Sunday, December 10, 2017

Building our Ruined Building Part 3

Welcome back,  we are ready to add some battle damage to our perfectly rectangular wall sections and get our ruined building finished up.

My tools used were a cordless drill with a 3/8" (10mm) bit and a pair of diagonal wire cutters.  Before I began, I coated all of the foam in PVA glue and a liberal dusting of sand.  I also coated the upper floors to add some texture.  I also used many pieces of cut up sprue to fill in the gaps where it might not be obvious that models were not supposed to be placed in that spot.  I took some pieces of sprue and used them to brace the upper floors.  Although the for sale sign was good thick plastic, it still flexed enough to concern me.  I used super glue to hold the sprue in place.  In the below view you can see the post added to support both levels.  A wire rope with knots was added for decoration.

You can see how the walls not have jagged edges and there are holes from shells drilled though the walls.  The amount of destruction is really a matter of taste, as long as your ruin can fit models easily and it's easy to tell if you are supposed to be able to see the models inside the ruin. In the below image, you can see I removed a good section of the right corner on the second level to increase visibility.

I contoured the foam at the rear entrance with a drum sanding attachment on my drill.  I made sure to make two depressions like the tracks would leave after many entries and exits. 

I made a ladder out of some craft sticks I had.  I feel it's nice to show how the models will get into a ruin and since the first/ground level is blocked on this side, a ladder was the obvious choice.  In my mind, this ruin has been occupied many times and a previous resident left the ladder behind.

After I was finished with the damage it was off to painting.  I primed the whole ruin flat black and then drybrushed the entire thing with a gray craft paint.  I had to remove my predator sponsons to get it to fit easily, but it is non-standard.  Some might blame the ladder on the right or the pole on the left.  I just say if it doesn't fit, it can't get in.

I had a great time building this.  Please let me know what you think of this building and what you think would be a great rules-compliant, usability-focused, terrain project.

Some "Less Than Perfect Ruins" Examples

Before we finish up our building, I wanted to post up a few pictures that show some less than perfect ruins and explain why they sometimes cause problems in games.

Here we see a standard Games Workshop Cities of Death Building.  It is made quite sturdy, the gothic windows offer limited visibility and the blank panels often surprise players by denying shots from models on the various levels.  The biggest issue is of course on the bottom level.  When is a model in the ruins?

Here's another one where the blank panels block LOS and that has no defined boundary at the base.

There are a few pieces like this one, 2" foam with bits on top.  These can be quite tricky to place models, but it is clear who is or isn't in the ruins.

I don't want to bash the FLGS where these photos were taken, just explain some of the reasons behind the ruined building design.   They provide a tremendous amount of playing space and most of the staff is quite friendly.

Next Post: Adding damage to our ruined building.

Friday, December 08, 2017

Building our Ruined Building Part 2

So, once I had the block in place, I started glueing the walls in place. I checked the spacing occasionally with my Chaos Predator.

The white walls were cast from a 3d printed master wall I designed. The black walls were printed just for this ruin. Although the casting is faster, printing the walls is much cheaper. The windows are blocked on some of the printed walls with support material. When we start adding some battle damage, we'll make sure to remove some of it.  As a reminder, the STL files for the walls have been posted on the right.  If you don't have a 3D printer or walls to cast, this can be done with foam board as well.  If there is enough interest, perhaps the next ruin will have foam board walls.

I left the entrance open and a clear section in the back wall. I had to add some foam to support the back wall because my foam block was a bit short. These things happen with recycled pieces, but it will look just fine when we get to the next steps.

For the second level, I chose to keep it the same height. The third level I used walls that are slightly shorter. The walls are all intact, but that will change in the next post when we add some battle damage.

Seeing the areas that might be hard to reach, I've added some foam blocks as rubble piles that will keep players from placing models in those spots.

 Each of the upper levels will hold at least 5 models on 32mm bases.  Each level is fairly easy to access as well.  The right side of the tank, on the middle level has enough room for 10 models if they also use the small back corner piece and one is on the rubble for coherency. The black wall bit it there, next to the right sponson, is to provide the basis for a flat spot to place a model.

 Some of the cast walls have flashing over the windows. We'll remove some when we apply battle damage.

I used a "For Sale" sign to make the floors and loads of hot melt glue to hold things together. For each floor I made sure enough models would fit.

Next post, applying some battle damage and small rubble.

Thanks to everyone who's coming by to check this project out and especially to those that leave comments.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Building our Ruined Building Part 1

Before we can start on our terrain, let’s start by defining some parameters. 
-This piece will be able to be placed 3” from a table edge and forces deploy in it up to the standard deployment zone of 12”
-This terrain will be a ruined building with a base that clearly defines when a model is in or out of cover.
-This terrain will allow one Predator sized vehicle to gain the benefits of cover.
-This terrain will allow for the stable placement of 40mm base on the lowest level and 32mm bases on any upper levels.
-This terrain will provide LOS blocking for a typical Primaris Marines standing on either side.
-This terrain will allow all models with it to have LOS out of the terrain.  (No solid walls)
-As a result all models within the terrain will be able to be targeted by units outside of the terrain.
-Some obscuration of individual model’s LOS is allowed and expected when drawing through the opposite edge of the terrain.
-The terrain will include a raised floor to represent the rubble from the missing building elements.
-The terrain will allow no less than 10 models with 32mm bases to be placed in coherency on the lower levels and no less than 5 models with 32mm bases in coherency on upper levels.

Ok, Now that we’ve defined, or perhaps over defined what we want from the terrain, let’s start by grabbing some models and positioning them so we can have an idea of how big the base should be.

I have a standard 8 1/2 x 11 inch sheet of paper and my models set up, I’ve grabbed some foamboard strips to approximate walls, and I have a block I might use as a rubble base.
I like what I'm seeing, and I think this will work.  Now let's look at some actual ruined buildings for some inspiration.

OK, before we start constructing our ruined building, we should consider what it housed before it was ruined.  In this case, I think that rather than one of the sprawling factories, this building once housed manufactorum administration offices.  It would have had steps leading up, to remind any workers that those who worked here were above them and solid walls and floors to support the mountains of production reports and employee disciplinary records that the manufactorums generated.  But as part of the manufactorum, it would not be overly embellished like an adminstratum building might be. 

Great!  Now I've taken the liberty of cutting a 12" by 9" base out of a piece of .25" thick plywood that I had lying around.  I'm going to cut a 1" foam base just a bit smaller and glue it to the surface of the board.  This will be the foundation of the building.

You can see from the paint and edges that I'm reusing this foam from an old terrain project. Recycling is good!  The foam base and the lower part of the walls I plan to use will obstruct line of sight for infantry on either side of the building.

Talking about the walls, I'm using a mix of 3d printed and resin castings for my walls.  I'll put the file up on the site in case you want to print your own.

We've made some progress, but let's take a break for now.  Next time we'll start putting up some walls