The Comm Guild Maelstrom's Edge

Entries tagged [buildings]

Terrain Spotlight: Basic Sci Fi Quonset Hut


Posted on Thursday Oct 17, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

Time for another building!

I don't know why, but I've always loved the shape of the humble Quonset hut. Some time back, I built some vaguely-Quonset styled buildings from plastic drainage channel, but the new terrain sprue gave me an excuse to revisit the idea and build something closer to the original design.




The bulk of the structure is 3mm foamed PVC. For the front and back walls, I grabbed a handy round thing and used it to trace out a pair of semi-circles, which I then cut out with a sharp hobby knife.



I also cut a rectangular piece for the floor, and a bracing strut to connect the tops of the walls.



I took a pair of curtain windows and a curtain doorway from the new terrain sprue and sat them in place on the walls before tracing around them with a sharp pencil and cutting out the resultant rectangles with a hobby knife. Then I used some superglue to stick them in place.



Using some more superglue, I fit the walls, floor and support strut together.



The roof was constructed from corrugated cardboard. I cut three pieces, one for each side, and a third to run over the top. Bending these short pieces over the curve was easier than it would have been to do it with one single, long piece, and the sections create a layered joint to give the roof a little bit of detail.

I started by gluing the side pieces in place along the bottom edges.



After giving the glue time to set properly, I added more glue up along the wall tops and carefully pressed the roof sections down onto the curve.



I used a similar process for the top section, initially gluing the centre line in place along the support strut, and then gluing the sides of the section down overlapping the side pieces.



A few final details from the terrain sprue, and the hut was ready for painting:





For a quick and easy paintjob, I gave the hut a basecoat of AK Interactive Rust Basecoat. Over this, I sprayed a light and rough coat of Army Painter Plate Armour, and then added rust by dabbing on Army Painter Dry Rust. Some quick details like lights and curtains, and then a drybrush in the creases with Vallejo Beasty Brown finished it off.











To give it a go yourself, you can pick up the new terrain sprue, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge range, from the Maelstrom's Edge webstore.

As always, feel free to share your models and terrain, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

The new Maelstrom's Edge Terrain Sprue is available now!


Posted on Monday Oct 07, 2019 at 05:00PM in Models


The Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprues consist of modular, high detail, plastic components which are designed to be clipped out and affixed to boxes, scratch-built structures or any junk you might have found that looks building shaped. You can find lots of ideas and tutorials in the hobby section of the website here.


Sprue Front


Sprue Back



Each sprue contains a range of terrain elements, including customisable doors, stairs, windows and parts for creating catwalks or low walls and barricades.



Round detail pieces for an exhaust fan or porthole can fit onto the end of the large pipe fitting from terrain sprue #1, or attach flush to walls or roofs.



The sprue also includes customisable struts for reinforcing walls, and a host of smaller details like a computer terminal, small vents, a generator coil, a junction/control box, lights, an antenna, and parts to combine with our plastic Broken Infantry weapons to build an automated sentry turret!



This pack includes two sprues - 118 components in total!



Get yours from the Maelstrom's Edge Webstore now!

Terrain Spotlight: Raised Building using gift boxes and the new terrain sprue!


Posted on Thursday Oct 03, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

I've spent the last couple of weeks happily playing with the new Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue and building up a nice collection of delapidated buildings for my Broken force to defend - or loot, as the mood may strike them! This week, however, I thought I might take a break from painting rust and see how something a little better maintained might look with the new components to hand.




I have turned to the ever-useful discount store cardboard gift box for this build. These boxes are perfect for creating buildings, as they come in a wide range of different sizes, are inexpensive, and are quite solid.



I started by flipping the box upside down, and cutting a hole in the side for the door frame from the terrain sprue by tracing around the back of the frame and then cutting with a sharp hobby knife. For the door itself, since I wanted something that wasn't all patched up, I went with a shutter-style door made from pieces cut from the support struts from the original terrain sprue.



My previous giftbox buildings have generally had flat roofs, so I decided to make this one angled, just for something different. I took the lid of the box and cut the sides away at a diagonal along the short edges.



I glued the lid upside down onto the bottom of the box (the top of the building, since the box is upside down!), glued the cut-off pieces of the short edges into the middle for reinforcing, and then stuck a piece of corrugated cardboard on top. I also added the vent windows on two walls, tracing and cutting as with the door frame.



To make this building stand out some more, I wanted to put it on a raised slab. For this, I used the lid of a larger giftbox.



On the so-far blank short wall, I gave the building some independent power using the generator from the new terrain sprue and linking it to the control box using some plastic tube and aluminium rod.



To finish up, I glued the base slab to a piece of hardboard, and added some stairs and small vents from the terrain sprue. I also fenced in the top of the slab using the upright posts and grating pieces, which fit nicely around the edge.





With some paint on, the finished building looks like this:











The new terrain sprue will be available from the Maelstrom's Edge webstore here from October 7th!

In the meantime, feel free to share your models and terrain, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

Painting Tutorial: Rusted Shanty Buildings


Posted on Thursday Sep 05, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

Our new, upcoming terrain sprue is themed around Broken terrain - delapidated, cobbled-together structures either repaired from abandoned ruins or cobbled together from salvage. I've been putting together a series of run-down shanty buildings and thought I would share my method for painting them up and making them all grubby and rusty!





The building I'm painting up here is the one shown in the walkthrough in the first preview article here.



The first step is a basecoat of dark brown. The exact colour doesn't matter too much, but here, I'm using an AK Interactive Rust Basecoat.



Over the brown goes a spray of cream, sprayed downwards at an angle to let the brown form some natural shading. I'm using a Dulux Chalky Finish cream spray, as it gives a fantastic, non-glossy surface finish.



Over the areas of exposed metal, re-undercoat with a dark brown. For painted metal areas, like the reinforcing struts, apply the dark brown with a sponge. (You can find a tutorial on sponge weathering here). The exact shade of brown doesn't matter too much, as rust comes in a wide range of shades dependong on age and exposure, but I've used AK Interactive Shadow Rust here.

For areas of lighter rust, apply a sponge of dark gray over the brown. This will give the effect of old but unrusted metal showing through the rust in places. Where you want heavier rust, like on the roof, leave this off. For this building, I used Vallejo Heavy Charcoal for this step. I have also painted the base with Vallejo Neutral Grey at this stage.



On the larger rusted surfaces, like the roof and door, apply a rough drybrush of orange. This doesn't need to be particularly even - you're aiming to create a rough highlight to accentuate the patchiness of the rust.



Now the magic part! The final coat of rust is applies with Vallejo Dry Rust. This is a worryingly bright orange paint that goes on gloopy and dries down to a very flat finish. Applied over the brown, the orange is dulled down to a perfect rust finish. Use an old brush and just dab it on, working downwards so that the rust collects most strongly on upper surfaces. As with the drybrush layer, the aim isn't to evenly coat everything, but to create a blotchy effect with the rust heavier on raised, exposed areas and lighter on undersides.



Around this time, drybrush the base with Valljeo Light Grey or similar.

Once the rust has dried, it's time to add some dirt. But first, paint in any remaining details - lights, control panels, grafitti or other markings on the walls, are all best added in now, so that the weathering goes over the top and they don't look out of place with the rest of the structure.

Then, use a medium brown (Vallejo Beasty Brown here) and drybrush around the bottom edges of the walls, in any vertical raised recesses, along the edge of the roof under the corrugated card, and along the tops of doors and windows. This is also a good time to drybrush some dirty patches on the base.



Finally, use a small drybrush to add some more brown along any remaining upper surfaces, like the tops of each segment on the reinforcing struts, the rim of the light fitting and anywhere else that dirt and dust would collect. I also like to add some oil (or other fluid) stains around the base by applying small drops of Army Painter Quickshade wash and leaving them to dry.











The new terrain sprue will be available soon. In the meantime, you can still pick up the original terrain sprue along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range in the webstore here.

As always, feel free to pop along and share your creations, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

Terrain Spotlight: Firepoint Emplacement


Posted on Thursday Aug 29, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

As I mentioned in last week's article, we have a new terrain sprue coming!

Because new terrain gets me as excited as a very excited thing on a special day to be excited, I'm currently locked in my office, figuring out the best ways to make use of the new bits and pieces on the sprue and putting together new buildings for the ever-expanding terrain collection. One of the new pieces I put together this week was a small firepoint, just perfect for holding the line against incursions of lawless rabble!





The bulk of this structure is made up of floor grates from the new terrain sprue, and a combination of 3mm foamed PVC and 6mm foamcore for the walls.

I started out by laying out a floorplan, and gluing the grates together edge to edge. Then I cut the PVC and foamcore into sections to fit neatly around the three straight edges of the floor.



The sprue includes some posts which can be used to make low walls. For this build, I'm using a couple of them as floor supports, so trimmed off the rounded top.



Some stairs were needed to get up to the floor level in the firepoint. The stairs on the new sprue are designed to stack up on top of each other, and two stair pieces stacked come to almost exactly the same height as the floor grates sitting on the posts.



With the wall pieces glued together, the lower PVC sections form a support rail, on which the floor grates will sit.



To cover over the exposed ends of the foamcore, I took some support struts from the original terrain sprue and cut them to the same height as the walls. Four of these attach to the corners, neatly sealing over the foam.



The short, leftover pieces of the support struts were a nice length to form some bracing for the walls. I cut some small triangles of PVC and foamcore, which when glued together are exactly the same width as the struts.



That just left the top edges of the wall exposed. To seal that over, I cut a piece of foamed PVC in a lopsided 'U' shape to match the path of the wall, making it wide enough to overlap slightly on both sides, just to look prettier.



With the structure complete, I glued the firepoint down to a piece of hardboard. I wanted the firepoint to have some dirt piled up against the front, so I cut some expanded polystyrene to form the bulk of the dirt pile, and glued that in place around the front and the sides.



Finally, I gave the expanded polystyrene and the remaining exposed hardboard a generous coat of PVA glue and sprinkled a sand/gravel mix over it.

Ready for paint!





With some paint on, the finished firepoint looks like this:







The exact release date for the new terrain sprue is still to be confirmed based on production scheduling, but should be in the next few months. I'll be showing off some more previews in coming weeks to reveal other components included on the sprue.

In the meantime, you can still pick up the original terrain sprue along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range in the webstore here.

As always, feel free to pop along and share your creations, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

Terrain Spotlight: New Terrain Sprue Sneak Peek!


Posted on Thursday Aug 22, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

In the time since the release of the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue a couple of years ago, this useful little frame of detail parts has consistently been one of our most popular plastic kits. As good as it is, though, it was always intended to be just the start of a range of different terrain component kits. So over the last 18 months or so, we've been hard at work designing and sculpting a new sprue to add a whole slew of new building options!

This new kit will be out very soon, but to whet everyone's appetites, I thought I would take the opportunity to throw together a quick building walkthrough to show off some of the great new details!





To keep things simple for this build, I turned once more to my humble favourite: the cardboard gift box!



As with the first terrain sprue, the doors and windows are designed to slot into holes cut into the walls of the structure - although this time around, the doorframes and doors are separate components, so that you can model them open or closed!

To fit them into place, I started by flipping the box upside down, and drawing a guide line 12mm up from the bottom of one of the long walls. Then I held a door frame in place a third of the way along the wall and traced around the inset back of the frame with a sharp pencil. As I wanted two doors on this wall, representing a pair of joined habitation units, I repeated this a third of the way in from the other end of the wall as well.



To cut out the doorway holes, I used a sharp exacto blade, following the pencil line and making several passes rather than trying to cut right through in one go.



I then glued the doors in place with superglue, and cut and glued a window in each end wall using a similar process.



To reinforce the walls of your structures, the sprue includes a number of bolted struts like the first terrain sprue. These struts have some missing panels on them, with optional, separate panel pieces that can be glued on to vary the look of the struts a little.



One of my favourite details, the sprue also comes with two stair pieces, designed to be used individually or stacked up for a taller set of stairs. For this build, I was just using them individually, and also wanted to butt them right up against the wall, so I cut off the triangular support pieces from the backs of them with my exacto knife.



I glued the struts upright on the ends of each of the long walls of the building, and the stairs nestled in under each of the doors. I also glued an exhaust fan onto each end of the building for some extra ventilation.



To finish up, I covered over the rather boring top of the building with some corrugated cardboard, and build an awning using another piece of cardboard, some plastic tubing, and a couple of posts from the terrain sprue. I also added a base of foamed PVC, and some underfloor ventilation using vent pieces cut from the reinforcing struts on the original terrain sprue.



On the rear of the building, I glued a generator in the middle to service both hab units, and built a small fence to protect it and provide some low cover on the table, using some grating pieces and a couple more posts. I also added a couple of corrugated patches on the walls for some low-tech, DIY repair.



With some paint on (which I'll cover in a future article very soon!) the hab block was ready for the table!









The exact release date for these sprues is still to be confirmed based on production scheduling, but should be in the next few months. I'll be showing off some more previews in coming weeks to reveal other components included on the sprue.

In the meantime, you can still pick up the original terrain sprue along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range in the webstore here.

As always, feel free to pop along and share your creations, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

Terrain Spotlight: Giftbox Building with Removable Roof!


Posted on Thursday Jul 25, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

There are two common ways to create buildings for use in wargames - making them solid and either treating them as impassable structures or using abstract rules to represent models being inside where appropriate, or using buildings with removable roofs so that models can actually be placed inside and positioned accurately when required. I generally prefer to go the former route, as it makes buildings a lot simpler to put together, and is less fiddly during a game than having to take a roof off - particularly if there are models on it!

Sometimes, though, it's handy to be able to go that extra distance, so I thought I would show a quick and easy way to create a building with a removable roof from a cardboard giftbox, with a little help from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue.





For the core of this building, I used a plain black cardboard giftbox, purchased from a local discount store.



Usually when I'm building terrain, I just go from the idea in my head and hope for the best. In this case, though, I sketched out a quick plan to make sure that the interior all fit into place as intended. The plan changed slightly along the way, but it provided a handy reference as I was putting everything together.



I started out by drawing around the base of the box on a piece of 2mm foamed PVC and cutting out a hole for the box to sit in. This serves to conceal the bottom edge of the box, which has a slightly rounded edge.



Next, I took a large door from the terrain sprue, sat it in place on one of the short edges of the box, traced around it with a pencil and then cut out the resultant rectangle to create a door cavity.



I did the same on one of the long edges of the box with a small door from the terrain sprue. This door is largely featureless on the back (as it wasn't really designed for use where you would see both sides of it), so I cut a piece of thin cardboard to duplicate the raised panelling from the front.



For the interior walls, I used more foamed PVC, with doorways cut in using the small door frame as a template. I checked that these walls fit where I wanted them, but didn't glue them in at this point so that I could get at the interior easier to add more detail.



The building needed some windows. I tend to default to the shutter windows on my builds and use the trapezoid windows for more interesting things, but for this building I had another plan for the shutters. So I spaced out some of the trapezoid windows on the long sides, cut holes by tracing around them with an exacto knife and then glued them in place. Using the knife instead of a pencil to trace gives a tighter fit, which is useful since the trapezoid windows don't have a flange to conceal a loose fit like the doors do.



I kitted out the interior with some bits and pieces made from an assortment of terrain sprue parts. All of this was glued in place, except for the ladder. I left that separate to make it easier to paint behind it.









And now, the important part! I took the lid of the box and glued four corner braces from the terrain sprue upside down around the corners of the lid top. These were spaced to fit neatly inside the box, so that the lid could be sat in place upside-down to create a walled roof.



Of course, this could also be done much more easily by just sitting the lid on the way it normally goes, but I like having a lot of buildings with walled roofs to allow for models to have some cover up there.

I finished up with a few extra detail pieces here and there, and another sheet of PVC on the bottom to form a base.







To paint, I gave the inside a spray with a Rustoleum dark brown primer, and then a light coat of Dulux chalky beige. The outside received a coat of Army Painter Army Green.



I gave the doorframes and windows a coat of Vallejo Heavy Brown, and then a layer of P3 Jack Bone. The base and roof are my usual urban mix of Vallejo Basalt Grey with a drybrush of Vallejo Light Grey.



As I wanted the weathering to be heavier on the outside then in, I gave the exterior metal parts a base coat of Citadel Scorched Brown, a very light drybrush of P3 Pig Iron, and then a generous dabbing of Army Painter Dry Rust. The interior metal parts got the same base coat, a heavier layer of Pig Iron, and then a wash with Army Painter Strong Tone.



Everything was dirtied up with a sponge of Vallejo Heavy Charcoal and a drybrush of Vallejo Beasty Brown into all the crevasses and corners, again going heavier on the outside of the building.



With some final detailing and a few printed posters, the building was ready for the table!





To build your own rooftop of removable doom, you can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range in the webstore here.



As always, feel free to pop along and share your creations, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

Terrain Spotlight: Oily Joe's Bot Repair


Posted on Thursday Jul 11, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

I'm venturing back inside the box this week, with a new building variant based on a couple of cardboard gift boxes, with some detailing help from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue as usual.

Need your bot repaired, pronto? Want to pick up some spare power converters to get those units in the north quadrant back up and running? Well, don't bother heading down to Oily Joe's, because he's closed down and scarpered, to try to get a berth offworld before the Maelstrom hits.





The base structure of this building uses two differently sized cardboard gift boxes, sourced from one of the local discount stores. The smaller box forms the walls, while the lid of the larger box, which is just a fraction narrower than the small box is long, is used for the awning roof.



I started out by flipping the small box upside down, and using it as a template to mark out a surround of 2mm thick foamed PVC, which I cut out with an exacto knife and a steel ruler.



Then I grabbed a large door from the terrain sprue, and held that in place on one of the long walls (remembering to account for the 2mm surround at the bottom) to draw around it, and then cut out the door hole with the exacto knife.



I glued the door in place with some superglue.


I did the same with a small door on the other long wall, and shutter windows on either short wall. I also added a large pipe fitting one the side with the smaller door.



Next up, I slathered superglue generously over the top of the upside down box, and sat the roof in place.



To help disguise the the roof isn't quite as wide as the building itself, I added a strip of reinforcing struts from the terrain sprue around the lower edge, cutting them to fit neatly. I also added a square hatch on the roof to provide access.



Finally, I glued a comm panel on the wall beside the large door, and glued everything down onto an 8" x 8" piece of masonite. I also added a fan attachment to the end of the pipe fitting - this one is a plastic bit from an upcoming kit (Shhh, don't tell anyone - it's a secret!) but you can also create a fan blade using some cardboard or plasticard, as per the tutorial here.





With that, it was time to paint!



I gave the whole thing a light coat of flat black spray, and when that was dry added a layer of Army Painter Ultramarine Blue. On the doors, I added a white strip with Army Painter Ash Grey and white, and then weathered the whole thing with a sponge and some Vallejo Heavy Charcoal. (See the tutorial on sponge weathering here!) The base and roof were painted with Vallejo Basalt Grey and drybrushed with Light Grey.



For the rusted metal bits, I started with a base layer of old Citadel Scorched Brown, lightly drybrushed with P3 Pig Iron and Ember Orange, and then applied liberal dabs of Army Painter Dry Rust.



For a bit of extra colour, I printed off the sign for the front and a few smaller signs to scatter around the place after drawing them up in Gimp. These were stuck on with PVA glue, and then a dirtied everything up with a drybrush of Vallejo Beasty Brown in the corners and wherever else seemed appropriate. A few finishing details like the comm screen, lights, and some graffiti on the walls, and Oily Joe's was ready for the table!





To build your own retail champion of the future, you can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range in the webstore here.

As always, feel free to pop along and share your creations, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

Terrain Spotlight: Building Ideas Roundup


Posted on Thursday Jul 04, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

The Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue comes with a whole slew of assorted bits and pieces that can be added to basic building shapes to pretty them up for the gaming table. Over the past couple of years, I've shared quite a few different ideas for base structures for those buildings, and I thought it might be useful to do a bit of a round-up to compile them all in one handy reference.





One of my favourite options, that I've gone back to many times over the years, is the cardboard gift box.





With minimal effort, these can be quickly turned into table-ready terrain with the addition of some detail bits and some paint.

For a few ideas, here's some previous build articles:








For a slightly more detailed, but still mostly pre-made option, go for a wander through your local hardware store and look for interesting plastic shapes. Plastic storage trays, storm drain sections and various assorted plumbing fittings can all make great bases for buildings with a little imagination and some added detail.





You can find some tutorials and walkthroughs for putting these together here:







On a sort-of related note, you can find all sorts of handy bits and pieces around the kitchen as well - Never throw anything out!





Some handy articles:







If you feel are happy with building from scratch, you can of course work up whatever building shapes you want using standard modeling materials. Foamcore (AKA foamboard), plasticard, sturdy cardboard and foamed PVC can all be useful for creating more freeform shapes to suit yourself.





Some scratch-built building ideas:













Finally, there are a whole host of premade and often inexpensive buildings out there on the market these days, made from MDF, cardboard or PVC which can be spruced up into something special with a few extra details here and there.





Check out these examples of kits given a little extra love:










Do you have any clever building ideas that we haven't covered here? We'd love to see them in the Comm Guild Facebook group!



To get started on your own terrain adventure, you can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range in the webstore here.

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

Terrain Spotlight: MDF Sensor Dish


Posted on Monday May 27, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

I somehow managed to get through Salute this year without bankrupting myself on shiny, new models, but I did come home with a few fun-looking odds and ends. There were quite a few vendors selling laser-cut MDF kits, some of which I had seen before and some that were new, at least to me. One of the latter was Uncertain Scenery, who had an amazing industrial catwalk setup topped with a very cool sensor dish that I couldn't resist picking up.

This week, I decided the time had come to crack it open and see what I could do with it!





I have to start by saying that this was a fantastic kit to put together! It uses a mix of 3mm and 1.5mm MDF, and the design is really clever at making use of those two sheet thicknesses to create detail. Parts are cut with only a single attachment point to the surrounding sheet, so removal is easy and there's only that one point to trim up.



Because I can't resist the urge to tinker, I did make a few minor changes. As with a lot of MDF kits, the doors on the base of the structure were just a single panel with the door shapes etched into them. To give a little more detail, and to better fit in with the rest of my terrain collection, I decided to replace the existing doors with a door from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue. It turned out the base structure was just a fraction shorter than the plastic door, so I added some spacers cut from 0.5mm plastic strip to the tops of the interior walls. This lifts the roof piece up just enough for the plastic door to slot in place. Rather than cutting into the walls to slot the door in, I cut a strip of leftover MDF from one of the parts sheets to run up either side of the rear of the door frame, and then just glued the door onto the outside face of the interior wall.





I also decided to replace the blocky, MDF ladder with a plastic ladder from the terrain sprue, cut to an appropriate length. The original ladder used a 3mm thick ladder piece, and guardrails up either side assembled from three pieces of 1.5mm sheet. As luck would have it, the ladder and the innermost guardrail sections together turned out to be exactly the same width as the plastic ladder, so leaving out these inner sections allowed my adjusted ladder to just slot into place as if it was meant to be there.





The base section originally had doors on two opposing walls, but I decided to just go with the one, and have a pipe running in where the other should have gone. I glued the door piece on backwards, with a new panel line etched in with a panel scriber so it wasn't just a featureless expanse, and added a pipe made from a couple of large pipe fittings from the terrain sprue, a piece of a 13mm drip irrigation elbow, and half of a press-stud for a valve.



Everything else was assembled as per the nicely comprehensive instructions, although I left the dish panels off for spraying to make life a little easier, gluing them on once everything was mostly painted.



To paint, I started by giving the whole kit a coat of matte sealer, to help prevent the basecoat from soaking into the MDF as much. The base structure and dish panels were sprayed with a beige primer, and then given a rough coat of flat white.



For the rest of the assembly, I sprayed a generous basecoat of AK Interactive Rust spray, and then a light spray of Army Painter Platemetal. The bare metal parts on the base structure were given a coat of some old Citadel Scorched Brown, and then a drybrush with P3 Pig Iron.



I added weathering to the white by sponging on Vallejo heavy charcoal, and then dirtied everything up wherever seemed appropriate with a drybrush of Vallejo Beasty Brown.



And that's it, ready (for now) for the table. I've left it unbased for now, as I have some plans in that direction which will likely wind up in a future article...





To spruce up your own MDF kits, you can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range in the webstore here.

As always, feel free to pop along and share your creations, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

Terrain Spotlight: Bunker from an Air Conditioner Fitting


Posted on Monday Mar 18, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

Apparently even when I'm looking for something else completely, the terrain bug is difficult to avoid. On a completely unrelated trip through the hardware store for a change, I came across a rack of plastic air conditioner ducting that included a bunch of pieces that immediately jumped out as potential building fodder. Before you could say 'Get to the bunker!' I was on my way home with fingers just itching to break out the tools. The end result was a brand new ground-level access for a bunker complex!





The piece that I chose started out life as a 100mm ceiling cap, which is apparently something to do with air conditioners - I'm taking the word of the label for that! I love the idea of buildings that serve as an entryway to larger complexes below ground, and the shape of this fitting looked perfect for an atrium bunker leading to a staircase or angled lift shaft.



As the type of plastic used was shiny and of indeterminate pedigree, I started out by removing the label and giving the whole thing a light sand with fine grade sandpaper to remove the glossy outer layer. This helps the glue and paint to stick later.



The fitting is made of two separate pieces that clip together along the sides, which made cutting window holes a little easier - I popped the pieces apart, and used a shutter window from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue to trace around for the hole, with one vertical edge running along the seam. Then I cut along the top and bottom of the marked hole with a razor saw, and scored the other vertical side and snapped the resultant scrap piece out of the hole. This was repeated on the other side, and again on the front for a door hole, using the armoured door from the terrain sprue as a guide.



I glued the windows and door in place using an 'all plastic' glue combo (a two-part setup that includes a tube of superglue and a 'primer' pen that is used first to help the glue stick to unusual plastics). I also added a strip light above the door for a little extra visual detail, and to cover over the screw hole that was there.



To fill in the roof, I cut two pieces of 2mm foamed PVC to the right shape to fit in the cavity. In one of these I cut a square hole for the hatch from the terrain sprue. The two pieces of PVC were then superglued together, and the hatch glued into the hole.



The fitting has a couple of handy ridges running around in the top cavity at a perfect height to form a balcony once the PVC section was glued and dropped in to sit on them. At this point I also glued the structure down onto a piece of masonite cut to an appropriate size and shape, and filled in the seam on the fitting with a little putty.



To paint, I started out with a coat of Rustoleum brown primer.



I wanted some light texture over the non-metal parts of the bunker. For this, I used a terracotta paint found in the paint section at my hardware store. This is generally used on plastic plant pots to make them look like they're made of terracotta, and has a really fine grit mixed through it to give it a sandy feel. I used a large brush and dabbed this on rather than brushing, to avoid brushstrokes showing up when I drybrushed over it.



The terracotta coat was a little patchy when it dried, with the dark brown basecoat showing through a bit darker than I wanted, so I went over it with a coat of Burnt Sienna craft paint. While that was drying, I also went over the base with a generous layer of PVA glue and sprinkled on a coarse sand and gravel mix.



The bunker was then drybrushed with a mix of Burnt Sienna and a taupe colour (actually called 'Fawn' on the bottle). The metal parts were given a heavy drybrush with P3 Pig Iron and then a generous wash with Army Painter Dark Tone, and the base was painted with a dark brown (Burnt Umber) craft paint.



Finally, the base was drybrushed with some more Fawn, and the lights painted with Citadel Ultramarine Blue, drybrushed with Ice Blue and White.



I also added a building number on the back slope, using a stencil printed out on paper and cut out with a hobby knife. I dabbed on Vallejo Light Grey with a large brush, and then a layer of white, trying not to make it too neat so that it would look a little weather-worn.



A shot of the roof:



And that's it - ready for the table!



Build your own bunker by picking up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here.

As always, feel free to pop along and share your work, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

Terrain Spotlight: Yoghurt Tub Observatory


Posted on Monday Dec 03, 2018 at 06:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

A side effect of building a lot of scratch-built terrain is that you sooner or later find yourself eyeing off all of your rubbish, trying to decide whether to throw it out or put it in the 'terrain fodder' box. This week's article comes from seeing an empty yoghurt tub sitting upside-down on the sink and thinking 'Hmm... I could totally do something with that!'

With the addition of half of a plastic Christmas bauble, and some bits and pieces from the terrain sprue, I built an observatory:





This all started, as I said above, with a 700g yoghurt tub. I was undecided at first as to just what to do with it, but when I went fossicking around in my potential terrain bits collection, I came across half of a plastic bauble that my wife bought a couple of years ago with Christmas stamps or somesuch thing in it. It looked a perfect size to combine with the tub, and so an idea was born.



I decided to keep this one fairly light on extra detail, for a clean, functional-in-a-sciency-sort-of-way building. The first thing to do was add a door, so I grabbed one from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, traced around it on the side of the tub and then cut out the doorway rectangle carefully with a sharp hobby knife. After checking the fit and making some slight adjustments with the knife, the door was glued in place with an 'all plastics' glue (a two-part superglue that includes a 'primer' to help the glue grab to plastics that can otherwise be problematic for a strong glue bond).



I added three support struts spaced around the building, just gluing them in place where I wanted them.



For the dome, I took some more support struts and separated the small square sections with attached rivet strips by cutting through the strut with the knife. I gave these a slight curve by bending them carefully over the handle of the hobby knife. On the bauble, I drew a guideline through the middle and then glued the strut sections and a large pipe fitting along the line.



I then glued the bauble in place on top of the yoghurt tub, and added two more support strut pieces halfway around each side, to help reinforce the glue bond, as the edges of the bauble are fairly thin.



Finally, I cut an 8" square of masonite, and glued the tub in the middle of it. I also added a couple of steps cut from an off-cut of foamed PVA, and a little strip of plasticard to cover over the doorstep, where my doorway cut had been a little untidy.



A couple of coats of spray and a little detail work later, and the new observatory looked like this:



A quick tip on painting clear containers - it can be a really good idea, particularly if you are using lighter colours, to spray the inside of the container black or grey before gluing it in place and painting the outside. This helps to make the end result more opaque, as the painted building can otherwise go a slightly translucent or look a little glowy if there is a strong light behind it. It also helps keep the building looking good if the paint gets scratched on the outside.







To build your own yoghurt tub science building, you can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here.

As always, feel free to pop along and share your work, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the article roundup here.

Terrain Spotlight: Generator Made From Bubblegum Tape Dispensers!


Posted on Monday Nov 05, 2018 at 06:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

One of the most enjoyable aspects of terrain building for me is to find everyday things that, with a little bit of tinkering, suddenly turn into something that looks at home on the battlefield. This has resulted in me spending more time than is healthy wandering through hardware stores and discount shops looking for new fodder for the workbench - it's often a little surprising where that perfect next project piece will show up.

This week's build is based on an idea that I have come across in several different incarnations online, and thought it looked too cool to not try it out. So after a quick trip to the local grocery store, I found myself building a generator out of bubblegum tape dispensers!



I picked up two packs of grape-flavoured Hubba Bubba. Obviously, the flavour doesn't make any difference to the build, but if you're buying bubblegum anyway, is there any logical reason to buy any flavour other than grape?



The first step was to remove the bubblegum from the packs, and remove the labels. The labels mostly peeled off easily, but needed a little cleanup with some Tea Tree Oil to remove the sticky residue - If you don't have access to Tea Tree Oil, use whatever local equivalent you have for cleaning sticky residue off things.

Then I may have got momentarily distracted...



One side of the pack has an internal ridge running down each long side of the opening, and a pair of tongues that close over into the other half. These needed to be removed, which I did with a sharp exacto knife. They're made from a fairly soft plastic, so cut easily.



This left four almost-identical, semi-circular pieces.



To join the segments together, I took four 25mm bases and cut them in half with a razor saw. The arc markers on the Maelstrom's Edge bases serve as a handy guide for this, but if you are using different bases then some measuring and marking would be involved here.



I cut a piece of masonite to an appropriate size for a base, and then a smaller piece of foamed PVC for the generator to sit on. I could have used another piece of masonite here, but figured the plastic gum dispenser would glue better to the PVC. On the PVC, I marked out where the dispenser pieces would sit, and added a 25mm-wide centre strip to serve as a guide for gluing the base pieces on.



Then, I sat each dispenser piece in turn onto the marks and glued the base sections in position on both sides using an all-plastics glue.





(The 'all-plastics' glue that I use is a 2-part system that has a tube of superglue and a 'primer' pen. You prime the contact points on both parts to be glued before applying the glue, and it creates a super-fast and extremely strong bond with just about any type of plastic).

It was around about this time that I noticed that there were small recycling symbols embossed on two of the dispenser pieces, so I carefully shaved these off with the exacto knife and lightly sanded down the surface. Then I moved on to the ends. Due to the dispenser having that tongue that I cut off back at the start, one side was left with a flat plate, while the other had a hole where the tongue originally slotted in. I took the cut piece of tongue and glued it into this gap.



Then I took eight support struts from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, and cut off the vent sections on their ends. These were glued in pairs into the dispenser opening.





The four sections of dispenser were then glued down onto the base, with the 25mm base sections on each touching the matching section on the next.



I felt that the generator needed a control panel, so quickly threw one together using a console and two trapezoid windows from the terrain sprue, with a square of foamed PVC as a base.



With that glued in place onto the masonite base, the generator was ready for some paint!



I painted it up using my normal weathered metal technique (which you can find in the tutorial here).





To build your own generator, you should be able to find the bubblegum tape just about anywhere that sells bubblegum, and can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here.

As always, feel free to pop along and share your work, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!



For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the article roundup here.

Terrain Tutorial: Hack the Terrain Sprue!


Posted on Monday Oct 15, 2018 at 06:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

The Maelstrom's Edge Terrain Sprue contains a slew of assorted plastic bits and pieces that can be used to pretty up your home-made scifi terrain, including a bunch of essential elements like doors, windows and pipe fittings. This week, I'd like to share a few tips and tricks for squeezing a little extra versatility out of the terrain sprue and adding some extra touches of detail to your buildings.



The terrain sprue in all its glory! While it's loaded with all sorts of interesting bits that can be clipped off and glued on to your buildings as-is, a little careful cutting and some extra materials will go a long way towards adding that extra detailing that helps to finish things off just right.


Handrails

An easy one to start with! The ladder from the sprue can be used for making railings for balconies or walkways, by cutting off one side along the red line shown below, with a razor saw or exacto knife. The lintel piece, cut down to length, is perfect for filling in the corners:



Alternatively, you can just glue the intact ladder sideways onto the outer edge of your walkway or platform, like this:



Ventilation Ducts

The large pipe fitting can be used for creating ventilation ducts with the addition of a fan blade made from plasticard or thin cardboard. Use the fitting itself as a template for the fan, by holding it upside-down against your plasticard or cardboard and drawing around the inside with a sharp pencil:



(In case you're wondering, you use the fitting upside-down for this because it flares out at the bottom. So if you draw around with the fitting right-way-up, your fan is going to wind up too wide to fit in)

Next, you can flip the fitting up the right way, and use the buttresses as a guide to make six marks around the circle:



The join the marks across the circle, and along each of the resultant radial lines make another mark 2mm out from the centre.



Then cut out the circle, and cut inwards along each radial line up to the inner marks. Dry-fit it inside the pipe fitting to make sure it goes in, and sand around the edge if necessary so that it goes in easily - you don't want a tight fit, as it will deform slightly in the next step.



Now gently twist each of the segments around the circle to create a fan shape. If you're using plasticard, go gently here to avoid snapping it - cardboard is a little more forgiving at this step. Obviously, you also need to make sure that you twist each segment the same way, otherwise your fan is going to run into some operational issues.





Your fan blade can now be glued in place inside the pipe fitting by applying a small amount of superglue around the edge and pushing it into place.



Once it's been glued into place on your building and painted, you ventilation duct can look something like this:



You can also create a more compact version using the smaller pipe fitting and a rotor assembly from an Epirian Firefly Drone. Simply trim off the mounting strut and fin from the rotor piece to make it circular, and glue it to the back of the pipe fitting, as below:



You'll need to cut a small hole in whatever surface you're mounting this on for the rotor assembly to sit in, so that the pipe fitting can sit flush.

Chimney Pipes

I always try to look out for ways to make use of all of the leftover sprue that builds up from all of those plastic projects. The round sprue used on this terrain set is particularly useful with just a little help from some plastic tubing. Take the small pipe fitting, an 'L'-shaped piece of the thinner side of the terrain sprue, a square cut from the bottom of one of the support struts, and a couple of short pieces of 7mm (1/4") plastic tubing (Plastruct, Woodland Scenics or the like).



The 7mm tubing fits nice and snugly into the small pipe fitting. In a happy coincidence, the thinner section of the terrain sprue fits just as neatly into the 7mm tubing. If you remove any extraneous casting gates and mouldlines from the sprue piece and fit it all together, you can do this:



This can be then glued in place wherever seems appropriate, and can be easily reconfigured to match your terrain using different combinations of sprue sections and/or extra bits of tubing or support strut sections.





Trouble-free Doors

Some people have been using various plastic containers, storage trays or home guttering sections in conjunction with the terrain sprue to create some interesting buildings for their MEdge tables. One of the big problems with some of these options, though, is that the doors need to be inset into the walls, and cutting some plastics easily and cleanly in order to do so can be problematic. So I came up with this solution:

Take a door, and three support struts.



Trim off the support struts along the red lines in the below diagram, keeping just the middle pieces. Note that the top piece in the below picture is slightly different to the other two, which have a rivet strip left on one end:



The glue them in place around the back of the door frame. The strut piece from the top of the diagram goes along the top, and the other two (which, unless something's gone horribly wrong, will be identical) go down either side with the rivet strip at the top.



This can then be glued in place on the wall of whatever you're using to make your building, with no cutting of the wall required.



These are just a few ideas that I've found useful when constructing terrain. One of the great things about a product like this is the more-or-less limitless possibilities opened up through the ease of working with plastic components and the open-ended nature of the construction allowed by it. It's always great to see people take the sprue and find new and unexpected ways to use the components on it. So why not give it a go? You can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here.

As always, feel free to pop along and share your work, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the article roundup here.

Terrain Spotlight: Building made from foamed PVC and the Maelstrom's Edge Terrain Sprue


Posted on Monday Sep 24, 2018 at 06:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

I've showcased a couple of customised Plast Craft Games buildings in the past - a scifi-d up pagoda, and a similarly modified western building. These kits are made out of a foamed PVC board which was really fantastic to work with, so I decided to track down some similar board to have a crack at putting together some of my own designs with it, with the below result:



Slightly unusually for my projects, I started this one by sketching out a plan to see how everything would fit together. This was partly due to my desire to take advantage of the flexibility of the PVC by adding a curved front wall to the building, so I wanted to make sure that I had my dimensions correct before I started cutting.



Once I was confident that I had it all worked out, I pencilled up the various panels that made up the building onto the sheet of PVC, and then used a steel ruler and hobby knife to cut it all out. The foamed PVC cuts really easily with a knife, and also sands well. It feels almost like something halfway between cardboard and foamcore*, without the inherent frailties, like the risk of damage from moisture or spraypaint.

*For the uninitiated, Foamcore, also sometimes called Foam Board, is a material made up of a thin sheet of expanded polystyrene sandwiched between layers of paper or thin card, and is a common building material for wargaming terrain and scale building construction.



Once everything was cut out, I did a quick dry-fit to check that everything slotted in where it should.



The curved panel on the front was made by cutting the piece to the right size and then laying it over an old baby formula tin while heating it with a hair dryer. This achieved the desired curve, but I suspect the hair dryer was a little too hot for the material as it caused it to swell on some of the cut edges. Next time around, I'll try just immersing it in hot water for a minute instead.



The door and windows are taken from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue. I cut the holes in the wall panels for those by sitting them in place, drawing around them with a pencil, and then cutting the resultant rectangles out with a hobby knife.



I wanted a walled roof area for troops to take cover on, so marked down 20mm inside each wall and glued in some strips of leftover PVC to act as support.



The walls, door and windows were all glued into place, and the roof dropped into place with a little more glue. I used superglue for assembly - this grabs really well, and quite quickly, on the foamed PVC.



As the last step before painting, I took support struts from the terrain sprue and glued them over the exposed joints on the walls.



That left me with the building itself assembled, and a few details to add on once the walls were painted. For some added sturdiness, I glued the building down to a square of 5mm masonite.



To kick off the painting, I sprayed with red right around the top of the walls.



I then applied a line of masking tape over the red paint, just below the tops of the walls. I lined this up with one of the panels on the support struts, to make it look neater.



The whole building received a coat of a nice, sandy brown colour.



This was followed up with a spray of white from above, leaving the sandy brown in the crevasses and undersides of the detail.



(And yes, it does feel a little absurd to take a white building, and apply three different coats of paint just to wind up with a white building again!)


Once the spray was dry, I peeled off the masking tape, and painted the base and the roof with Vallejo Basalt Grey.



Everything was weathered with a sponge and some Vallejo Heavy Charcoal (for a how-to on sponge weathering, check out the article here!), and the base and roof were drybrushed with Vallejo Light Grey and a little white.



I dirtied everything up with a generous drybrush here and there with Vallejo Beasty Brown.



The lower edges of the weathering on the red strips was highlighted with a little Citadel Tentacle Pink and Army Painter Pure Red, and I blacklined some of the deeper detail lines on the terrain sprue components. The 'puddle' stains were added with Army Painter Strong Tone and Dark Tone, by dripping small drops onto the board and leaving it to dry.



For the finishing steps, I added a fan on one wall using the large pipe fitting from the terrain sprue some plasticard, built a small pipe coming out of the back wall using some more terrain sprue pipe fittings, a couple of short pieces of plastic tube and a piece of sprue cut from the terrain sprue, and hung a ladder on the back wall. To add handrails to the top of the ladder, I trimmed away the top rung, and cut a couple of pieces of sprue that looked about right, added a ninety-degree bend with by bending carefully with pliers, and then gluing it all in place. The ladder was painted using my normal weathered metal technique.

The end result looks like this:














You can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here.

As always, feel free to pop along and share your work, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the article roundup here.