rougher than I expected. I just never was overly happy with any of the ideas I came up with to mount the lookout platform on top of the roof. This is the only downside to not over planning everything. When you fly by the seat of your pants, you run into small issues here and there. I finally just ended up breaking out my razor saw and sawing the very top corner flat and gluing the lookout platform to that. It works well enough, and I can live with it. I also really wanted to finish this piece up because I have lots of ideas for the next piece(s), so in the end I just needed to get this piece off of the construction table.

I try to give each building a slightly unique feel so this piece has a stone wall first floor, and the roof tiles were painted to match the wood instead of the slate gray I usually go with. The next couple of pieces will probably get red tiled roofs, or maybe a thatched roof or two.

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I hope this piece works well on the tabletop. There is at least one way into the building on each side of the first floor, one way per side up to the second floor and central ladders for the third floor and lookout platform.

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A beaten foe’s head on the spike?

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This was a cloak for a mini that I thought looked good as a tattered and worn banner.

Let me know what you think!

Previous Terrain Projects

My friend Kyle was awesome enough to save quite a bit of data from my hard drive crash a couple of months ago, so I thought I would post a few pictures of some previous terrain projects. Unfortunately, I do not have any of these pieces anymore. I gave them to my gaming group when I moved to Houston a little over a year and a half ago. Of course, now I am back in Austin and the guy who had possession of the pieces moved off to California. Figures. haha

This first piece is a “wizard” tower made mainly of pink insulation foam. This was my first attempt at working with this kind of foam so I learned a few things with this build. Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures of this piece finsihed, and fully painted because I moved before I managed to finish it… much like most of the pieces in this post. I kind of have terrain builder’s ADD. I keep getting ideas for new pieces before I finish pieces I am currently working on. Besides, when I built these pieces, we needed a lot of terrain, ready for the table top, in a short period of time. I intended to finish each piece when I could, but it just never happened.

Anyway, this pieces was very narrow, but also very tall. The first level was inaccessible, but it had a ladder(not shown) added to the side to allow minis to climb up to the second level. From there, a grapnel and rope led to the third level, past the inaccessible fourth level, and on to the roof. This piece towered over the whole table… it was nice.

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As you can see, it was dressed up with quite a few bits. I especially liked the ornate door piece, which I have had for no less than 20 years.

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One nice thing I found with this piece. As we all know, spray paint eats styrofoam. What is nice though, is that pink insulation foam is very dense and the black spray paint base coat only gave the foam slight texture which basically simulated stone pretty perfectly. I, of course, tested a small piece of foam before I started spraying the whole tower. I was very pleased with the results though.

This next piece was just a small ground cover piece. I like pieces like this to break up line of sight for archers. One thing we learned early on when playing Mordheim was that when Reiklanders were up in higher locations and had clear lines of sight, no one could stand up to their archers. By adding lots of small cover pieces to go inbetween buildings, you can at least give yourself a fighting chance. This piece was very simple to make. I small piece of popsicle stick fence, one resin cast crate, one wagon wheel from the bits box, one barrel, a little joint compound and some kitty litter on a sheet plastic base and it was done. A note about these barrels. The one used in this piece was purchased from a hobby super store. They are in the doll house section and come in a little bag of nine barrels for $1.47. You can not beat these barrels. They are SUPER cheap, paint up really nice, and are the perfect size. They even have larger barrels if you want to make giant beer barrels in your terrain.

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This is the above piece painted up. I was quite proud of the results. I REALLY wish I still had this piece.

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This piece was what it was. It was the first piece I built for this set of terrain. I wanted to simulate a raised stone foundation for this building with the pink foam. I got lazy and decided to carve the stone pattern with my soldering iron. The results were less than I hoped. It was functional though, and I may build a new version of this building soon. Even though it was not overly large, it was simple and a quick build. A building like this, while not spectactular, is still better than an empty spot on the table.

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This last piece was another idea I tried out. The idea was simply this… There are lots of partially destroyed buildings in Mordheim, but, where is all the rubble from the destroyed buildings? There are rules for movement through “rough” and “very rough” terrain so I thought why not try and show some of that rubble and use the rough terrain rules at the same time. The building was a decent sized three story piece, with a large rubble pile in the rear to simulate the collapse of the back of the building. It worked for what it was and I might rebuild this piece soon as well.

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That is it for tonight. Hope you liked what I had to show(or, I at least hope you did not hate it). Comments welcome!