With Games Workshop’s recently release of their competitive arena battle game, Shadespire, many players have looked for ideas on how to add a bit of flair to their adventures in the Mirrored City. We still have a large back catalog of proper minis to paint, so in the meantime, we’ve opted to go back about 15 years for a product that fits our current gaming needs.
The NOVA Open tabletop wargaming convention started today, and with the convention came a closer look at the upcoming re-release of Necromunda from Games Workshop. As reported on the Warhammer Community website, Games Workshop demoed the game for attendees… and my how the game has changed.
I want to start this post with the following disclaimer: I am pretty new to gaming mats. I have used a couple of custom printed neoprene Blood Bowl pitches over the years, but that is about the limit of my experience. I have technically owned a couple of Mantic Games mats for Deadzone for about a year or so, but since I have yet to actually play Deadzone, all I have managed to use them for is as a backdrop for taking pictures of miniatures. Well, it’s officially time for that to change! Deep-Cut Studio has graciously agreed to send us one of their Space Hulk gaming mats for review, so here we go!
“Wargame terrain so tough, you’ll be passing it down to your children.”
My son has recently graduated from Heroscape to Age of Sigmar selling off all his Heroscape to bankroll the Age of Sigmar starter set (as well as a Nintendo Switch). What this means is that we now needed a whole new set of terrain for this new game. Our storage space is fairly limited so we needed something that could be stored in a small space, which likely means the scenery bits would need to be on top of each other. Additionally, we still have little sister who also likes to play with minis having done so for years with that Heroscape set. Add these two together, and we needed easy to store, durable terrain. Games Workshop’s hard plastic with small bits and details wouldn’t do.
My son and I have recently been getting into Age of Sigmar, particularly the Shadespire setting for the Skirmish ruleset. This being a new venture in gaming for me necessitated a battlefield. Since we were getting into this from scratch we needed to get terrain and mat in short order . This stuff can get pricey, so I looked around for the best value. Behold Mats by Mars.
Well, here we are… a full two and a half years since my last Mordheim Terrain Tutorial post. What can I say? Better late than never I suppose. Since my group had not played Mordheim (until a couple of weeks ago) in the time since my last update, and with me diving with both feet back into Blood Bowl in that time, the Mordheim projects just got figuratively and literally put on the shelf for a while. After receiving a couple of requests somewhat recently to finish the tutorial series, and realizing that making terrain is actually my favorite part of the hobby that I have neglected for quite a while now, I decided that it was finally time to finish this terrain piece, and the tutorial.
First, to get anyone caught up who has not read the previous posts:
OK, I do not usually post this sort of thing, but I am starting to get a little excited about this game… The basic rules section for the new Shadow War: Armageddon have apparently been leaked online via an Imgur account. Please see the images below and drool!
OK, so it has been what… eight months since my last post? Well, I never claimed to be particularly good at this blogging thing. I can mostly attribute my lack of activity on this site to two things: 1) A general lack of activity in my gaming group. 2) A bit of hobby burnout. Anyway, I am going to see if I can pick things back up a bit, and start posting a little more regularly again.
The lack of group activity is due to real life. One guy moved away, one guy has five kids and is too busy with other things, one guy has had some significant family health issues, one guy is still active military and just got deployed to the Middle East. The burnout basically stems from a marathon painting session at the beginning of the year in an attempt to get three Blood Bowl teams ready for Orclahoma Bowl in March. It looked a little something like this…
Finally! A freaking update! OK, so I will not bore you with details as to why I have not posted an update to the tutorial in while. I have just been busy. That is all there is to it. But now, I have an update to share with you! So, here we go!
The last update ended with us working on details, and interestingly enough, that is where we pick up with this update. Just to add a little flair, I decided to add a couple of small rubble piles to the floor of the buildings. Nothing too large as I did not want the piles to get into the way of the functionality of the piece. Rubble piles are pretty easy. We just want to drop a few small wood strips, and layer them with some small pieces of foamcore, or other make shift pieces of debris. On one of the piles, I used foamcore, on another I took a plaster Hurts Arts mold brick that a friend gave me, and I broke it into chunks of various size. Both methods worked well for me.
After creating our “piles” we need to add a little grit and dirt to make it look as natural as possible.
Along with the small barrels that I regularly use in my terrain, I also had a couple of larger barrels that I had not used before, that are large enough to be big beer casks that you might find in some medieval tavern. I built a small stand for one of them and placed it in the corner. It is not an ideal location for for where it might be realistically placed if the building were real, but it was the best spot I could find to make painting the inside also viable, Sometimes you just have to make compromises.
At this point, we have enough detailing on the building to move on to the next step.
And that step is that our building needs a roof! We will use a simple but effective method for this piece. First, we will glue down a piece for our roof sections to attach to. I like to use thin cardboard from cereal, or soda boxes. This is also the material we will make our shingles out of. We just measure out pieces to fit on top of our roof sections, that have the basic shape we want the roof to take.
Once we have the pieces that go under the roof glued down, it is time to make some shingles. Shingles are simple, but slightly time consuming. We just measure out some strips of thin cardboard, 3/4 of an inch wide, and as long as we need to cover the roof. Once the strip is cut out, we just need to cut the individual shingles out. Using random widths, we just cut most of the way, but not ALL of the way, through the strip so that we end up with a string of shingles that are still attached along the top.
Now comes the fun part. Trim the ends of each shingle to give them slightly random lengths.
Once that is done, cut the corners off of each shingle.
Rough up the ends of the shingles, and glue the strip down to the sub roof, starting at the bottom.
Repeat over and over until the whole roof is covered. Just make sure to stagger the shingle sections to increase the “damaged” look of the building. Once we are done, our building should look something like this…
We are almost there. One last important step before we start to paint our building. We need to texture the walls. Texture is important for terrain because the texture is what is going to help us create the illusion of depth when we paint.
There are many methods to texturing. Some people add sand to black acrylic paint and brush that on for their base coat. Others use store bought textured paint. I use stucco patch. Stucco patch can be bought from any home improvement store, and is fairly cheap. The brand I use only cost $8 and the container is about a quart of patch. I have textured about 10 good sized buildings with it, so far, and I have only used about a third of it. If you use stucco patch, just be sure to water it down just a little. The more dry it is, the more it sticks to you paint brush, but DOES NOT transfer to the foamcore. When it is wet, it sticks to the foamcore REALLY easily.
Here is what I use…
Applying it is simple. We grab an old, cheap brush, and basically just paint it on. We want to apply it to all the sections of bare wall in the building, both “inside” and outside.” We will also add some to the base all the way around. Stucco patch is great and looks realistic as both wall texture, and dirt. We just use different paint colors to separate the two. Be sure to wipe it off of any wooden sections, but do not worry about it looking sloppy. Making it look sloppy actually adds to the “gritty” look that I believe Mordheim buildings should always have.
After the texture has been applied to the whole terrain piece, we just have to let it dry overnight, and then we are ready for painting.
I make no promises, but I REALLY hope to have the piece painted this week. If I can manage it, then we should have the final post to the tutorial by sometime next weekend. Until then, comments are welcome.
…that I wanted to share with other terrain builders. The wife drug me out to Joann’s, which I also knew as a “fabric store.” Well apparently, while I was not paying attention (which is most of the time, really), Joann’s became a “craft store” and started carrying things other than just fabric. Most of the things were standard craft and hobby items, but I saw something that grabbed my attention. Craft popsicle sticks without the usual rounded ends, that were already slightly beveled on the edges. These things are almost tailor made for terrain building. Just cut them to length and glue them in place! I’ll probably still shave them a little to give them a more rough hewn look, but for people just starting out, these would be awesome. Below are pics of the packaging and the sticks themselves…
I guess the brand name is “Woodsies.” They come in a bag of 75 for about $4. They are a little more expensive than the ones I usually get, but those have LOTS of really warped pieces that I end up tossing because they’re worthless to me. These sticks are all completely straight.
I tried to get a pic of the beveled edges, but it really just does not translate in the image.
Anyway, just wanted to pass the info along. I hope someone out there finds it useful. And stay tuned, the next part of my terrain tutorial should be coming in the next few days!