Mad 'At's Terrain Blog

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    • Mad 'At's Terrain Blog

      Hello everybody!

      Since I've been working a lot with terrain pieces the last couple of weeks I thought I could share some of my progress with you all.

      To start of I can tell you why I'm making all this terrain. The club I'm part of regularly host tournaments and for that we have a lot of terrain. The last time we hosted we bought a bunch of really neat new gaming mats and we noticed that our terrain looked a bit lame on top of them. Now, we have long been quite proud of our terrain, but some of the pieces were really showing signs of age and some of the mats had colours that did not quite match our terrain. So some restoration and replacements were in order. To show you what I mean I'll dump a whole lot of pictures of it in this spoiler below:
      Display Spoiler
      These are all the tables that were featured at our latest tournament.




















      And these are the leftovers:



      Basically a lot of terrain.

      Our next tournament, however, will only feature around nine tables, so we figured we should try and boost up the overall quality of our collection by focusing on those alone for now, and sort of phase out all of the oldest pieces.



      So, with that out of the way, onto the new stuff.

      First up is a bunch of hills. In preparation for our first ever tournament we cranked out somewhere around 40-50 hills I think, on a tight schedule and a slim budget. Many of those first hills are still in use so it would be great if they could be phased out. Also, non of the hills we have really match the "Wasteland" table mats so those will be needing new ones. These new hills are made from a denser Styrofoam allowing greater details and they are outfitted with a wooden bottom to increase their durability. I've also spent some time carving rock and cliff faces onto the edges of them. For ease of gaming I've kept the edges near vertical (the sloped sides of our old ones were a trouble).






      Next we have a centre piece for one of the tables that we lacked properly coloured terrain for. I imagine this one will need some special rules. Probably it will not block line of sight but will provide Soft Cover, and all units except Gigantic ones can move through it as if it were a building.


      And finally some new stuff for the Saurian Ancient table. You can see if among all the others above, it is very green. I've always been quite happy with it but it lacks something really special. Here is a new spawning pool for it and a temple hill to use instead of the two normal ones.



      That will do for now, but there is more to come.
    • Looking good! I've only made terrain for my table at home but I can agree with you that having the terrain match the table is really important to me. Maybe it's a little bit of OCD but I want everything to match together and build the narrative of the game being played.

      Keep up the pictures!
      "The old wisdom born out of the west was forsaken. Kings made tombs more splendid than the houses of the living, and counted the old names of their descent dearer than the names of their sons. Childless lords sat in aged halls musing on heraldry, or in high cold towers asking questions of the stars.”

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    • Time for an update. It is going slower than I had hoped (doesn’t it always :whistling: ), but I guess that is the cost of upping the quality and detail of the terrain. Since last time I've mostly focused on the Saurian Aincents terrain. Let's kick it off!

      First we have the little pool:

      Not much changed from last time, just some clean up.


      Then we have the hill pyramid:




      The altar in the center is not yet attached, I'm not sure if I want it or not, what do you guys think?



      The statues are all magnetised so that the players can remove them when a unit walks up on the hill:




      Then we have a big brother of that pyramid:


      It's a corner piece so that it doesn’t take up too much board space. WE've had corner and edge pieces before but this time I decided to add a wooden board to the backsides of it for extra protection.





      Still, that's not quite big enough, so they bot got an even bigger brother (giant for scale):


      It is sporting a big staircase with the steps made in a 3D-printer and walls made from foamcore. The rest is obviously styrofoam. On the top I've placed a small pool that will be getting some water effect:


      This is edge piece by the way, again the minimize board space. Having this whole thing in the middle of the board would really be too limiting. Still, from the edge it pokes out about 12"...




      That should be all for the SA table, though possibly some new forest bases because the old ones are starting to bend. But enough of that. The next project I've started is some graveyards (will be used as Ruins).


      The majority of the walls are from Skullforge Scenic, all except the green one which I've built myself to mimic the style. The little house and base if from the GW Garden of Morr kit. I'll probably use an addition piece from that kit here before I'm done. The final thing to add will be a bunch of tombstones, from various GW kits, from Skullforge Scenic again and also some sctratchbuilt. In the end, everything will be lose of the base or magnetised so that player can move into it.

      That is all for now folks, feel free to comment :)

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Mad 'At ().

    • Great stuff! For the smaller pyramid with the magnetized pillars, why don't you make that middle section magnetic as well? That way the top can be super flat when moving units over it
      "The old wisdom born out of the west was forsaken. Kings made tombs more splendid than the houses of the living, and counted the old names of their descent dearer than the names of their sons. Childless lords sat in aged halls musing on heraldry, or in high cold towers asking questions of the stars.”

      Show off your Gaming Club!

      Southern California 9th Age Facebook Page
    • Wstanley wrote:

      Great stuff! For the smaller pyramid with the magnetized pillars, why don't you make that middle section magnetic as well? That way the top can be super flat when moving units over it
      That's for the comment :)

      If I do keep it I definitly won't glue it in place. I'm mostly wondering it it adds enough coolness to be bothered with, cause it would be an additional little piece to put on and off when gaming. The statues add a lot I think, but the altar is quite marginal. Anyway, I think I'll paint it and just keep it around, could be used to flesh out a Forest if nothing else.
    • Another three weeks, another update. Not that much done since last time though, at least not compared to the majesty of those pyramids.

      I finished the graveyard:



      A close up on the tombstones:



      And the chapel thingy:



      Then I made some bases for a bunch of my 9th Heim ruins. I've made some before but really low quality. With these I shall be able to put the ruins to good use in 9th Age as well. All of the bases are made from 8mm tick MDF board. Wither with details glued on top or with stonework carved into them.

      These two are for two of the smaller ones:


      These two for some a little larger and made of stone:


      The final three are made for a specific table with a cobblestone print mat.



      The last things I've worked on is a couple of newer ruins for 9th Heim. They have been in the works for a long time but now I finally took the time to finalise the floor of the tower along with all the wooden parts and the roof of the church.

      That is all for now. Next will probably be some hills and a forest for said cobblestone table, along with maybe some more cracked stone hills. Also need to make a bunch of lakes, including one for an ice table.

      Stay tuned :)

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Mad 'At ().

    • Next update!

      I's been a good two weeks and I've gotten a bunch more stuff built. Nothing really that impressive but the basic stuff is also necessary.

      First I got six lakes. Simple enough to build. A 8mm MDF board as base and then the edges built up using foamcore. While the result is a bit thick I find it preferable to the lakes flexing and bending when the pain and wooden glue dries. This time I used used the foamcore rather wastefully and traced the outer contours of the lake onto it, then cutting out the middle, gluing it and place and finally smothering the edges down to match the slope of the base. Previously I've used cut off parts of foamcore to build up the edges and while less wasteful it take a ton more work.




      Next is some terrain for the cobblestone mat board. Two hills and a forest. The forest was made similarly to the lakes, but due to the straight edges it was easy enough to use cut-offs. The middle is filled with sand that will be painted like dirt and topped off with some flock and trees on separate bases. Hoping to make it look like some neat little park. The hills are made from styrofoam glued to a thin particle board (cheaper than MDF but less sturdy, usable here since the styrofoam won't bend much anyway). I then cut two stair cases into each hill and gave them stonework texture using a ball point pen (long since emptied of ink due to extensive use of making stonework). The hills might see some use in my 9th Heim games, but probably not since I have a whole other board for that.




      That is all for now. Perhaps not as much as I made it sound like up top I realise, but I've done some other cityscape terrain intended for my 9th Heim games too, but decided to update my other blog with images of those instead.

      Cheers!
    • I've started painting!

      Got a hold of paints earlier today so I got crackin'. I started with a basecoat on all the styrofoam of black paint mixed with wooded glue. The glue makes it trickier to work with, but it also makes it more durable. As said, I want this terrain to last.

      Next I took all the Saurian Ancient terrain and painted it brown.




      Now that will dry for the night and I'll continue tomorrow.


      But I also managed to finish some stuff. The cobblestone terrain was ready for drybrushing right after the basecoat. After everal coats of progressively lighter grey I got this:





      I said finished but I will probably have to do some more work on the brown/yellow patches. They are supposed to be rubble stuff but look more like moss. Which in itself isn't a problem but I makes me wonder why there would only moss on two of the pieces...

      That's all for now, but hopefully I'll get a lot more done the coming week.
    • Once you get the basecoats down, you can really get a lot of terrain painted in a day.

      I touched up the cobblestone ruin bases:


      They look a lot better now (though the picture is a bit blurry I'm afraid).



      More importantly I've just about finished the SA jungle terrain:


      The colour ended up a bit more golden than I had planned, but in the end I like it. Left to do is to add flock and some fake plants to green it all up. And to put water effect in the large pool and in the small pool at the top of the pyramid.



      Also put down the basecoat on some more ruin and graveyard bases:



      Those will be painted tomorrow and then I'll probably proceed with the large stack of hills and other stuff for the wasteland tables.

      Good night!
    • Some more stuff done.

      Those ruin bases are all painted:



      And here is one of them with it's ruin:






      I touched up some lava terrain. Mainly darkened the grey gravel.


      Here you can see them before being touched up:




      The big thing since last time is the wasteland terrain however. Five hills and a centre piece all painted up:





      Now I'm just about out of stuff to paint (not really), so it's time to start to start building again.
    • Done building.

      The main project was two corner pieces for a red wasteland table. I tore our two old portals of their bases and gave them new ones, cause you know, size matters. I'm planning to use them in a special scenario with Flank Attack deployment where you can teleport across the board using the portals. I know such scenarios can be troublesome ruleswise and can often lead to really strange games, but I'm hoping that having the portals as corer pieces with a single, straight side opened to the table will make it more playable.


      The pieces will be painted in a brand new scheme together with two of the rock hills (one of them the one with the carved in stair), a lake, a forest and a small impassable terrain piece.

      Speaking of small impassable terrain pieces, here are two newly made. One for the red wasteland and one for the yellow/brown-ish above. As always with stones like these, I tried my best to not make them look like phalluses, but alas, I think I failed:



      Also built is a bunch of forest bases. One will be painted for the red wasteland, two for the yellow/brown-ish, two for the SA jungle table and the two with lego pieces on top will be for the desert tables. The last one I'm not sure about.




      Up next is to paint the desert terrain, which will include a lot of repainting old stuff, much of which is neatly stacked up here:



      Hopefully I'll be able to able to finish that tomorrow.

      Cheers!
    • I managed to get the basecoat down before going to bed yesterday, so today it was only a matter of drybrushing. Therefore I managed to finish off the desert terrain before lunch even:


      I've also basecoated the two portal corner pieces and the two impassable terrain pieces, but nothing worth showing since they are just black. Probably won't get much more done today since I heading out to play some games.

      However, and update with only one picture feels lame, so here is a picture of my cat, valiantly guarding the entrance to my room against any intruders. Including myself.
    • @WastelandWarrior: Thanks! I really do aspire to keep it functional. Nothing worse than the game suffering because complications with terrain.

      I can really recommend giving terrain painting a go, it can be quite refreshing. I have myself hit a bit of a snag in my own miniature painting and it's been nice to focus on terrain for a while. As it turned out it was rather fortunate since I was a bit optimistic about how much time it would take to finish all of this. Gotta make sure it is ready for the tournament after all.
    • Results!

      The tournament came and went, and I had managed to finish the terrain I needed. I snapped some pictures of it in action that I thought I'd share:



















      Overall I'm very happy with the result, the Saurian Ancient table in particular. There are however some things I think I'll have to adjust about the otherwise "finished" terrain.

      On the city table I'm not happy with the look of the hills. While the shape is good, the colour is too boring. I think I will try and repaint the stonework on the top of the hill to match the cobblestone of the matt better.

      The shape of the portals was not ideal for the scenario gameplay. I'm really just nitpicking here but the combination of a rather complex scenario (teleporting) and the diagonal deployment meant that the games often took long. It would be beneficial if the deployment could be simplified, which it could be using the terrain better. My thought is to use the points of the portal pieces to draw the deployment zone, that way you won't have to measure it out separately. The shape of the base is not ideal for this though so I think I will try to remove bases (only the actual MDF wooden bases that is) and give them new ones with the proper shape. We'll see.

      The big centrepiece for the wasteland tables, the Gates of Greed, was not ideal for gameplay either. Some of it can be changed with rules but in general I think I need to allow units to end their moves inside it, meaning I will make a separate base to place beneath it.


      I addition to that there are of course many more terrain project that's I'd like to embark on. But for now I need to focus on minis for a while in preparation for the Swedish championship.
    • This terrain is great to play with. The Lustrian pyramids are spectacular! It's a luxury attending such a tournament, and the scenarios complemented the scenery nicely.

      We had to bathe in toxic pools, scour ruins, march through gates for blessings and most memorably, jump through blue-red portals with polar opposite ionization markers making our units attract or repell each other. That portal table turned into utter chaos. Pure fun! The games took on a character of their own depending on where you fought.

      Very well done in the scenery and scenario departments both.

      Since the Lustrian pyramids sported some tumbled stones, was a ruined look sought after? In that case some moss and vines could enhance the impression.

      Also, for the Infernal Dwarf table, how about building a sacrificial fire altar on top of whatever you do with the wall plates (or was some walls of babylon diagonally across a corner planned?)? Lots could be done with an altar. For historical reference, ancient Middle-Eastern altars sported corner horns as a rule. Raid the bitz box for actual horns? Just tossing ideas at you. In any case, keep up the great work!

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Karak Norn Clansman ().

    • @Karak Norn Clansman Thanks for the comment. Very glad to hear that the tables and scenarios were appreciated :)

      The portal table sure made for some memorable battles, but I think your ID civil war there takes the price. A big blunderbuss unit jumping through the portal to light a hobgoblin unit up, obliterating more than 20 of them... epic! Not to mention the 4 dice pick highest two dwarf unit charge, which still failed xD

      The Viretia table with the pyramids was indeed intended as ruins. I did add a little grass up on the steps of the pyramid, but some more moss and such is probably a good idea, thanks.

      I'm pretty sure I'll make a simple plinth with the four Wall Relief Plates, but I'm ot sure what to put on top. An altar could work very well though :)
    • I'm back at it!

      It's been a while, but I've fired up the terrain furnace once again. The 18-19e November I'll be hosting another tournament. We are currently at 30 sign ups and are expecting more. Either way it will be a world of difference from the small tournament I painted up terrain for last time. I have no intention of updating every single one of our tables to this new and improved standard, but I do hope to complete a few more.

      To start with I had to make a few fixes to the old terrain however, this is due to its somewhat poor playability that was made apparent druring the last tournament. First of these are the Gates of Greed. The scenario was well liked except that the centrepiece dominated the game too much. Since you couldn't end movement within it it was easy to block the opponent from getting past, meaning it just ended up being a very large impassable terrain. Not ideal. To counter this I will adjust the rules so that you can end movement within it, but that means the terrain piece has to be adjusted as well. I'm handled it by simply making another base for it, placed beneath. When you move into it you remove the gate, just as you would a forest. A bit of a shame that it won't be on the table at all times, but I think it is necessary.

      Here is is one the new base. Sadly I couldn't get the tone of the gravel quite right, could be because it was too fine, more sand that gravel really. Also, some Swedish politics to the left.


      And off the base:




      Next are the portals. This scenario was appreciated by most, but there is no denying that it is a bit complex and thus takes times. Something that is certainly not helping is that it uses diagonal deployment, which is one of the hardest to measure up and deploy on. So how to solves it? I opted for modifying the bases of the portals so that they can be used to draw up the deployment zones, as shown below:


      It was quite scary removing the old bases, but with a scalpel and a screwdriver is went alright. The new base was a bit longer on the long side and a bit shorter on the short side, but the end result looks fine if I say so myself:




      That is for adjustments. Next are some simple trees who've had their bases repainted and flocked to fit certain tables:



      And finally, the only really new stuff here in this batch (but even then something that was built long ago... ), the graveyards:


      Really quite happy with the end result. Nothing too fancy but they look nice.


      That is all for now, at least in this blog, but I'll update my other blog momentarily with some new terrain there as well. Next up will probably be some more hills and forest bases, this time for a somewhat urban mountain landscape. Will also have to tackle the issue of our ice table lacking terrain in all but the hill department. Need to make a centrepiece and a lake.

      Cheers!

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Mad 'At ().