Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Our Cryx Terrain pieces

So this year I set out on a mission: Create better terrain for our WarMachine players. Sounds pretty simple doesn't it? Yes and no.

Luckily, I have a lot of resources when it comes to running a game store. One of those is terrain experts and the other is of course the interwebz! So using some inspiration from places such as terrain Thralls and some inspiration of my own I decided to create a Cryx `Sludge  generator , 3 storage tanks and 3 swamp pieces.

So looking around the store for bits and pieces for the Sludge Generator I came across a DVD that had been hit with a spary primer. So it was toast, but it gave me a great idea! I grabbed 2 mini pringles cans (something we have in bulk from all the hungry gamers!) and glued them to the DVD. This gave me a platform to seperate the 2 tiers. A packing tape roll became the storage bin to the side of the generator. Some plastic tubing, popsicle sticks, a tim horton`s fruit smoothie lid, green stuff, styrofoam and sculptamold and it was off to the races!

You can flip through the slideshow to see the various stages. Basically I had to cut out the base (1/8" particle board) and then grab a chunk of styrofoam to make the bottom. Once that was in place the pringle cans w/ DVD centre were glued to the top.

After that the Timmies' lid and some plasticard made up the roof. A few cuts with an exacto knife and in slid the plastic tubing for the main pipe. That one needed some fancy cutting to make the 90 degree joint and to hide all the seams I used Green Stuff. A drinking straw was added to the side of the building and down to the base.

Cutting up a small forest of popsicle sticks created a larger platform on the DVD to fit a 30mm base (a small WarMachine figure) around the middle. Then I cut up some push pins and attached them to the platform for the posts where the string would end up.

The next part was fun: Sculptamold! This stuff is AMAZING! You can't find it in Canada so I was lucky enough to convince my parents when they were down in Seattle to swing by a store and grab me 25lbs of it. Dad said the border guard gave him a very wierd look when he declared it at the border. I love my folks! They are such a help. ;-)

At any rate sculptamold is a paper mache. But regular paper mache shrinks as it dries. This warps projects like you wouldn't believe! I have crates I made a few years back that look more like bowls than craters cause of all the warping. But I digress, The Sculptamold was spread around the base to create a wall to stop the water effects from spilling everywhere. I then had a flash of inspiration and smeared the stuff on the sides of the styrofoam as well. This worked out perfectly as it gave it that real rocky look. Perfect!

The last thing to do before priming was to add more plasitcard for "seams" and then rivets. Those are a bitch to do. I have a hand punch and litterally spent close to an hour punching out little rivets from plasticard. This is a project I have now reserved for my staff when they get "bored". Amazingly, my staff has found a lot of other projects to keep themselves busy.....

Once all the pieces were in place then came the spray primer. Black primer from GW was the best for this project as I wanted everything to be dark. Then the basecoating started. Boltgun metal for the tower and pipes, Umbral brown for the wood and Exile blue for the "swamp". Then highlighting, washes, drybrushing etc.

The final step was to add the water effects. Again fun but messy. We use a 2 part resin and you must ensure that you get the 50/50 mix right or the damn things never dry (they stay "tacky") as I found out on the swamps.

A cool trick I learned: Use inks and other mixed paints in "drops" around the swamp areas. When you pour the water effects in and then slosh everything around to cover the piece, the paint slowly seeps along with the resin and creates wicked looking swirls. Super cool.

Next post will be about the Cryx Storage tanks!

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