Excelsior Entertainment Forums

Chronopia => Painting & Terrain => Topic started by: Alxbates on May 31, 2008, 06:20:22 PM

Title: Rebasing some old SoK terrain pieces, blog-style
Post by: Alxbates on May 31, 2008, 06:20:22 PM
I think I'll be posting to this thread in a blog-like fashion, posting progress pics as I go along.  Shouldn't take too many steps, I don't think.

These two fallen towers were the first real dedicated-genre terrain pieces I ever made.  I know I had some old cardboard tubes that I put some Eldar-ish runes on back in junior high or High School, but I specifically built these to look like the artwork in the Sons of Kronos rulebook - there's an inspiring piece in there by Adrian Smith showing towers/obeilisks/monuments similar to these, and I really wanted to emulate them on the table.


If I had to guess I'd say I made these towers six or seven years ago.  I've moved several times since then, and used them in numerous demo games at the local store.  They're a bit banged up abd need to have their paint retouched, but the main thing I've been meaning to do is re-bast them.  I originally based them on foamcore, which barped as soon as I painted it.  It wasn't roo bad at first, but the foamcore was so fragile that it got chipped and ripped, and combined with the warping I just couldn't stand it anymore, so I ripped the towers off the bases, fully intending to re-base them immediately.


That was at least one apartment and four years ago.  Just another one of those many, many projects that I've started but never finished.  :)


Looking at the towers today (I used an old oversized brush to dust them off, literally), I'm not quite as happy with them as I was when I made them.  The Firstborn sun/cog symbol isn't as symmetrical as it could be, and the caps on top of the towers don't match as smoothly as they might... but these are fun pieces, and I've had them for a long time, and I think they're worth saving.


The towers themselves are made from thick cardboard tubes that were the center of these big pallet wrap clear plastic dispensers that we used in the Fire Service (I worked for the Bureau of Land Management at the wildlands fire service warehouse for a few summers after I got out of the Air Force).  I sawed them off diagonally at an angle I liked, capped them with a circle cut out of foamcore, and sprayed them with textured paint to give them a rougher finish.  That wasn't quite enough, so while the paint was wet I lightly drizzled fine sand over parts of the tubes.  The sun/cog symbol was cut freehand out of foam insulation, then painted with white glue to keep the primer from dissolving it.  I don't remember what I glued the sun/cog to the tower with, but it was probably wood glue - I used it for most of my big projects back in the day.

For the rubble piles at the base of the towers, I used an old Games Workshop trick - I clipped some leftover plastic sprues into brick-sized lengths, then mixed in some model RR train ballast and some Hudson and Allen studios "bricks".  Then dumped a fat glob of white glue (and a little water, to thin it down) onto the mixed pile and stirred it into a paste.  I then applied the paste around the base of the towers and let it dry overnight.  Then I primed and painted the whole thing, and I had about what you see in the pictures.

So, I need a sturdier base material, and I settled on hardboard.  I've bought some excellent terrain pieces off Ebay that were based on hardboard, and I like the weight and thickness of it, and it also doesn't warp easily.  I bought a huge sheet at Home Depot and had them cut it into four pieces for about thirty dollars.  I'm still slowly hacking away at the first piece - I really should get some power tools to cut it, my dremel goes through a LOT of cutting discs working on it.


So next I traced out some egg-shaped bases for the towers.  I traced the base of the larger tower and drew the egg around that, but the other one seemed simpler to me, so I just drew the egg freehand around the tower.

Next I'll make a huge mess cutting them out, I'll post pics when I get to that step (maybe tuesday or wednesday).

Title: Re: Rebasing some old SoK terrain pieces, blog-style
Post by: luckyone on June 02, 2008, 06:40:07 AM
Nice project. I agree that the basing material from Home Depot you are using is the best to use. Cardboard is too flimsy and anything else thicker is too hard to cut. If you have a jig it works better than a dremel tool.
Title: Re: Rebasing some old SoK terrain pieces, blog-style
Post by: Alxbates on June 02, 2008, 11:00:32 AM
Nope, no jigsaw... I don't really own any power tools at all, other than my dremel.  I live in an apartment... I'm sure that if I had a house with a garage, I'd have more tools, but for now the Dremel gets all the heavy cutting work.
Title: Re: Rebasing some old SoK terrain pieces, blog-style
Post by: Topkick on June 02, 2008, 11:41:17 AM
Check the local hardware store or rent it center. They rent small power tools - at least they do here in Illinois.
Title: Re: Rebasing some old SoK terrain pieces, blog-style
Post by: joshuaslater on June 02, 2008, 12:35:08 PM
I know the artwork that inspired you, and I see it in the terrain.  Brilliant.
Title: Re: Rebasing some old SoK terrain pieces, blog-style
Post by: pekulior on June 10, 2008, 02:19:29 PM
You can get some bits for your dremel to use it as a router, jigsaw, etc. Dremels are the all-in-one tool for modellers :) Check out Lowes or Home Depot for Dremel bits... you'll see that they have a ton.

Back when I used to make a lot of terrain and display boards, i used that router bit on my dremel to cut through the 1/8" hard board to make the terrain footprints. worked well.

Title: Re: Rebasing some old SoK terrain pieces, blog-style
Post by: Alxbates on September 27, 2008, 09:02:05 AM
Well, I'm missing a few pictures (of the jigsaw I borrowed from my gf's dad, and the cuts I made on the hardboard...), but I'm going to go ahead and post the next steps anyways.

I used a dremel (and then sandpaper) to bevel the edges of the hardboard bases once I cut them out using the jigsaw.  Then I roughed up the surface of the hardboard with the sandpaper just a little bit, to give it texture for the glue to adhere to.  I spread tacky glue across the roughened surface of the hardboard with my fingertip and then stuck the pillar to the glue.  While it was still, um, tacky, I sprinkled several different textures of sand across the base.  Now it looks like this:


I need to do another layer of sand - the edge where the base meets the torn-off part of the bottom of the pillar is still noticeably rough.  A thick layer of sand, some paint, and some strategically placed static grass should completely hide the join.


Title: Re: Rebasing some old SoK terrain pieces, blog-style
Post by: Alxbates on January 27, 2009, 04:50:53 PM
Alrighty, so I've done a couple more layers of glue and sand to bulk up the thin spots and cover the seam... next step is painting!!




Been awhile since I've done any work on this terrain piece, but it's... in an elliptical orbit.  Sometimes it's closer to my center of my attention than others...