Archive for the ‘Scenery’ Category

Hey everyone,

So the 30k Epic Armageddon competition that I hosted at BrisCon 2016 has come and gone, and the day was a huge success.  In total 8 players attended, which is a great number considering the game has been OOP for around 10 yrs now, AND the era we gamed in (30k) was not contemplated by the game designers when the game was released.  The rules for the units are completely fan created.

So we had on the loyalist side, Emperors Children, Dark Angels, Ultramarines and Iron Warriors factions present.  On the Traitor side we had World Eaters, Alpha Legion, Emperors Children and Death Guard.  The Loyalist took the day, winning quite convincingly in the final round (it was actually neck and neck at the end of the second round).

The Alpha Legion won Best Painted, the Loyalist Emperors Children took out first place on battle points, followed by the World Eaters in second, and the Iron Warriors in third.  However, overall, the scene in Brisbane had a massive win.  I hope that this event will be a catalyst for more Epic scale 30k gaming into the future.

Michael and Tim, from the Eye of Horus podcast were in attendance, so no doubt in the coming weeks they’ll also be doing a feature on the event too.  So go check them out to hear a more detailed break down of how events unfolded on the day.

As an aside, it was very pleasing to see the BrisCon format reinvigorated.  The venue was great, lots of room, plenty of tables, good on site facilities and lots of very high quality vendors and tournaments being played all coupled with a solid turnout of gamers and curious onlookers.  I anticipate in the coming years BrisCon will become a regularly booked event on the Brisbane (and dare I say, interstate) gaming calendar.

Ok, enough waffle, here are some pics

The first three are of the tables.  You’ll notice that the tables are only 120cm x 90cm.  I did this for two reasons.  1.  The epic scene is in its nascent stage in Brisbane.  So I wanted to keep the comp as simple as possible to allow the gamers to get a feel for the game mechanics.  I also limited the type of units gamers could chose, and also the size of units too.  This meant that the games only had to deal with the core rules of Epic Armageddon.  2.  I didn’t want to be making tones of scenery for this event.  Prior to putting my hand up to run this event, I didn’t have any scenery, so all this was made for the comp.

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A few action shots….

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Thanks for dropping in,

Until next time

John

Just a quick post to let you all know that BrisCon is back and I’ve put my hand up to run an Epic 30k one day tournament.  BrisCon is held over the May day long weekend in Windsor, however the event I’ll be running is just limited to one day, the Sunday.  It’ll be a 2000pt comp with a few limitations.  You can download the players pack here. Epic 30k 2016 BRISCON Players Pack

If you are interested, please contact me via the email address 30k BrisCon at gmail dot com (all one word).  Numbers are limited to 6 Traitors and 6 Loyalists.

I’m pretty excited about this comp and the resurrection of BrisCon, so drop by the BrisCon website and show your support.

Now to build some terrain… Luckily a good friend of mine has sent me a little something-something to help get things started….

Terrain Haul

I just had to throw in this picture, because it’s badass.

poster-horus-rising-largeThanks for dropping in

John

Zone Mortalis Board

Posted: January 17, 2016 in Horus Heresy, Scenery, World Eaters

Good afternoon everyone,

Today is a great day, I’ve finally finished a project I’ve wanted to do for the longest time and it’s the second of three posts I promised you before I return to studies.  A Zone Mortalis board.  This blog is festooned with some pretty ambitious scenery/table making projects.  Many of you probably don’t know, but I sold, yes sold, all of my boards late in 2014.  Fear not, they’ve gone to a very good home, and I routinely see pictures of them being put to good use.  Why did I sell them? Well, by taking terrain making to such an extreme (by that I mean a dude tooling around in his garage, not a professional design studio) I learnt some very good lessons.

The lessons boil down into striking a balance between three competing, inter-related issues.  I’ll call them the dark triad.  Playability, robustness & storage.

Playability.  One of the main reasons I wanted to make some awesome terrain in the first place, many years ago, is because we spend so much time and energy on our armies.  Then we go and play games on a piece of MDF with a few (poorly) painted pieces of styrofoam, aquarium plants and a hill here and there thrown on it (if we’re lucky).  Gaming is a social, visual and intellectual pursuit.  It’s a noble hobby and for me, having terrain that matches the time we put into the miniatures we game with is just as important.  However gaming is an abstraction of reality.  Therefore, boundaries need to be easily and identifiably established between say where a road ends, and a crater begins.  What this boils down to is drawing a line between making a massive diorama to play on, versus a wargaming table.  A wargaming table needs zones that can be segregated physically and visually as clearly as possible to conform to the rules system that is being used.  This means making a compromise between a board that looks amazing (a massive diorama) but is difficult to establish where a road ends and a crater begins and a board that can be played on without confusion over where a piece of terrain starts and ends (a wargaming table).  After making boards previously that were a little too close to the diorama side of the house, I now can see that keeping an eye on playability is an important factor when designing and constructing a wargaming table.  Which leads me to my next point.

Robustness.  In a sentence, the cityscape boards I made were not robust.  Yes they looked good, yes there were tones of fun to play on, yes I loved making them (some of the best modelling experiences I’ve had actually).  But they were very fragile (even though I tried to make them durable).  This lead to breaks, and worst of all, friends were worried that when they played on them they might damage something.  This lead to trepidation and a reluctance to put miniatures in certain positions because they were difficult to get access/retrieve said miniature.  It also meant that packing up the board and moving it was a massive logistical exercise.  Particularly because I couldn’t just place all the scenery in a storage box and leave it at that.  It had to go in a certain way, which isn’t a very economical use of space, and even then, breakages were abound.  So, yes a spiral stair case looks badass, was a great modelling challenge, but totally impractical because it was very fragile due to all of the hand rails and putting miniatures on it was a massive pain in the ass.  So again, making a compromise between having a nice looking piece of terrain, and one that can stand up to the rigors and demands of being used during gaming, moved from one location to another for a game is critical.  That balance that needs to be struck is again in favour of being first and foremost a robust piece of scenery, then a good looking one after that.

Storage.  Lets face it, we all have lots of stuff these days.  Just our armies alone can take up a considerable amount of space.  Now imagine the storage space needed for 6, 2′ x 2′ tiles plus the terrain that goes on them.  Unless you’re fortunate enough to have a permanent gaming room with a table and shelving set up, storing the board tiles and scenery is challenging.  This is compounded when you want to transport it all from one location to another.

So, this has lead me to the conclusion that wargaming scenery needs to be visually appealing, but not over the top so that it compromises its robustness, playable and finally, easy to store when not in use or being transported.  I intend on making one or two more boards (an epic scale 30k board, think Istvaan III, Choral City post fire storm and a ruined/abandoned/city of death style board for 30k).  When designing and constructing these boards, striking a balance between the dark triad, with more weight being placed on playability, robustness and storage will be the order of the day.

Well, with that said, here is the first board I’ve produced in a long time.  This scenery ticks all of the boxes.  It’s very playable, no confusion where something starts and ends, plus it looks amazing.  It’s robust, seriously, this stuff (whatever resin FW uses) is strong.  As a side note, I suspected that the more recent castings of these tiles has more resin in it than older ones.  A few weekends ago, I took a new board piece along to a tournament I was playing in with a small set of scales, knowing that it would have a Zone Mortalis table.  Anyway, the old piece of the same design tile weighed in at 720g, while the new piece weighed in at 980g.  Thats a significant difference.  It is also apparent in FW’s larger Realm of Battle tiles.  If you recall from previous posts, there were significant warpage issues with the older tiles.  Well, not any more.  As a part of this purchase, I also got one of the new Industrial Complex tiles because I liked the detail on them and wanted to use it as scatter terrain for the board.  Anyway, it is seriously heavy (and very well packed too).  So good work to FW for improving their products.  These things are tough.

They’re also easy to store, I can fit the entire 4’x6′ board in two 500mm cardboard boxes.  Nice.  This has gotten me thinking about other board systems that use a 12″x12″ tiles, as opposed to FW’s 24″x24″ system (Secret Weapon I’m looking at you).  It seems to be a lot more transportable and easier to use and manage.

So on to the pics.  As you know, I really like my boards to tell a story.  This is meant to be a flight deck of sorts on the Conqueror.  I took inspiration from FW’s amazing display board they did a few years back on a similar theme.   Zone Mortalis Zone Mortalis Zone Mortalis Zone Mortalis

All World Eater’s ships need a dueling arena don’t they?  Plus it just looks cool stencilled onto a tile.  I plan on making a frame for this one tile, so that it resembles a pit when not being used on a ZM board.  For Primarch/named character fights that have become fashionable at clubs and tournaments recently.  Two men go in, one man comes out, n’that…        Zone Mortalis

I actually made those fuel pods myself.  If you cast your mind back a few years, FW actually made a similar one.  I tried getting hold of one from eBay, but it sold for $250AUD!!!.  So I thought, just make one… it’ll be fun, and a lot less expensive.  So I did.  Here is what the original looked like.  I think the piece of PVC pipe was the most expensive bit ($2).  Moral of the story, buy FW terrain, it’s a good investment.

IMG_5013  Zone Mortalis

As I mentioned, I cut off some random bits of detail from a FW tile to have as scatter terrain (see those generator things?)  I also made up some containers from old Necromunda bulkheads.  Good times.

Ok, thats me for the time being.  My next project is on the bench and under coated.  Want to see it?

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What could it be?

Zone Mortalis

So next weekend I’m off to Canberra for CanCon to play in an Epic Armageddon comp.  It should be interesting.  I’ll do a short post on it with some pics.

Until then, take care

John

Well folks,

Here it is.  The last piece of scenery I’ll be building for some time.  So with out any further ado, behold!

Air Strip One -1

Air Strip One -2

Air Strip One -3

Air Strip One -4

Air Strip One -5

Air Strip One -6

Air Strip One -7

Table 5

So this board will be one of the table being used during the tournament I’m running.  For those of you that are interested, I’ve added a how to get to the venue page on the tournament website.  It’d be great to see a few of you come along.  You’re bound to see some pretty amazing armies.  If you can’t fear not!  I’ll be taking lots of photos and making a post on this blog about it in the following weeks.

Thanks for dropping in

John

 

Hello everyone!

Are you ready for another instalment of Air Strip One?  So this particular episode is all about the bulk fuel storage that will be in the centre of the air field.  Surprisingly it was quite easy to make.  It was simply a 15omm diameter piece of PVC pipe used for plumbing.  The tricky bit was cutting it so that it sat flat.  I accomplished this by wrapping a large piece of plastic card around the circumference of the tube, making sure the two ends lined up and the sheet was flat on the surface of the tube.  I then just scribed a line on the tube with a pencil.  I then just grabbed my Dremel and attached a cutting wheel.  It was fiddly, however worth it.  The piece looks good and was pretty straight forward to make.

If anyone has ever seen any sort of bulk hazardous chemical storage they always have a spill barrier around them.  For this I used the excellent barricaded from Quantum Gothic.  I don’t know exactly the story with this company, however they’ve not been open for business for what feels like 2yrs now.  Its very sad, as they have amazing products. As you can see from the pictures, the detailing of the container was pretty straight forward.  I once again used the cut off bolt heads as a final piece of detail.  Other items used were the grab handles off the Leman Russ kit, and some FW brass etched Imperial Eagles.  If you’re into making scenery, grab a few of these, they’re fantastic.

The final picture is roughly how the layout of the base will look.  Two landing pads, the fuel storage and the ground control.  If you remember from the first post of on this table, this is basically a small section of a much larger air field.  Hence why its symmetrical.

FW Epic Bunker WIP93 FW Epic Bunker WIP101 FW Epic Bunker WIP82

Thats it for now.  Thanks for dropping in.  The next post on this base will be of the finished product!  I’m very pleased with how its turned out, and I’m sure you will be too.

John

Hello everyone!

Well, as you can probably tell from the flavour of my last few posts I’ve not been doing much mini painting…  Instead I’ve been making scenery.  This is all in preparation for the tournament I’m running shortly.  I wanted to have five 4 x 4 tables for the tournament.  I had four done.  The two 4 x 4 Forge World Realm of Battle boards I did some time ago.  I admit I only did a 6 x 4 board, however I did have 8 2 x 2 tiles.  I finished off the last two tiles recently, just haven’t taken any pics of them… soz.  The Anhpelion Base, and a Zone Mortalis.

I needed a fifth.

Going with my theme of buildings rather than ruins, I decided to make an Air Strip.  Remember the Forge World Aeronautica Imperialis Air Field they did for Master Class 1 ( I think)?

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Well, I sort of wanted to do something like that but on a 40k scale.  Seeing as I had some left over bits from my Anphelion Base I decided to go with that.  Something I was really anxious to try out was to make a 40k scale one of these…  I think its a Forge World bunker of sorts for Epic scale.  You can see it in the picture above too.

FW Epic Bunker

Its the thing on the left hand side.  The first thing I did was got out the old drafting kit from way back in the day and draw out a scale version of what I wanted to make, and then cut out the base plate.  I wanted the inside to be made out of tread plate, so I cut two bases.  One in the actual tread plate, and the other in just 1mm thick plastic card.  To give it stability.

FW Epic Bunker WIP101

Here you can see the two bottom plates.  Next I glued them together.

FW Epic Bunker WIP202

The bottom one is slightly larger to accommodate the exterior walls.

FW Epic Bunker WIP303

Not being happy with just a nice tread plate interior floor, I decided to add some detail.  I don’t know what you’d call the detail that I added, but it looks cool…

FW Epic Bunker WIP404

FW Epic Bunker WIP505

 

Next up came the roof.  Now, I see this as a control tower of sorts.  So instead of having the top of the roof just end, like the Epic scale model.  I wanted to have antenna etc sticking out of the top.  So I modified a Rhino Razorback weapon mount to accommodate the antenna.  The centre piece is a 40mm piece of PVC plumbing pipe (I think).

FW Epic Bunker WIP606

Just adding the roof panels.  Very tedious…

FW Epic Bunker WIP707

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The door.  The parts are from the engine of the Baneblade and a door from the Imperial Bastion fortification.

FW Epic Bunker WIP1212

Its starting to look like an actual building now.  I wanted the roof to come off to make putting models inside a lot easier.  I did detail up the interior panels, however I forgot the take photos of them.  You’ll see what it looks like inside when I do the final shots.

FW Epic Bunker WIP1313

There you have it!  You’ll notice the small grey rivets.  They’re actually a military modelling detail kit I found while wandering aimlessly through a hobby store a few months ago.  They are nuts and bolts that come on a strip and you just cut them off and glue them on.  It’s a nice touch.

So there you have it.  Building one complete.  Well, mostly.  Next up I’ll show you how I made the bulk fuel storage container.  (think 150mm diameter piece of PVC pipe covered in rivets)

I’ve actually finished painting this board however I’ve just gotten my act together to show you what I’ve been upto.  So I don’t intend on drawing this out into 6ish posts, probably just 2-3.  I don’t want to overwhelm you, you see…

Until next time, thanks for dropping in!

Comments welcome!

John

 

 

 

 

Well, its done.  What a mission it was too.  I have to admit, I’m quite pleased with the finished product.  I don’t know about you, but often when I’m half way through a project I get disheartened because I think its not going to turn out the way I want.  The temptation to not persevere  is high.  On many occasions with this project I was in that place.  However experience has now taught me to keep going.  As they say, when you’re going through hell, don’t stop!

I actually finished this several weeks ago.  In that time, I’ve probably had about 10-12 games on it.  Its loads of fun to play on.  Having actual buildings, not ruins on the table is fun.  It throws up some interesting challenges.  The other unique aspect to playing on this board is that we use the Zone Mortalis rules from Horus Heresy Book 1 when fighting inside the Anphelion Base.  Again, this brings an interesting dimension to the game.  Its not all just woods, craters and ruins.  There are doors, ladders, emplaced weapons, comms relays, firestorm and shrapnel, reaction fire, impassable terrain, difficult and dangerous terrain to negotiate.  Basically, playing on a board with actual intact buildings is a pleasant change.

Also, you’ll notice that this is a 4 x 4 board.  I’m heading down this path for several reasons.  1.  It works for my tournament that I’ll be running shortly.  2.  Its the best size for 1000pt games, which I tend to play more of these days as I feel its more tactical and 3.  Quicker build times.  I’ve actually built another 4 x 4 table which I’m just in the process of finishing off as you read this…  I’ve called it ‘Air Strip One’  You’ll see some pictures shortly.

Ok, enough chit chat.  Here are the pictures.

Behold!

Table 3

Forge World Anphelion Base 1

Forge World Anphelion Base 2

Forge World Anphelion Base 4

Forge World Anphelion Base 5

Forge World Anphelion Base 6

Forge World Anphelion Base 7

Forge World Anphelion Base 8

Forge World Anphelion Base 3

Well folks, there you have it.  One Forge World Anphelion base.  Now, I have some good news, and some bad news.  The good news is this.  I’m trying to get my friend, Aaron, over at Forlorn Hope to come over with his Tyranids so we can have a proper Nid v Guard bash on this table, and of course bring you a battle report.  However he doesn’t get to Brisbane all that much and we had it all planned for last Saturday, however I had to cancel due to another commitment.  So I’m anxious to have that game and do a battle report for you all.  Help me, help you and get Aaron to Brisbane with his Nid so we can have this game.  Fill out the poll below to show your support.

Now to the bad news.  Its almost back to school for me, and that means less painting and modelling, so that means less posting… I’ve still got a few more posts up my sleeve yet, AND I’ve got my tournament to run in March too.  So you’ll definitely be hearing about that.  While we are talking about The Emperor’s Legions.  If you happen to be free on Saturday the 15th of March, feel free to drop into the Holland Park Hotel, Brisbane to check it out.  You’ll see probably the best painted armies from some of the most talented painters around in one place at one time.  All of the players that are attending are super excited and there will be much rivalry and good times had on the day.   It’d be great to see as many of you as possible and put some faces to names.

Ok, until next time thanks for dropping in

John