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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Completed Zuzzy Mat, Unfinished Projects and Idea Rambling

I had just realized that I never posted completed pics of my Zuzzy Mat!

Featured with another unfinished project: buildings!

Yet even more unfinished along with it, Som'er and a building!


So there you have it, a pretty functional Zuzzy Mat. It's nothing fancy. I feel like it lacks variation considering I only have two tones in it, but who cares. If I use it for Warmachine then it won't really be noticed since terrain is sparse in that game anyway. In Infinity there should be plenty of terrain to cover the ground. Malifaux uses a 3x3 board so I won't use it too much for that anyway, although that game uses plenty of terrain as well. Essentially I just have it for function and there's nothing wrong with that.

Since I have them in the picture I guess I'll chime in on my other unfinished beauties. The buildings are from Pegasus Hobbies and are a modular Gothic building set. Unfortunately it doesn't come with a roof, This essentially put a wall in front of my yearning to finish it. I may just get back with it if I decide to push forward with my terrain ideas for Malifaux. I'll get to that in a bit...

The other unfinished business are the gremlin models. I currently have 3 of those guys finished, including the two in the pictures. All I have to do is add the resin for the water effects, which dictates that I finish painting the remaining models in the crew to do the whole batch at once. I, however, am sticking to my resolution to paint whatever I want when I want, and the steam I had to finish those guys has dissipated. Right now I'm only wanting to finish Shenlong, and that's what I'm doing until I decide otherwise.

Speaking of Shenlong, last night I poured the resin for his base. It was overall successful although it wasn't quite what I pictured. Keeping in mind my first experience with resin I decided to start more prepared. I actually followed the instructions on how to use the resin, and what a surprise - it worked much better!

I warmed the hardener and resin bottles in the sink 10 minutes prior to mixing, I used a shallower cup, I used two different cups for mixing and mixed in the garage with a respirator to make sure those strong fumes don't do things to me. The difference was night and day, hardly any bubbles formed during the mixing as opposed to the cloudy mess that formed in my previous encounter. Fifteen minutes after the pour only 1 or 2 bubbles were seen and popped.

The only trepidation I have is the color. I had a basecoat of black in the base to make it appear deeper and ended up putting in two drops of turquoise ink rather than one. I knew that a single drop of ink tints the resin significantly and makes it much darker but added the extra drop in anyway. The darkness of the tint coupled with the black undercoat made the water very dark. After I poured it I dropped in 2 drops of green ink to create swirls in the resin. I thought that the green would actually make the water darker due to the concentration of color, but it actually made it lighter which was a welcome surprise - I'm guessing since there is something to reflect light in it.

It's looking good for now, but not as bright as I wanted it to be. Oh well, I said earlier that it would be a great exercise on resin and it was a learning experience. I'll post pics of it later.

Okay, so I usually have a whirlwind of ideas in my head for hobby related projects. I usually buy the materials and don't do anything from there for years, I'm sure we all have experience in that vein. Here's one I've been thinking about recently: Modular Terrain Boards for Malifaux.

It's been done before, I know. Nothing new. What I like about this board is that the joins are disguised once they are together to make it look like a cohesive board without sacrificing modularity. A lot of modular boards just look modular. Like a bunch of boxes put together. I want to try making an interesting board that doesn't look cobbled together, hopefully using things like buildings and bridges to hide the joins. In the end I'd like to build a simple 3x3 board with a rim to hold it all together. 

The plan would be to cut 1 ft squares from hardboard (which I already have). 9 tiles would complete a Malfaux board easily. If I want to add interest I could make them diagonal and cut additional triangle tiles so that you could have the same tiles work for a table shifted 45 degrees.

On each tile would be insulation foam levels. The majority would be flat levels to place footprint terrain on like buildings and forests/parks/water features. This creates more modularity while hiding the joins.

In the center of each tile there will be a small magnet so that no matter which tile is the middle tile it will have the exact center marked. A magnetized base/counter can be used for marking Strategies like Turf War

To go with the levels idea I want to also incorporate a canal/sewer system. This would be the lowest elevation and the actual "ground" level is about 2" higher (the width of the insulation). This should create visual interest and LOS variation in the game, along with great hobby opportunities like grating to keep the ground level the same but have a sewer running beneath it.

This is just me rambling and brainstorming but it is very exciting. I already attempted this with an Infinity modular board using Foamboard, but it warped and immediately killed any enthusiasm I had. That really sucked because I thought it was looking awesome.

Pre-Warp Pics

These are pics of my foam board terrain I started. The night after I took these the base warped an unbelievable amount due to the glue that was used for the sand. I can only imagine what would happen when the primer goes on. It was a huge bummer because I worked pretty hard on it and it was looking flawless. The joins were hidden with miter cuts and whatnot, it was flush with the ground tile, and had corrugated metal roofs and barricades. Damn that warp!

I've thought of fixing it by gluing it to either hardboard or cork, but really it's more work than I want to do right now. Maybe I'll get to it and fix it to use as a standalone piece of terrain. I'll paint it and see how bad the warp is afterward as an experiment for future foam board projects.

But back to the idea at hand. The warping shouldn't be an issue when using hardboard as the base and insulation foam as the bulk of the material. I also will not need to use sand as the base texture, as I want to use stonework as the ground. This avoids gluing and warping issues, minimizes mess as the texture will be carved into the foam, and creates a very interesting and unique quality to the board. Plus it's easier in game terms to walk on and you can place footprint terrain without it looking out of place, such as a building or a park with a perimeter. I've got ideas, man. Probably won't follow through, though. Maybe I can do just one tile. With these parameters it actually won't look out of place as a standalone terrain feature, like a stone hill or something.

Brainstorm time! Here is where I vomit out ideas for the terrain features I could do.

  • Pipes for wall features
  • Well
  • Sewer Grating at ground level with running water beneath
  • Large water/pool feature
  • Stargate-like portal as Centerpiece/Objective
  • Park
  • Merchant Carts
  • Arched Walkways over Water
  • Magnetic Lamps for scatter terrain
  • Collapsed bridge

Well, that's enough rambling for me. I just thought I'd get some ideas out there considering that this blog is about my progress in the hobby as well as my plans. Maybe I'll work on a tile this weekend considering I have an additional day off.